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The Buddha was invited by a Brahman to have a meal in his house. But when he arrived, the Brahman greeted him strangely, with a torrent of abuse. Politely, the Buddha asked, “Do visitors come to your home, good Brahman?” “Yes.” “What preparations do you make for them?” “We get ready a great feast.” ”What happens if they don’t arrive?” “Then we gladly eat it ourselves.” “Well, Brahman, you’ve invited me for a meal and you’ve entertained me with hard words. I want nothing from your preparation. So please take it back and eat it yourselves.” “Never retaliate in kind,” the Buddha told his followers. “Hatred does not come to an end through hatred but can only cease through generosity.”
From "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.