Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ancient Indian Story

I feel grateful for my friends: Christian, Louise, Marc, Roger, Sue, and the others who were away this time. You leave a good vibe.

I am grateful, too, for the Native American flute music of R. Carlos Nakai. It sends me into a wonderful realm.

I'm grateful to be able to share this story culled from a book written by a former teacher of mine, Eknath Easwaran. Goes like this:

In ancient India, a king named Vipashchit breathed his last breath and journeyed to the afterlife.

He had been such a kind ruler, a model for all kings, that the devas in heaven were all anxious to set him up as their teacher and guide. When he reached his destination, he was welomed with smiles and embraces and even tears of gratitude.

Some time passed and Vipashchit settled down in satisfaction to his new life. Heaven, he remarked to one of his new companions, was a happier place than even he had ever dreamed it could be. "Heaven?" the man replied. "This isn't heaven, your majesty! This is hell. The people here are miserable. But in your presence their suffering turns to joy!"

Just then some heavenly messengers arrived with abject apologies; a terrible mistake had been made. "All of us in Heaven are waiting for you, O Great King," the said.

Vipashchit looked around and smiled. "I am staying here," he replied. "I have already found my heaven."

6 comments:

Delwyn said...

Many years ago i read most of Easwaran's books but I can't remember that lovely snippet.
Its poignant reminder to MAKE the LOVELY happen...as the bible says...the kingdom of HEAVEN is on earth, not as so many people think - up there somewhere post death...
thanks Dan

Delwyn said...

I have spent a lot of the day researching Japanese art - my current passion...expect many posts!!!
and didn't go to gym because I have a touch of vertigo. At this age I am afraid of feeling the wheel beginning to fall off...

so I am very grateful that I do have excellent health, whats a bit of the wobbles now and then, and ringing in the ears!!!

that dang tinnitus came on out of the blue about a week ago...Alden tells me you get used to it... but the combination of the 2 symptoms could suggest Menieres disease and that usually points to hearing loss...I am grateful that I can still hear very well.

Other than that I am a box of birds...

Dan Gurney said...

I hope your symptoms abate. I read somewhere that good human hearing can detect a mosquito's buzz at 10 feet. If that's good hearing, mine isn't good. I don't think I can hear a mosquito until it's less than 10 inches away. I hope that you don't have Meniere's disease (I just read about it online. My school has 2 teachers who suffer from that condition.) Box of birds? I learned what that means here:

http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/guide-book/language/dictionary.aspx

Take care. I look forward to your posts on Japanese art.

Dan Gurney said...

So you probably read Laurel's Kitchen and Easwaran's books on the Bhagavad Gita and his 8 step meditation program. I feel lucky to have attended many of his lectures in the eighties. A good teacher; I learned a lot from him.

Butler and Bagman said...

Good story. The paradox of finding happiness in the giving of it to others. I'll try to remember it today when my grandson cries.

Dan Gurney said...

Like Suzuki roshi said,

"If it isn't paradoxical, it isn't true."