25-Buddha's Lesson on Wasting
A disciple of Buddha, said, “Oh Master! I have a request to make.”
Buddha: “What is it; tell me?”
Disciple: "My robe is worn out. It is no longer decent enough to wear.
Please, may I have a new one?”
Buddha looked at the disciple’s attire and found that the garment was absolutely
in tatters and really needed replacement. So he asked the store-keeper to give
a new robe to this disciple. The disciple offered obeisance to the great master
and left the room.
Buddha kept thinking about the incident and felt that he had perhaps missed an
opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to the disciple. So he went to the
disciple’s quarters to talk to him.
Buddha - "Are you comfortable in your new robe? Do you need anything else?"
Disciple - "Thank you Master. I am very comfortable and do not need anything else."
Buddha - "Now that you have a new one, what have you done with the old one?"
Disciple - "I have used it to replace my worn out bedspread."
Buddha - "What did you do with the old bedspread?"
Disciple - "Master, I am using it as a curtain on my window."
Buddha - "Did you discard your old window curtain?"
Disciple - "Master, I tore it into four pieces and am using them as napkins to
handle the hot pots and pans in the kitchen."
Buddha - "What about the old kitchen napkins?"
Disciple - "We are using them as mops to wash and wipe the floor."
Buddha - "Where is the old mop?"
Disciple - "Lord, the old mop was so tattered that the best we could do was to
take all the threads apart and make wicks for your oil lamp. One of them is
presently lit in your room."
Buddha was content to hear this. He was happy that his disciples realized that
nothing is useless. We can find a use for everything, if only we want to!
Nothing should be wasted; not even time.
If all of us were to practice the habit of thrift, we can preserve the non
renewable resources for our children, our grandchildren and our great
grandchildren as our forefathers so thoughtfully did for us. Let us vow together
to leave at least one monument for our children the Earth.
Created by Sushma Gupta on May 27, 2001