vide T R Subramanian
Perhaps more appropriate to eastern cultures?
Father is flying a kite.
His son is watching him carefully. After some time son says:
“Dad. because of the string the kite is not able to go any further higher.”
Hearing this, the father smiles and breaks the string.
The kite goes higher and then shortly after that, it comes and falls on the ground.The child is dejected and sad.
The father sits next to him and calmly explains:
“Son, in life we reach a certain level and then we feel that there are certain things that are not letting us grow any further like Home, Family, Culture etc. We feel we want to be free from those strings which we believe are stopping us from going higher.
But, remember son.”That our home , family and culture are the things that will help us stay stable at the high heights .If we try to break away from those strings our condition will be similar to the kite – we’ll fall down soon.”
Life is Beautiful 😊Stay connected👍
Wishing you A Happy Makar Sankranti. Pongal Lohri, Bhigu…
PS: Makar Sankranti marks the arrival of harvest season. Widely celebrated, kite flying, bonfires, fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization, Cow Pooja…mark the festival.
…doing the right thing!
A story from Africa vide V Narayanan
At the time of the great King Obatala:
Three people came to him dragging a young man with them and said to him:
‘O King!! This man has murdered our father.’
Obatala: ‘Why did you kill their father?’
Young man: ‘I’m a goatherd. My goat ate from their father’s farm, and he threw a stone at my goat and it died; so I also took the stone and threw it at their father and he also died.’
Obatala: ‘Because of this, I pass judgment, on charge of murder, by sentencing you to death.’
The Young man said: ‘Oh King, I ask for 3 days before you execute the judgment. My late father left me some wealth and I have a sister to take care of. If you kill me now, the wealth and my sister will have no guardian.’
Obatala: ‘Who will stand for your bail?’
The Young man looking into the crowd, pointed at Lamurudu.
Obatala asked: ‘Do you agree to stand for him, Lamurudu?’
Lamurudu answered, ‘Beeni (yes).’
Obatala enquired further: ‘You agree to stand for someone you don’t know, and if he doesn’t return you’ll receive his penalty.’
Lamurudu answered: ‘I accept.’
The Young man left; but after two days and into the third day, there was still no sign of the Young man.
Everyone was afraid and sorry for Lamurudu who had accepted to receive the penalty of death if the man failed to return.
Just before it was time for meting out the punishment to the poor Lamurudu, the goat herdsman appeared looking very exhausted and he stood before King Obatala.
The Young man spoke up: ‘I have handed the wealth and the welfare of my sister to my uncle and I am back to receive the penalty. You may execute the penalty now.’
In great shock and surprise, Obatala said: ‘And why did you return after having a chance to escape the death penalty?’
Young man: ‘It would then appear humanity has lost integrity and the ability to fulfill promises kept.’
Obatala turned and looked at Lamurudu and asked him: ‘And why did you stand for him?’
Lamurudu responded: ‘It would then appear humanity has lost the will to do good to others.’
These words and events moved the complainant brothers who had wanted justice for their father’s death very deeply and they decided to forgive the young goat herdsman.
A furious Obatala asked: ‘Why?!!’
They said: ‘It would then appear as though forgiveness has lost place in the heart of humanity.’
One day Emperor Krishna Deva Raya (of Vijayanagar empire, 1509-29), aggrieved by a recent loss of a dear relative, fell into a spell of serious introspection: ‘What is the most important lesson in life to be learned?’
He knew there would be many answers to his question. So he decided to hold a sadas – like today’s conferences, it’s a forum, practiced even today, for enriching discussion and debate, not necessarily competitive – of learned pundits from near and far.
On the appointed day, the Royal Court quickly filled up.
Tenali Raman was also present…
Hey, wait a minute, a mere court jester, he’s no way a pundit qualified to be part of this assembly.
…bringing along a guest of his, a guru, not widely known outside his circle.
Sadas commenced with a brief introduction from Raya, followed by the Raja Guru (chief guru of the Royal Court) explaining the protocols and rules. The floor was thrown open to the participants.
The learned pundits from the assembly presented a variety of thoughts and theories drawing heavily from the veda’s, upanishad’s, purana’s and epic’s. Probing questions were raised and answered. Theories dissected and interpretations offered. A parade of knowledge and a veritable feast for the intellect.
A couple of hours passed thus and finally it seemed all who came to speak had been heard and the sadas ready for closure.
That’s when the Raja Guru requested Tenali’s guest to also contribute to the proceedings. Tenali too entreated him to share his views on the subject.
The guru obliged.
At the podium, he requested for and got a bunch of samit’s (short sticks of wood usually from peepal tree offered to agni, the fire-god in homam’s and three chords of adequate length.
The audience was intrigued.
A volunteer from the audience was asked to come up. He had to take a bunch of samit’s and tie them tightly up into a bundle at two places near the center, a few inches apart, using the two chords. The free ends of the chords were nipped close to the knots, offering no grip at all and the knots themselves not easy to undo. Now the bundle was ready.
He invited anyone from the audience to step up. He had to pull a couple of samit’s free from the bundle without tampering the two chords in any manner or breaking any samit. It meant the samit’s had to come out, if at all, through the edges of the bundle.
When one of them tried with all his might, the samit would not slide out. Reasons: the bundle tied tight held the samit in its place, no good grip available on the samit to pull it out and the small protrusions on the samit snagged on one chord or the other preventing its sliding out.
More tried…without success.
Clearly now it was left to the guru to come up and show…
He did. He took the third chord and right at the center between the other two chords he wound it around the bundle more than once, making it a wee bit tighter than others. A knot was not even needed. The chord crunched the samit’s together a little more than before, of course without breaking. This had the effect of loosening a little bit the other two chords riding either side on the bundle…allowing them to slipped out free over the edges. With them out of the way the third chord was simply unwound to free up the entire bunch!!
Jaws dropped in the audience.
“It is actually very simple like this bundle of samit’s. For lasting peace of mind and meaningful happiness, there must be, for everyone, a philosophy of life, ideally structured around a single higher purpose or objective worth striving for – could be based on dhaana, (charity), ahimsa (non-violence towards all sentient), bhakti (devotion), community service or anything else one (or the group) chooses, usually dictated by one’s dharma (simply, the ‘done’ thing for one’s group), guru followed, family tradition, law of the land or learned wisdom. Regard this chord tightly wound at the center as representing the same. All activities and sub-goals in one’s life must be touched by, subordinated to, strongly held together by this single objective like the chord does to the samit’s. Faced with it, all other bonds in life slip off like it happened to the chords on the sides. The entire energy of life is focused on just that one purpose, none wasted. No duvidha (confusion of choice or priorities). That’s all there to it.”
“This, I submit, is the most important lesson in life to be learnt.”
He returned to his seat.
It took a little while for the awe-struck audience to collect their wits and give him the ovation due to him.
They were quite impressed at his cleverness in using very dramatically a mere bundle of samit’s as a model for putting forth, on a complex question, his views which seemed to make good sense at first glance. Also they were at once both unhappy and happy; unhappy because a specific philosophy, school of thought or a higher objective not being prescribed as the solution – it meant they had to exercise their grey cells, find and fashion it all by themselves; and, paradoxically, happy because it was entirely left to an individual’s choice or a collective volition. They agreed the profundity of what was said needed to be followed up with much more serious contemplation.
The sadas was declared closed.
With a lot on his plate to sift, select and digest, Raya sought a follow-up meeting with the guru.
Source: Inspired by a post in some aanmeega forum (cannot recall)
Images from Pinterest, amazon.in