Musings Of An Idle Philosopher

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Swatchha Bharat (Clean India)

Swatchha Bharat

He asked the old man for some advice.

The old man turned to him: ‘Have you ever washed utensils?’

What an odd thing to ask! Mildly irritated he said, ‘Yes, what of it?’

‘What did you learn?’

‘What is there to learn from it? All that one does is to scrub it clean.’

The old man smiled at him: ‘Yes, you’re right…but it’s done harder on the inside than on the outside.’

 

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Source: Strictly not a word-by-word translation of the original from Pinterest, possibly a zen story.

A Love Story

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” A piece of glass shatters, sighing

it was the promise of a stone to be its protector.”

 

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Source: Pinterest

 

 

The Bad And The Good

Sanmargam

good and bad

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Source: Pinterest

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What You See Is Not What You Get

Sanmargam

The weather was threatening to turn for the worse accompanied by lightning and thunder dazzling the sky with their fireworks. The trees were swaying perilously to heavy winds.

floodA little sparrow struggling to hold itself aloft approached a large tree standing on the banks of a river seeking shelter.

The tree refused point-blank asking it to go somewhere else, all its pleas falling on deaf ears.  Thereupon the dejected sparrow went up to another tree that was located some distance away. The second tree obliged, taking the bird under its wings and ending its search.

Shortly after, the clouds unloaded their goods with a ferocity that caused the river to swell in no time and break its banks.  The deluge washed away the ground soil causing the trees standing on the banks to topple.

The sparrow was saddened to see the nay-saying tree falling down and being swept away mercilessly…

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You’re Not Alone!

About This And That

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Source: Buzzfeed.com

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The Wrath Of A Yogi Meets The Wisdom Of A Guru

One evening a guru and his sishya (disciple), on their way to Kashi, reached the village, Peroor.

The village wore a deserted look. Not a living soul in sight save a few stray dogs eyeing them suspiciously. The sishya threw a few pieces of roti at them making themselves welcome.

They saw the shrine at the far end of the main street. None besides the priest at the shrine though it remained open. The priest welcomed them with cordiality that surprised them, gave them water for wash and seated them comfortably on a cot. He further told them they could have dinner with him and spend the night at the shrine and continue with their journey in the morning. Won’t he be discommoded? He assured them he would in fact consider himself blessed to be hosting them for the night.

Meal over, they were relaxing on the cot enjoying the silence broken now and then by a cool breeze whooshing through the leafy trees around. It was then the guru asked the priest:

‘Where’s everybody? Didn’t see a man or a woman or even a child playing. Isn’t it a little early retiring for the night?’

The priest suddenly lost his cheer: ‘Guruji, it’s a long story. If you’re too tired and wanting to go to sleep I won’t bother you with it now. Perhaps in the morning…’

Guru: ‘You got us hooked. Go ahead and tell us all about it. Sleep can wait.’

Priest: ‘Alright…It all happened years ago when I was a kid though I don’t remember any of it first hand. This story – I heard it when I was in teens from my father who was also a priest here before me.’

The priest’s story:

One evening it was just after the sun had dipped below the horizon.

A yogi and his disciple trudged their way to the village, exhausted and hungry.

The village in those days was just a main street lined with houses on either side with a few lanes teeing off and a small shrine and a pond a little away from the street – it’s still much the same as you’ll see. Fertile soil and agriculture worked wonders making the villagers prosperous.

It was the day of the weekly market. The small ground in front of the shrine was bustling with buyers and sellers from this and near-by villages. So it would be at least for an hour more. Vegetables, grains, pots and pans, groceries, clothes, toys, eats…there were even some rides for the children. It was more like a small rural fair.

The visitors were roundly ignored by the villagers busy with themselves, noticed only by a bunch of boisterous boys and their dogs barking and snarling frightfully taking them to be beggars or worse, thieves…

The boys taunted them, gesturing them to go away. One of the boys even threw a log of wood at the disciple hurting him in his leg. And laughing at him as the poor man winced in pain. While the boys ‘amused’ themselves at their expense, no one from the village inquired of them or came to their aid. No time for a couple of irksome mendicants that a market place usually attracted, many of them fake.

yogi1 spiritualsuperpower com

The yogi became furious at this lack of hospitality to the point of utter disregard and even physical assault. The disciple trembled with premonition seeing an angry guru. Pouring out water from his kamandalam and reciting some mantra’s the yogi cursed the village thus:

In the village of Peroor those coming out of their houses later than sun-set tomorrow would break their legs like my disciple here on taking their first steps. And so it’ll be every evening. The curse would lift on the first rays of the morning sun and be so until the sun sets in the evening. If they dare coming out again, they would lose all their fortune. And third time – the house would come down crashing on them unexpectedly. There would be no fourth time. No power on earth may revoke this curse.

The yogi decided not spend anytime in the village. As he was going away seething in unabated anger, the village headman and my father ran to him, hearing about it from the boys and somehow feeling in their guts this was for real. They prostrated before him grabbing his feet seeking a thousand apologies for the negligence and the offence.

The yogi could not be mollified easily.

The headman and my father kept up with the yogi in his long and brisk strides, going all the way to the outskirts of the village, pleading for release from the harsh curse.

