Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tzu – and the juice of life

1001 Tales told by the Master Discourses

“There is nothing higher than life. To live it is to be religious,” states Osho. From our series 1001 Tales, compiled by Shanti.

Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius

There is nothing higher than life.

To live it is to be religious. […]

I have heard a beautiful story.

In a restaurant in paradise Gautama Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu – they were all contemporaries – were just sitting and chitchatting.

What else can you do in heaven? Everybody is wise; you cannot teach. You can only chitchat – small gossip, small talk.

And as they were chitchatting, a beautiful naked woman, with a beautiful flask full of wine, came to their side and said, ”This is the juice of life; would you like to have some?”

Buddha immediately closed his eyes.

First, a naked woman…. He has not allowed his disciples to see even a woman who is perfectly clothed – and in India a woman is perfectly clothed. You cannot imagine what figure is hidden behind the sari – impossible! In a way it is good, you can only see the face. Everything else may be ugly, but the sari is a great protection; the body may not be proportionate.

A naked woman, so beautiful… with the exact proportions to be chosen the universal queen, a beauty queen. Naturally Buddha closed his eyes. He had to keep them closed tightly because they wanted to open.

And then she was carrying the juice of life; and he was teaching his disciples to renounce life, and he has renounced life himself.
A great stir in him – perhaps it is worth tasting? But to go against his own philosophy, and that too before Confucius and Lao Tzu. No, it was against his ego. He is the supreme-most Buddha and he cannot fall just because of a naked woman with a flask containing the juice of life.

Confucius was a very practical man. He looked at the woman from up to down, from down to up, and he said, ”Perfect proportions.”

He was a very practical man, perhaps the only practical master in the whole of history, very pragmatic.

And he said, ”Bring the flask. I cannot drink it completely because I don’t know what the taste of life is. I sacrificed my life for my disciples and for future generations, so I have never tasted it. I will just take a sip, just to experience what I have missed, whether I have missed anything or not.”

He sipped from the flask and returned the flask. He said, ”It is bitter.”

It has to be bitter for a man who his whole life poured condemnation on life, poisoned millions of people, convinced them not to live.

The bitterness is not in the juice, it is in the tongue of Confucius. His tongue has become bitter through all that condemnation, hatred.

Lao Tzu was a totally different man. He stood up, touched the woman, went through her geography, said, ”Really groovy! Now give me the flask” – and he drank the whole flask.

And he said to Confucius, ”To know the sweetness of the juice of life you have to clean your tongue.”

To Buddha he said, ”Now you can open your eyes. The woman is gone and the juice of life is also gone. I have drunk it completely.”

Now this is the man I want you to be.

Whatever is available to you, live totally.

Quote by Osho from From Death to Deathlessness – Answers to the Seekers of the Path, Ch 22, Q 1

Illustration of Buddha, Confucius and Lao-Tzu by Hakuin

Our series 1001 Tales has been compiled by Shanti

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