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Archive for the ‘fables’ Category

Al- Hanifa the fierce was a man who had no education and seemingly no wealth as those who had amassed wealth by industry careful attention to managing their capital, labor and industry. He started as a small time thief picking from the many cargoes that were unloaded in the city harbor. In the rough and tumble world he soon rose high and could name his price and the ship owners paid what was demanded. He made money. How to keep all that money without paying tax? He bought a large sprawling godown with one door and began a sweat shop. In order to save expenses he did not care to provide ventilation or fire alarm or first aid. He made workers work longer hours almost for nothing.
Al- Hanifa was a man to reckon with. He could demolish churches if he were paid enough. He paid alms as the Word dictated and still saved from what he withheld as wages to his workers. He could at the wag of a finger muster an army of ruffians to riot, pillage and wreck business of merchant-princes. Once people found his unassailable position those who wanted to settle private scores hired him. The other day it was to attack a diplomat whose only fault was in his own country some stupid fellows made a provocative film of the prophet. Al Hanifa immediately arranged the army of hooligans and some fundamentalists supplied anti-aircraft guns and sophisticated weapons to cause maximum damage.
Unfortunately a week after his godown was gutted by an accident and so died some 400 workers in fire.
When he complained to his handlers the college of Mullahs told him that it was an accident. It didn’t help his case. The widows and children of workers lynched him one night since they did not get any compensation.
The mullahs who used him for their dirty work did not tell him was it was the Moral order that paid him back. It operates at human level and in a way the wicked and violent man will understand. Thus it was with al-Hanifa.
Al-Hanifa lived violently and died violently. Poetic justice it is called.
moral: man who operates for short term gains unjustly has taken refuge in a shooting gallery. Chance in a shooting gallery where certainty is almost a foregone conclusion.

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In the star Sirius there is only one inhabitable planet that is called False. The men and women lived quietly in the shade since the dog-star burst and spewed great many ideas in wake of solar flares. Some suddenly would strip themselves and dance around a tree or two and speak utter nonsense. But in a planet like False the wizened old men would nod their heads and say,’they are shooting wind. We have heard so many and none has spoken against the grain of our existence.’ The inhabitants were as we might here on earth say,’wise men.’
One day a man came. Whether he surfed the solar roller coster of a giant flare or in a space shuttle I cannot tell.
He urged them to think of eternity. ‘I give you a religion where all you need to do is obey a set of rules. Five times you bow your rear to the Andromeda galaxy and leave your nostril clean; and mouth shut unless you want to speak something fair and in praise of your fellow men.’ He lived and he raised a family. Before he left he said,’Above all things don’t you make the error of having any creature between you and your Maker.No Priest talk but do what is good and speak what is set down in the book of rules.’ All agreed that it was indeed spoken like a great prophet.
Years went on and the family of the prophet chose from among them the Grand Turk of Bazaar that was the capital city. Eons later the prophet came to see how it fared in the planet False. There were great many exhortation Halls for the inhabitants to converge and there were thousands of teachers all claiming authority on the Prophet’s wise sayings.
The Old prophet went everywhere and no one recognized him. He asked the teachers if there were some rules left by the founder of their religion.
No one knew what the old man was harping about.
In the end he was taken to the Grand Turk of Bazaar who politely heard the old man and said,’ In this planet called False what set of rules you require? What I say is Law; every thing else is false.’

Poor prophet as he went back to his home he kept on muttering,I went as wise man and now I return sad and broken.’
This fable reminds me of Andre Rafflovich a wealthy Russian who settled in a fashionable area of London. Oscar Wilde knew him and on one occasion he said,’ Poor Andre! he came to London to found a salon. Instead he ended with a saloon’. This is how all religions have ended up.’

