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Chapter 10: Through These Enchanted Lands

You ask, “What about food?” I don’t talk about food, I talk about you - the real thing is to happen there. When it has happened then I am not worried about you; then whatsoever you do will be right. Let me say it in this way: there is no act which is right and no act which is wrong, there are only persons who are right and persons who are wrong. When the right person does something it is right, when a wrong person does something it is wrong. Right and wrong are not qualities of any act - all depends on who is behind the act.

For example, it happened: Buddha said to his disciples, to his monks and nuns, “Whatsoever is given to you, you have to eat it. You should not demand, you should not become a burden on the society. You should simply go and stand before a house and if the people feel like giving they will give. You are not even to ask and you are not to give the details of what you need. Whatsoever is given, accept it in deep humbleness, gratitude, and eat it.”

One day it happened, a monk was returning after begging food from the town and a crow flew over him and dropped a piece of meat into his begging bowl. Now, Buddha had said, “Whatsoever is given..” The monk was disturbed. He had not asked for this meat; it had fallen, it was in the bowl, he had not desired it. What should he do? He started thinking, “Should I throw it away or should I eat it? - because Buddha has said, ‘Don’t throw anything away. People are starving, food is always a scarcity. Don’t throw anything away; eat whatsoever is given.’ Should I throw it away or should I take it?”

The problem was such that there was no precedent. So he thought, “It is better to ask Buddha.” When the assembly gathered he brought his begging bowl and he asked Buddha, “What am I supposed to do?”

Buddha closed his eyes, for a moment he meditated. He meditated because of two reasons. One: if he says, “Throw it away,” then he will be creating a precedent of throwing things away. Then later on - such is the cunning mind of man - people will think that Buddha has given the freedom, if you feel that something is wrong, you can throw it away. But then they will start throwing away foods that they don’t like. That will be a wastage.

And then he thought, “Crows are not going to drop meat every day. This is just an accident and the accident should not be made a rule - it is an exception.” So he said, “It’s okay. Whatsoever is given, even if the crow has dropped meat, you have to eat it.”

That transformed the whole Buddhist history, in subtle ways. The monks and nuns started spreading the news to people that whatsoever is given, even if meat is given, they would accept it. And Buddhism became a meat-eating religion just because of that crow.

You see? The crows are more important than your buddhas. They transform things. Man is so stupid that he will follow a crow rather than a buddha.

I don’t give you any particular instructions what to eat or what not to eat. I simply teach you one thing: become more and more conscious, become more and more aware, and let your awareness decide.

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