Friday, March 09, 2007

An Interesting Story

Hare Krishna Friends,

I recently started reading the book "The Path of Sri Ramana - Part One" By Sri Sadhu Om. It is an excellent exposition on the path of Self-Enquiry. I couldn't resist sharing the following interesting story from the book.

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A dog went to a cremation ground. It picked up a sharp piece of bone from which the flesh had been completely burnt off and started munching it. The sharp edges of the bone pierced the dog's mouth in many places and there was bleeding. The dog dropped it, but seeing blood smeared al over it, it thought that the blood was coming from the bone because of its ravenous munching. It licked the blood and again started chewing the bone even more ravenously, with the result that there were more wounds in its mouth and more bleeding. The foolish dog went on repeating this process of dropping the bone, licking the blood and again chewing the bone. Little did that foolish dog realize that in fact the blood came from its own mouth and not from the bone!

"A foolish dog picked up a bone
Bereft of flesh because it was burnt,
Masticated many a round
Till its mouth was filled with wounds,
Licked and praised the blood, its own,
No thing on earth equals this bone',

'Guru Vachaka Kovai', verse 585

Similarly, when a man enjoys external objects, he only experiences a little of the happiness that is already within him. But, on account of ignorance, he thinks that the happiness comes from the external objects, and thus he behaves like the dog in the story. Exactly like the dog that munched the bone again and again, throughout his life man repeatedly searches for and accumulates external objects. What is the result of all this? Alas! Untold heaps of misery, with a few iota of pleasure in between - that is all! Indeed all this is ignorance, otherwise called Maya!

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