Buddha, who was the forerunner rationalist propagated for the welfare of the current life of humans ignoring, of course refuting the life and effect after death. He was the first rationalist to propagate his thoughts and preachings organizationally. Many became the disciples of Buddha. In those days much of the propagation were made by listening to the oral preaching of Buddha. The disciple monks used to listen to the periodical lectures of Buddha and in turn to propagate by visiting various places and meeting the people.
At one point of time Buddha had some doubts whether all his preachings would be propagated exactly both in the text and tenor. He asked one of his disciples to repeat whatever he had propagated in recent times. After listing to the utterances of the disciple Buddha found out that there were lot of variations between what he had preached and what the disciple propagated. Buddha was definite that the variations were not deliberate and understood that it was quite natural in the transmission of preachings.
The disciple monk, immediately asked Buddha, “If variations are bound to take place even when Buddha, the preacher is alive, what would happen afterwards? Every message is likely to get fabricated. What to do. The service of great rationalist mission would not be understood in its real perspective and on its exact purpose. What is the remedy?”
Buddha politely replied,
“Variations in the propagation of the preaching during my life time and its fabrication after my demise are likely to happen. At that stage, the listeners have to apply their reasoning faculty to find out the veracity in my preaching. That is the remedy.”
People must use their faculty of reasoning on anything they listen to or exposed to and arrive at the conclusion.
Buddha highlights the prevalence of reasoning power in the people and appealed to them for its timely use. What a simple preaching that can transform the humankind! Buddha’s appeal for transformation still continues, even after the passing of 2500 years.