One day Buddha was visiting a tiny village.
He had become a religious man, also called a Brahman, and was traveling from town to town to share his message. He was becoming so popular that when people heard the Buddha was coming they went to hear him speak. As a result many other Brahmans lost their audience.
One Brahman was so upset with the Buddha that he found him and went to see him late at night. He was furious! “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!” Buddha smiled at the Brahman and listened until he was done with his rant. When the Brahman was done, Buddha still sat, smiling at him. This made the Brahman even angrier. “Why are you just sitting there smiling? What do you have to say?”
Then Buddha spoke. “Tell me something, Brahman: Do friends and colleagues, relatives and kinsmen, ever come to your house as guests?” “Yes,” the Brahman answered. “And tell me something, Brahman,” Buddha continued. “Do you serve them foods and delicacies when they arrive?” “Yes,” the Brahman answered, “I do.”
“And tell me something, Brahman,” Buddha continued. “If they don’t accept them, to whom do those foods belong?” “Well, I suppose if they don’t accept them, those foods are all mine.” “Yes,” said Buddha. “In the same way, Brahman, I do not accept your anger and your criticism. It is all yours.” The Brahman was stunned and could think of nothing to say. His anger continued to bubble up inside him, but he had nowhere to put it. Nobody was accepting it or taking it from him. Buddha continued: “That with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting, that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting, that with which you have berated me, who is not berating, that I don’t accept from you. It’s all yours, Brahman. It’s all yours.
“If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy. All you have done is hurt yourself. If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. “Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, Brahman. It’s all yours. It’s all yours.”
Pasricha, Neil. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything (p. 61). Penguin Publishing Group.