Buddha - And the ascetic who could walk on water
Type of Spiritual Experience
This story is intended to show the mystic’s attitude to the person whose aim is that of the magician and who wastes their lives trying to attain relatively useless skills
The activity of nutritional deprivation is that of the ascetic. The relaxation and contemplation activities were used by Buddha
A description of the experience
Alexandra David-Neel – With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet
[the following is] ascribed to the Buddha, in an old story.
It is said that the Buddha was once journeying with some of his disciples and met an emaciated old ascetic alone in a hut in the middle of a forest.
The Master stopped and inquired how long the man had been living there, practising austerities.
"Twenty-five years.," answered the Yogin.
"And what power have you acquired by such long and arduous exertion? " asked the Buddha.
"If am able to cross a river by walking on the water," proudly replied the anchorite.
"My poor fellow!" said the Buddha with commiseration. "Have you really wasted so many years for such trifling results “Why, the ferry man will take you to the opposite bank for a small coin.