Buddha and the butterfly

One day a child goes to his mother and asks her, ” Ma, who is that old man sitting on the mountain? ” Mother answers, ” Don’t call him an old man, for he is Lord Buddha, who knows the answer to every question in this universe. ”

” Really, he knows answers to all questions? ” asks the child. ” Yes my dear ” replies the mother.

The child goes to the mountain where Buddha is meditating, catches a butterfly in from the garden, and cupping the butterfly gently in his hands, he approaches Buddha. Keeping his hand behind his back, he asks Buddha, ” Is the thing in my hand alive or dead? ”

The child thinks that if Buddha answers that the thing is alive, he will crush the butterfly in his hand and show the dead butterfly proving Buddha wrong. And if Buddha answers that the thing is dead, he will open his gently cupped hand, allowing the butterfly to fly away showing that the butterfly was alive and again proving Buddha wrong. Thus Buddha did not know the answer to all questions. ” Is the thing in my hand
alive or dead? ” repeats the eager child.

The Buddha opens his eyes, nods his head and replies, ” My dear son, the answer lies in your hands!