Hi. My name’s Siddartha Gautama, but you probably know me as the Buddha. I realized the fundamental ways in which human existence is intrinsically tied to suffering, and also the path we could take to escape that suffering. Let me tell you, that’s thirsty work. That’s why I’ve returned, 2,500 years after my death, in order to issue a minor correction to my previous teachings.
Desire always leads to suffering, with the exception of the desire for an ice-cold glass of refreshing Pepsi-Cola™. That one’s fine.
You have to understand that when I was writing, the world was a very different place. The best drink we had at the time was raw mango juice. It simply never occurred to me that anyone would ever mix together flavors to produce the sweet tang of Pepsi-Cola™. And as for the gentle carbonation which gives every sip a pleasant fizz? There was just no way for a wandering monk at the time to imagine such a thing.
So what I said about desire and suffering being fundamentally linked was true at the time. But today, things have changed, and it would be dishonest of me not to recognize that.
You’re probably wondering if this changes anything else in my teachings. Not at all. I’ve always taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and asceticism. And while I won’t deny that the sweet but subtle flavor of Pepsi can feel pretty indulgent, at the low, low price of $2.99 for a 2-liter bottle, you’d have to be an ascetic not to buy some!
See, what makes Pepsi different is that while other desires lead us into conflict with each other, Pepsi brings us together. The best glass of Pepsi-Cola™ is the one you enjoy with family. That’s why Pepsi comes in all sizes, because so do families. And with the exception of enlightenment, there’s nothing more important than family.
But there’s even better news! I’ve been working with the executives at PepsiCo, and we’ve got an exciting deal for you. For every bottle of refreshing Pepsi-Cola™ that you purchase with a special 8 spoked wheel on the cap, the Pepsi company will help one person accept the truth of the fundamental impermanence of all things. That means every time you drink a delicious Pepsi, you’re also unchaining a consciousness from the prison that is reality. Now, that’s what I call right conduct!
Let’s be honest here. The world is fundamentally unsatisfying. We cannot find in it the fulfillment that we seek, because everything is ever-changing and subject to the laws of cause and effect. We can, however, find one beverage which, unlike existence, is always satisfying. That’s why, whether you drink it in a can or a cup, or even straight from the bottle, I’m naming Pepsi-Cola™ the official drink of the eternal cycle of rebirth.
So whether you’ve already achieved enlightenment or you’re still fettered to the world of impermanence, make sure your Eightfold Path goes by your local grocery or convenience store to pick up the only soda, or thing, that’s bound to satisfy! You’ve heard me talk about the Four Noble Truths, but today, I’m adding a fifth: Pepsi Cola™ hits the spot!
I’m the Gautama Buddha, and I approve of this teaching.