The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections

Section 7

There was a foolish person who, hearing that the Buddha’s way involved great humaneness and loving-kindness, deliberately came to berate the Buddha. The Buddha remained silent and did not respond; he took pity on a person who would act in this manner out of his ignorance, benightedness, confusion, and foolishness. Once the man had stopped berating him, [the Buddha] asked, “If you treat a person courteously but he does not accept it, what happens?” [The man] replied, “You get it back.” [The Buddha] said, “Now, you have berated me, but I also do not accept it, so you get it back and it harms only you, like an echo reverberating from sound, or a shadow cast by forms. Ultimately this cannot be avoided, so be careful not to commit evil.”