1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

One Buddha’s story: how to get clear water October 13, 2009

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple walked up to the lake.

When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha. Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said,” See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process!

P.S. In my experience it is true, the silent mind can be achieved only effortlessly, without any concentration and tension of thoughts.It happens to me when my inner Kundalini power does her work (when I let her do the work and do not try to “do it myself”). All the best things in life come effortless and naturally spontaneous 🙂

(image by axinia)


30 Responses to “One Buddha’s story: how to get clear water”

  1. Nice story! 🙂 Hmmmm… but I guess the Buddha and his disciples were wandering monks, Axinia, so they would have carried almost nothing with them. So I guess the disciple didn’t have any option but to wait for a long time for the mud to settle down in order to let the water become drinkable.

    If they weren’t monks carrying almost nothing with them, they could have easily filtered the water in a few seconds 😐 Don’t you think it would be better to filter the mud by making some effort instead of waiting for a long time for it to settle down, Axinia 😕 I mean, the enlightened one had mastered the art of extreme asceticism and so he could manage without food for weeks even if he was hungry and could do without water for hours even if he was thirsty. But how many of us can manage such a feat? I certainly can’t!

    The best things in life may be available free of cost but they can never be obtained without effort 🙂

    Life may be free but it still takes effort to live it properly, love may be free but it still requires effort, sunlight may be available free of cost but it still takes effort to harness it etc. Contrary to the popular saying, there certainly are things like free lunches in life, but it still takes effort (and lots of it) to get them 😐

    • axinia Says:

      you are right, Raj, from the comon sense point of view.

      In this case which Imentioned (getting mentaly silent without effort) the effort is there, but it is on the side of Kundalini. She does the job, I just watch and enjoy 🙂

    • Raj

      We can filter it, we can boil it…but if we let the mud settle down, we can see what exactly our mind is capable of…i.e. we know how muddy the water can be and how clear it can be…both are necessary 🙂 And well instead of seeing things directly, I think we should take these stories for the message they are trying to give us…And well if we know the mud, we can identify the water, even when it is muddy 🙂

      • axinia Says:

        awe…too good, Vishesh!

      • Axinia,

        If only Kundalini were capable of helping me do what I want, I would definitely try to woo her 😐

        Good explanation, but what makes you think I’m trying to speak directly and not in the same language as that of the story 😕

        • giorgio1977 Says:

          Dear Alien Earthing,
          You’re right.

          This story tries to represent the inner workings of the mind:
          Like you said, we are like wandering monks in order to quiet our mind we don’t have many instruments.
          Try at your own to be in thoughtless awareness ( I mean to be fully lucid without having any thought). Can you?

          While your parallelism shows the effort needed to fulfill our desires – letting they leading our lifes – just as they are the
          cause of all out pains. That is one of Buddha’s teaching.

          The desire of the Buddha was fulfilled achieving the moksa, the Self Realization; it means that he didn’t have any other desire. And nowdays everybody that is a true seeker of truth can achieve it.

          Let you have a change.

          with love

          • Gayan Says:

            Actually the “Buddha to be” was not trying to fulfill an aspiration or achieve a Goal. But according to post canonical stories he was striving to achieve a goal. The “Buddha to be” was only seeking a solution – a way to end the arising of suffering. That’s all. He was not trying to reach a high state – in modern terms to frame the certificate and hang it on his wall.

    • kalpana chawla Says:

      that is ur problem u think to much

    • Gayan Says:

      Yes Alien Earthling. This is a fake story popularized by people like Ajahn Brahm. Effort is definitely needed according to the Buddha and the type of effort is very clearly specified. This story recommends the inaction method (akiriya vada) that was being taught by some of the Buddha’s contemporaries.

      • Eswar Says:

        You are right! No pain no gain, this is what Buddha is telling. You have to put some effort to keep the mind still. That is pain for humans.eswari eswar

  2. Wonderful story! I never heard it! It shows you how to surrander…People usually think that only mind can solve probelms….instead you have only to wait for the silence within! Can I translate this story for the italian sahaj blog?

  3. dmitri Says:

    olso i think that by alwyes making an effort and trying this and that we only spoil things more. so there times when it’s better to let it be and not disturb the water. it’s just that when something disturbs us we get the urge to do something about it but many times it works out by itself. couse when u put efforts u gonna get rippales and u better be ready to hadle the waves, there is an effect (not always the desierd one)

  4. Solveig Says:

    I think An alien Earthling is still right – no good thing comes without effort. It just depends on WHAT effort you mean. Very often doing nothing IS the effort.

    This story shows clearly that there WAS effort involved – Buddha and his disciples had to wait patiently for the water to become drinkable.

    Patience is the effort you often have to make to achieve something. And this effort requires a lot of inner strength and desire and confidence.

  5. abhilash Says:

    sometimes it is necessary to use parrables to make it easier people to understand the truth.Like Jesus spoke to his desciples in parrables.Here Buddha used the dirty water to explain that if your mind is disturbed you do not react.By reacting your mind is disturbed more and more and you lose your reasoning.Leave it to the Kundalini to pacify your mind.

  6. Teijo Munnich Says:

    Could you please tell me the origin of this story? Thank you.

  7. SH Says:

    Well, this may not be the right thing for a reply, but I can’t help it. Axinia, your damn beautiful.

  8. kalpana chawla Says:

    hey alien earthling sorry but god is god u are nothing before him

  9. kalpana chawla Says:

    abut this story this reminds me little bit fox and the tortoise

  10. Dr Neeta Says:

    Change in your own tthought process is easy rather changing the other person

  11. Gayan Says:

    This is not a Buddhist story. It’s a fake story peddled by western monks who have not understood the basic teaching of the Buddha – which is, knowing and understanding the causes that create the disturbances. That knowledge and wisdom is what settles the mind in the Buddha’s teaching.

    This method is called akiriya (not doing) in the Buddhist canon. It works as a temporary fix but it is not a method taught by the Buddha. Such methods were the highest teachings of contemplatives who lived before the Buddha.

  12. Barbie Says:

    I love pasta because it is such a great go-to food. There have been many times when it saved me too. What an ineertsting idea adding eggs. I’ll have to try that.

  13. […] Source: One Buddha’s story: how to get clear water […]

  14. Vikas Says:

    Great story
    Jai Shri Mataji

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