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In a forest, there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. 

 

A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: ‘Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!’ 

 

All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. 

 

The mahut of the elephant was shouting: ‘Run away! Run away!’ But the disciple didn’t move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. 

 

Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.

 

With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, ‘You knew the elephant was coming—why didn’t you leave the place?’ ‘But’, he said, ‘our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn’t run away.’

 

At this the teacher said: ‘Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but...

 

Spoiler

the mahut God forbid you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn’t you trust the mahut’s words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God, too.'

 

~Sri Ramakrishna

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Stamp of Approval

 

Once upon a time, there lived a man named 'Gomaji Ganesh' who lived in a town called Andheri. At one point in time, this man established custom in the Courts of Law that no order or document could be accepted as legal unless it bore a stamp with his name on it, along with the words 'The Brass Door'. From that point on, all of the officials of that town only accepted a document as being legal if it bore the stamp of 'Gomaji Ganesh, The Brass Door'. This procedure for making documents legal continued for a long time until eventually the stamp officially became part of the legal system of the city of Andheri, and no-one ever enquired as to just whom this 'Gomaji Ganesh' was.

 

As time passed, it happened that one day an important document that did not bear the official stamp of 'Gomaji Ganesh, The Brass Door' was cited as evidence in a case filed in the Court of Law. Except for the fact that this document did not have the official stamp, it was otherwise completely legal according to all other points of law and ordinary procedure. At one point in the case, an objection was raised that the document should not be accepted as evidence because it did not bear the official stamp of 'Gomaji Ganesh, The Brass Door'.

 

At that point, a courageous man who was a party to the lawsuit argued before the judge that the document was perfectly valid because it bore all of the relevant signatures of the current government officials. He argued, 'Why should the document not be admissible if it is otherwise perfectly legal except that it does not bear the stamp of Mister Gomaji Ganesh? Thus, he questioned the legality of the stamp itself.

 

Consequently, the legality of the stamp was made an issue of contention. Until that day, no-one had ventured to bring this issue before a Court of Law. Since it had now arisen for the first time, it was decided that a decision should be made regarding the legality of this stamp. Out of curiosity about how the procedure of the stamp 'The Brass Door' came to be put in place, the judge himself took the matter in hand for inquiry.

 

When his inquiry was completed, he discovered many years in the past, a man of no particular status, a Mister Gomaji Ganesh, had taken advantage of the badly administered government, and had put his own name on a stamp that was to be used for all official documents.

 

From that time onward, all government officials simply continued to follow the tradition blindly. In fact, the judge discovered that Mister Gomaji Ganesh was a man of no importance whatsoever, who had no authority of any kind. When the judge made his discovery, a decision was made by the Court that the stamp was to be looked upon with ridicule.

 

Spoiler

In the same way, we can inquire about the sense of 'I', and how it dominates everything with the stamp of 'I' or 'mine', just like the stamp of Mister Gomaji Ganesh described in the above story.

 

~Siddharameshwar Maharaj

 

 

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"There was a man who built a room full of mirrors. He put them on the ceiling, on the walls, and at all angles. He loved to go in the room and see his reflection everywhere.


One day, he left the door to this room open and his dog went inside. Immediately it saw what it imagined to be dozens of other dogs all around it. It started running at them, barking and fighting, becoming more and more exhausted until finally, it fell down, and died."

 

~Siddharameshwar Maharaj

 

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The story of Hemachuda 

 

Spoiler

"There was once a king of Dasarna by name Muktachuda. He had two sons: Hemachuda and Manichuda.

They were comely, well-behaved and well-learned. At one time they led a hunting party, consisting of a great retinue of men and warriors, into a deep forest on the Sahya Mountains which was infested with tigers, lions and other wild animals. They were themselves armed with bows and arrows.

There they shot several deer, lions, boars, bisons, wolves, etc., having killed them by the skilful use of their bows.

As more wild animals were being hunted down by the royal hunters, a tornado began to rase, pouring down sand and pebbles.

A thick cloud of dust screened the sky; and it became dark like night, so that neither rocks, trees nor men could be seen.

The mountain was shrouded in darkness, so that neither hills nor valleys could be seen. The retinue hurried away afflicted by the sands and pebbles hurled down by the tornado.

A few of them took shelter under rocks, others in caves, and still others under trees. The royal pair mounted on horses and rode away into the distance.

 

Hemachuda ultimately reached the hermitage of a sage, which had been built in a fine garden of plantain, date and other trees.

"There he saw a charming maiden whose body, bright as gold, shone like a flame of fire.

The prince was bewitched at the sight of the girl, who looked like the Goddess of Fortune, and spoke to her thus: 'Who are you, fair lady, who live fearlessly in such a dreadful and solitary forest? Whose are you? Why are you here? Are you alone?'

 

On being spoken to, that spotless maiden replied: 'Welcome, prince! Please sit down.

Hospitality is the sacred duty of the pious. I notice you have been overtaken by the tornado and afflicted.

 

Tie your horse to the date-palm. Sit here and take rest, and then you will be able to listen to me in comfort."

She gave him fruits to eat and juices to drink. After he had refreshed himself, he was further treated with her charming words which dropped like sweet nectar from her lips. 'Prince! There is that well-known sage, Vyaghrapada, and ardent devotee of Siva, by whose penance all the worlds have been transcended, and who is eagerly worshipped even by the greatest saints for his unparalleled wisdom both with regard to this and other worlds.

 

I am his foster child — Hemalekha is my name. There was a Vidyadhari (celestial damsel) ( — Vidyaprabha by name) and very beautiful.

 

One day she came here to bathe in this river, the Vena, to which Sushena, the King of Vanga, also came at the same time.

He saw the celestial beauty bathing. She was the fairest in the world, lithe in body and with the most beautiful breasts.

He fell in love with her which love she returned.

Their love consummated, he returned home leaving her pregnant.

Afraid of slander, she caused an abortion. I was however born alive from that womb.

As Vyaghrapada came to the river bank for his evening ablutions, he picked me up because of his great love for all, in order to bring me up with a mother's care.

 

He who offers righteous protection is said to be the father. I am therefore his daughter by virtue of this and devoted to him.

There is certainly no fear for me anywhere on earth on account of his greatness. Be they Gods or Asuras, they cannot enter this hermitage with bad motives; if they did they would only be counting their own ruin. I have now told you my story. Wait here, Prince, a little.

 

That same lord, my foster-father, will soon be here. Salute him and hear him with humility; your desire will be fulfilled, and you may leave here in the morning.'

Having heard her and becoming enamoured of her, he was silent for fear of giving offense; yet he became distressed in mind.

