A worldly man was seeking Nirvana – true enlightenment.
So – he renounced worldly life.
He took a strict “vow of celibacy” – which was the sine qua non – an essential condition – for attaining enlightenment and achieving a state of nirvana.
The man then headed for the hills to live an ascetic existence of a hermit.
He found a secluded cave where he began his simple contemplative meditative life.
He survived on natural wild vegetation in the forest – and he began his journey towards his quest for enlightenment and attaining nirvana.
One day – he noticed holes in his robe.
He discovered that there were lots of rats in the cave– and these rats were chewing off his robes.
Soon – the rats were nibbling at his toes and disturbing his meditation.
Perplexed – he went down to the town – and he consulted his Guru.
The Guru said: “No problem. The solution is simple. Get a cat.”
“A cat...?” asked the man, perplexed.
“The cat will take care of the rats...” the Guru said.
So our nirvana seeking man got a cat – and he took it up to his cave.
The cat took care of the rats – and the man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.
A few days later – the cat had eaten up all the rats in the cave.
As there were no rats left to eat – the cat started feeling hungry.
One day – the famished cat started moaning with hunger.
The constant moaning and crying of the cat disturbed the man’s meditation.
So – the man again rushed to consult his Guru.
“Get a cow...” the Guru advised the man.
“A cow...?” the man exclaimed in astonishment.
“Yes. The cow will yield milk with which you can feed your cat and satiate its hunger...” the Guru said.
So – the man got a cow.
He took the cow up with him – and he tied the cow outside his cave.
Now the man would spend some time milking the cow – then feeding the cat with cow’s milk – and then settle down for his meditation.
A few days later the cow stopped giving milk – and the cow mooed loudly in a sad tone.
The hungry cat too had started moaning again.
Totally disturbed by the shrill anguished moaning of the hungry cat – and loud disquieting mooing of the starving cow – the wise man ran to his Guru once again to seek his advice.
“Buy some seeds and plant them. Grow grass. Water your garden and tend to the plants. The crop will give food for the cow and for you...” the Guru said.
The man planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and for himself.
However – now the man had to spend so much time tending to his garden – feeding and milking his cow – and giving milk to his cat – that he hardly got any time for meditation.
He rushed to his Guru again for help.
The Guru once again had a ready solution:
“There is a young woman – she is a widow – poor thing – she is a destitute woman. She will look after everything – she will take care of all your needs – and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.”
So – the man took the young woman up with him to the cave.
It was indeed a wonderful arrangement.
The young woman looked after everything.
The garden bloomed – cow and cat flourished – and the wise man could do his meditation undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment – and he was on the path to nirvana.
Then – the winter season came – and it started getting cold.
One day it began to snow – and the temperature fell to sub-zero.
The young woman started to shiver due to the freezing cold.
Soon – the woman could not bear the freezing cold any longer.
So the woman snuggled into the wise man’s bed.
She still felt cold.
So the woman tightly embraced the man with her arms.
But this was not enough – and she continued to feel cold – so the woman put her legs around the man.
But – even now – she still felt cold – so she put her entire body in physical contact with his body – since that was the only way for her to keep warm.
Now tell me – which man can resist the tight embrace of an attractive woman in the prime of her life...?
His “vow of celibacy” lay shattered.
And so – with the “vow of celibacy” broken – there ended the man’s quest for enlightenment and nirvana.
Soon – with all his new possessions to look after (the cat, the cow, and the woman) – the man returned back to the material world.
He began to live a worldly life as he used to do before – the same busy worldly life from where he had begun his journey towards enlightenment to attain Nirvana.
The “wise” man was back to square one.
His dreams to attain a state of Nirvana remained unrealized – as he got busy with his worldly life.
MORAL OF THE STORY NO. 1 (for retired persons)
RETIREMENT MEANS NIRVANA
Metaphorically – retirement is supposed to be “nirvana”.
And “celibacy” is the essential prerequisite to attain a state of “nirvana”.
In the context of retirement – metaphorically – “celibacy” means “burning your bridges” to your previous material world – cutting off from your work life – disengaging yourself from financial matters – minimizing day-to-day activities and chores which are “disturbances” – and focussing on whatever is your “nirvana”.
Once you retire – you are supposed to give up all your “worldly” activities – and attain a state of bliss.
But – does everyone do that...?
I have seen that – for many retired persons – there is no difference between their “retired” life and earlier “busy” work life.
Even after you retire – you keep getting involved in various worldly affairs due to which you are not able to achieve the idyllic state of a blissful retired life.
Read the Story again.
And think about all the worldly activities which are hampering your quest for a tranquil and blissful retired life.
Is your retired life “Nirvana”...?
Are you living the tranquil life you always wanted to life in your autumn years...?
Have you “switched off”...?
Or – are you still entangled in the hurly-burly of worldly affairs...?
MORAL OF THE STORY NO. 2 (for everyone)
LESS BAGGAGE – MORE COMFORT – BETTER TRAVEL
The Indian Railways had a slogan:
“LESS BAGGAGE – MORE COMFORT”
Passengers were exhorted to carry less baggage on the train journey for a better travel experience.
This applies to the journey of life as well.
Every material acquisition – and every relationship – bring some “baggage” along with them.
And this “baggage” can sometimes reduce the quality of our journey of life.
Suppose you buy a house – or a car – there will be some “baggage” along with it – like maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, parking hassles etc – and – you must do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the comforts outweigh the “baggage”.
Yes – whenever you are thinking of acquiring a material possession – please introspect – and do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the “baggage” the possession brings along with it does not outweigh the comforts the possession gives you.
This is true of relationships like marriage too – which also bring along some emotional “baggage”.
Yes – apart from “material baggage” – we sometimes carry too much “emotional baggage” – tangible and intangible emotional baggage – for example:
“baggage” of power, wealth, fame, ego, pride ...
“baggage” of painful relationships
“baggage” of your past life
“baggage” like the debris of broken relationships ...
all types of “baggage” which contaminate our minds and inner self.
And – it is this “baggage” – that inhibits and spoils your smooth and enjoyable journey through life.
Isn’t the story you read a few moments ago – metaphorically apt – to illustrate this point...?
So – Dear Reader:
Please scroll up and read the story of how the “baggage” of Rats, Cat, Cow and Woman destroyed the Guru’s Vow of Celibacy – thereby ending his quest for Nirvana (Enlightenment) – and getting him entangled once again in the material world.
Think of all the “baggage” in your life which is inhibiting you from living a blissful life.
Unburden yourself of all your “baggage”
TRAVEL LIGHT ON THE JOURNEY OF LIFE
The Lesser the “Baggage” – the Better the “Journey”
Remember the Indian Railways Slogan:
LESS BAGGAGE – MORE COMFORT
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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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