If Buddha was not understood twenty-five centuries ago, it will be even more difficult to understand him now, because the unfulfilled ambitions of twenty-five centuries are overwhelmingly there, they are surrounding you. You are flooded with them. All the people who have lived and died have left their ambitions as a heritage for you. Your eyes are blind, your ears are deaf, your hearts only pump the blood, they no more feel….
The vicar was driving home one night when suddenly his car made a terrible noise and ground to a halt.
Taking out his flashlight and a box of tools, he pulled up the bonnet and started to look over the engine.
While he was tinkering away with a spanner in hand, the local drunk staggered by and stopped to ask, “Anything wrong, Vicar?”
“Yes. Piston broke.”
“So am I,” replied the drunk.
You are not in your senses. Hence buddhas have been misunderstood, and to understand them has become more and more difficult. Keep it in your mind when you meditate on these beautiful words – simple words, because buddhas have always used simple words, but with tremendous meaning.
The Buddha says:
I shall endure hard words
as the elephant endures the shafts of battle.
For many people speak wildly.
I shall endure hard words…. Buddha expects that that is going to be his reward. He will shower you with his love and compassion and all that you can do is insult him, throw hard words or stones at him. All that you can do is some kind of harm. You are going to hurt him. Hence he says in the beginning: I shall endure hard words. He expects that, and every buddha has expected that down the ages.
Once a disciple of Buddha was going to preach his word to the masses. He had become enlightened, and Buddha said, “Now you are ready to go, you need not accompany me any longer. Once in a while you can come to see me; otherwise you can help people on your own. Go and help people to become more aware, more meditative.”
But he said also, “One thing I would like to ask: What part of the country would you like to go to?” There was a part of Bihar, where Buddha lived, where no sannyasin of Buddha’s had ever gone. The name of the part was Suka. This newly enlightened sannyasin said, “I will go to Suka.”
Buddha said, “Please don’t go there. Nobody has gone there yet for a certain reason. The people there are very wild, uncultured, stupid, mischievous, murderous, very violent. Don’t go there.”
But the disciple said, “If they are in such a bad situation they need us more than anybody else. The physician is needed only where people are ill.”