Archive for April, 2010

WHAT THE WORLD MAKES OF MEN

As a boy, at Kamarpukur, I loved Ram Mallick
dearly. But afterwards, when he came here, I
couldn’t touch him. Ram Mallick and I were great
friends during our boyhood. We were together day
and night; we slept together. At that time I was
sixteen or seventeen years old. People used to say,
“If one of them were a woman they would marry
each other.” Both of us used to play at his house I
remember those days very well. His relatives used
to come riding in palanquins. Now he has a shop at
Chanak. I sent for him many a time; he came here
the other day and spent two days. Ram said he had
no children; he brought up his nephew, but the
boy died. He told me this with a sigh; his eyes were
rilled with tears; he was grief stricken for his
nephew. He said further that since they had no
children of their own, all his wife’s affection had
been turned to the nephew. She was completely
overwhelmed with grief. Ram said to her: “You are
crazy. What will you gain by grieving?
Do you want to go to Benares?” You see, he called
his wife crazy. Grief for the boy totally ‘diluted’
him. I found he had no stuff within him. I couldn’t
touch him. (3)

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IN THE FOREST OF THE WORLD

Once, a man was going through a forest, when
three robbers fell upon him and robbed him of all
his possessions. One of the robbers said, “What’s
the use of keeping this man alive?” So saying, he
was about to kill him with his sword, when the
second robber interrupted him, saying: ‘Oh, no!
What is the use of killing him? Tie his hand and
foot and leave him here.” The robbers bound his
hands and feet and went away. After a while the
third robber returned and said to the man: “Ah, I
am sorry. Are you hurt? I will release you from
your bonds.” After setting the man free, the thief
said: “Come with me. I will take you to the public
high way.” After a long time they reached the
road. At this the man said: “Sir, you have been very
good to me. Come with me to my house.” “Oh,
no!” the robber replied. “I can’t go there. The
police will know it.”
This world itself is the forest. The three robbers
prowling here are Satva, rajas, and lamas. It is they
that rob a man of the Knowledge of Truth. Tamas
wants to destroy him. „Rajas‟ binds him to the
world.
But Satva rescues him from the clutches of rajas
and tamas. Under the protection of Satva, man is
rescued from anger, passion and other evil effects
of tamas.
Further, Satva loosens the bonds of the world. But
Satva also is a robber. It cannot give man the
ultimate Knowledge of Truth, though it shows him
the road leading to the Supreme Abode of God.
Setting him on the path, Satva tells him: “Look
yonder. There is your home.” Even Satva is far
away from the knowledge of Brahman.

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THIS IS INDEED THE WORLD!

Once, Hriday brought a bull-calf here. I saw, one
day, that he had tied it with a rope in the garden,
so that it might graze there. I asked him, “Hriday,
why do you tic the calf there every day?” “Uncle”
he said, “I am going to send the calf to our village.
When it grows strong I shall yoke it to the plough.”
As soon as I heard these words I was stunned to
think: “How inscrutable is the play of the Divine
Maya! Kamarpukur and Sihore are so far away
from Calcutta! This poor calf must go all that way.
Then it will grow, and at length it will be yoked to
the plough. This is indeed the world! This is indeed
Maya!” I fell unconscious. Only after a long time
did I regain consciousness.

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God’s mysterious ways – III

There are some temples where God is worshipped as Mother. In one of these, in the state of Bengal, She is represented by a large stone image. The sculptor has carved in stone his idea of the Mother of the Universe, and many pious people, finding it attractive and inspiring, go there to pay their respects or make offerings.

One day an old monk who used a cane came into the temple. Approaching the altar he said, speaking aloud to God, “Mother, you are said to be God; tell me the truth: are you solid like stone — this image? Or are you formless, indescribable and impossible to touch?”

“Take your cane,” the monk heard a soft voice saying, “and strike my body on the left side.” He did, and the cane hit the stone with a clack. “Now strike me from the other side,” She said. When the cane reached the sculpture it passed right through it as if it were air. Then the monk understood that God can be both — tangible and intangible — at the same time.

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In village India laundry is often done by the side of the river. People pay washermen to take the sheets and clothes down to the river bank, to a shallow place where they can wade — and wash. The clothes are soused and whacked against big flat stones, then spread out on the grass to dry. One day a holy man, a lover of God, coming that way was praying hard and walking with his eyes almost closed. Accidentally he stepped on some of the clean laundry spread there, and the washermen saw it. Angry, they came to give him a beating.

Now this holy man became very frightened. He earnestly and loudly called on God to come to his aid and save him from the washermen’s anger. God, who was sitting in conference up in his heaven, heard the saint’s cries and went to intervene. But just then the man himself picked up some bricks to throw at his tormentors; so the Lord singly returned to his heavenly seat. God helps those who do not help themselves!

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WHY YOGI SLIPS DOWN FROM HIS YOGA

AT Kamarpukur I have seen the mongoose living
in its hole up in the wall. It feels snug there.
Sometimes people tie a brick to its tail; then the
pull of the brick makes it come out of its hole.
Every time the mongoose tries to be comfortable
inside the hole, it has to come out because of the
pull of the brick.
Such is the effect of brooding on worldly objects
that it makes the yogi stray from the path of yoga.

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