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Sutta Nipāta: Dhaniya the Cattleman, Part 4 of 9, Dec 30, 2019

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Buddha has nothing. All His concepts, prejudices, gone. So, He was just free, very supple, very soft, very free, just flowing. He lived for one night, meaning, you never know what’s tomorrow. He didn’t care.

I sometimes wonder why, also. Why I was so courageous in some cases and so meek on many other occasions. I wonder myself.

My God, my calendar. Now, we really have to go back to India. So, the cattleman, he was very proud of what he had and his possessions, and his ability to be independent, to take care of himself and his family. Of course, man’s pride is there.

He said this verse: “The rice is cooked, my milking’s done. I live with my people along the banks of the Mahi.” One of the rivers, I guess. “My hut is roofed, my fire lit: So, if you want, rain god, go ahead and rain.” Meaning, he feels so safe. In his mundane achievements, he has everything he needs and security. So that he proudly proclaimed that even if rain comes, he’s not afraid. “Go ahead and rain.” Even challenging the rain god. It could even be wind god or thunder god or typhoon god, whatever. Meaning, he’s too strong, too safe, too secure to worry about it.

And now, the Buddha. The Buddha said now. They just said the Buddha and a colon. “Free from anger, my rigidity gone, I live for one night along the banks of the Mahi; my hut’s roof is open, my fire out:” No more fire. “So, if you want, rain god, go ahead and rain.”

You see the difference between an enlightened one and the normal thinking people? For the normal people, they think, “OK, I need a safe house with the roof. I need my cattle, I need my wife, I need my children, I need my servant or whatnot.” He has everything, to feel safe. Of course, in this world you need to protect yourself from the elements. And of course, that’s rightly so. But to be proud of it, the way he talked, it implies some little arrogance to me, ego. Like, “Look at me. I am so good. I’ve got everything. I know how to protect myself and my family and everything in this world. I am tough.”

But the Buddha is the opposite. He has nothing. Even His hut, if He even had any hut, or roof, no roof. Maybe He meant He had no roof at all, because there was no roof. So, what kind of hut has no roof? Meaning He just sat in the open air, like He sat under the Bodhi Tree, for example. And then “My rigidity gone,” means He is very flexible now. He got rid of all the concepts and all the prejudices, and all the things that people cling to, to feel safe and sound. He needed nothing of that. They were all gone. Got rid of them all. Now He was so free.

At the moment, we still cling onto something; something we like or not like, or prefer this, or must have this, or must have that, then we are still in the frame of maya, in the control of maya. Buddha has nothing. All His concepts, prejudices, gone. So, He was just free, very supple, very soft, very free, just flowing. He lived for one night, meaning, you never know what’s tomorrow. He didn’t care. “To live for one night” doesn’t mean Buddha is dying tomorrow.

Today, your ego is lower, I can see that. Actually, yes, it helps if you have less ego. You can concentrate better. Sometimes, I find that whenever I praise somebody, like I appreciate their work, in my sincerity I thank them, and the next day they mess up. “Oh, Master knows my worth. I am somebody. Even the Master praised me.” Imagine, he wants to even broadcast on Supreme Master TV. Then he messed up. Just like maybe in the kitchen, that’s why they messed up.

The sister who wanted to give me food, she crawled all over, on top of my food and my computer, while I was working even, just to put food on the other side because the other side was empty. So, I said, “Go to the other side. Go on the other side.” And instead of going behind me or going behind the divider, through the kitchen to go out… There is a way to go out. Everybody can go on both sides to serve the people, because (there are) a lot of people and they go on both sides to serve, not just one side. She didn’t go. We didn’t have enough room.

At that time, I think it was the Aulacese (Vietnamese) people, right? Aulacese (Vietnamese) that day, right? Maybe Aulacese (Vietnamese) or maybe Chinese elderly, and we had no room. Some people had to be turned out, so I told all the hufas (guards) to come sit around me. Just bring a small chair, sit around me, so other people, more can come in to sit with me, to sit in the kitchen. So, instead of going around, behind me to go to the other side, she went behind all the hufas (guards) and told them, “Move, move, move.” She went in front of all the nuns and moved all the chairs of the hufas (guards), tried to thread her way in, to go to the other side, right in front of me, in front of all the nuns, and in front of the monks as well. She just had to have her way. “OK, I’ll go to the other side, but you watch where I am going.” All the hufas (guards) had to move and click-click, clack-clack all the chairs, and the nuns right in front of their food and everything.

And just to put a spoon on my table! Watch. The spoon. She forgot the spoon or something, so she brought a new spoon and then she put it there, for example, on the table. And then she didn’t like it, she put it there, and still didn’t like it, moved it, put it there. And still didn’t like it, moved it down there. I said, “Just go, please! Leave it and go.” Really. I don’t know if the Buddha had more patience. I don’t. They eat it up every day, my patience. Everybody eats a little bit, and then my patience becomes like a skeleton.