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The head of the family was an angel. So pure and highminded the Ancient of the Days called him one day and said,” Down to the earth you go!” He ordered,” this instant.”
Me- Righteous, the angel took the form of a Native Indian and before he could count the toes of his feet he had got a family and three children. What’s more he had Hurons for neighbors. Me-Righteous counselled Hurons how to plant corn and skin furs from otters; he taught them many useful things with which the tribe prospered. Naturally Me-Righteous become the patriarch. Everyday he taught his three sons: they were highminded, righteous and men of peace. One son taught the Hurons to trade and the second how to negotiate with those who were contrary. The third taught them to build settlements and manage lands. Under their guidance the tribe prospered. It was least expected but the French came to the scene and they had powerful muskets and technology that impressed the Hurons. They had to make peace with them in order to suvive. The Iroquois being envious of the Hurons instantly allied with the Dutch who also had firearms and lethal weapons.
Old Me-Righteous was old and by the time he woke up he found the whole area up in arms and blood was being shed wholesale. He called his three sons and faulted them for letting matter slide into blood feud.
“ How come you have failed me?” the old man asked in bitter tears.
“Oh father we shall answer you after you put the same question to the Great Spirit in the Blue Yonder,”replied the eldest son.
There is something mighty peculiar: We rear our children with the best of intentions and give them every advantage our moral sense is capable of. Yet we fail to stop the evil from coming in. A Bermuda triangle into which, our ‘goodness’ disappears and none can be individually held responsible for.
benny

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Brahma the Creative genius in the Trinity one day saw a caterpillar struggling to tackle a fat green leaf without much success. In a fit of mad thought he said,’I could make you a mighty prince, paragon of all virtues that any woman would give her life for.’
‘Virtue what is that? is it juicy or dry? Please let it be not acidic.’ Brahma roared with laughter.
He said, ‘I am going to set you in the bed room of the most handsome princess of Hastinapuram. You shall know what it is like. Direct experience, that shall be your best teacher.’
Instantly the caterpillar turned into a handsome young man whose muscles rippled with power. He felt it run through his body. He looked around in that dim light. A figure sat up. It was the princess. She writhed with pleasure. ” A vision! I could die for the pleasure’.
The young man hastened to her saying,’I am the answer to your prayers, O princess!’
She shrieked and said,’You have stepped in between my dream and me. How cruel!
The man just stood there astounded.
She was pointing to a moth that had come fluttering in. She rudely waved away the man and said lovingly to the new comer,’Oh my dream lover! I prayed all these years and observed vows to please the Incomparable Shiva. I am ready if you are, o lover.
Immediately she turned into a burst of flame and the moth threw himself into the funeral pyre.
It snapped something in that young man. He just crumbled to ashes.
Aeons later Lord Shiva was chatting with Brahma and he narrated the curious prayer of the princess of Hastinapuram. Brahma became curious and said he had transformed a caterpillar and sent the young man to her bed chamber. Shiva filled in gaps and Brahma fell silent. He shrugged his shoulder to dismiss the incident saying,’ Not even gods can understand what young girls look for in a man, these days!’
Moral: Vision of prophets speaks only a part. Little do they realize there is more to it.

benny

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Zeus and the Council of gods got all the creatures, almost all of them built to their satisfaction. There still remained some lump and they did not know what to do with it. Zeus slapped hard the putty-like stuff around. At one point the goddess of Agriculture said,’Aye, it looks almost like a sheep!’ Zeus stopped and said,’Sheep of the pasture, it cannot be then.” He waited for a suggestion. He scanned the horizon and saw there were vast stretches of pasture dried under global warming. ‘Ship of the desert!’ said Ganymede who was meanwhile filling their cups with wine.
The gods liked the idea. ‘I will send a couple of camels to fill that part of the world’. It was thus camels became staple feature of deserts.
When the ice age began there were marshes, and camels seeing hippos frolicking, thought they could be as strong as they. Later they saw wild assess gamboling and prayed Zeus to give something of their nature to them. Later it was giraffe that caught their imagination. ‘Oh Chief god, make us tall as they are. Ah what a curve!’ they bristled at their own hippo-like necks. Zeus often distracted by their incessant wishes,’ You shall have them all. Go and become a kind of entire animal kingdom in that impossible body of yours!’
Thus a camel carries the global warming and ice age; it has the sturdiness of hippos and bones and teeth like those of wild asses, rough hairiness of sheep’s wool. Camel had only one complaint,’We carry so much water within. Why must we carry for others?’ Zeus weary to his bone said,’Stop this nonsense.You shall need it. I am sending you to waste heaps, as a beast of burden.’
This is how camels who wanted to be sheep of the pasture ended as ship of the desert.
benny