 

Noting the prince love-stricken, that highly accomplished girl continued: 'Bravo Prince! Be steady! My father is about to come. Tell him all.'

 

As she was saying this Vyaghrapada the great saint arrived, carrying a basket of flowers culled from the forest for worship. Seeing the sage coming, the prince rose up from his seat, prostrated before him mentioning his own name, and then took his seat as directed. The sage noticed that the man was love-stricken; taking in the whole situation by his occult powers, he pondered on what would be the best course in the circumstances; and ended by bestowing Hemalekha on the young man as his life-partner.

 

The prince was filled with joy and returned with her to his own capital. Muktachuda, his father, was also very pleased and ordered festivities in the kingdom. He then had the marriage performed ceremoniously, and the loving couple passed a very happy honeymoon in the palace, in forest retreats, and in holiday resorts. But the infatuated prince noticed that Hemalekha was not as amorous as himself.

 

Feeling that she was always unresponsive, he asked her in private: 'My dear! How is it you are not as attentive to me as I am to you?

 

Thou fairest of girls radiant with smiles! How is it that you are never keen on seeking pleasure or enjoying it? Are not these pleasures to your taste?

 

You look indifferent even during the greatest pleasures. How can I be happy if your interest is not awakened?

 

Even when I am close to you, your mind seems to be elsewhere; when spoken to, you do not seem to listen.

 

As I hold you in close embrace for a long while, you seem unconscious of me, and then ask me, 'Lord, when did you come?'

None of the carefully planned arrangements seem to interest you and you do not take part in them.

When I turn away from you, you remain with your eyes closed; and so you continue whenever I approach you.

Tell me how I can derive pleasure with nothing but an artist's model which is what you are, seeing your indifference to all enjoyments.

 

What does not please you cannot please me either. I am always looking to you, trying to please you like a lily looking up at the moon.

NOTE: — Kumuda, a certain lily, blossoms only in the night and is therefore said to be the beloved of the Moon, as the lotus blossoming in the day is said to be the beloved of the Sun.

 

Speak, dear! Why are you like this? You are dearer to me than even life. I adjure you! Speak and so relieve my mind."

 

On hearing the sweet words of her infatuated lover, who was all the time pressing her to his bosom, that stainless girl, wishing to teach him, smiled gently and spoke with good sense as follows; 'Listen to me, O Prince. It is not that I do not love you, only that I am trying to find what the greatest joy in life is which will never become distasteful. I am always searching for it, but have not attained it as yet.

 

'Though always looking for it, I have not reached any definite decision, as is a woman's way. Will you not kindly tell me what exactly it is and so help me ?'

 

Being thus coaxed, Hemachuda laughed derisively and told his beloved; 'Women are indeed silly.'

 

For do not even the birds and beasts, nay the crawling insects know what is good and what is bad? Otherwise, how are they guided in the pursuit of good, and how do they escape from bad? That which is pleasing is clearly good and that which is not so, is bad. What is there in it, my dear, that you are always given to thinking about it? Is it not silly?' Hearing her lover speak thus,

 

Hemalekha continued:

 

True that women are silly and cannot judge rightly. Therefore should I be taught by you, the right discerner.

On being rightly taught by you, I shall stop thinking like that. Also, I shall then be able to share in your pleasures to your entire satisfaction.

 

O King, subtle judge that you are, you have found happiness and misery to be the results of what is pleasing or otherwise.

The same object yields pleasure or pain according to circumstances. Where is then the finality in your statement?

Take fire for example. Its results vary according to seasons, the places and its own size or intensity.

It is agreeable in cold seasons and disagreeable in hot seasons. Pleasure and pain are, therefore, functions of seasons; similarly of latitudes and altitudes.

 

Again, fire is good for people of certain constitutions only and not for others. Still again, pleasure and pain depend on circumstances.

 

The same reasoning applies to cold, to riches, to sons, to wife, to kingdom and so on. See how your father, the Maharaja, is daily worried even though he is surrounded by wife, children and wealth. Why do not others grieve like this? What has happened to enjoyments in his case? He is certainly on the look-out for happiness; are not his resources all directed to that end?

 

No one seems to possess everything that is sufficient for happiness. The question arises: Cannot a man be happy, even with such limited means? I shall give you the answer.

 

That cannot be happiness, my Lord, which is tinged with misery. Misery is of two kinds, external and internal.

The former pertain to the body and is caused by the nerves, etc., the latter pertains to the mind and is caused by desire.

Mental distraction is worse than physical pain and the whole world has fallen a victim to it. Desire is the seed of the tree of misery and never fails in its fruits.

 

Overpowered by it, Indra and the Devas, though living in celestial regions of enjoyment and fed by nectar, are still slaves to it and work day and night according to its dictates.

 

Respite gained by the fulfilment of one desire before another takes its place, is not happiness because the seeds of pain are still latent. Such respite is enjoyed by the insects also (which certainly do not typify perfect happiness).

Yet is their enjoyment distinctly better than that of men because their desires are less complex.

If it is happiness to have one desire among many fulfilled who will not be thus happy in this world?

If a man, scalded all over, can find happiness by smearing unguents on himself, then everyone must be happy.

 

A man is happy when embraced by his beloved; he is unhappy in the same act under other circumstances.

* * * *

* * * *

..... Or do you mean to say that the enjoyment of man is enhanced by his sense of beauty?

 

Beauty is only a mental concept, as is evident from the similar feeling in similar enjoyments of lovers in dreams. (I shall tell you a story to illustrate the point.) There was once a most handsome scion of a king — fairer than Cupid himself.

He was wedded to an equally beautiful damsel and was very devoted to her.

But she fell in love with a servant of the royal household who deceived the young prince very skilfully.

This servant used to serve liquor in excess so that the prince got drunk and lost his senses, on retiring, a willy harlot was sent to keep him company.

 

The unchaste princess and the servant were then able to carry on; and the foolish prince was embracing the other woman in his intoxication. Yet he thought within himself that he was the happiest of men to have such an angel for his wife who was so devoted to him. After a long time, it happened that the servant in the pressure of work left the liquor on the prince's table and occupied himself otherwise. The prince did not drink as much as usual.

 

Becoming voluptuous, he hastily retired to his bed-room, which was sumptuously furnished, and enjoyed himself with the strumpet, without recognising her in the heat of passion. After some time, he noticed that she was not his wife and on this confusion asked her 'where is my beloved wife?'

