28 Mar 2010

Moral of the stories

Story 1
On his eighteenth birthday, his master sent the boy out into the world to spread the teachings of their Grand Master amongst the common people.  He was to survive by begging for his meals in the time-honoured bhikshuk tradition.  (Bhikshuk in Hindi means a monk who begs for his food.)

Descending from the mountain monastery, which was the only abode the young man had known in his life thus far, the sights and sounds of the city streets amaze him.  Odd creatures walk around, mixing with the men of the city.  Male children he has seen before but these other creatures who look strange, dress, walk, and speak differently, are a mystery to him.

Soon he is hungry.  As he has been instructed, he holds his begging bowl in his hands and stands near the threshold of a small dwelling.  The householder welcomes the young monk in and washes his feet to show respect.  He then calls his teenaged daughter who walks into the room and fills the monk's bowl with grain; enough for that day and the next seven.  She joins her hands in a graceful namaste and smiles a respectful greeting.

The young man cannot now hold back his questions.  He asks the man who the creature is and is told.  He points to her breasts and asks what they are.  The father of the girl knows about all-male cloisters of monks who live in the higher regions in absolute seclusion until they become eighteen years old.  He is not offended by the innocent questions.  He explains the purpose of breasts.  In some years, his daughter would be married and milk from her from breasts would feed the babies she would bear.

The young man stands still in contemplation for a while and then hastily returns all the extra grain that he has taken.  He says he will accept food enough for that one day only.  And when the householder asks him why he was returning a major portion of the offering, the initiate turns to him and answers: 'My master told me tot take enough only for one day.  I disobeyed him when I took more than what I would need for today.  But I now see my mistake in being concerned about tomorrow.  When arrangements are already in place to provide food for a child who will be born many days from today, I am a fool to worry about what I will eat tomorrow.'

[Taken from One Life to Ride by Ajit Harisinghani.]

Story 2
In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"

"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."

"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "We have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger - while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.

[Aesop's 'The Ant and the Grasshopper' story, copied verbatim from eastoftheweb.com.]

Moral of the stories: There’s an interesting and convincing story about every damn thing!

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