A Luxurious Life

Continuing in yesterday’s vein, another Buddhist-Yiddish folktale by Tashrak in the collection “Five Stories about Buddha, the Indian Prophet.” This one is titled “A Luxurious Life.”

When Buddha went into the world, teaching people to be decent and just, he eventually reached a town where the citizens came out to welcome him and bow to him.

However, there wasa rich man who did not bow, and he said to the prophet: “The prophet must forgive me. I’m too fat and I can barely move on my feet.”

“Would you like to know why that is?” Buddha asked.

“Yes,” said the rich man. “And perhaps the prophet can teach me how to find a cure.”

“There are five things that lead to a condition like yours,” the prophet explained. “Too much food, too much sleep, too much pleasure-seeking, too little work, and too little thought. Control your appetite for food and everything else, and you’ll become a normal human being.”

A few years later, Buddha arrived in the same town, and the rich man came out to welcome him like everyone else, bowed like everyone else, and said:

“Great prophet! You healed my body. Now advise me how to heal my mind, so that I can think and grasp everything like all wise and learned men.”

And the prophet replied:

“So long as you keep your body healthy, your mind will also remain healthy. For a healthy mind can exist only in a body that is properly cared for and never flouts the laws of nature.”

So, what do you think? Sound advice, or just more evidence that fat people just can’t catch a break anywhere?


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Filed under fokltale, life stories, religion

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