 

She trembled in fear and remained silent. The prince, who suspected foul play, flew into a rage and holding her by her hair drew his sword and thus threat-ended her, 'Speak the truth or your life will not be worth a moment's purchase.' Afraid of being killed, she confessed the whole truth, taking him to the trysting-place of the princess. There he found her with her lovely and delicate body in close and loving embrace of the dark, ugly, loathsome savage who was his servant.....

 

The prince was shocked at the sight.

 

Shortly afterwards he pulled himself together and began to reflect as follows: 'Shame on me who am so addicted to drink!

Shame on the fools infatuated with love for women. Women are like nothing but birds flitting above the tree tops.

 

Ass that I was, all the time loving her even more than life.

Women are only good for the enjoyment of lecherous fools. He who loves them is a wild ass.

Women's good faith is more fleeting than streaks of autumnal clouds.

 

I had not till now understood the woman who, unfaithful to me entirely devoted, was in illicit love with a savage, all the time feigning love to me, like a prostitute to a lecherous fool.

"I did not in my drunkenness suspect her in the least; on the other hand, I believed that she was as much with me as my own shadow.

Fie! is there a fool worse than myself, who was deceived by this ugly harlort at my side and enthralled by her professions of love? Again, what has the other woman found in preference to me in a loathsome brute?

"The prince then left society in disgust and retired into a forest." (Hemalekha continued). "So you see, O Prince, how beauty is only a concept of the mind.

"What pleasure you have in your apprehension of beauty in me, is sometimes even exceeded by others in their love of their dear ones - be they fair or ugly. I will tell you what I think of it.

"The fair woman that appears as the object is only the reflection of the subtle concept already in the subjective mind.

 

The mind draws an image of her beauty in conformity with its own repeated conceptions. The repeatedly drawn image becomes clearer and clearer until it appears solidly as the object. An attraction springs up (and enslaves the mind) by constant mental associations.

"The mind, becoming restless, stirs up the senses and seeks the fulfilment of its desires in the object; a composed mind is not excited even at the sight of the fairest.

"The reason for the infatuation is the oftrepeated mental picture. Neither children nor self-controlled yogis are excited in the same way (because their minds do not dwell on such things).

"So whoever finds pleasure in anything, the beauty therein is only mental imagery.

"Ugly and loathsome women too are looked upon as delightful angels by their husbands.

"If the mind conceives anything as loathsome and not delightful, there will be no pleasure in such.

"Fie on human beings who appraise the foulest part of the body as the most delightful.

* * *

"Listen Prince! the idea of beauty lies in one's own desire innate in the mind.

"If, on the other hand, beauty is natural to the object of love, why is it not recognised by children too, as sweetness in edibles is recognised by them?

 

The form, the stature and complexion of people differ in different countries and at different times; their ears may be long; their faces distorted; their teeth large; their nose prominent; bodies hirsute or smooth, their hair red, black, or golden, light or thick, smooth or curly; their complexion fair, dark, coppery, yellow or grey.

"All of them derive the same kind of pleasure as you, Prince!

"Even the most accomplished among men have fallen into the habit of seeking pleasure from woman, for all consider her the best hunting ground for delight.

"Similarly also a man's body is thought by woman to be the highest source of enjoyment. But consider the matter well, Prince!

 

Shaped of fat and flesh, filled with blood, topped by the head, covered by skin, ribbed by bones, covered with hair, containing bile and phlegm, a pitcher of faeces and urine, generated from semen and ova, and born from the womb, such is the body. Just think of it!

"Finding delight in such a thing, how are men any better than worms growing in offal?

"My King! Is not this body (pointing to herself) dear to you? Think well over each part thereof.

"Analyse well and carefully what it is that forms your food materials with their different flavours, kinds and consistencies?

"Every one knows how the consumed foods are finally ejected from the body.

"Such being the state of affairs in the world, tell me what is agreeable or otherwise."

On hearing all this, Hemachuda developed disgust for earthly pleasures.

"He was amazed at the strange discourse he heard. He later pondered over all that Hemalekha had said.

"His disgust for earthly pleasures grew in volume and in force. He again and again discussed matters with his beloved so that he understood the ultimate truth.

"Then realising the pure consciousness inhering as the Self to be that self-same Tripura, he became aware of the One Self holding all, and was liberated.

"He was liberated while yet alive. His brother Manichuda and his father Muktachuda were both guided by him and were also liberated.

"The queen was guided by her daughter-in-law and was liberated; so also did the ministers, chieftains and citizens gain wisdom.

"There was no one born in that city who remained ignorant. The city was like that of Brahma, the abode of happy, peaceful and contented people.

"It was known as Visala and became the most renowned on Earth, where even the parrots in the cages used to repeat: 'Meditate, O Man, on the Self, the Absolute Consciousness devoid of objects! There is naught else to know besides pure consciousness; it is like a self-luminous mirror reflecting objects within.

"'That same consciousness is also the objects, that is the subject, and that is all — the mobile and the immobile; all else shine in its reflected light; it shines of itself.

"'Therefore, O Man, throw off delusion! Think of that consciousness which is alone, illuminating all and pervading all. Be of clear vision.

 

Those holy saints Vamadeva and others having on one occasion heard these sacred words of the parrots, wondered at the wisdom of even the birds of that city and named it the City of Wisdom.

"The city is to-day still called by that name," Dattatreya continued. "Association with the sages, O Rama, is thus the root cause of all that is auspicious and good.

"By association with Hemalekha, all people gained jnana (wisdom). Know then, the satsanga (association with the wise) is alone the root cause of salvation'."

 

 

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"In the night, a rodent scratches and digs holes. It's as if it sees gold very close by and keeps digging, deeper and deeper. But as soon as the sun rises, it keeps quiet!"

 

Spoiler

"When the worry and concern about worldly life ceases, the eclipse of the Self is over."

 

~Shri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj

 

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3. RAIKWA THE CART-DRIVER 



[Here is a story from the Chandogya Upanisad. Raikwa 
of the cart can be likened to Diogenes of the tub, the 
Greek philosopher who warned off the king from stand- 
ing between himself and the sun when the latter visited 
him. Both prized self-possession more than power and 
pelf. Their rich inner harmony and happiness in the 
midst of external penury were the envy of kings. Rai- 
kwa said that mere giving of charity without spiritual 
knowledge could not bring the blessing of real happi- 
ness. Knowledge of the Spirit which is the creator of 
all gods was necessary.] 

In ancient times there was a king called 
Janusruti. He was ruling over a kingdom called 
Mahavrsa. He was known to be a good king, 
just and merciful to his subjects. He was par- 
ticularly famous for his charities. He main- 
tained numerous free feeding houses. He built 
many rest-houses along the royal road. His 
generosity was on the lips of all. 

