Buddha and the Angry Man

Once Gautam Buddha was traveling from a village. Everyone was happy to see him and heard his speeches with lots of dedication. However, one young man was not at all happy to see him in the village. He believed Buddha to be a fake master fooling the masses.


“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”


While Buddha was delivering his speech, the man stood and started shouting in a very rude manner. Buddha did not pay any attention to him and continued speaking without bothering about him. This made the young man angrier.

He came in front of Buddha and facing him, he began insulting, “You have no right to teach anything to others. You are as stupid as everyone else. Stop fooling everyone. You are fake.!!”

The followers of Buddha tried to overpower that man. But Buddha stopped them and said, “It is not always necessary to counter aggression by aggression.”

Then he turned to the young man with a smile and asked, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same as your anger.

If you become angry with me and I do not feel insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

The man understood the message and he felt embarrassed.

Letting Go of the Past : Monk and the Burden

Two MONKS were walking from their monastery to another one nearby. One was an old wise monk and the other was a novice, an apprentice monk. As they walked in silence, they came across a river. Unseasonal rains had caused the river to run high. On the banks of the river was a young lady in a kimono, not sure whether it was safe for her to cross. When she saw the two monks, she looked relived and asked for help. 

The young monk was aghast. He exclaimed, ‘Don’t you see that I am a monk? I took a vow of chastity.’ ‘I require nothing from you that could impede your vow, but simply a little help to cross the river,’ the young woman replied with a smile. ‘I will not . . . I can . . . do nothing for you,’ said the embarrassed young monk. 

At this point, the elderly monk stepped forward and said, ‘Climb on to my back and I’ll help you cross.’ Upon reaching the other side, the old monk put the lady down. She thanked him and he responded with a ‘welcome’. With that, he started walking towards his destination. 

The young apprentice was agitated. ‘How could you do this? This is against our order. You are supposed to be my mentor. You are supposed to show me the way. When we return, I am going to ask them to change my mentor.’ 

The young monk went on and on till they reached the next monastery. 

On reaching the gate, the old monk paused, looked at the young monk and said, ‘I did carry the lady, but I put her down on the banks of the river. It seems like you are still carrying her.’


The empathy of the old monk to put the needs of the maiden before his own spiritual practice, and his spiritual ability to then let go of the fact that he had strayed from the path of his spiritual commitment, without feeling guilty, is a lesson for all of us.

We mustn’t allow our past actions to affect our current life, because letting go of the past is necessary to truly thrive our future. 

-The Empty Boat-

A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation.

After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own.

With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation. But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake.

At that moment, the monk achieves self-realisation, and understands that the anger is within him; it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him. From then on, whenever he comes across someone who irritates him or provokes him to anger, he reminds himself, “The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.”

Take time for introspection & search for answers: Empty boat is a famous & fabulous metaphor. Its value lies in its implementation.