My next story. For me (see PS) it is a Oriental Buddhist story irrespective of what the world says. Football of other’s opinion.
On one of his globe trotting expeditions, Buddha and a couple of his disciples reached a village a hot summer afternoon begging for alms. Remember that He had to beg for his living (as was the practice). Walking they reached a hut with the door that was slightly ajar. They could hear a lady who was pretty hassled trying to put a crying baby to sleep, with smell of something burnt on the cooking on the chulha (stove), washed clothes to be hung on the lines for drying and so on. The monks addressed the lady, begged for alms. She apparently did not hear this and the monks raised their pitch and the lady of the house came out in a fit of rage and gave the monk a piece of her mind…”You fit for nothing fellows….go and beg elsewhere and I am hassled as it is and dont need any more of troubles like you etc etc and she went on and on and verbally abused them to an extent when the disciples were getting really worked up. Ultimately she just turned them away. In those days, it was considered duty of every household to serve the monks who come begging for alms. The disciples were very surprised to find that the Master as usual remained stoic with a serene smile on his face all along. So who were they to react… The monks then came away and proceeded on their way toward some other home where they could expect some alms.
The disciples could not control any longer and one of them asked, “O Master!!! That wretched lady insulted you no ends and still you dont bother. Why is it that you never reacted? I am boiling inside with anger and if you permit me, would like to go back and return the words that she gave us and more”
In reply, the Master gave the Kamandal(a bowl) to the disciple which the disciple dutifully took from the Master.
Master asked him, “Where is the Kamandal?
Disciple replied, “It is with me”
Master : “Why is it with you?”
Disciple : “Because you gave it to me”
Master: “No…. not because I gave it to you, because you took it when I gave it to you.
The Master then replied, “Similarly, I dont have anything to return to the lady since I never took anything from her, If you still feel that you took something from her, go and return by all means
The words of this story is mine so may not be very “Vikram Seth”ish or “Jeffery Archer”ish but I guess it conveys what I intend to state here.
The lesson that we learn from Buddha’s response is that – “NO ONE CAN INSULT YOU WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION”. It’s only when you internalize the insult that you feel bad. Why should someone else’s opinion kill you (kill you internally I mean)
Listen to Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar (follow HIM @SriSri on Twitter) talk on OPINIONS and their worth In a nutshell, Guruji’s take on Opinions – it is not worth a tinker’s damn and not worth the ink and paper it is written with…. ha ha ha…. (these are not his words, He is never this curt or brusque)
With due respects to the Americans who happen to read this post, I wish to say that, Like every good thing in this world – the saying “NOBODY CAN CRITICIZE ME WITHOUT MY PERMISSION” is being hijacked and attributed it to Eleanour Roosevelt. Which is so obvious by the irrelevance of the context in which she is supposed to have made this statement.I keyed in this statement into websearch string just before posting it and was astounded to find this attributed to her albeit in a different context