The yogi finally relented only so far as to let people go out in the night to seek medical help if needed for the sick. Nothing more.

My father continued to press on the yogi, yes, respectfully, for mitigation. Even gods allowed for a release when they cursed anyone.

Thereupon the yogi said there would be a wise guru coming at the same time of the day to our village. No telling when, though it wouldn’t be anytime soon. If he is happy with our hospitality, he may choose to be our savior.

That’s as best it got.

The yogi advised the headman and my father to return to the village. And in future to attend to holy men with greater care.

So he walked away with his disciple into the night never looking back once.

The priest ended this story: ‘So here we’re waiting and waiting for our savior to appear. Meanwhile years have rolled by with no relief. We had learnt our lessons the hard way, never giving holy men visiting us thereafter any cause to be unhappy. In fact everyone of them is welcomed with genuine warmth and, of course, us looking to him expectantly if he would be the man we’re waiting for.’

Guru: ‘Didn’t the yogi tell you how you would recognize him?’

Priest: ‘We did ask him. What he said sounded like a riddle. He said to take the holy men visiting us to the market place. The wise among them, he meant our savior, would know all by himself if he could and would save us. Since then we did take every visitor to the market place to no avail. They were clueless, all expressing their impotency in face of the yogi’s curse.’

Guru: ‘Yes, it sounds like a riddle. I wonder…why the market place?’

Priest: ‘Perhaps because that’s where everyone was making merry that evening unfortunately ignoring the yogi and the harassment he suffered.’

Guru: ‘Could be like you said, the yogi was rubbing his point in.’

Priest: ‘Needless to add, in the days following the incident Peroor did see a few of its men lose their legs. A couple of them saw their fertile fields turn barren for no reason. And at least there was one house crash, my father told me.’

Priest: ‘I must also tell you this: On the following morning after the yogi left, a stone tablet appeared mysteriously at the market place with the curse etched verbatim. To this day, it stands there. We can see it in the morning if you wish.’

Guru: ‘Interesting. Let’s go over in the morning as you say.’

The priest fetched a couple of spare cots he had stowed away. Tired from the journey, the guru and his sishya readily fell asleep. The priest was awake for quite a while with thoughts swirling in his head before he yielded to the charms of nidra devi (Morpheus).

Early morning completing his ablutions and nithya karma, the guru was ready to leave the village intending to cover a good distance before the sun got hot overhead; of course with a brief halt at the market place as he had promised the priest, to be done after the sun peeked out with his first rays. Who knew if visitors were exempted? The guru did not want to take chances with the yogi.

At the market place they stood before the stone tablet eyeing the etched curse.

Guru: ‘I had meant to ask you this yesterday…If this village is cursed thus, why did you all not move away? That would be the easiest thing to do.’

Priest: ‘No, Guruji. This is the ancestral place for everyone here with their houses, fields, orchards, pond, this shrine of the kuldeva’s…tended for generations. The soil here is very fertile, much better than places around. Agriculture has rewarded the villagers bountifully. Affluence screams from roof-tops. No strife, no sickness…all in all a great place to live but for the curse.’

The guru’s attention was divided between listening to what the priest said and what he read on the tablet.

In the meantime the village headman and a few early-risers who had work to do in the fields joined them.

The guru then sat down on the floor in front of the tablet; he withdrew from the present eyes closed losing himself in deep meditation.

cartoon-yogi-meditating fasab wordpress com

A little later, he got up dusting himself.

Guru: ‘The yogi feels contrite over his harsh action and that the curse has endured for so long. But what’s done cannot be undone. He’s very eager to see the village released from his curse. I’ve his blessings to work on it.’

Expressing regret over his inability to stay back until the matter is resolved satisfactorily, he instructed the headman what needed to be done. And assured them this would take them off the hook.

The headman and the priest saw no harm in carrying it out. At worst it meant some wasted effort and disappointment ensuing. But for some reason they felt it would work out this time.

They gave a fond farewell to the guru and his sishya, accompanying them to the outskirts of the village, tears of gratitude clouding their eyes and choking their words.

The news quickly spread causing a lot of excitement all around.

But there was work to do, cut out for them by the guru, before the day ran out.

A small knee-high wall was built fully and closely encircling the tablet. A pole was planted inside the structure carrying a signage reading ‘Peroor’. Another similar pole was erected in the market place at a distance from the structure.

It was almost sun-set when the job was completed.

Everyone scrambled to get behind shuttered doors of their houses.

Now only the orange glow filled the horizon.

A little later somewhere a door opened noisily.

A figure was seen making it to the shrine. No limp there.

As the headman clanged the bell at the shrine without let up, doors opened one by one. Steps were taken tentatively.

In a minute, the entire village emptied itself onto the main street…

The jubilation and revelry continued well past midnight in Siroor and well, why not?

Yes, the village was born again that night as Siroor as the signage on the second pole at the market place proudly proclaimed.

The village of Peroor, still bearing the curse with no prospect of release as decreed by the yogi, was now simply a small enclave enclosed by a wall with its own signage and no inhabitants.

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Source: Images from spiritualsuperpower.com and fasab.wordpress.com