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Chapter 3: The Temper

Said Bankei, “I suggest that whenever it gets into you, this anger, it must be coming from outside. You didn’t have it when you were born; nobody, not your parents or anybody, presented it to you as a gift, so from where is it coming? It must be coming from outside, the periphery must be touching other peripheries. From there, you must be getting the ripples and the waves. So be conscious” - because the moment you are conscious you are suddenly thrown to the center.

Be unconscious and you live on the periphery. Be conscious and you are thrown to the center. And from the center you can see what is happening on the periphery. Then if two people touch on the periphery, then two people will create trouble on the periphery, but it will not be any trouble for you. You can laugh, you can enjoy it, you can say, “It sounds fascinating.”

It happened: Buddha was passing near a village; a few people came and they abused him very badly, said nasty things, used vulgar words - and he just stood there. They got a little puzzled, because he was not reacting. Then somebody from the crowd asked, “Why are you silent? Answer what we are saying!”

Buddha said, “You came a little late. You should have come ten years ago, because then I would have reacted. But now I am not there where you are doing these things to me; a distance has arisen. Now I have moved to the center where you cannot touch me. You came a little late. I am sorry for you, but I enjoy it. Now I am in a hurry, because in the other village where I am going, people will be waiting for me. If you are not yet finished, then I will pass back by the same route. You can come again. It sounds fascinating.”

They were puzzled. What to do with such a man? Another from the crowd asked, “Really, are you not going to say anything?”

Buddha said, “In the village I have come from just now, people came with many sweets to present to me, but I take things only when I am hungry, and I was not hungry, so I gave them back their sweets. I ask you, what will they do?”

So the man said, “Of course, they will go in the village and give those sweets as prasad to people.”

So Buddha started laughing and he said, “You are really in trouble, you are in a mess - what will you do? You brought these vulgar words to me, and I say I am not hungry - so now take them back! And I feel very sorry for your village, because people will get such vulgar things, vulgar words in their prasad.”

When you are at the center, it sounds fascinating - you can enjoy it. When you are cool you can enjoy the whole world. When you are hot you cannot enjoy it, because you get so much into it; you are lost, you get identified. You become so messed up in it, how can you enjoy it?

This may sound paradoxical, but I tell you: only a buddha enjoys this world. Then everything sounds fascinating.

Enough for today.