He often felt proud that he was able to achieve 
so much in his life-time. He thought that that 
was the best way to accumulate religious merit 
and to get peace of mind. He believed that he 
was the greatest patron and that there was none 
else like him. He used to measure his merit by 
the amount of charity he had distributed. 




RAIKWA THE CART-DRIVER 4 3 

One evening after the day’s work, he was 
resting on the terrace of his palace. As he lay 
there under the sky, right above him two white 
swans were speeding fast to their roost. As 
they were chattering and gossiping, the king 
overheard them. 

The male bird said to its mate, “You blind 
bat! Do you not perceive the bright band of 
light that proceeds from the King Janusruti? 
Beware lest you cross the flaming light of his 
fame and get yourself burnt. You must know 
that today there is none so famous as he for 
abundant charities.” 

The female bird laughed. “Why do you 
thus threaten me, dear? We are wanderers of 
the skies. We know more of the world than 
others. After all, is this king’s merit more 
than that of Raikwa, the cartman? The king 
is but mad after name and fame. It is these 
that drive him to action. With all his charities 
he is ever restless. He hankers after praise. 
Raikwa, sitting where he is, attracts to himself 
as it were, the merit of all around as a lake 
draws into itself the waters on the slopes. 
At peace with himself, he does what he ought 
to and what he can and thinks not of the 
morrow.” 

Thus saying, the birds flit past and the sha- 
dows of the night closed on the sleepy earth. 




44 „ THE UPANISADS IN STORY AND DIALOGUE 

But the king who had listened to the conversa- 
tion became very restless. Raikwa began to 
haunt him. “I must find out this man little 
known to fame but one who is at peace with 
himself and with the world,” he said with de- 
termination. As he slept, he thought of some 
speedy way of finding Raikwa. 

At dawn, the bards began to sing the usual 
songs of praise to rouse the king from his sleep. 
But that morning the king did not feel very 
happy over the customary eulogies. He became 
conscious that there were people greater than 
himself and that they deserved more than him- 
self. The bards sang, “Rise ye, great king, 
the most generous and powerful one, giver of 
charities with a hundred hands, and patron of 
the seven worlds, rise, for now it is morning. 
Suppliants from the corners of the world await 
thy abundant gifts.” 

But he stopped them from repeating the 
words. He admonished the singers, saying, 
“Waste not those epithets on me. There is one 
greater than myself, perhaps a hundredfold 
greater. Go ye to the limits of my kingdom 
and find him out. I shall not feel happy till 
I have met that great soul.” 

The king’s servants, not a little surprised at 
this command, set out to seek Raikwa, the 
strange cartman, described by the king as a 




RAIKWA THE CART- DRIVER 45 

great soul. Some of his servants returned after 
a few days unable to find Raikwa. But the 
king was not satisfied and he asked them to 
seek him in a place where theknowers of Brah- 
man, the possessors of spiritual knowledge, 
usually dwell. When the servants saw that the 
king would never be at ease till he had met the 
philosopher, they again went in search of him. 
They began to scour the villages of the king- 
dom of Mahavrsa. In one of the remote villa- 
ges, a simple man, ostensibly a cart-driver, was 
shown to them. He was Raikwa. 

With calmness writ large on his face and with 
infinite kindness in his eyes, there sat Raikwa 
under his cart near his small cottage. The 
servants wondered for a time. “What a fool 
is our king! He takes this bit of a man to be 
greater than himself! Certainly the king seems 
to have lost his head.” Thus they muttered to 
themselves. But they were helpless. They 
went back straight to the king and reported 
the matter. However ignorant his servants, 
the king knew the real worth of the man who 
sat under the cart. 

As is the wont while going to see a great 
saint or a great soul, the king took numerous 
gifts with him. His generosity was all the more 
lavish on this occasion. He took along with 
him six hundred well-fed milch cattle with 




■((V THE UPANISADS IN STORY AND DIALOGUE 

calves, gold coins, chariots with horses, and 
other lovely presents. 

When the royal party arrived, Raikwa was 
at first surprised. But he divined the cause of 
the king’s visit, and saw that the king had 
come to him in search of spiritual truth and 
inner peace. 

The king made obeisance and stood with 
folded hands in a reverent mood. He re- 
quested Raikwa to accept his humble gifts and 
direct him as regards the god that he should 
worship in order to attain real happiness. The 
cartman-philosopher, however, was not much 
enamoured of the rich gifts. He did not readily 
welcome them. A little rebukingly he said to 
the king, “O royal friend, why do you waste 
these precious things on me? All these and a 
hundred kingdoms cannot buy spiritual know- 
ledge. It is not something that can be bartered 
and bought in a market. These trinkets that 
you have brought are worth nothing to me.” 

The king felt a little hurt at this remark. 
But his respect for Raikwa increased a hundred- 
fold, when he saw his nonchalant attitude to- 
wards all material possessions. Disappointed 
and helpless for the time being, the king re- 
turned to his capital. But he had already come 
under the spell of Raikwa. The more he stayed 
away from him the more he felt bereaved. He 




RAIKWA THE CART- DRIVER 47 

used to hear numerous stories as to how many 
a person with a sore heart went to Raikwa and 
came back consoled and calmed. The king 
decided to make one more attempt to draw 
out the philosopher. Once again he went in 
an humble and suppliant mood to the saint of 
the cart. He approached him and begged of 
him knowledge as a favour. 

Raikwa saw that the king was now ripe for 
a spiritual lesson and, therefore, welcomed him 
with warmth. The king then led Raikwa to 
his shamiana and treated him with the utmost 
respect. They had a long and intimate talk 
about matters of the mind and things of the 
spirit. 

Raikwa said, “Various are the gods that 
people worship as the highest deity. The sweep- 
ing wind, the flaming fire, the breathing vital 
force are worshipped as god by many. But the 
spirit, itself uncreated, creates all and supports 
them. The spirit eats not anything, that is, it 
does not stand in need of anything, and is self- 
supporting and self-satisfied. All belongs to 
the spirit. All are but instruments carrying 
out its will. 

“O king! have neither pride nor vanity for 
the charities that you dispense. Go thou, great 
king, to thy palace. Give but not with pride. 
Give generously but not with egotism. Give 




4$ THE UPANISADS IN STORY AND DIALOGUE 

freely but not with an eye to fame. Give but 
not as something that is yours, but as something 
given you by the spirit for giving to others. 

“He who sees this truth becomes a seer and 
to him nothing is wanting and he becomes the 
enjoyer of things.” 

The king was extremely satisfied with these 
words of wisdom and experience that came 
from Raikwa. 

