Once upon a time, a monk was teaching meditation to his
disciples. While they were trying to control their minds, an
old man appearing like a lunatic, came and sat among them.
Then he began to imitate the disciples. The monk saw this
and remained quiet. The disciples started to feel
uncomfortable as they could not meditate. Then, when the
antics of the old man got the better of them, they
approached the monk and said, “How do we get rid of this
The monk said, “He is not a lunatic. He is only hungry,
give him food.”
Although they themselves were very hungry, yet each of
the disciples gave some portion of their food to the old man.
The old man began to eat voraciously and soon he finished
all the food. Then he looked at the disciples and started
imitating their meditative postures, while also urging them to
eat their food. The disciples were furious and wanted to beat
the old man for imitating them. But they controlled their
anger and as they were also hungry, they ate the remaining
portions of their food.
When the disciples had finished eating, the old man sat
down in a meditative posture and remained silent. The
disciples could not fathom out the actions of the old man,
but they also resumed their respective meditations.
Surprisingly, they found that they were able to meditate with
much more calmness. When they finished their meditations,
they opened their eyes and saw that the old man was looking
at them and smiling. Then the old man got up and left on his
way. The disciples approached the monk and asked, “Why
did the old man behave in such a peculiar fashion?”
The monk said, “The old man is a monk. He has taught
you that a craving, churning and a growling stomach, makes
the mind behave like a lunatic and meditation becomes very