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Restraint and Equanimity

Published: 19.06.2008
Updated: 12.03.2009

Thursday, June 19, 2008

 When there is no balance, this knowledge gets misused.

There is a story. Three students were learning from a teacher. The teacher wanted to test them. He gave them each a hen made of flour and said, "Cut his neck where no one can see." The prince went. The teacher's son went. And Narada also went. The three took their flour hen and separated. The prince went to the forest and thought that nobody could see him there. He broke the neck and came home. The teacher's son thought that in the open birds would see him and so he went into the isolated space of a cave.

He broke the neck and came home. Narada went far into the forest into a very desolate place. Then he went deep into a cave. In pitch darkness he thought nobody would be able to see and began to break the nack, when he stopped. He felt his soul was watching anyway. "The teacher's orders were not to break the neck when anybody was seeing. There is no second person. But I myself am here. I can see, my soul can see. The Lord can see. The free soul is seeing." He returned with the hen.

The next day the disciples went back to their teacher. He asked, "The hen made of flour was insentient and not a sentient being. Have you all killed it?" Replied the prince, "Here is the neck and here the body. I went into the forest and strangled it." The teacher's son said, "I want into a cave and strangled it. Even a bird could not see it here. I followed your instructions verbatim." Narada said, "Sir! I was not able to follow your instructions. I went into the dense forest. I walked hundreds of miles. There was no man, bird or beast. There was nobody there. I went into a dark cave where there was only darkness. I wanted to kill the hen there. It then occurred to me that even if nobody is seeing, the soul is. The lord who is all pervading is seeing. How could I find a place where the Lord was not watching? I was helpless. I came home."

The teacher praised Narada. The man who becomes aware that the soul and the Lord see everything, he is wise. Through this wisdom he is also able to develop non-violence. The ignorant man misuses this very same knowledge. When there is no balance, this knowledge gets misured.

One lady was bathing with her clothes on. Another one saw her and asked, "Sister, why are you bathing with all your clothes on? The clothes will become wet. You should not do this. Bathe alone and take off all your clothes to do so." She replied, "Oh! you do not understand. The sacred texts say that the Lord can see everything. He sees everything, everybody. How can I take off my clothes before him? How can I be undressed before him? So being shy, I bathe with my clothes on." When knowledge or wisdom is not awakened, then facts can be misused. If there is balance then such a situation does not arise.

The one who has the perspective of anekanta does not take a single dimensional view of things and twist logic like that woman. He does not mismanage his affairs with it but instead puts it to use and proves its validity like Narada. This is possible only through balance.

Deccan Herarld - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg.
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anekanta
  2. Body
  3. Lalit Garg
  4. Non-violence
  5. Soul
  6. Space
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