Eye To Eye – Story From the Buddha – Myths and Legends

hoto

arumlily7

 photo from Eve’s flower collection – England 2016

 

The Buddha was visiting a small village in India. Several  people brought a blind man to him and said,

 

“This man is blind and we are his closest friends. Although we try in every way to convince him that there is light, he is not ready to accept such a fact. His arguments are such that we are at a loss. Even though we know that there is light, we have to admit defeat. The man tells us that he wants to touch the light. Now how do we make it possible for him to touch the light? Then the man says, ‘Ok, if it cannot be touched then I want to hear it. I have ears. Make the sound of light so that I can hear it. If this is also not possible then I want to taste it, or if the light has a fragrance I want to smell it.'”

There is no way to convince the man. Light can only be seen if one has eyes – and he has no eyes. He complained to the village people that they were unnecessarily talking about light just to prove that he was blind. He felt that they had invented the story of light just to prove him blind.

So the people asked Buddha if, as he was in the village for a while, perhaps he could make their blind man understand.

Buddha said, “I am not mad enough to try to convince him! Mankind’s problems have been created by people who have tried to explain things to those who cannot see. Preachers are a plague to humanity. They tell people things which they cannot understand.”

So he said, “I won’t make this mistake. I will not explain to this blind man that there is light. You have brought him to the wrong person. There was no need to bring him to me, take him instead to a physician who can treat his eyes. He does not need preaching, he needs treatment. This is not a question of explanations, or of him believing in things you tell him, it is a question of treatment for his eyes. If his eyes get cured then there will be no need for you to explain; he himself will be able to see, he himself will be able to know.”

Buddha was saying that he didn’t consider religion to be just a philosophical teaching – it should be a practical cure. So he recommended that the blind man be taken to a physician.

The villagers liked what Buddha said so they took the blind man to a physician for treatment and fortunately he was cured after a few months. By that time Buddha had gone to another village so the blind man followed him. He bowed to Buddha, touched his feet and said, “I was wrong. There is such a thing as light but I couldn’t see it.”

Buddha answered, “You were certainly wrong, but your eyes got cured because you refused to believe what others told you unless you experienced it for yourself. If you had accepted what your friends had told you then the matter would have ended there and no question of treatment for your eyes would have arisen.”

One should search for one’s own understanding because one cannot attain anything by worshipping the insights of another. In fact, the search for one’s own understanding can only begin when one drops the idea of the other. As long as there is any outer substitute, as long as something is being supplied from the outside, the search cannot begin.

Nobody can reach anywhere in somebody else’s boat. And nobody can see with another’s eye – nobody ever has and nobody ever will. One has to walk on one’s own feet, one has to see with one’s own eyes, one has to live by one’s own heart beat. One has to live by oneself and one has to die by oneself. Nobody can live in another’s place; nobody can die in another’s place. Nobody can take another’s place; neither can one take anybody else’s place. If there is anything totally impossible in this world, it is the fact that no one can take anyone else’s place.

OSHO

The Parable of the Light Princess (Jewish) – Myths and Legends

Hi folks, having a lovely time here in Prasanthi. The gardens are exquisite and full of bouganvillas, butterflys and beauty. Don’t really want to leave here it is such a treat after the cold winters in Europe.

Here is one of my favourite parables from years ago. Happy Ugadi – New Year !!


lady7

aawhiteed

I love this short story. Actually it’s a parable within the Jewish Faith. I have had it at the back of the blog for sometime now, where it is not seen. Hopefully bringing it to the front page will be a good way of sharing it.. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

aawhiteed


There was once a long time ago, a lovely princess who made her home in the Temple In Jerusalem. She was not an ordinary princess, oh no, she was very special for she was made of light.

Her father, was the ruler of the world and made his home in a heavenly palace. There he had two thrones, a throne of justice and another throne of mercy. Because he was a good and wise ruler, he used the thrones to make the laws. When he sat on the throne of justice, he was stern and very strict. When he sat on the throne of mercy he was a forgiving and loving ruler. The king had sent his princess into the world to give out blessings and light.

Most of the time the princess was invisible, although people could sense her presence, and once in a while they saw her in visions and sometimes in dreams.

Sometimes she appeared as a princess and sometimes as a lovely bride and at other times she would appear as a saintly person, she could sometimes be seen hovering over the Temple. Then the people would gather together and say to each other, ‘the princess is with us!’ Whenever she appeared they would utter prayers, for they knew that as long as the princess was there, her father the king, was also protecting them.

While the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the princess of light was always happy, her days were full of blessings.

But when the Temple was torn down, the princess was sorrowful. She saw how the people of Jerusalem were forced to leave their homes and decided she would also leave the Temple and go into exile with the people.


