Buddha once went to beg with his disciple Ananda. When they approached a house for food, the lady of the house spoke harshly. “You lazy fellows! You are hale and healthy, why can’t you work for your food?” She yelled and chased them away. The disciple was enraged at the woman she used such hostile words on his great Guru.
“Please permit me to teach that woman a solid lesson …” he pleaded with Buddha. But Buddha walked away in silence.
A little later, Buddha handed over his water container to Ananda and went to take rest. Having rested for a couple of hours they resumed their journey. On the way, Buddha glanced at the water container and asked, “Whose is this?”
“It is yours, Guruji.” said Ananda. Buddha took it and looked at it once and returned it to Ananda saying, “No, I gifted it to you a little while ago, it is now yours.”
At night, Buddha pointed to the same water container and asked once again, “Whose is this?”
Now Ananda said, “Guruji, it is mine.”
Hearing this, Buddha said laughingly, “I asked you the same question earlier today and you said it was mine. Now you are saying it is yours. How can the same container be mine and yours at the same time?”
Though Ananda was slightly confused, he replied calmly, “Guruji, you said that you have gifted this container to me and I accepted it. Hence, I said that it was mine. Initially, when you gave it to me I did not consider it as mine, because, even though you had handed over the container to me it was still yours.”
Buddha smiled at Ananda and said, “Similarly, I did not take the words the lady spoke harshly as mine; I did not accept them. So, even though the words were spoken at me, they still belong to the lady alone. That is the reason that there was no need to teach her a lesson.”
Everyone has a different journey in life. Our quality is not pointed out by others. On the other hand, don’t judge someone else for theirs. Looking down at someone or thinking that you are better than them will never make you happy.