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A fuller whose job is to make the clothes shine had large grounds. He thought someone else could set up his trade there. He knew the rent would add to his profits. So he sent advertisements all around for some trader or an artisan to move in. One day a collier dropped in. He was interested. All he needed was a furnace and space for storing firewood. ‘Just let me in. I look after my needs and pay rent on the day agreed and give you no trouble’,said he.
The fuller took the collier to show his line of business. ‘See I only need sunshine and space to hang all the clothes bleached to dry out.’
The collier showed him in his turn how he worked. ‘See that chimney stack. It takes all the smoke and will not trouble you or me.’
The fuller however was not convinced. He said, ‘you shall keep your end of the bargain.I know. Unfortunately we share the same sky. I need the sun to make my clothes shine spotless and keep their whiteness. But can I trust wind or your smoke? I know you mean no harm. But the wind may blow all that smoke onto my space and undo my hard work. It is better that you go elsewhere. It will give me peace.’
The State and Religion cannot mix. There are so many imponderables and not a single state has been saved by religion. Instead Religion has only defeated every effort of best of men who would give peace to men within the state. Look at Spain under the Moors. How the Moors and Christians fought for its control? Imagine what would have been the case had the Moors still controlled Spain? It would have been another Syria under Bashar Assad or Libya. Now Spain under the Catholic Church produced Franco. With the Church interfering every horror man could think of under the sun has come one after the other: Inquisition, civil war, stolen children, forced adoption,sex abuse. For all the iron heel of church or dictatorship what is the economic situation? Unemployment is very high and Recession is very much there. If one looks where Spain (or any other nation where religion plays a vital role), it will be clear where these nations stand in terms of happiness.(OECD.org) Religion has been man’s own device to make him fall headlong into the pit of misery. Religion and State have been devil’s prescription for man’s pride that makes him think he is in control of his own destiny.
Remember Guernica? Remember Bali Bombing?
benny

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A Dream By Half©

There was a scholar in Aleppo who was ridiculed by his neighbors. They
were mostly artisans or traders who traded in useful goods and they faulted him “Why study dreams or speak with spirits of the dead?” they asked him.
“I study dreams because I dream myself.” The scholar defended himself. “What about speaking with the spirits of the dead?” “Perhaps I might learn something from my ancestors.” His neighbors snorted at his pigheadedness and left him alone.
A few weeks later the scholar had a dream in which his ancestor visited him and asked, ‘What are you doing with my wealth?’ “ Your wealth? Will you speak plainly?”
‘I had left all my wealth, fearing that my enemies were after me, at the bottom of a dry well behind the house.’ His ancestor described the exact spot and what to look for. Next day the scholar went down into the well and discovered the treasure. But the news of his find got around. It reached the ears of the sultan. The sultan immediately confiscated the treasure trove according to the law of the land. The scholar was at least thankful to the sultan that his life was spared. What was more, a royal pension allowed him to pursue his scholarly interests.
A few months later he had another dream in which his ancestor appeared again to ask the whereabouts of his wealth. ‘You were right grandfather. Your enemies finally got around to it by legal means.’
A dream is left handed version of reality. Only trouble is that you need to let reason rearrange it.If it has not happened as foreseen your rational mind has still an escape clause that it went wrong only as far as sleep had a hand in it.
benny

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