Little anecdotes and stories, culled from books of mythologies, holy scriptures and annals of history go a long way in moulding our perception of life. They propound that both intolerance and anger are vicious vices we should shun.
Recently, I attended a religious congregation where the speaker narrated an interesting story. Once there lived a holy man on the banks of the Ganges. One day, a miscreant decided to take on the holy man by provoking him to anger and intolerance. As soon as the holy man came out of the Ganges after having a dip in the holy waters, he threw mud at his face.
The holy man just gave a loving smile and went back to the river, had a dip again and returned. The miscreant once again threw mud on the face of the saint, and once again the holy man descended into the river, had another dip, washed the mud off and returned.
The boy repeated his act many times until he felt ashamed and begged for the guru’s pardon. The saint caressed his head with a loving hand and said: “My son, your action has done a lot of good to me, it made me dip in the holy Ganga time and again, the waters of which wash the sins of the sinners off. Saying this, the saint departed without showing any sign of anger.
This reminds me of a parable connected with the life of the Buddha. He was once abused by a crowd in a village time and again but he kept smiling. The villagers were puzzled and asked what made him smile. To which the Buddha said he was offered sweets in the previous village but he refused.
He asked the villagers what could have happened to the sweets. The villagers responded they would have distributed the sweets among themselves and eaten. The Buddha then remarked, “So, since I have not received your abuses, they have gone back to you”! The villagers had their lesson and felt bad. Ashamed, they sought the Buddha’s pardon.