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Openness is the key

india Updated: Feb 03, 2010 00:22 IST
MN Kundu
MN Kundu
Hindustan Times
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“Let noble thoughts come to us from all corners”— thus goes a prayer in the Rig Veda. Mystic Tagore wrote with firm assertion, “Have you not heard his silent steps? He comes, comes, ever comes.” But we do not keep our hearts open as the same is locked with preconceived notions and blind beliefs.

The Buddha used to tell this story. A tradesman saw his house was plundered by bandits. He could not find his young son; but amidst a heap of ashes, he found something like a skeleton. He took it for granted that his son had been burnt. He cried a lot and performed his funeral rites. He kept some ash with him and started passing his days in constant mourning.

Actually, the son was taken away by the bandits. After a few years, he escaped and came to his father. The father did not open the door but kept on mourning. Even when the son loudly disclosed his identity, the tradesman did not believe him.

He said, “You cannot deceive me. My son died long ago. I am still carrying his ashes. Get out.” Ultimately the son had to go.

Our fanatic adherence to some faith is so strong that it never allows us to see the truth. It suspends our common sense, blinds the vision and intellect and continues to keep us in the darkness of delusion.

Let us remember the story of sheep-lion. A lioness gave birth to a baby lion while attacking a flock of sheep and immediately died. The baby lion was brought up amidst the sheep, eating grass and behaving like them. One day a lion was astonished to see him like this and spoke. But the sheep-lion could not believe that he was not a sheep. At last when he was shown their image in water and made to compare and taste meat then only he could accept the reality.

We are all essentially spiritual creatures assuming human form and suffering from identity crisis. But the delusion dies hard.