Buddha Tales – The Astrologer
One day, after he had become a Buddha, Gautama went and sat down under a tree. Not because a tree is the best place to sit under, but because that was the only real estate of those times. There were not so many buildings everywhere. A tree was a pleasant place to sit under rather than sitting in harsh sun.
An astrologer of great proficiency in his trade came for a bath in the river and saw a footprint on the riverbank. There are observations through which by looking at the way one’s feet are, someone can predict exactly what he will do.
He saw that this is the footprint of an emperor, someone who should rule the world. Then he wondered, why would such a person be in this remote place near a jungle? And he followed the footprint, thinking he will meet an emperor. Then he saw this monk, Gautama, sitting under a tree. He looked at this and thought, “Either my astrology has gone all wrong, or I am being fooled, or I am in some kind of hallucination. What’s happening here?” He went to Gautama and asked, “Who are you?” Gautama said, “I am nobody, I am just a nobody.” “But you have the feet of an emperor, you should conquer the world!” Gautama said, “That I will, but not by conquest.”
There are two ways you can have the world – either by conquest or by inclusion. Both ways something or someone becomes yours. But if you go by conquest, it will always be a pain in your neck. If you include, this will become a great enhancement of life. He said, “I am the emperor of the world.” The astrologer said, “You are a monk, you own nothing.” “I own nothing, and I am a nobody. That is why everything is mine.”
Becoming a no-thing does not mean that you are no use, when you are a no-thing, it means that you have become all inclusive. If you are something, it means that you can only be that. If you are a no-thing, you can be any way you want. This astrologer sat down and said, “You are a monk, you have nothing, on top of it you say ‘I am a nobody and everything is mine.’ What is this?” Gautama said, “You come, I have a way for you. You are busy making predictions of life, I have a plan.” You make predictions of life because you are incapable of making a plan. That is why you fall back on predictions. If you are capable of making a plan and executing it, you would not fall back on predictions. Gautama said, “You are busy making predictions. I am here, I have a plan. Come, become a part of my plan, we will make something else happen!”
Peace and Love, Jim