Chapter 3: The Sword and the Lotus
A man fell into a well. It was getting dark and his eyesight was not good, he was almost blind. He shouted for help, but with millions of people there was so much noise - who is going to hear him?
A Confucian monk passed by the side of the well and he heard the noise of the man asking for help, to be taken out of the well. The Confucian monk said to him, “Don’t be worried. Our master, Confucius, has written in his books that every water well should have walls, and I am going to create a tremendous uproar in the country!”
The poor man said, “By the time you create the great uproar in the whole country and all the wells start having protecting walls, I will be dead. Just think of me first!”
The monk said, “Individuals don’t matter, what matters is society.” That is the Confucian idea. That is the idea of all socialists, that the individual does not matter.
The reason for China becoming communist - nobody has explored the reason why India has not become communist - is Confucius. For twenty-five centuries Confucius had been held in tremendous respect, so when Karl Marx became available to the Chinese, it fitted very well with the Confucian idea: the individual does not matter, what matters is the society.
The Confucian monk said to the man, “Anyway, any day you are going to die, so why not now? I cannot waste my time! I am going to create the revolution that will bring walls to every well in the whole country. Think of your children!” And the man went away.
The man in the well thought, “Strange.I am dying here, and that idiot is going to create a revolution!”
A Buddhist monk passed by. He looked in the well. The man said, “Buddha has taught compassion. You should save me, I am dying! And it is getting darker and colder.”
The Buddhist monk said, “Be patient. It is because of your past lives’ evil acts that you have fallen into the well. Millions of people are here, and nobody else has fallen into the well. You must have committed very evil acts - murder, rape. It is better to clear the account.”
“And Buddha has also said, ‘Never interfere into anybody’s life!’ Just forgive me, I cannot interfere into your life. If I pull you out, you will fall again, because your punishment for the evil acts of the past life is not complete - so what is the point? Just die and be reborn, fresh, without any past evil acts hanging around you.”
The man was so amazed, “These people are religious people?” And the Buddhist monk went away.
This is the logical consequence of Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna. All the Indian philosophies teach it.