Her father called upon all the princes in the world to go and find her


When her father learned that she had left the Temple and gone into exile, he called upon all the princes in the world to go and find her and to report back to him with news to where the princess was. He promised the prince who found her that he would wed him to the princess. He foretold that on the day of the marriage, all the people in the world would celebrate their marriage.

Now all the princes wanted to marry the princess whose father was the ruler of the world. Each went his separate way in search of the princess. Some looked to the North, others to the East, a few went to the South, and others to the West. They searched every town and village, in every house and under every bed. But even though they searched everywhere, they could not find her.

At last there was but one prince left who had not searched for the princess. Now it was his chance to go and look and he could not turn down the quest. Before he set out into the world, he went around his castle saying to himself, ‘Where is it that the princess is so well-hidden, yet the same time always with her people?’

This prince sought out a wise rabbi and the rabbi said, ‘There is only one thing in the world that is always with our people, and that thing is the holy book, the Torah.’ ‘Well’ said the prince, ‘you must teach me the words of the holy book.’ The rabbi agreed.

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The prince had to study the Torah for many years before he was able to master it, but a day came when he had become such a master of the teachings, that he was able to find out where the princess was hidden.

And as was the case, his search came to an end one day while he was reading the holy book. For all of a sudden he glimpsed the princess hidden in the sacred words of the Torah. The prince as he became filled with wisdom was able to see the shining brightness of the princess in the holy words, and his eyes were filled with luster.

Now the prince knows where the princess is hidden, he is determined to set her free. And when he does, her father the ruler of the world will keep his promise to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, that was once her home and on the day of their wedding the whole world will celebrate.


-retold by moi from the Original.

The Arrow Parable From The Buddha – Myth and Legend

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Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”  – Gautama Buddha

BUDDHA’S PARABLE OF THE ARROW

“Imagine a man that has been pierced by an arrow well soaked in poison, and his relatives and friends go at once to fetch a physician or a surgeon. Imagine now that this man says:

“I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know the name of the man who shot it, and the name of his family, and whether he is tall or short or of medium height; until I know whether he is black or dark or yellow; until I know his village or town. I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know about the bow that shot it, whether it was a long bow or a cross bow.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know about the bow-string, and the arrow, and the feathers of the arrow, whether they are feathers of a vulture, or kite or peacock.

I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know whether the tendon which binds it is of ox, or deer, or monkey.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know whether it is an arrow, or the edge of a knife, or a splinter, or the tooth of a calf, or the head of a javelin.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without having found out all these things.

In the same way, any one who would say: ‘I will not follow the holy life of Buddha until he tells me whether the world is eternal or not; whether the life and the body are two things, or one thing; whether the one who has reached the Goal is beyond death or not; whether he is both beyond death and not beyond death; whether he is neither beyond death nor is not beyond death.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without Buddha having told these things.

Because I am one who says: Whether the world is eternal or not, there is birth, and death, and suffering, and woe, and lamentation, and despair. And what I do teach is the means that lead to the destruction of these things.

Remember therefore that what I have said, I have said; and that what I have not said, I have not said. And why have I not given an answer to these questions? Because these questions are not profitable, they are not a principle of the holy life, they lead not to peace, to supreme wisdom, to Nirvana.”

– Majjhima Nikaya

O My Heart – Myth And Legend

aheartnnamedgold

Our thoughts are powerful, and just like the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul said and I quote  here: “The average man is often the victim of his own thought forms. He constructs them, but is neither strong enough to send them out to do their work, nor wise enough to dissipate them when required. This has brought about the thick swirling fog of half-formed, semi-vitalized forms in which eighty five percent of the human race is surrounded.”

There is an ancient image of the heart and its function that likens it to the way a sound arises from an underground cave. To an older way of thinking, thought begins below in our hearts.  Then ascends to our brains, where it brings insight and intelligence to our awareness. Silence is a requirement. When our thoughts has collected sufficiently, they are ready to be carried outward, in words. Only then do our voices call to express what  needs saying as it was meant. Then, we speak truly. Our words are heartfelt. All is well, we hope.

..


 

That The Heart No Longer Moves – Sufi Tale

Long ago, in Andalusia, a Sufi merchant awaited the arrival of his shipment of goods. A messenger came running to inform him of a great mishap – the boat had sunk, carrying the livelihoods of many to the bottom of the ocean. Upon receiving the news, the merchant paused, cast his eyes downward, and softly said, “Praise be to God – AlhamduliLah.”

Some weeks later, the messenger joyfully appear at the merchant’s door.

..

“O Merchant,” he cried out. “Your goods arrived safely and are at this very moment being unloaded on the dock. The ship did not sink after all!”

..

