Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Lines Cannot be Drawn on Water.

Once Buddha was holding his camp by the side of a river, and on both sides armies were standing. There were two kingdoms and the river was the boundary, and they had been fighting for generations over which kingdom the river belonged to, because the water was valuable. And they had not been able to decide – so many times they had made the river red with blood and the fight had continued. Buddha had his camp there and the generals of both the armies came to him.  Just by chance, at the same time they entered his camp and saw each other. They were shocked at this strange coincidence, but now there was no way to go back.

Buddha said, ”Don’t be worried; it is good that you have come both together. You both are blind, your predecessors have been blind. The river goes on flowing, and you go on killing people. Can’t you see a simple fact: you both need water, and the river is big enough. ”There is no need to possess the river – and who can be the possessor? – all the water is flowing into the ocean. Why can’t both of you use it? One side belongs to one kingdom, the other side belongs to the other kingdom – there is no problem. And there is no need even to draw a line in the middle of the river because lines cannot be drawn on water. And use the water; rather than fighting….”

It was so simple. And they understood that their fields and their crops were dying because they had no one for them. Fighting was first: who possesses the river? First water had to be possessed; only then could you water all your fields. But the stupid mind thinks only in terms of possession. The man of insight thinks of utility.

Buddha simply said, ”Use it! And come to me again when you have used all the water. Then there will be a problem, then we will see. But come to me again only when you have used all the water.”