Friday, August 02, 2013

It was time, part 2

Part 1 here.

The master went to his room and started preparing some notes for the next day's talk.

There was a knock on his door and an earnest looking man came in.  The master impatiently waved him to sit down on the floor.  The man said that he had a question.  The master nodded.

The man said: "I have a daughter who followed your instructions and started focusing only on the present.  She stopped worrying about the school exam which was many months away.  Without that worry, she wasn't motivated enough to study.  Yesterday her results came out and she had failed.  Isn't it wrong to not worry about the future?"

The master said, "What I said there wasn't meant to be taken literally.  Of course you can be happy in the present but you must plan for the future with an equanimous mind."

The man said: "But if the future contains possibilities which are unwholesome, aren't worry and fear natural responses to those possibilities?  What's wrong with fear and worry?  Also, if the past contains an experience which we want to avoid, isn't regret and its hurtful memory a way, not a guaranteed way, but at least an emotional effort, for us to avoid coming across it again?"

The master was quiet for a while.  He again tried to ward off the query, "People want to forget their pains when they come to listen to me.  My lectures are for people who are too taken up with the past or the with the future.  They are not for people like you who understand the value of past experiences and future possibilities."


The window in the room opened to a garden outside.  It was evening and the gardeners were leaving for the day.  All of them had to carry a heavy burden of their tools and the cut grass which they then sold as fodder for cows and buffaloes.

A few of them were frail and could not carry their individual burden.  The others carried those un-carried burdens in the spirit of either help or resentment.

A child lives in the present.  But its parents cannot.

The master's food was being prepared in the kitchen.  The vegetables being cooked had been sown many months back by the gardeners and had been harvested only a week back.


The man was perplexed: "How will a simple person know whether his worry is too much or if it is justified?"

The master became stern faced and said: "Nirvana is the only truth.  Rest is all becoming and preparation for that leap.  If a man falters in this world but lives in the present, he is the God of existence.  Tell your daughter, that even if she failed in the exam, she passed in the eyes of the Universe."

The man left.  It was time for the last bus to his home.

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