At this the merchant again lowered his gaze and murmured, “All praise is due to God.” The messenger inquired, “What is this pausing and lowering of your gaze?” The merchant replied, “In both cases, I was checking to make sure my heart didn’t move.”

..

-Retold by Gray Henry


aheartnnamedgold

To end on a wise quotation from the Peaceful Warrior. 

“You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.” – Dan Millman

Silence, A Parable – Myth And Legend

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PAINTING: Odilon Redon, “Buddha Walking Among the Flowers,” 1905.

The mystic and author G.I. Gurdjieff, suggests that there are two world. He says, “There is in us a zone where noise and tumult have no place, and a zone where everything reverberates. Hazrat Inayat Khan also tells us through his writings, that everything emanates from silence and gives rise to all that exists, including ourselves and our many manifestations. There is so much to say about silence, but shhhh! – I won’t be saying it. Here’s a Zen tale on the subject… Enjoy! 🙂 

Learning to Be Silent:

The pupils of the Tendai School used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence.

On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: “Fix those lamps” The second pupil was surprised to hear the first one talk. “We are not supposed to say a word,” He remarked.

“You two are stupid. Why did you talk?” asked the third. “I am the only one who has not talked,” – concluded the fourth pupil.

sorry about errors on first post.. (Had to repost.)


Sacred Ashes, Myths And Legends

Temples of India
Temples of India

We all long for miracles, for the sudden inspiration that will fix our lives and the world. We are like  children hoping for an instance cure for our earthly condition.  When will we grow up?  There is no miracle that can replace the work we must do to advance ourselves.. Only the most dedicated and mature effort will bring both ourselves and the world to perfection.

The Midrash,  (Sacred Writings) says that “the world cannot exist without miracles.” For they provide us with inspiration and remind us that the Kingdom we are trying to build is ultimately not our own. However, true growth is never a gift from above, but the result of a long and arduous process of learning and experiencing. In the end, we can achieve the transcendence that we desire, but only by overcoming the most difficult obstacles. The greatest miracle of all is that a person can change.

From The Mahabharata – The Parable Of The Sacred Ashes

Once upon a time, in a holy forest, there lived a sage called Mankanaka, who ate nothing but grass and leaves. For many years, he lived on this pure and austere diet, and his spiritual potency became intense.

One day, as Mankanaka sat in front of his hut weaving a grass mat, he happened to cut himself on a sharp blade of grass. He saw that green sap, not blood, oozed from the cut! His amazement knew no bounds.. “Finally, I have gone beyond the human state, and I have become as sacred and blameless as a plant,” he thought.

A frenzy of joy overtook Mankananka, and he began to laugh and dance. His laughter shook all corners of the world like a cosmic thunder, and the power of is dance drove first the forest and then the whole world to laugh and dance with him. As if enchanted, animals, and trees, stones and rivers, lakes and mountains fell into the rhythms of the sages  wild dance.

The God looked down and saw the danger that the earth was in. Oceans were overflowing and the dust was rising from the earth as smoke rises from a forest fire, darkening the skies. The Gods ran to Shiva and asked him to rescue the Earth from annihilation.

Shiva took the form of a hermit. He went to Mankanaka and stood still beside him. Mankanaka calmed down enough to look at the silent, motionless hermit. He recognized who the hermit really was from the secret signs visible to seers, and he wondered why the Great God, the Lord of Dancers, wasn’t joining in his dance.

“Why are you so happy?” Shiva asked. Mankanaka pointed to his wound, which was still oozing vegetable sap, and said, “O Lord of Gods, don’t you see that I have become so sacred that I have no blood at all? I am superhuman! I am celebrating my miracle!”

Shiva smiled, and then pressed a fingernail into his own thumb. While Mankanaka looked on, ashes, as white as snow and as fine and luminescent as moonlight, flowed out from the thumb of the Great God, Shiva Mahadeva. Their radiance bathed the forest and beyond in a healing mist.

The sight of Shiva’s sacred ashes, purer than green sap and everything else in the world, brought a sobering calmness to Mankanaka.. He prostrated himself at Shiva’s feet, and the whole world came to a standstill..


Even when you see a man endowed with miraculous powers, to the point of rising in the air, do not let yourself be deluded, but investigate whether he observes the divine precepts and prohibitions, whether he stays within the limits of religion and whether he accomplishes the duties this imposes upon him.

~Bayazid al-Bistami

Hidden Treasure – Myths And Legends

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The basis of the Buddha’s psychological teaching is that our efforts to control what is inherently uncontrollable cannot yield the security, safety or the happiness we seek. By engaging in a delusive quest for happiness, we only bring suffering upon ourselves. In our frantic search for something to quench our thirts, we overlook the water all around us and drive ourselves into exile from our own lives.. Here are two parables that clarifies this point..

