Friday, August 11, 2017

Meaningless

One day the Master was in deep slumber under the banyan tree; or so we presumed. Nearby his followers and I sat discussing what he had told us in the morning. Some of us marvelled at his words, some pondered, some revered, and some were clearly bewildered. But we all agreed that whatever the Master said were surely wise even if we didn’t understand the full purport. And then one enthusiastic disciple said, a bit louder than the rest... Master is always right.

I am never right. The Master spoke despite his shut eyes.
Then are you always wrong? I jested.

I am never wrong. The Master responded. Now his eyes were open and twinkling mischievously.

But how can that be? One woman asked. You cannot be both right and wrong at the same time. You must be one or the other.

Tell me sister, the Master asked the lady: is it day or night?
It is day Master. She said cautiously.

You are both right and wrong. You are right because it is day here where you are and the day that you can see, but somewhere on the Earth, right now it is night that you cannot see, so you are wrong as well. I asked you objectively is it day or night? And you presumed that I asked for this place where we are physically right now. Similarly if we ask is it cold or hot, and somewhere it is cold and somewhere it is hot. So the answer is equally right or wrong. What you may find beautiful might be ugly to someone else, what is food to you might be another’s poison. What I say might be wise to you but to another might sound foolish.

But that is so confusing, if everything is both right and wrong. How do we know what we should listen to?

Hear what I say, the Master explained, but listen to what I don’t say. Read the words that I utter, but understand those I don’t. Emptiness makes up most of the universe, yet without it, the world will collapse and would not sustain. Within the nothingness lies everything. For something to mean we must have much more of the meaningless.


I may not mean what I say but do I mean what I don’t?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Colourless

As I walked beside the Master one afternoon, ambling and enjoying the fresh mountain breeze, silently submerged in our respective thoughts. Shortly we came across a beautiful emerald lake that was known for its rejuvenating waters. Many pilgrims travelled from afar to dip into the waters to cure of their ailments. As we skirted the lake, many of the devotees greeted the Master reverently. Everybody knew of him.

A little ahead, we came to an old man of stout health, dipping himself vigorously into the lake. Master paused to stare at the old man with amusement writ large upon his face. I too stopped and stared. Soon the old man noticed the Master and literally jumped out of the lake. He approached us and fell at the Master’s feet.

Master, he said, please tell me how to get rid of my pain and miseries. I have been to all the holy lakes and have been immersing myself but I am still in agony. I don’t know what to do anymore.

My brother, Master said, by immersing yourself into holy lakes you only get rid of the dirt and grime of your body. Not that of the mind and soul. For that you got to immerse your mind and soul along with your body.

How can I do that? The old man asked much puzzled.

What is the colour of this lake? Master posed.

Blue, the old man replied instantly. You are mistaken my friend, Master said, the water is colourless, it only reflects what falls upon its glassy surface, therefore appearing blue right now due to the blue sky above but orange at dawn and dusk. It has no colour because it doesn’t hold on to anything. Similarly your pains and miseries refuse to go away since you refuse to let go. You are holding on to them for your dear life yet they take life away from you.


Let them go and become colourless like the lake.