A farmer and his three sons were working hard in the fields, when he realised he needed a message from the town. He sent his eldest son into the village, where the Buddha happened to be talking to the local people. The eldest son got caught up with the message of the Buddha and stayed to listen. The farmer got fed up when the boy didn’t return, so he sent another son to see what was happening. He too became interested in the Buddha’s message and didn’t return home. The farmer was getting most irritated as there was so much work to be done. “Go and see what is keeping your brothers and get them home straight away, he ordered the lad. Off went the youngest son, but coming across the Buddha, he too couldn’t tear himself away from the teachings.
By this time, the farmer was really angry. He stormed into the village and saw what was happening. He strode up to the Buddha and angrily, began to confront him. “What kind of teacher are you, that keeps honest boys away from their work. I have crops in the fields and they won’t bring themselves in.” The farmer ranted angrily for about ten minutes, while the Buddha just sat peacefully. At last, the farmer ran out of steam. “What do you have to say for yourself?” he challenged the Buddha.
“Well,” replied the Buddha. “If you gave somebody a present and they didn’t want it, who would the gift belong too?”
The farmer was nonplussed by the question. “What? It would still be mine” began the farmer, “but I don’t know what you are talking about”
The Buddha smiled at the man, with compassion. “I don’t accept the gift of your anger,” he replied.