One Roman Senator Odious Surpluss represented the Patrician class and served for one term. He loved the idea of holding power and privilege that came with his office. When Caesar fell he wanted to fill in the role of great Caesar. He harangued at the forum, same forum where Marcus Antonious urged the mob to take vengeance on his assassins,and he cited all that he could do if power were given to him. He promised bushels of grains treble the quota given to the citizens and lands for veterans who came from their service. Hoi Polloi received it all with cheer and applause. However some were raking up his past and there were quite a few unsavory details. Rumors of his greed went around the city. One evening at one house the clique that supported Octavian asked him to speak for himself. “Did you not grab the land earmarked for the veterans who came from the Gauls?”
Senator Odious slightly went pale but he defended saying, “I can bring witnesses who came from Spain and Germany”. He rolled out names of veterans from expeditions to these regions. Octavian who had silently heard these till then, laughed and Senator Odious shuddered. Octavian said,”If we ask what you were doing up North we do not want to hear what you were not doing in the West or East.”
This reminds me of a President hopeful lately trying to prove he is the most humane and compassionate man ever applied for the office.
Posts Tagged ‘parable’
Dream within Another Dream ©
Vishnu the Arbiter of Cosmic Order was once taking ease on a lotus and he was sure he would keep himself light as a breath so as not to be a burden.
He dozed off and was disturbed by a bumble bee. He created a lotus just as the one he was resting and shooed it to drink from the new. He dozed off but he was once again woken up. The same bumble bee and the bee was in no mood to palaver. Vishnu became irritated and said, ‘go to the blazes.’ The bumble bee just ended in smoke.
Well Lord Vishnu slept soundly and after eons of time he was called to determine a case between a bumble bee and the lotus. His jaw dropped to see that the bumble bee was none another than the one he had incinerated. He turned around to see the other plaintiff. The lotus that he had created out of thin air was there. And looking rather peeved.
As Keeper of the comic order he had no choice but to get on with the case. He asked the Bumble Bee to produce his witness. Who takes the witness stand but Lord Shiva? The Lord of Destruction said it was true that it was his third eye that did the deed.
Visnu looked sternly and asked , ‘ who passed the order to kill the bee?’
Lord Shiva said, ‘You gave the order milord! In a dream!’ The god of Destruction upon cross examination explained that Lord Vishnu was part of his dream.
It was the turn of the lotus to bring forth his complaint. The plant said that the ashes of the bumble bee made him defiled for eternity.
But Lord Vishnu reasoned that the lotus could not have a reason for complaining since it was he who created out of nothing.
‘You are wrong,’ Lord Brahma said, ‘ you were in my dream and it was I created the plant because you insisted on it. ’
Transmigration of souls would make every blade of grass, rock, bumble bee or man as a dream within dream of another. It can go on ad infinitum.
Angel of Death on a Quest ©
Angel of Death heard so much about perfection that he was curious. He asked the guardian of the temple of Truth if she could enlighten him on the matter.
Truth came down steps to say, ‘I ought not be talking to you.’ The angel asked why. The transcendent beauty of Truth was in full flow. She said, ‘You ask me of all persons’. Angel of Death insisted and Truth explained that he made man confused. If it were not for him man could have stayed focused on her. In the end Truth asked the angel to try Paradise for perfection.
Thus angel of Death and Destruction went to Paradise and the 72 houris were all gamboling in the fountain of pleasures. They on seeing him quickly covered themselves. But the angel of Death sniggered and said, ‘You perfect beings! Bah!’ the angel was most annoyed and said, ‘ Whoever said you are perfection incarnate, lied. You are as hairy as a bear. If I were to hug you, I must search next for flea powder. Bah! ’ He was most irritated and he went to the earth.
His ears perked up as he heard great crowd worshiping one who was thumping the Bible. ‘Is he perfect?’ he wondered. So he showered pot full of gold. Immediately he threw the Book in order to pick up all the pieces of gold that fell about him. He was in glee since his congregation were all intent in their prayers. ‘He cannot be perfect,’ decided the angel. Next he saw a bearded rabbi who boasted he was perfect. When asked on what grounds did he come to that conclusion he said he was letter perfect. ‘No, you shall not live a moment longer’ said the angel. The angel of Death true to form struck him dead. Next he came across two fellows giving their speech before a video camera. From their speech the angel understood they were preparing themselves for martyrdom. The angel saw they had shaved themselves ritually. The angel casually asked them, ‘What next?’ The wretched fellows said, ’Paradise and houris await us’. He asked,’So you shaved yourselves?’ He could not help laughing himself. He roared in laughter unable to control himself. He could not tell them that they only shaved to add hair on those 72 houris in the most unlikeliest places.
Later on a sober reflection the angel of death had to admit the imperfect beings had no notion of truth so they merely did some mumbo-jumbo to add to their imperfection.
One may have several chances to live in many worlds and yet all these worlds shall remain an illusion if you cannot prove what you are really here and now.
Now is the day of salvation!
His Master’s Voice
Jai Paramartha of Kothipalli is a mystic who has figured in a number of my stories. He and his disciples one day came upon a village in distress. A fire broke out somewhere and was rapidly encircling the village. No wonder while Gampa Guru or Jai Paramartha came there was none who took note of him. Each one was busy salvaging whatever he could. All their livestock were saved. Nothing remained except a mongrel and it was trapped in a ring of fire.
Though the poor beast howled none came forward to claim him. Gampa Guru asked them why he was left out.