Good that I wear this kind of clothes. People think I am no good anyway, so nobody criticizes too much anymore. If I wear this kind of clothes, better behave. The monks and nuns all behave; can’t talk, can’t move, cannot do anything. Even if you didn’t do anything like the Buddha, just sat there, went begging for food only, they still criticized and wanted to kill Him. And Jesus didn’t do anything harmful to anybody, they still wanted to kill Him, etc. Many other Masters, the same. I am telling you, this world is scary. Lucky that you’re going with me. Who else would protect you here? Even the law, sometimes they make it wrong; misunderstandings, prejudices.

There was a man in America, he sued the court or sued the legal system because they were prejudiced against him, because of his name. His name was Rob Bank. Yes, Robert, Mr. Bank. Robert, and they sometimes say Rob. And his name was Rob Bank, and they... They judged him, passed the wrong sentence, or prejudiced sentence. What a name! Couldn’t you find a better name for the kid? Poor kid. They should have blamed the parents. There are billions of names. Why give him such a name combination? Poor thing. It’s a true story.

Now. “To live for one night” doesn’t mean the Buddha thinks that He will die tomorrow. Why does He say that? “I live for one night.” Could anybody explain (it) to me? It’s time for the exam. (He’s living in the present moment.) It’s true, yes. Meaning you live your best, as if you are dying tomorrow. That’s why I always tell you: Whatever you do, do give it your all, do your best, as if it’s the first thing that you ever have the honor to do, the most honorable and the first thing ever you get a chance to do, and as if it’s the last thing you ever can. That is what it is. So, the Buddha said, “I live for one night.” I love this sentence. You live for one night? Maybe you do, but your children, your husband, your wife, your girlfriend, boyfriend, don’t think you should. So, after this, you go home, live again. I like that very much.

“Along the banks of the Mahi,” meaning He had nothing. So, that means when He said, “My roof is open,” it means He lived in the open air, just on the bank of the river. Nothing at all. No roof, no walls, no hut. So, He said, “My hut’s roof is open, my fire out:” He doesn’t even have fire to warm Himself. Maybe He had some before, but it’s out by now. So, He said, “Rain god, if you want to rain, just rain.” He couldn’t care less; not afraid. This is a kind of fearless life. Many yogis live like that in India still, with this kind of spirit. Fearless spiritual yogis, truly like that.

One Master, I forgot His name, He’s written one book about His life. He’s not like a monk or anything, but He was all for spiritual practice. I read His book. I just forgot His name. Anyway, it couldn’t be His real name. Like Swami this and that, or Baba this, Babu this. The reverent name, people, the disciples gave it to Him. And I don’t think He is the one who wrote the book. They just wrote it after He told them in discourses, and then they even credited it to His name. It says, “Spoken by Master so-and-so, written by Master so-and-so, and edited by Master so.” They just offered their work to the Master. Doesn’t mean the Master has written that book or printed that book. It could be in some cases, but not this case. The tone of the book is not like a Master, because it sounds too proud. So, the disciples wrote it. And because they respect the Master, they put a pinch of worthy reverence in it, as usual.

So now, the cattleman says again. “No mosquitoes or gadflies are to be found.” His house is very safe, that’s what he meant. “The cows range in the marshy meadow where the grasses flourish.” Means his cows also are in a safe place. There’s a lot of grasses that grow very lushly and tall; so, everything is perfect anyway. Even no mosquitoes there. He lives in a safe place, maybe a cooler place. So they don’t even disturb the cows. The cows are munching their grass in the lush meadow even. How more perfect can it be? “The grasses flourish” even. It’s nice poetry. We would never hear anybody writing like “the grasses flourish.” Very poetic.

“They could stand the rain if it came:” The cows are not worried about the rain because they’re eating well. “So, if you want, rain god, go ahead and rain.” He’s challenging, meaning he feels just too safe, too confident. Just like you guys, always, “Master takes care.” “Master knows everything. Master does everything for me. No problem.” What a life. Good luck! Why is that? Why is it that you take in your money by yourself, you cook the food and eat by yourself, and you have your beloved husband or wife with you by yourself. But anything hard, “Master will do it!” Why? Did you pay me any money? No. Some people go to the extreme, “Master, wake me up in the morning, on time.” “Master, my car has no more gasoline, please fill it, now.” It’s a true story. You know, you heard it over the years. As if they are disabled or something. You are my “disciple,” not “disabled.” Oh, dear God. What kind of Master who does everything?

So. Now, the Buddha. The Buddha said, “A raft, well-made, has been lashed together. Having crossed over, gone to the far shore, I’ve subdued the flood. No need for a raft is to be found:” He just talked in parable, in riddle. “A raft, well-made.” Meaning He has a spiritual method to practice, so that He can cross over the sea of existence. So, “gone to the far shore” doesn’t mean only the river shore or the seashore. “I have subdued the flood.” The flood inside you, or the passion, or the emotion, or the mental gymnast, or the desire that is not conducive to your upliftment. He has subdued them all. So, “No need for a raft is to be found.” He doesn’t even need it. Or maybe He has it, He crossed over already, and now He’s free. He doesn’t even need to practice. He doesn’t need any method. It’s just natural. It becomes natural to Him like sitting, sleeping, eating, working, resting. It’s all Zen. So, you can see the worldly people, they rely on so many things in order to feel secure and safe, and they think that is the best thing. But that’s not forever. Should be like the Buddha – until He needs no more raft even and still feels safe.

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