I read a parable once, a long time ago:
- The Buddha meets someone else, some kind of yogi, who is maybe a supernatural being or has supernatural powers.
- They have a duel, involving swords.
- The yogi is proud, perhaps gleeful, because his body is invulnerable, hard, like diamond.
- When the Buddha is struck with a sword, it passes through him without resistance and without effect, as if the Buddha were made of insubstantial smoke.
- The yogi decides that the Buddha's way is superior, and becomes regretful: regretful that they had spent their effort on making their self more durable.
So, two questions:
- Do you know this parable, is it famous, can you give a reference to it and/or to a commentary which explains its context?
In this article, Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes,
You should be very clear on one point: The purpose of meditation is to find happiness and well-being within the mind, independent of the body or other things going on outside. Your aim is to find something solid within that you can depend on no matter what happens to the body.
So an important function of meditation — in giving you a solid center that provides you a vantage point from which to view life in its true colors — is that it keeps you from feeling threatened or surprised when the body begins to reassert its independence.
Can you reconcile the sentences, quoted above, with the parable? Are they saying the same thing, saying opposite things, saying different things?