One said that they saved only those who were of some use.
“ That mutt dropped in our midst uninvited. Besides in previous birth he must have done things worthy of the fate which he faces now.”
The disciples however brought the dog to safety. The animal upon seeing Gampa Guru ran up to him and rolled about his feet. The master bent to him while the dog growled low into his ears. Villagers were curious and wanted to know what was the mutt whispering into his ears. He answered that the dog came as their guest to find out how many of them would in next birth end up as he.
When they seemed skeptical he shrugged his shoulders and said: “ If you don’t believe me ask him yourselves.”
• If life does not here and now teach you to respect life of another, reincarnation of trillion births is useless exercise.
Agastya, a householder from Tulu desam, who lived in the middle of two constantly fighting neighbors Ambu and Subbu, had enough of his life. He went to Kailas to meditate. He received in due course enlightenment and his mentor asked him to choose a gift. He chose a deity in gold as large as a man’s palm.
“Chance it is called.” The mentor commented.
“It is a good gift to make my going back to my folks worth remembering.” Before he reached his home he came along a river where one man was about to make a hole in the river. “Don’t,” Agastya ran up to him. “It is chance which brought me to save you.” To his great surprise he was Subbu, his neighbor.
Yogi Agastya gave him his image and said,” Remember Chance has saved you.” Not long after Subbu went on a journey and he carried his image for his protection. While passing through a forest he was waylaid by robbers and was killed for the gold he carried.
As soon as news reached his home Ambu the other neighbor went to the Yogi and fell at his feet and said “Chance which you brought was for my rescue. Was it not?”
Chance has to be explained in terms of total interaction of life-forms. There is a wise old saw’ An open door may tempt a saint.’ Human nature being what it is, god-man or whom we call a saint upon insufficient evidences, is a scoundrel waiting to be found out. The saint sees an open door and think of chance. But if he takes it what is he? Certainty is settled by actions.
A Bionic Horse Am I ©
Pegasus who hovered above the rooftops was as white as snow. “ Come one! Come All!,” the horse snorted and champed as if he knew a trick or two. The man who had for 40 years worked on accounts for a money-lender in a dim-lit room closed the door behind him. With it he had closed his working life forever. He heard the steed swishing his silvery wings by the sharp sun. “ Will you give me a ride?” he asked wistfully,
“One who has never rode a horse, let alone played with a rocking horse?”
“Come, I shall show such sights as never did a man see. Glorious sights, for free!”
A free ride! It was not to be missed. It sealed the fate of the man aged before his time. He asked the horse to climb a little lower and he managed to climb and sit on the beast. The horse explained that his wings were a mechanical marvel, and also his head. “ Look well into it and see for yourself. ” Pegasus took off and the man after he had got over the initial nervousness watched all the sights his eyes could take in.
“Terrible!” replied the man, “ you gave me a free ride and you made sure my life is forever broken to bits.” With a curse the man asked Pegasus to let him go on his way. “ So you shall!” Pegaus said.
“No thanks you shall receive from me!” he was certain, “ I looked and saw with my eyes the worst of my kind.”
“ Your eyes deceived you.” The horse replied, “ You sought out what you wanted to see. Had you looked through my eyes you would have seen something different.”
The horse flew off since it was late.
Life And Art
While Jesus passed through Bethany one of the local worthies took to himself to guide the master around. At one place a cloaked figure suddenly bolted out of sight. “Rabbi you see that man who ran into the alley?” Jesus stopped in his tracks.
“He is Lazarus,- the man whom you brought out from death,” said the guide,” you gave him life back so he may sin more”. Jesus already knew that Lazarus who never strayed from the straight and narrow in his life had sought pleasures, darkest ones since he got a new lease of life. Jesus sighed and said, “ I gave life since it was in my power to do so. May be it teaches him now a new way to celebrate life.” He turned the topic to something else. At one deserted place a man was trying to hang a rope from one of the branches of an olive tree. The guide said with awe, “ The man from Gadarenes. Didn’t you drive so many demons out of him?”
Yes he was none other than the one who called himself Legion. Jesus knew he was a very brilliant performer who once earned pots of gold around Judea and in Rome by performing tricks. The man had lost his art from the moment Jesus cured him of his demonic possession. On seeing Jesus the man cringed and wailed, “ Oh Rabbi I had foolishly asked you to cure me of demons. Had I known that I would lose my art and source of income I would not have let you in.” Jesus approached him and asked, “ Say the word, my Father will grant a new way of life and wisdom to earn a decent living”.
The man broke down and wept and said,” You and your God! Since you healed me I lost faith in God. Completely!”(c)
( Selected from my book- Fablescape soon to be published)
Mr. Success and the Stranger
Mr. Success went through cities in a carriage drawn by Hard Work, Grit, Chance and Luck, four sturdy fellows of pleasant features. One day as he came into a city the crowd as usual came to him dazzled by his person; they wanted to touch him and be seen with him. They sure adored Mr. Success. They asked him for advice but he did not answer them. His attention was drawn to one who stood apart from them. After observing how they ignored him, Mr. Success called him up and said with a grin, “ Pardon me, it seems the folks avoid you like a plague.”
“Well, they are so taken up with you.” “ But I don’ t oblige all.” Replied Mr. Success.
“ Isn’t it a shame?” asked the stranger,“ I am related to all of them, yet claimed by none.”
“ Who are you?” Mr. Success asked.“ Death,” Said the stranger.