Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Story 03 -- Who Cares?

Brahmachari Visvabandhu, after long years of service in the ashram, approached his Guru Prabuddapada and asked for the supreme knowledge, knowing which there will be nothing more to be known.The Guru taught every mantra that is in the scriptures and asked him to meditate and realize the Truth for himself.Brahmachari Visvabandhu retired to the forest and contemplated for twelve years and came back and reported to the Guru." Guruji, I realized the effulgent immortal self in me, beyond the five sheaths, transcending the three bodies, the witness of waking, dream, and deep sleep and of the nature of sat-chit-ananda."" That is all after twelve years of meditation, go and do it again" said the Guru.Brahmachari Visvabandhu went into the forest again to practice stricter form of meditation. Twelve years passed. There was a glow on is face when he returned to report to the Guru. " I realized the all pervading effulgent self of my heart shining equally in all beings, there is only one Self, the self of all." said the excited Brahmachari to his Guru."Go away, these things you can read in the books" rebuked the Guru, unimpressed.Undeterred Visvabandhu retired once again to the seclusion of the forest. He meditated, practiced severe forms of pranayama, chanted difficult mantras, stood on his head for long hours in rain, lived on dry leaves and water and finally the realization dawned on him and he came back and announced." Param Pujya Guruji, I realized to my consternation and wonder that the Self that shine in me, in you and in all is the same Self that manifest as this visible panoramic world of names and forms, of flora and fauna- the mountains, rivers, forests, stars, babies, bats and baboons. There is only One, not many"The old wise Guru looked at the overwhelmed disciple quizzically and said, " this what you said even a third rate poet knows and write about. Go and dig deep".Brahmachari Visvabandhu was at his wit's end. He somehow dragged himself to the wild forest to continue his meditation, for he knew not nothing better.This time he wandered in the deep forest thinking nothing, feeling nothing, doing nothing, being nothing, knowing nothing, wanting nothing... he just floated with the rhythm of the breeze. After a long long time he came to his Guru. This time he had a hallow, and he spoke in riddles."Revered Guruji, he paused and continued. I am enlightened. There is nothing- no self, no world, no me, no you, no mind, no mindlessness, no ego , no beyond ego, no bon adage, no liberation, no cause, no effect, no karma, no doer, no enjoyer, no destination, no destiny, no silence. And the formless void is form and form is formless void"Hearing Vasubanndhu's declaration the Guru roared in laughter and said in mock anger, " you stupid why waste my time, these I have heard umpteen times from Buddha the Gautama onwards. With out wasting my time any further go and meditate."The emaciated, and weak from long and arduous austerities, Brahmachari Visvabandhu staggered back and disappeared into the twilight of the forest. Years after years elapsed. Seasons came and went. The Brahmachari did not return. The Guru grew restless and anxious. One day the old Guru decided himself to go to the forest and enquire the well being of his dear disciple. After a long search he found Visvabandhu sitting on a lake feeding ducks. The Guru approached him with overflowing love and asked, " How are you, dear! Did you find what you searched for?".While brushing off drops of water on the duck's back, Brahmachari Visvabandhu indifferently said, " WHO CARES!"Those words echoed and re-echoed through the wilderness of the forest.

Swami Bodhananda.

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