The Buddha’s silence wins

One day the Lord Buddha was meditating. An elderly man came in and started abusing the Buddha most ruthlessly. The Buddha remained absolutely silent.

Buddha Daibutsu, Kamakura

Buddha Daibutsu, Kamakura

How long could he continue his abuse? After a while he stopped and was about to leave the place. But the Buddha said, “Just wait, please. I have something to ask you. Tell me, when you offer gifts to a person, if he does not accept your gifts, what do you do?

“I just take them back.”

The Buddha said, “Well, you have been trying to offer me the gifts that you brought with you. Since I have not accepted your gifts, you are taking them back with you.”

The man felt sad and ashamed of his conduct. He begged forgiveness of the Buddha. The Buddha forgave him and eventually he became a close disciple of the Buddha.


– Story from AUM Magazine, January 1974. Originally written by Mano Ranjan Ghose. Translated from the original Bengali by his younger brother, Sri Chinmoy.


There is a saying kindness is its own reward. Hatred is its own punishment. Also, whatever you give out, comes back to you like a boomerang. In this story, the Buddha’s silence illumines the person filled with anger.


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