Nothing [No Thing]
Once upon a time the Bodhisatta the Enlightenment 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.
meditated throughout his long life. He gained supernatural powers
like flying through the air and understanding people's thoughts
without their speaking. These special powers impressed his 500 followers
rainy season, the chief follower took 250 of the holy men into the
hill country villages to collect salt and other necessities. It
just so happened that this was the time when the master was about
to die. The 250 who were still by his side realized this. So they
asked him, "Oh most holy one, in your long life practicing
goodness and meditation, what was your greatest achievement?"
difficulty speaking as he was dying, the last words of the Enlightenment
Being were, "No Thing." Then he was reborn in a heaven
to hear about some fantastic magical power, the 250 followers were
disappointed. They said to each other. "After a long life 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.
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?" "Of course we did," they
answered. "And what did he say?" asked the chief follower.
"He said he achieved 'nothing'," they replied, "so
we didn't celebrate his funeral with any special honors."
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 wonderful achievement of their great master,
but they still did not understand.
from his heaven world, the reborn Enlightenment Being saw that his
former chief follower's words were not accepted. So he left the
heaven world and appeared floating in the air above his former followers'
monastery. In praise of the chief follower's wisdom he said, "The
one who hears the Truth and understands automatically, is far better
off than a hundred fools who spend a hundred years thinking and
thinking and thinking."
preaching in this way, the Great Being encouraged the 500 holy men
to continue seeking Truth. After lives spent in serious meditation,
all 500 died and were reborn in the same heaven world with their
moral is: When the wise speak, listen!