Affect or get Affected..!
Once Buddha and his disciples (monks) during their travel stopped in a village just before the monsoon.
During the travel, it became necessary for Buddha and his disciples to take food and shelter from others.
Sometimes they may get a collective shelter where Buddha and all his disciples can stay together or sometimes they may have to take separate shelters as the number of Buddha and his disciples was huge.
So Buddha made a rule for all the monks that were traveling with him that no monk or group or monk should stay for more than 2 nights at same host’s shelter/house.
This is because hosting someone for more than two nights may cause the host financial discomforts and thus the monks may become a burden for the host.
Only during monsoon, all the monks were allowed to stay at same respective shelters for around 2 and a half month on the wish/approval of the host.
Traveling during monsoon through the jungles and mountains may become very dangerous and may cause the death of the monks.
So, as monsoon were arriving, all disciples spread across the village for finding shelter and food.
One monk went to a home for requesting shelter and food and it came out to be the house of a prostitute.
The prostitute came out and gave the monk some food and said “I heard that you monks have been looking for shelter. I can offer you shelter in my house.”
To this, the monk replied “I am grateful to your kindness. I will seek my Guru Buddha’s approval and let you know.”
The lady prostitute replied, “Surely go and ask him.”
The lady was quite sure that Guru Buddha will not approve the monk to take shelter at her house.
The monk came back to the Buddha where all the other monks were also collected with all the food that they had collected during the whole day.
They all shared and ate the food.
The monk then asked Buddha that the lady prostitute has offered him shelter in her house during the monsoon season.
To this the Buddha affirmed him to take the shelter at the lady prostitute’s house.
Observing this all the other monks were very well sure that now this monk is gone and will never return back.
They started discussing this decision.
They believed that the spiritual process of this monk has become corrupted.
Buddha heard all this and said, “Why you all are so worried? I believe that the way of life that I and my disciples have been following is the most powerful way of living. Now, you are worried that if this monk goes to the prostitute’s house he may become corrupt. In other words, you are saying that her way of living is more powerful than our way of living. If that is so then I too will follow her. Have faith in your own way of living.”
Hearing this all the other monk accepted the decision.
Monsoon started and everyone went to the respective hosts that offered them shelter.
This monk went to the prostitute’s house.
The prostitute was quite a bit surprised to hear that Buddha approved him to stay but she welcomed the monk with gratitude and offered him some food.
She also gave him a silk cloth to cover his body as it was cold due to the rains and the monk barely had any clothes over his body.
Seeing that the monk has silk cloth over his body other monks again felt that this monk is now gone for forever and will not return.
Soon the monsoon becomes heavier and it became quite difficult to come out of houses.
Other monks were quite curious and were always observing any sound or action in and around the prostitute’s house.
In the evening the prostitute will dance in front of the monk and singing songs for the monk. Monk sat silently and observed.
Other monks were observing this and their belief that this monk won’t return started becoming stronger.
Days pass by and the evening songs and music started depleting and eventually stopped after a few weeks.
There was no sound from the prostitute’s house. There was only silence that can be heard from the house.
Other monks thought that the monk and the prostitute ran away.
Monsoon got over and all the monks started returning to Buddha after expressing their gratitude to their respective hosts.
All monks were curiously waiting for the monk who stays at the prostitute’s house (if) to return and see his state of mind and body.
To their surprise from the prostitute’s house returned two monks, one the monk himself and the other was the prostitute lady who got transformed into a monk because of the positive influence of the monk.
What do we learn from this?
When the monk went in everyone thought that he will get corrupted by the prostitute and the person that will walk out after the monsoon gets over will not be the monk anymore.
But no one thought that the complete opposite can also happen.
And that is what really happened. Instead of the prostitute affecting the monk, the monk and his thoughts affected the prostitute and what came out after monsoon were two monks from the very same atmosphere or surrounding.
Monk went into the atmosphere or surrounding of the prostitute but didn’t let the surrounding affect him. Rather he started affecting the surrounding and the result was truly surprising.
Wherever we go, in whatsoever surrounding we may fall in, it is completely and only up to us how it has an impact upon us and whether it may have an impact upon us.
We may either get affected by our surround or affect our surrounding with our character.
Lotus grows and blossoms in the mud (muddy lake) but it never let the mud fall over its petals. It is in the muddy lake but still not affected and stands apart.
Same goes with the trees in the desert. Desert is full of sand and no water in sight for miles and miles long. But still, there survive some trees in such difficult situations and thus stand apart. Greenery in the dry sand.
Many people who have been living in slums and with not so good surrounding still shine bright, they make a good living and stand apart from their surround, this is what called not getting affected by it.
A bad guy in a group of good people may corrupt them but the vise versa is also true.
Also, a good guy or a sing positive attitude can also change a lot of bad surroundings.
It is all up to our very own will and belief.
No one can force us into anything until we agree to do so until we put our will into it.
By saying that we cannot control our mind, our senses we give power to our senses and start living life on autopilot.
You/We are very powerful soul/being. Take control today rather now and let no one but yourself drive your life.
I hope this post was of some use to you. Kindly share your views in the comment section and as always we will be very glad to hear from you.