Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Jack Fruit Tree

 A big jack-tree in a man's courtyard was laden with fruits. From the very bottom of the trunk up to the top most branch it was dotted with fruits.

 As though one possessed with an evil spirit, the man rushes out towards the fruit several times. He touches the jack-fruit, but the surface is uninviting. He abandons it in disgust.

 Far away from home he had seen one palm tree. Walking in the hot sun several miles, he stands near the tree. His craving had reached its zenith. The few small fruits that hung on the top of the tree tempt him.

 He rushes forward. He falls on the bush of prickly pears and gets injured by the thorns all over the body. Not discouraged by this he tries to climb the tree. The scales that cover the trunk are hard and knife-like. They hurt him. But he does not mind.

 As he climbs, a swarm of poisonous ants that sting like devils, sting him all over the body. He has somehow managed to reach the top; such is his mad passion for the little fruits. The fruits are surrounded by hundreds of bees. When he lays his hands upon them, the bees angrily sting him.

 In spite of this, he tries to grab the fruits. Then and there he drops more than half the catch. With the remainder, he tries to climb down. Several fruits drop off his hand before he reaches the ground. He sits himself down to enjoy the few fruits left with him.

 To his horror he discovers that the major portion of these little fruits is hard nut; and then even the skin has to be thrown away. There is little pulp in the fruit. In disgust he throws the fruits away.

  Instantly he comes back to his senses, and begins to suffer with agony. The pain of the thorns, the bites of the poisonous ants, the stings of the bees, and the cuts produced on his body by the sharp scales of the tree - these seem to torment him all at once.

 It is now past several days since he left home. With his tattered clothes and bleeding body, he runs home .... to find that his father had been waiting for him with the delicious jack-fruit.

 The young man stumbles into the house and falls at the father's feet. Without asking a question, the father gives him new clothes, pulls out the thorns from his body, dresses up the wounds, all the time feeding him with the honey-like jack-fruit. The young man's happiness is now complete. Peacefully he sleeps on his father's lap.

 Similarly, man ignores the fountain of Eternal Bliss that is within the core of his own heart. He is frightened away by the apparent initial difficulties to reach God. He does not care to cut open this rough exterior and enjoy the highest bliss. He is hungry. He runs away from home and from this tree that yields the best fruit. Here he falls into the thorny bush of dishonour; there he knocks against the rock of failure. Lured by illusory pleasure he succumbs to passion.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Rich man & The Poor man

A weak and starving dervish once begged at the door of a rich man.'Away with you' said the wealthy man in proud anger, you will get nothing from me!'

How the dervish's heart bled at this. 'It's astonishing that such a man should be so severe', he said. 'It is obvious that he has had no experience of begging.'

'Is he gone?' shouted the rich man to his slave. 'If not, go and clear him from my door.' The slave came out and drove the dervish away.

The rich man behaved like that, because he was not truly grateful to the one who pervades all. Circumstances soon changed for the rich man. His fortunes altered dramatically and suddenly and he was ruined. He was not even left with an ass upon which he could carry his personal belongings - which was perhaps as well because he hadn't any.

Then he sat in a dusk, naked, with an empty purse at is feet. The slave was sold to another master. The new master who was also rich but there the similarity to his old master ended, for this one was old and generous to all, rich in goods and in heart. When he saw a poor man, he rejoiced at the opportunity to be generous. He was delighted t give as the poor man was to receive.

One night he herd a cry at the door. 'A morsel, please I beg, one morsel!' 'Slave', said the kind man, ' Take that tray from the table. Go and gladden the beggar's heart..'

The slave did as he was ordered. He returned with tears flooding down his cheeks. 'What is the matter?' the master asked. 'It is the beggar.' the slave cried. ' I have just recognized him. He was my old master.. He once owned vast property, silver and gold. But now, look at him, a destitute beggar.'

'Don't be distressed, my son', said the master.. 'You see here two examples of how in the course of time, no one is treated unfairly. You recognized your master. Do you not also recognise in me the starving dervish whom he once ordered to be thrown out into the street?'