Mahakashyap said, “I don’t care about right and wrong; I’m just feeling sorry for the poor philosopher.”
And he turned to the philosopher and said to him, “If you want to have a discussion, have it right now; after two years, there will be just silence and no dialogue. This man is not trustworthy. He deceived me; I also came with the same idea as you, to defeat him, and he cheated me. He said, ‘Sit down for two years by my side, and listen. Learn first the art of listening. And because you are not concerned at all, your mind need not function.’
“And two years is a long time; the mind starts forgetting how to think, how to function. The very presence of Gautam Buddha is so peaceful, so silent, that one starts rejoicing in the silence. And to listen to his words…which are not addressed to you, so you are not worried whether they agree with your prejudices, your philosophy, your religion – with you – or not. You are indifferent. You listen to him as if you are listening to the birds singing in the morning when the sun rises.
“And two years…the mind disappears. And although those words are not addressed to you, they start reaching to your heart. Because the mind is silent, the passage is open – the door is open, the heart welcomes them. So if you want to ask anything, if you want to challenge this man, challenge now. I don’t want to see another man cheated again.”
Gautam Buddha said, “It is up to you; if you want to defeat me now, I declare my defeat. There is no need to talk. Why waste time? You are victorious. But if you really want to have a dialogue with me, then I’m not asking much, just two years to learn the art of listening.”
The man remained for two years, and even forgot completely that after two years he had to challenge Gautam Buddha for a debate. He forgot the whole calendar. Days passed, months passed, seasons came and went away, and after two years he was enjoying the silence so much that he had no idea that two years had passed.
It has to be remembered that time is a very elastic thing. When you are in suffering, time becomes longer; suddenly all the watches and clocks of the world start moving slowly – a great conspiracy against a poor man who is in suffering. Time moves so slowly that sometimes one feels as if it has stopped.
You are sitting by the side of someone you love who is dying, in the middle of the night; it seems time has stopped, that this night is not going to end, that your idea that all nights end was a fallacy…this night is not going to have a dawn, because time is not moving.
And when you are joyful – when you meet a friend after many years, when you meet a beloved, a lover for whom you have waited long – suddenly, again the conspiracy. All the clocks, all the watches, start moving faster; hours go like minutes, days go like hours, months go like weeks. Time is elastic: time is relative to your inner condition.