While departing he gave a thousand milch 
cattle, numerous gold coins and chariots, and 
his own daughter in marriage to Raikwa. All 
these he did not reject this time. 

Thenceforth, the village came to be known 
as Raikwaparna, after the philosopher of the 
cart. 

From https://archive.org/stream/Stories_from_Upanishads/Upanishads in Story and Dialogue - RR Diwakar 1950_djvu.txt

 

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🌿 During one of Swami Vivekananda's long railway travels his fellow-passenger was a learned occultist, who besieged him with all sorts of questions, asking whether he had been in the Himalayas, and whether he had met there any Mahatmas, possessed of all sorts of incredible powers. The Swami wishing to teach him a lesson, encouraged him to talk. Then, smiling within himself, he gave such a glowing description of the miraculous performances of the Mahatmas, that his listener gaped in amazement. Then he was asked if they had told him anything about the duration of the present cycle. The Swami said that he had a long talk on that subject with the Mahatmas, who spoke to him on the coming end of the cycle and the part they would play in the regeneration of mankind to bring about the Satya-yuga once more, and so on and so forth. The credulous man hung upon every word that fell from the Swami's lips. Gratified with the acquisition of so much new knowledge, he invited the Swami to partake of some food, which he readily consented to do, for he had not eaten anything for a whole day. His admirers out of respect had bought him a second-class ticket, but as he was then living up to the ideal of taking no thought for the morrow, they could not persuade him to take either money or food with him.

✨ When the meal was over, the Swami regarded the man with much interest, and seeing that he had a great heart, but because of his credulous nature, had become entangled in pseudo-mysticism, spoke to him frankly and sternly: "You, who boast so much of your learning and enlightenment, how could you unhesitatingly swallow such wild, fantastic tales!" The gentleman hung his head at this reproof and uttered not a word. Thinking of diverting him from his distorted notions of what constituted spirituality, the Swami said to him with great vehemence of feeling: "My friend, you look intelligent. It befits a person of your type to exercise your own discrimination. Spirituality has nothing to do with the display of psychical powers, which, when analysed, show that the man, who deals with them is a slave of desire and a most egoistical person. Spirituality involves the acquisition of passion and the rooting out of desire. All this chasing after psychical illusions, which means nothing in the solution of the great problems of our life, is a terrible waste of energy, the most intense form of selfishness, and leads to degeneracy of mind. It is this nonsense, which is demoralising our nation. What we need now is strong common sense, a public spirit and a philosophy and religion, which will make us Men". 

🌺 The gentleman on hearing this was overcome by emotion, and understood the righteousness of the Swami's attitude. He assured him that he would thenceforth follow his valuable precepts.

(“The Life Of Swami Vivekananda: By His Eastern & Western Disciples”, Advaita Ashrama, 1960, XVIII “Further Glimpses Of Parivrajaka Life”)

 

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"There is a story of a person who was not guarding his field.

 

Someone asked him, 'Why don't you guard the crops in your field?'

 

He answered, 'I have kept it open so that it may be useful for others. Let people take away what they want.' But the experience was completely opposite. 

 

Spoiler

Robbers said, 'Let us not rob from his field, we will rob from the fields of those who protect their possessions zealously."

 

~Siddharameshwar Maharaj

 

 

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"Once upon a time, there was a Chinese farmer who lost a horse. It ran away. And all the neighbors came around that evening, and said, 'That's too bad.'

 

And he said, 'Maybe.'

 

The next day the horse came back, and brought 7 wild horses with it. And all the neighbors came around and said, 'Why, that's great isn't it?'

 

And he said, 'Maybe.'

 

The next day his son was attempting to tame one of these horses riding it, and was thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors came around in the evening and said, 'Well that's too bad isn't it?'

 

And the farmer said, 'Maybe.'

 

The next day the conscription people came looking for people for the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And all the neighbors came around that evening and said, 'Isn't that wonderful?'

 

And he said, 'Maybe.'

 

Spoiler

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it is really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad. Because you never know what will be the consequences of a misfortune, or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune."

 

~Alan Watts

 

 

Edited by neti neti
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A man is given a 2 legged stool by his friend for a present at the start of his secret waking up ceremony.

The man felt insulted by this gesture and angrily asked his friend, Why.

The friend unperturbed just shrugged his shoulders and said, I new that you did not have a 2 legged stool anywhere in your house.

I would be embarrassed  to  sit on a two legged stool during my waking up ceremony said the man throwing the stool down and breaking off another leg. :)

Spoiler

His friend whistled loudly as if realy impressed, Ok now I see said his friend, you want the more exciting challenge of using a 1 legged stool to show off your balancing skill during your waking up ceremony. :lol:

 

Edited by mrpasserby
added clarifying content
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"Long ago, and worlds away, there was a young princess, orphaned in a time of war. She was called upon to lead the armies of her kingdom, for there was no other.

 

She was the fiercest of warriors, beloved of her people, unstoppable on the field. She rode out every day and saved her subjects in battle after battle. But every night, when the fighting was done, she was alone.

 

Until one day, a peasant boy came looking to join her army. Lonely and angry and fierce as she. For the first time she found that when she strode out onto the field to save others, there was someone at her side who had come to save her.

 

Then, there came the darkest battle of the war. The princess and her peasant boy stood, side by side, and vowed that they would be separated by nothing less than death itself.

 

She fell to an enemy sword... and died before his eyes. And those who heard the story cried for the death of love.

 

After his princess died... the peasant boy wandered the world, lost to despair. Until one day, he came upon an immortal who told him his princess had been stolen, trapped in an enchantment.

 

So now he seeks her, across this world and every other, because somewhere, sealed behind frozen glass and thick walls of deadly thorns, she sleeps... waiting to be awakened.

 

Spoiler

And someday, without fail, he will find her."

 

 

Edited by neti neti
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The Princess of Kashi

 

There was once an ancient kingdom adjacent to the kingdom of Kashi (Varanasi). The royal couple of that kingdom had a young boy, a little prince who was very cute. One day, the Queen and her courtiers decided to have a play enacted about an even more ancient story which involved Kashi, in which one of the characters was the young princess of Kashi. As the courtiers looked for a suitable young actress to play the little princess, they were unable find one who was cute enough to fit the description. The Queen suggested that the young prince be dressed up as a girl and play the role of the Princess of Kashi. 

 

The show was a resounding success and the King set the royal artists to capture the event in a series of paintings. Of which, one was of the Princess of Kashi. Soon, life moved on and everyone forgot about the play, and the paintings were relegated to the cellar of the Palace, replaced by those more relevant to the times.

