A Sermon on Abuse

The Buddha said: “If a man foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my ungrudging love; the more evil comes from him, the more good shall come from me; the fragrance of goodness always comes to me, and the harmful air of evil goes to him.”

A foolish man, learning the Buddha observed the principle of great love which commends the return of good for evil, came and abused him.

The Buddha was silent, pitying his folly.When the man had finished his abuse, the Buddha asked:

“Son, if a man declines to accept the present made to him, to whom would the gift belong?” The man answered: “In that case the gift would belong to the man who offered it.” 

“And so my son,” said the Buddha, “you have railed at me, but I refuse to accept your abuse, and request that you keep it to yourself. Will it not be a source of misery to you? As the echo belongs to the sound, and the shadow to the substance, so misery will overtake the evildoer without fail.”

The abuser went away ashamed, but he came again and took refuge in the Buddha.

                                                       Lin Yutang, The Wisdom of India

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