We are born tiny, we grow up, we grow old and die but in the process what we learn ? We are aware about our appearance, our possessions, our actions and some time the outcome as well but who is this self?
Inquiry into self.
We learn things. How to cook? How to milk a cow? All things needed not only to earn and to survive but also to out smart others. What about ourselves? How much we investigate about this ‘self’? What is this body and what is this mind? Who am I?
We have fascinatingly imaginative opinions about ourselves and all the people around us but in the black and white of bad and good. Opinions completely or partially divorced from facts. Vivid yet lacking relevant material details.
Three drunkards were admitted to Rehabilitation Center where they become friends. After they were discharged as rehabilitated they decided that they will meet again after a month and share the progress. So they met after a month at a Coffee House.
The sober meeting
After exchanging pleasantries and ordering three coffees, they silently sat at the table and looked at each other. Finally the younger looking ex-drunkard looked around at people and spoke, “It is very tiring to take care of myself, that too sober and that too 24x7x365. I feel exhausted. Look at the people around. None has such a tiring job.”
The second one with partially bald head, nodded in agreement and said “Worst part is that treating us sober, everyone find an excuse to burden us with unnecessary responsibilities. I am tired too.” He too declared.
Third one with gray hairs, kept his face grim and after thoroughly stirring his Coffee, took a small sip. After being satisfied, he looked at others and asked the other too; “If it is so difficult, why not start drinking?”
“No, we do not want to go into rehab again. We can not let down our loved ones.” Both replied almost instantly and asked the third one if he had no problems.
The third one scratched his head and agreed that it was difficult in the beginning but he found a way. Now other two stared at him, almost begging for answer.
“Well what I do is” he started slowly, “that I remain sober when I drink and make sure no one notice me drunk. But when I do not drink, I splash my clothes with drink and try to act a little delirious. Thus I know how every one is frightened of uncertainty, when we are drunk.”
The other two looked disappointed, yet asked: “How it helps?”
“First of all I drink when I like and catch others in conversations they think I do not understand. Secondly I am not afraid of lack of drink so I have overcome the fear of Rehab.”
1. Often consistency of behavior is exploited by others. Sometime exploitation is in the name of help or compassion.
2. It is not about drinking rather it is about being a grown up, with first duty to take care of ourselves.
Once upon a time a nomadic priest came to a river bank to take morning bath in the river. He was alone. There was nobody around. He had to return the call of nature. He had a pot of copper which was his total “assets”. Hence he wanted to hide it some where. He feared that in his absence some thief may steal it. So he found a solution. On river bank sand was spread all over the area. He made a pit in the sand by his hand and after placing the copper pots in the pit, he covered it with sand. Now to identify the place he made a Shiva Lingam (a Religious Image; See below) over it. Now to make it more authentic, he also placed some flowers and leaves over it so that it may appear that some one has recently worshiped it. Of he went to attend the call of nature. Upon his return to that place, he was in a shock.Now there were so many similar ‘Shiva lingam‘ statute carved on sand. People presumed that on that particular date, it was a ritual to make that image on the sand and perform the ritual of prayer/worship. Hence the people without much thought and consideration followed the presumed ritual. Now the priest could not find his own Shiva lingam under which he had buried his valuable copper pot and had to lose it. Finding himself in this situation he expressed his anguish in these words in a couplet:
In this world people follow each other in passing;
Who cares for right or wrong;
Actions are performed in automatic motion;
Sand ate my copper-ware due to shiva-lingam.
(The story and couplet translated to English from Hindi/Sanskrit Source: Nishant’s Blog)
Shiva Lingam im Hindu-Tempel/AAI Wien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a sequel to my earlier post on Automatons. How we are lost in our thoughts and are acting mechanically. This story is also reflective of the fact that we plan things from a very limited perspective and future is always uncertain. Fatalists can blame the priest in above story, for his loss as natural because he had misused the religion to cling to his assets. But that is not the point. Point is how our mind travels, in limited two dimensions and we create problems for ouselves and others.