 

The prince grew up into a wonderful and handsome young man, intelligent, kind and brave. One day, as he was rummaging through things in the cellar for his childhood memories, he saw the painting of the Princess of Kashi. He found her very attractive and slowly fell in love with the princess. As days rolled into weeks, the King, Queen and other courtiers found the prince to have become very despondent and melancholy and were rightly concerned. 

 

The prime minister, who was also very close to the prince decided to take the prince on a walk and asked him if everything was okay. The young prince responded that he was in love with a young girl. The Prime minister was delighted and said "that is a wonderful thing! Who is she? Does she live in our kingdom?" 

The prince replied "No she is from Kashi."

The Minister said "My prince, that is excellent news. What's her name? Where does she live?"

The Prince said "I've not actually met her in person, only seen her portrait, but she is the Princess of Kashi!"

The Minister said "Where did you see the portait your highness?"

The Prince replied "In the cellar. I saw her portrait there, and it was dated around the same time that I was 3-4 years old..."

 

The Minister understood what had happened. He told the Prince..."your highness, you might want to sit down for this..."

And then proceeded to explain the situation to the young Prince. The Prince's mind reeled from the news for a moment, and then he laughed out loud. Gone was the yearning for the Princess of Kashi, for she was none other than he himself. 

Spoiler

In our quest for spiritual realization, we seek hither and tither for the object of our seeking. All the while, not knowing, that which we are seeking is our own Self. Once this is realized, the angst, the struggle, the effort we put in to "seek" simply dissipate, resulting in a gradually expanding sense of fulfillment, resting as the Self, to whom all thoughts and absence of thoughts, all phenomena and absence of phenomena, appear. 

 

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My "neighbor" whom I met for the 1st time today, is a man aged much further along in his years than he appears, by his own confession. I commented how well he looked for his age.

 

He joked about how the secret of his youthful demeanor is, his 4 wives... I laughed it off as a joke about not staying married to the same woman granting longevity, and bid him a good day...  :lol:

 

He didn't even crack a smile but as we parted ways, he advised me to Be Well. 

 

I couldn't shake the way he said it... so something made me look up... man with 4 wives... lo and behold, it appears to be a story from the Buddhist Agama Sutras? Perhaps someone can confirm. So, even though my thread is in the Hindu section, I thought I'd share this gift of wisdom from the Buddha two doors down. :)

 

Quote

 

"Once upon a time, there was a king with 4 wives. One day the king got sick and was on his deathbed. Afraid of being in the afterlife alone, he asked his 4th wife, which he had loved the most and had bought diamonds gold and elegant clothing, if she would go with him to the afterlife. The 4th wife said, 'I'm sorry but I can't do that', and walked away.

 

He also loved his 3rd wife and was very proud, and would often show her off to neighboring kingdoms. So he called on his 3rd wife and asked her, 'Would you accompany me to the afterlife?'. The 3rd wife replied, 'I love my life too much, and I'm sorry but I can't go with you. And when you die, I'm going to remarry'.

 

His 2nd wife had always been there in his times of need, so he asked, 'Would you accompany me to the afterlife?' The 2nd wife then replied, 'I'm sorry that I can't help you out this time, but what I can do is arrange and be there for your funeral.'

 

A voice called out and said, 'I'll go with you, and follow you wherever you go, even if it is to the afterlife.' And the king looked, and it was his 1st wife. But this was the wife who he took care of the least. He felt embarrassed and said, 'I'm sorry, I should have taken more care of you and given you more attention while I was in good health.' "

 

 

Spoiler

The moral is as follows:

 

The 4th wife, is our body. We like to decorate it in fine jewelry and clothing, but in the end, it can't follow us to the afterlife.

 

The 3rd wife, is our possessions. We spend so much time trying to gather possessions, but in the end, they cannot follow us to the afterlife. They will be given to other people, and divided, just as the 3rd wife said she would remarry.

 

The 2nd wife, our friends and family. We trust them. They can be there for us in our times of need. But the furthest they can go with us, is to our funeral to send us off.

 

Our 1st wife, the 1st wife represents our soul. We usually neglect taking care of our soul, but that is the thing that will follow us to the afterlife.

 

Care for your body, keep it healthy.

 

Enjoy your possessions, and the comfort they provide.

 

Cherish your friends and family, for the love that they provide.

 

But don't forget to nourish your soul. Nourish your soul. Take time to be alone, take time to pray or meditate. Because it is the source of all of your life, and your most faithful friend.

 

Edited by neti neti
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Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain tree. The second man replied: “When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why do you call it red? It is green”. Another man, who was present, contradicted them both and insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To settle the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he replied: “Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions are true. Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey, and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour, and now it has none”.

 

Spoiler

🌳 In like manner, one, who constantly thinks of God, can know His real nature; he alone knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has attributes; then again He has none. Only the man, who lives under the tree, knows that the chameleon can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour at all. It is the others, who suffer from the agony of futile argument”.

(“The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna”, translated by Swami Nikhilananda, V1, Ch. 6 “The Master with the Brahmo Devotees (I)”, October 28, 1882)

 

Edited by dwai
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Six blind men once went to find out what an elephant is.

 The first blind man touched the legs of the elephant, being a blind man he could only touch and not see. He touched the legs of the elephant and came to the conclusion that the elephant is like a big pillar or a tree; straight, round, long and strong with thick skin.

The second man touched the tail of the elephant and came to the conclusion that an elephant is like a rope with a brush at the end and it can move right and left very easily in air.

The third man touched the ear of the elephant and said, "Elephant is a flat animal, like a hand fan"

The fourth man who had touched only the trunk of the elephant said "No, the elephant is like a snake or a tree branch, rough on the surface and is hollow inside.

The fifth man who had touched its belly said "An elephant is like a big wall, but with curves here and there"

The sixth man who had touched only the tusk said "An elephant is like a pipe or spear and very strong"

 

After they found out they had disagreement, they went to a man who had eyes and had seen the elephant. Each explained his side of the story and asked him who was right among them.

 

The man who had seen the elephant said: "You are all partially correct, Elephant has features that you explained but it is much more."

 

Spoiler

In Sufi Poet and Mystic Rumi's words, the moral of the story is: 

The sensual eye is just like the palm of the hand. The palm has not the means of covering the whole of the beast.

In Ramakrishna Paramahansa's words, the moral of the story is:

He who has seen the Lord in a particular way limits the Lord to that alone and thinks that He is nothing else.

In Werner Heisenberg's words, the moral of the story is: 

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

 

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THE LAST UPANISHAD

 

Lead me from dreaming to waking.

Lead me from opacity to clarity.

Lead me from the complicated to the simple.

Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention.

Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am.

Lead me from confrontation to wide openness.

Lead me to the place I never left,

Where there is peace, and peace, and peace.

 

"His former creation having ended in chaos, the Lord of the Universe was considering the next one. So He called in the gods to advise Him about the new venture. They expressed delight for they saw an opportunity to remedy a defect the last universe had suffered from: namely, that He had remained on high in a state of deep meditation, far from His creatures. The consequences of this remoteness, they reminded Him, were disastrous. "This time," they humbly insisted, "we beg You to be more accessible. For even the best ideas and feelings about You are no substitute whatever for You, are a million leagues adrift from Your awesome Presence. The people need to see You. Hearsay is almost no use at all."

"I understand the problem perfectly," He graciously conceded. "This time I shall get right into My world. Moreover I shall drop all disguises and make Myself perfectly obvious. Wherever people are gathered together I shall be there among them, plainer than plain. I promise there will be a sure and easy - indeed startling - way of recognising Me."

 

"And what will that be?" they inquired, eagerly. "I shall turn Myself into a Cyclops, an Oddity - you could say a Monster - with a single eye. All those folks around Me peeking and peering out of a pair of tiny peep-holes apiece, and Me gazing steadily and clear-eyed out of one immense, wide-open, staring Optic, far bigger than the body it's mounted on! Why I shall stand out so prominently it will be quite embarrassing!"

 

The Lord of the Universe made good His promise. Taking on this striking and unique form, He turned up in His new universe. Of every group the truly wide-eyed Lord of the Universe was a member. And nobody noticed Him! Incredibly, people went on overlooking the Divine Oddity in their midst. His counsellors, shocked and bewildered, could hardly believe it. They said to Him, "See how perverse, how blind, how crazy these people are! You will have to re-model Yourself even more drastically if You are to stand a chance of waking them up and attracting their attention."

 

The Lord was so shocked, so outraged that He drew His great sword and in one blow cut His own head clean off, single eye and all. "As this beheaded but (please note) still very much alive trunk," He exclaimed, "how could I fail to stand out among all those headed creatures? Besides, as this unique One Who sees where there are no eyes, and hears where there are no ears, and smells where there is no nose, and tastes where there is no tongue, why I shall be the Wonder of the ages, of all ages! What's more, as the Headless One Who is wide open to all the heads in the world - as the One Who, having nothing to keep them out with, disappears in their favour - I shall proclaim to heaven and earth the end of the curse of Confrontation, of the mortal sickness that has plagued them from the beginning."

 

The gods were full of admiration and gratitude for this divine revelation to end all revelations. But no! Hard as it is to believe, the only people who noticed and dared to point out their truncated Lord were some children who were either laughed at or ticked off, and a sprinkling of grown-ups who were either written off or polished off. The gods were astounded and desperate. All they could do was advise their Lord to transmogrify Himself still more drastically, if that were possible, in the forlorn hope of attracting attention.

Again, though hurt and amazed, He agreed.

 

After careful thought He settled on the following emergency measures, piling evidence upon evidence of His holy Presence. "For a start, I shall turn Myself upside-down. You notice how people wear their heads on top, their bodies lower down, their feet at the bottom of the picture. Well, I shall wear My body the other way up. My feet will go to the top, followed by My legs, My thighs, My belly and chest. How will they manage to blind themselves to such a contrast? "Not for My own sake but for theirs, I shall insist on V.I.P. treatment always and everywhere.

Here are four examples. When I stand on the seashore the carpet of golden light will unroll itself between the rising or setting sun and Me alone: never will it lead up to one of My creatures.

All vertical lines, such as the corners of the room I happen to be in, will pay homage to My Presence by visibly inclining towards Me.

My body will always bulk much larger than the bodies of the people around Me, rather as the king in their early paintings bulked much larger than mere courtiers and servants.

Above all, I shall invariably station Myself at the centre of the universe and let nobody push Me to one side.

"Alone in all the changing scene I shall stay rock-steady and immovable. No matter how active these legs, I shall be the Stillness in which they and all things move. Whereas others go down an aisle or avenue or corridor, it will go down Me. When I mount My chariot, it will be to make the roadside trees and houses and hedges rush by, to drive My world. I shall never bother to go anywhere but instead sit quite still and bring places and things to Me, and send them away when I have done with them.

"Regardless of all this divine showmanship, of all My desperate attempts to get through to these blockheads, I shall remain in the place where no time, no change, not even the smell of death can enter, in the one and only timeless region. While everywhere else has its calendars and timepieces, none will survive in the place I occupy. Any watch or clock approaching Me I shall magically cause to swell and burst and disappear without trace. I solemnly promise that, in whatever room people happen to meet, there will be one spot on the floor which visibly stops and destroys all timepieces. To find it will be to find Me, the deathless One, the Eternal."

 

"Enough, O Lord!" cried His counsellors. "Your Self-revelation has exceeded all we could have imagined or hoped for. More than this your creatures could hardly bear. Almost too numerous, too dazzling, too inescapable are the promised evidences of Your sacred Presence among them." "Quite so," replied their Lord. "But for good measure let Me flaunt My divine powers to the limit, and mercilessly show up the feebleness of the people around Me. They will not be able to avoid seeing Me change, and destroy, and re-create the world at will and all the time. Nor will they be able to avoid seeing that - whether they look up or down or rotate or shut and open their little eyes - nothing happens to the world. It ignores them, of course. It's My world, and I'll show them Who is in control. "Well, my esteemed panel of advisors," He concluded, "how will that do?"

 

"Such a Divine Marvel in their midst," they replied, "such a Compendium of Wonders, how could You pass unnoticed for a moment?" But it was not to be!

 

Astonishingly, almost no-one noticed Him. In spite of such a superabundance of clues, He remained incognito, lost in the crowd. What irony! The Origin of the world found Himself cut and blackballed and sent to Coventry by His world, the victim or mark of an elaborate conspiracy to get rid of Him by systematically ignoring or pooh-poohing every trace of His existence as it cropped up. The ultimate Snub, you could call it, or Theocide by a Thousand Cuts. A meeting of the gods was called to deal with the crisis. After long consideration, they addressed their Lord:

 

"These folk are deliberately blind to the obvious and their own welfare. Indeed it seems that the more striking Your distinguishing marks the less they register. So we humbly suggest that You should try a very different strategy. Instead of the demonstrative approach - or rather, in addition to it - in addition to trying to impress them with the power and the glory of Your Presence among them, why not try intimacy? What they stubbornly refuse to see they may at last be led to feel. Come close to them. Appeal to their hearts." As ever, He obliged.

