Maulingaputta & Gautam Buddha
One great philosopher, Maulingaputta, came to Buddha, and he started asking questions... questions after questions. Must have been an incarnation of Patrick! Buddha listened silently for half an hour. Maulingaputta started feeling a little embarrassed because he was not answering, he was simply sitting there smiling, as if nothing had happened, and he had asked such important questions, such significant questions.
Finally Buddha said, "Do you really want to know the answer?" Maulingaputta said, "Otherwise why should I have come to you? I have traveled at least one thousand miles to see you." And remember, in those days, one thousand miles was really one thousand miles! It was not hopping in a plane and reaching within minutes or within hours. One thousand miles was one thousand miles.
It was with great longing, with great hope that he had come. He was tired, weary from the journey, and he must have followed Buddha because Buddha himself was traveling continuously. He must have reached one place and people said, "Yes, he was here three months ago. He has gone to the north" -- so he must have traveled north.
Slowly slowly, he was coming closer and closer and then the day came, the great day, when people said, "Just yesterday morning he left; he must have reached only the next village. If you rush, if you run, you may be able to catch him."
And then one day he caught up with him, and he was so joyous he forgot all his arduous journey and he started asking all the questions he had planned all the way along, and Buddha smiled and sat there and asked, "Do you really want to have the answer?"
Maulingaputta said, "Then why have I traveled so long? It has been a long suffering -- it seems I have been traveling my whole life, and you are asking, 'Do you really want the answer?'"
Buddha said, "I am asking again: Do you really want the answer? Say yes or no, because much will depend on it."
Maulingaputta said, "Yes!"
Then Buddha said, "For two years sit silently by my side -- no asking, no questions, no talking. Just sit silently by my side for two years. And after two years you can ask whatsoever you want to ask, and I promise you I will answer it."
A disciple, a great disciple of Buddha, Manjushree, who was sitting underneath another tree, started laughing so loudly, started almost rolling on the ground.
Maulingaputta said, "What has happened to this man? Out of the blue, you are talking to me, you have not said a single word to him, nobody has said anything to him -- is he telling jokes to himself?"
Buddha said, "You go and ask him."
He asked Manjushree. Manjushree said, "Sir, if you really want to ask the question, ask right now -- this is his way of deceiving people. He deceived me. I used to be a foolish philosopher just like you. His answer was the same when I came; you have traveled one thousand miles, I had traveled two thousand."
Manjushree certainly was a great philosopher, more well-known in the country. He had thousands of disciples. When he had come he had come with one thousand disciples -- a great philosopher coming with his following.
"And Buddha said, 'Sit silently for two years.' And I sat silently for two years, but then I could not ask a single question. Those days of silence...slowly slowly, all questions withered away. And one thing I will tell you: he keeps his promise, he is a man of his word. After exactly two years -- I had completely forgotten, lost track of time, because who bothers to remember? As silence deepened I lost track of all time.
"When two years passed, I was not even aware of it. I was enjoying the silence and his presence. I was drinking out of him. It was so incredible! In fact, deep down in my heart I never wanted those two years to be finished, because once they were finished he would say, 'Now give your place to somebody else to sit by my side, you move away a little. Now you are capable of being alone, you don't need me so much.'
Just as the mother moves the child when he can eat and digest and no longer needs to be fed on the breast. So," Manjushree said, "I was simply hoping that he would forget all about those two years, but he remembered -- exactly after two years he asked, 'Manjushree, now you can ask your questions.' I looked within; there was no question and no questioner either -- a total silence. I laughed, he laughed, he patted my back and said, 'Now, move away.'
"So, Maulingaputta, that's why I started laughing, because now he is playing the same trick again. And this poor Maulingaputta will sit for two years silently and will be lost forever, will never be able to ask a single question. So I insist, Maulingaputta, if you really want to ask, ASK NOW!"
From Dhammapada Vol 1 by OSHO
Note: Maulingaputta accepted Buddha's condition
and realized the Buddha Nature.