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There was one great master, a Buddhist master, Nagarjuna. A thief came to him. The thief had fallen in love with the master because he had never seen such a beautiful person, such infinite grace. He asked Nagarjuna, “Is there some possibility of my growth also? But one thing I must make clear to you: I am a thief. And another thing: I cannot leave it, so please don’t make it a condition. I will do whatsoever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief. That I have tried many times–it never works, so I have left the whole sport. I have accepted my destiny, that I am going to be a thief and remain a thief, so don’t talk about it. From the very beginning let it be clear.”

Nagarjuna said, “Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about your being a thief? The thief said, “But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, ‘First stop stealing.'”

Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!” The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”

Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed:! be aware Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief–but do it with full awareness.”
The thief couldn’t understand that he was falling into the trap. He said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.”

After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky–because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”


Nagarjuna said, “No more talk about your being a thief and stealing. I am not concerned; I am not a thief. Now, you decide! If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don’t want it, then too you decide.”

The man said, “But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful–I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world–but you were following me and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did this many times. I would become aware and I became like a buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid–just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally I decided that they were not worth it.”

From Awareness The Key to Living In Balance by Osho.

….

A lady had a precious necklace round her neck.  Once in her excitement she forgot it and thought that the necklace was lost.  She became anxious and looked for it in her home but could not find it.  She asked friends and neighbours if they knew anything about the necklace. They did not.  At last a kind friend of hers told her to feel the necklace round her neck.  She found that it had all along been round her neck and she was happy.  When others asked her later if she found the necklace which was lost, she said, ‘Yes, I have found it.’  She still felt that she had recovered a lost jewel.

Now, did she lose it at all? It was all along round her neck.  But judge her feelings.  She was as happy as if she had recovered a lost jewel.  Similarly with us, we imagine that we will realize that Self some time, whereas we are never anything but the Self.

From Be As You Are Teachings from Ramana Maharshi by David Godman.

The Soul As An Image Of Nirvana – Myth And Legend

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I found this to be an interesting tale and well deserving for a post here on the blog. The story goes that once a great king of India asked some fundamental questions about the basic teachings of the Buddha. The text is preserved as a dialogue between King Milinda and Nagasena, a representative of Buddhism. I might add  that according to Buddhist tradition, King Milinda (c.155 b.c.) was a local ruler of a province in India that had been part of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Archaeological evidence indicates that Buddhism had reached some degree of official status under King Milinda. Popular Buddhist legend recounts that in his constant search for new truths, King Milinda asked a number of questions about how man should live a good life and meet a good death.. Here is the story:   

King Milinda said: “I will grant you, Nagasena, that Nirvana is absolute ease, and that nevertheless one cannot point to its form or shape, its duration of size, either by simile or explanation, by reason or by argument. But is there perhaps some quality of Nirvana which is shares with other things, and which lends itself to a metaphorical explanation?”

“Its form, O king, cannot be elucidated by similes but its qualities can.”

“How good to hear that, Nagasena! Speak then, quickly, so that I may have an explanation of even one of the aspects of Nirvana! Appease the fever of my heart! Allay it with the cool sweet breezes of your words!”

“Nirvana share one quality with the lotus, two with water, three with medicine, ten with space, three with the wishing jewel, and five with a mountain peak. As the lotus is unstained by water, so is Nirvanan unstained by all the defilements. As cool water allays feverish heat, so also Nirvana is cool and allays the fever of the passions. More over, as water removes the thirst of men and beasts who are exhausted, parched, thirsty and overpowered by heat, so also Nirvana removes the craving for sensuous enjoyments, the craving for further becoming (the craving for reincarnation), the craving for the cessation of becoming (the craving for the end of reincarnation). As medicine protects from poison, so Nirvana protects from the torments of the poisonous passions. Moreover, as medicine puts an end to sickness, so Nirvana to all sufferings. Finally, Nirvana and medicine both give security. And these are the ten qualities which Nirvana shares with space.

Neither is born, grows old, passes away, or is reborn; both are unconquerable, cannot be stolen, are unsupported, are roads respectively for birds and Arhats (Someone who is or is becoming a Buddha) to journey on, are unobstructed and infinite. Like the wishing jewel, Nirvana grants all one can desire, brings joy, and sheds light. As a mountain peak is lofty and exalted, so is Nirvana., As a mountain peak is inaccessible, so is Nirvana inaccessible to all the passions. As no seeds can grow on a mountain peak, so the seeds of all the passions cannot grow in Nirvana. And finally, as a mountain peak is free from all desire to please or displease, so is Nirvana.”

“Well said, Nagasena! So it is, and as such I accept it.!

from Buddhist Texts, Throughout the Ages. (New York: Harper & Row 1964), pp.97-100