 

"Very well. From now on I shall stand aloof from no-one. While all those creatures around Me keep their distance from one another - each cold-shouldering the rest - I shall stay distant from none. Even the longest measuring-rod, held up between Me and them, I shall shrink to nothing, to a point. Thus I shall draw everyone to Me, irresistibly, in the love affair of all time. "More than this, much more than this, I shall give My very life for them. Let Me explain.

All around I see those headed ones engaged in what they call personal relationships, each visibly ranged against and opposed to his or her opposite number, face to face in head-on collision. As a particular thing each excludes every other particular thing. To be and to remain itself, each insists on its unique and separate identity vis-à-vis the rest. That is their attitude, their posture, as they shape up for conflict. But I shall manifest a quite different shape, another posture altogether."

 

"And what will that be?" His counsellors inquired. "In fact," He replied, "it is done. Already I'm built wide, wide open, built for harmony and peace and love. It is plain that for Me and Me alone, for this drastically Truncated One, there can be no head-on collisions, no confrontations, in a sense no relationships of any sort, but only perfect union with all comers. Face there to no-face here, I give place to them, I disappear so that they may appear. I die continually as Myself so that they may come alive in Me. Thus forever giving My life for the world I would seek to win all hearts."

 

The gods were deeply moved. "This time it will be hard indeed to ignore You, Lord. Just think of the accumulated wealth of clues to Your Presence, the abundance of Your distinguishing marks. Who could fail to pick out the single-eyed, truncated, up-side down One Who makes and unmakes His world instantly and at will, Who destroys time and timepieces and folds space like an umbrella - and now the One Who, in spite of this matchless splendour, humbly prefers and makes way for the humblest of His creatures?"

 

And did these quite extraordinary measures work? No! Not on your life! Still the Lord of the Universe in their midst passed unnoticed, except by the very few. The gods were very angry. "And the crowning irony of it all," they expostulated to their Lord, "is that large numbers of these people go on worshipping You with prayers and hymns that accurately describe You, and even go so far as to say where You may be found, which is right among them, nearer than near. What sort of devotees are these who are careful not to seek You in the one place where You are certainly to be found, brilliantly on show? Who will not or dare not see You Who are more obvious than Obvious?

 

"Well," He asked, "is this the end? Is it back to the cosmic drawing board, and a brave new world replacing this cowardly-crazy one?"

 

Taking counsel among themselves, the gods decided that no further pointers to their Lord would make any appreciable difference. They realised that whereas any one of these clues (from His single eye to His unceasing Self-giving) is enough to locate Him with perfect ease - if that's what one wants to do - all of those clues together aren't enough to locate Him - if that's what one is determined not to do. Such wilful blindness to Him will never be cured by multiplying and floodlighting His distinguishing features. Most reluctantly they concluded that only desperate need stood a chance of opening these people's eyes to the Presence among them of the One Who alone can meet that need. If the choice became inescapable - SEE HIM OR PERISH! - why then at last He might suddenly stand out in all His obviousness and majesty and saving power.

 

So His counsellors said to Him, "We are agreed that this latest design of Yours for a world has gone all wrong, and that the time is drawing near when You should wipe the slate clean and start all over again. However there remains just one last hope for these creatures. Up to now they have been spared the full consequences of their wilful blindness. The time has come to reveal the horror of those consequences. Allow them to discover the means of self-destruction, of genocide, and see whether fear - if not plain horse sense - will do what all else has failed to do. There's just a chance that their likely fate will at last bring them to their senses (repeat to their senses) to the One they can't help seeing but refuse to see. To the One Who never confronted anyone, to the One Who is the only remedy for confrontation and the mass suicide it must lead to."

 

"And what are the chances," the Lord interposed, "of their recognising Me in time to avert disaster?" The tone of His voice was sceptical. "If it had to be all of them," they replied, "then we grant that the chances are nil. However, a quite small but influential minority - not so much wielders of power as leaders of opinion - awakened to Your Presence, could perhaps set a trend; so that to enjoy You, O Lord, would become the norm, the accepted standard of maturity - attained by the few, recognised (however dimly) by the many. Rather as the beautiful ideal of sainthood used to be acknowledged and revered by the masses, who had no intention whatever of attempting anything of the kind. Thus at the 11th hour and 59th minute genocide might be avoided."

"Well perhaps," replied the Lord, not committing Himself. "But what exactly do you want Me to do?"

 

After a long debate His advisors came up with the following recommendations. "First, we confirm that You should indeed let these people develop their science - pure, applied and grievously misapplied - to such a pitch that they are in danger of wiping themselves out.

But, second, grant them the wit to extend their pure science of objects to include You Who are Purity itself and the Subject of all objects. In other words, let them bring to the study of You, O Lord, the same rigour and discipline, the same humility in front of the evidence which they have so successfully (and so disastrously) brought to Your creation; and let them go on to investigate in detail the many evidences of Your Presence among them, and the many ways in which You measurably (and photographically) differ so strikingly from them.

Third, let them develop means of communication capable of disseminating this ultimate and divine science on such a scale and so speedily that their self-destruction, through ignorance of You, may at the last minute be averted. Graciously grant these gifts, O Lord, and let us see what they do with them."

 

"I am already in the process of granting all three," He replied.

 

Spoiler

 

"And while we await the outcome, just a word of encouragement to anyone who, though clearly seeing Me, is daunted by the seemingly impossible task of getting the world to start doing so. Here numbers cloud the issue and the rules of arithmetic do not apply.

 

When one of My creatures finds Me, just who finds Me?

 

Is it that one as his or her private and solitary self, or as all other selves too, or as the Self that is Myself?

 

"Look and see."

 

~Douglas Harding

 

 

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"One man came for dinner and said, 'We are seventeen people.'"

 

~Shri Samarth Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj

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HYMN XLIII. Rudra

 

1 WHAT shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise,
That shall be dearest to his heart?
2 That Aditi may grant the grace of Rudra to our folk, our kine,
Our cattle and our progeny;
3 That Mitra and that Varuṇa, that Rudra may remember us,
Yea, all the Gods with one accord.
4 To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines,
We pray for joy and health and strength.
5 He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he,
The good, the best among the Gods.
6 May he grant health into our steeds, well-being to our rams and ewes,
To men, to women, and to kine.
7 O Soma, set thou upon us the glory of a hundred men,
The great renown of mighty chiefs.
8 Let not malignity, nor those who trouble Soma, hinder us.
Indu, give us a share of strength.
9 Soma! head, central point, love these; Soma! know these as serving thee,
Children of thee Immortal, at the highest place of holy law.

 

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