Stories

Akkosa Sutra

The Buddha was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove. Then the brahmin Akkosaka (“Insulter”) Bharadvaja heard that a friend of his had become a follower of Buddha. Angered, Akkosaka went to the Buddha and started insulting him with rude, harsh words.

The Buddha just sat there. When Akkosaka was finished, Buddha said: “Do friends and family visit you as guests?”

“Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes guests come to see me.”

“Do you serve them food?”

“Yes, sometimes I serve them food.”

“And if they don’t accept them, to whom do those foods belong?”

“If they don’t accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine.”

“In the same way, I don’t accept this insulting talk from you. It’s all yours, brahmin. It’s all yours.

“Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahmin. It’s all yours. It’s all yours.”

Impermanence

Once upon a time there was a grasshopper revered for her wisdom. One evening the grasshopper hopped into a magnolia tree, hoping to rest there for the night. A pair of beetles, who were guarding the bush, recognized the grasshopper and let her pass. As the grasshopper climbed wearily onto a branch, a magnolia blossom said, “Welcome, grasshopper. I am the king of this palace. What do you want?”

“I wish to sleep in this hotel tonight,” said the grasshopper.

Taken aback, the Magnolia Blossom King snorted, “This is no hotel! It is my palace!”

The grasshopper said politely, “If I may ask, who owned this palace before you?”

“Why, the blossom that sat on the branch below you, of course! He fell away last year in the first frost.”

“And who owned this palace before him?”

“The blossom that sat on the branch above you. She fell away two years ago in the first frost.”

The grasshopper then asked, “This palace where flowers bloom for a while and then fall away, how can you say it is not a hotel?”