Just two miles

1001 Tales told by the Master Discourses

Osho: “That’s what I have been doing my whole life, telling people, ‘Just a little more. Soon you will be reaching.'”

Forest path

There is an anecdote in Gautam Buddha’s life….

He and his disciple Ananda have lost their path into a forest. They inquired of an old woman who was collecting wood, “How far is the village?”

The old woman said, “My sons, it is not very far, just two miles. You go directly.”

Two miles passed, and there were no signs of any village. They come across another man, who was cutting a tree. They ask the woodcutter, “How far is the village? Have we lost the way?”

And the woodcutter said, “No. The village is just close by, just two miles.”

Ananda said, “It is strange. The old woman said two miles. We have gone two miles. This man again says two miles.”

Buddha said, “After two miles, ask again.”

Ananda said, “What do you mean? After two miles also we are not going to get to the village?”

Buddha said, “I don’t believe them. They are just compassionate people. They are simply encouraging you. If they say it is ten miles, you may get discouraged.”

It turned out to be exactly ten miles, and each time they asked everyone on the way, just simple villagers, all said, “Just two miles, it is just… you have almost reached.”

When they reached the town Ananda asked, “How did you know that it must be at least ten miles? It turns out to be exactly ten miles.”

Buddha said, “That is my whole business. That’s what I have been doing my whole life, telling people, ‘Just a little more. Soon you will be reaching,’ just to keep them going.”

Osho, The Sword and the Lotus – Talks in the Himalayas, Ch 15, Q 1 (excerpt)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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