Early Buddhist writings -- the nearest record we have to the Buddha's life -- state that after Shakyamuni had his great Enlightenment, he pondered its ins and outs for a while under the Bodhi tree, then set off to find his former ascetic friends and tell them what he had seen. Along the road, he met someone who was startled by his cheerfulness. This person asked, "What are you so happy about, my friend? Why are you beaming like that?" Buddha said: "It's because I've overcome suffering, I've reached the deathless state, I have attained Nirvana." The questioner laughed loudly and uttered the sarcastic words: "Ah, if only it were so!" before going on his way, highly amused by the crazy fool he had just met on the road.