Whatever Is To Happen Will Happen

BOOK EXTRACT

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Ramesh S. Balsekar

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There is an ancient story:

A young farmer, Raju, worked hard on his land. One evening, as he rested under a banyan tree, the royal herald rode by announcing that the king had an unusual dream. Whoever could explain it to his satisfaction would receive 100 gold coins. In his dream, the king saw a sneering jackal trying to jump on to his lap. While trying to ward it off, he woke up with an uneasy feeling.

'If only I knew the answer', murmured Raju to himself. Then a sweet voice said to him, 'I'll give you the answer provided you promise to give me half of your award.' It was a beautiful little bird that had hopped down to a lower branch right above Raju's head. An enthusiastic Raju immediately accepted the offer. The answer was: 'The throne symbolizes the kingdom; the jackal symbolizes treachery and selfish cunning dominating the atmosphere. Ask the king to be cautious.'

Raju met the king the next day and interpreted the dream. The king was satisfied and Raju received the 100 gold coins. Walking back, Raju thought, 'what a pity I have to part with half the amount of the reward.' He took a detour and avoided the bird. He invested the money prudently and grew rich. 5 years passed. One evening the king's general galloped down to his house and called out: 'Hurry up. His Majesty has had another intriguing dream.

He saw a bloody dagger circling his head.' Raju promised to meet the king the next day.

It was a moonlit night, and as soon as Raju approached the banyan tree, the bird appeared again and said, 'I know about the dream.' Raju promised to give the bird half of the reward, and the bird explained that the dagger represented violence, that the atmosphere was steeped in it and the king should be on his guard.

In the morning, Raju explained the dream and got a reward of 1000 gold coins.

Raju was afraid that the talking bird might report the matter to the king, and when he met the bird the next day he threw a stone at it, wanting to kill it. However, the bird escaped. Raju forgot all about it, until 5 years later, he was again brought before the king. This time the king had dreamt of a delicate dove resting on his lap. Once again he went to the bird, promised half the reward and was told that the dove symbolized peace and the king could now rest in peace. This time Raju received 10,000 gold coins.

This time Raju made a beeline for the banyan tree, and offered to the bird the entire amount in total surrender. The bird, however, had no use for it and advised Raju to spend it on the people's welfare. A tearful Raju pleaded to the bird to be pardoned for his conduct. 'Your conduct', said the bird, 'where was your conduct? On the first occasion, there was treachery in the atmosphere; the second time, there was violence in the atmosphere, and now there is peace and trust in the atmosphere. No one really acts according to his personal will.'

If one were to choose one single event in our daily living that is the most common happening, it would perhaps be the fact that in almost any group of people in almost any class of society, the subject of the conversation is a happening for which someone is being blamed: someone is responsible, someone should be punished!

This has become the very basis of living and has been causing the 'suffering' which the Buddha considered the very essence of life: "samsara is dukkha" - life is suffering. He, therefore, concluded that the only way to end this suffering is to accept that "events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof."

This would promptly raise the question: 'Does this mean then, that if I find something wrong, I just keep silent and do nothing?' The answer is simple: 'Just don't complain. Do whatever you think you should do. Whatever is to happen will happen or not happen. Whining and complaining does not help you or anyone else.'

FROM: Peace & Harmony in Daily Living by Ramesh Balsekar

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