There was a great sage and philosopher named Gautama. Gautama was able to conquer everything except his pride. Nevertheless, he was a great sage and philosopher.
Once, Vyasa, another sage, spoke contemptuously about a book Gautama had written on logic. He said the book was useless.
On hearing this, Gautama became very, very angry and said that he would never look at Vyasa’s face again.
Vyasa came to realise he had made a deplorable mistake, so he pleaded with Gautama to forgive him He begged, “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. It was a joke when I said that your book was useless. You are never useless, never. I appreciate you and admire you.”
Gautama said, “If you criticise my book it is as good as criticising me. How can you separate my book, my creation, from me?”
Vyasa said, “I understand, I understand. Please forgive me. Please forgive me.”
Gautama agreed to forgive him. But he said, “If I see you in a normal way with my eyes, then I will not be fulfilling my promise. In the sacred books, it is said that it is a great sin to break one’s promise. I have promised that I will not look at you. How can I break my promise? All right, let me put my vision in my feet. Let me put a new eye on my foot, and with that eye I shall see you.”
Vyasa said, “No matter where your eyes are, as long as you see me, I will be very happy.”
So Gautama created a new eye and placed it on his right foot, and from there he looked at the sage, Vyasa. Vyasa was very, very happy that Gautama had forgiven him.
When the period of forgiveness was finished, Gautama removed the eye from his right foot and once more in a normal way he saw and talked with Vyasa.