Achieving Nothing ( NoThing)

3 min read

Once upon a time the Bodhisatta—the enlightened Being—was born into a high-class family in Northern India. When he grew up he gave up the ordinary desires of the everyday world and became a Holy man. He went to the Himalayan Mountains where 500 other holy men became his followers.

He meditated throughout his long life. He gained supernatural powers —like flying through the air and understanding other peoples thoughts without their speaking. These special power impressed his 500 followers greatly.

One rainy season then-chief follower took 250 of the holy en into the country villages to collect salt and other necessities. It just so happened that this was the time when the master was about to die, so they asked him, “Oh most holy one, in your long life practicing goodness and meditation what was your greatest achievement?”

Having difficulty speaking as he was dying, the last words of the Enlightened Being were, “No Thing” Then he was reborn into a heaven world.

Expecting to hear about some fantastic magical powers, the 250 followers were disappointed. They said to one another. “After practicing goodness and meditation our poor master has achieved nothing.” Since they considered him a failure, they burned his body with no special ceremony, honors or even respect.

When the chief follower returned he asked, “where is the holy one,?” “He has died,” they told him. “Did you ask him about his greatest achievement”?  “Yes, they said And what did he say the chief follower asked. He said he achieved “nothing” they replied so we didn’t celebrate his funeral with any special honors.

Then the chief follower said, ‘You brothers did not understand the meaning of the teacher’s words. He achieved the great knowledge of ‘No Thing” He realized that the names of things are not what they are. There is what there is, without being called ‘this thing’ or ‘that thing’ There is no thing. In this way, the chief follower explained the achievement of their great master., but they still did not understand.

Meanwhile, from his heaven world, the reborn Enlightened Being saw that his former chief’s follower’s words were not accepted. So he left the heaven world and appeared floating in the air above his former follower’s monastery. In praise of the chief follower’s wisdom, he said,” The one who hears the Truth understands automatically, is far better of than a hundred fools who spend a hundred years thinking and thinking and thinking.

By preaching in this way the Great Being encouraged the 500 holy men to continue seeking Truth. After lives spent seriously cultivating all died and were reborn in the same heaven world with their former master.

When the wise speak, listen!

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