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January 16, 2011


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Human kind cannot bear very much reality, and as buddhism per se is solely about absolute reality, very, very few "humans" are able to comprehend the immeasurable virtues found in even a single drop of such "pure" buddhism.

Let me tell you a small story by the famous Rumi.

There was in a secluded place a lake, which was fed by a running stream. And in this lake were three fishes, one very wise, the second half wise, and the third foolish. One day some fishermen passed by that lake, and having espied the fish, hastened home to fetch their nets.The fish also saw the fishermen and were sorely disquieted. The very wise fish, without a minute's delay, quitted the lake and took refuge in the running stream which communicated with it, and thus escaped the impending danger. The half wise fish delayed doing anything till the fishermen actually made their appearance with their nets. He then floated upon the surface of the water, pretending to be dead, and the fisherman took him up and threw him into the stream, and by this device he saved his life. But the foolish fish did nothing but swim wildly about, and was taken and killed by the fishermen.

Now, what are the marks of the wise man, of the half wise, and of the fool?

The wise man is he who possesses a torch of his own. He is the guide and leader of the caravan. That leader is his own director and light. That illuminated one follows his own lead. He is his own protector. Do ye also seek protection from that light whereon his soul is nurtured. The second [one] who is half wise, knows the wise man to be the light of his eyes. He clings to the wise man like a blind man to his guide, so as to become possessed of the wise man's sight. But the fool, who has no particle of wisdom, has no wisdom of his own, and quits the wise man. He knows nothing of the way, great or small, and is ashamed to follow the footsteps of the guide. He wanders into the boundless desert, sometimes halting and despairing, sometimes running. He has no lamp wherewith to light himself on his way, nor half a lamp which might recognize and seek light. He lacks wisdom, so as to boast of being alive, and also half wisdom, so as to assume to be dead. That half wise one became as one utterly dead in order to rise up out of his degradation. If you lack perfect wisdom, make yourself as dead under the shadow of the wise, whose words give life. The fool is neither alive so as to companion with 'Isa, nor yet dead so as to feel the power of 'Isa's breath. His blind soul wanders in every direction, and at last makes a spring, but springs not upwards.

Nice post. It is interesting how where Buddhism, or for that matter Yoga, have flourished in the US, it is in the context of a secularized "relax and feel good" kind of approach. The transcendent aspects are challenging, even frightening. Who wants that? :)

Once as I asked my Master on a way for humans to approach the genuine buddhadharma, he answered;

"Any culture where people bow to each other, is predestined to perish in ignorance, pride and wars.
Any culture where people do not bow to each other is equally predestined to perish in ignorance, pride and wars. if you find a way out of this dilemma then you have your answer."

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