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.

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