Buddha started his career as a Buddha by meditating with a band of yogis. Not knowing anything about the jungle he sat down on a patch of poison ivy—and Buddhism was born!
Understandably, his first statement was: "Life is suffering". Then he pronounced The Four Noble Truths:
1. Leaves of three—let them be!
2. Treat blisters with calamine lotion.
3 .Wear loose clothing
4. Don't scratch yourself!!!
If you haven't heard this before, you've been reading poor translations. The literature is full of it! Take, for instance The Sermon Of The Flower:
One day, instead of sermonizing, the Buddha held up a red flower.
No one knew what to make of this.
Then his favorite disciple Mahakasyapa smiled knowingly.
End of sermon.
Well, folks, this should read "red leaves" instead of "red flower". You realize that he was holding up a twig of poison ivy. (And Mahakasyapa, by that time, had also been infected.)
There is a wealth of evidence that the Enlightened One never got rid of the affliction until his last day on earth.
Buddha prepares to enter Mahaparinirvana.
"Surrounded by weeping disciples , he lays down on his right side…"
Here the word "disciples" is a mistranslation of "blisters".
Don't dying people lie on their back? Well, his back was still covered with weeping blisters.
Now that all doubts have been removed, set out on the spiritual path!
…but stick to the Middle Path.