All along the ramparts of time, our sages and seers have evolved noble guidelines in human relationships through tales and parables.
Stories have always attracted the young and the old and the reservoir of ancient Indian wisdom contains thousands of stories which offer solutions to most of the modern day problems.
From the Book:
Long, long ago and far away, there lived a great sage called Maharishi Chandilya. He had a large number of disciples. Every one of them was keen on achieving enlightenment and often requested the master to fulfil their desire. However, the master kept postponing the granting of their wishes in this matter. After some time, some of the disciples became rather impatient and asked him in frustration why he was doing so.
"My dear devotees", said the master calmly, "I can very well understand your eagerness, but i am also aware, that the time is not yet ripe for you to achieve that goal. You still have a long way to go."
"How can it be so?" retorted one of the disciples. "You have yourself told us that knowledge leads to enlightenment. You have given us enough of it already. What is it that prevents you from lighting up the path for us?"
"Oh! have you learnt enough of it already?" said the master with a sad smile and was silent for a while. Then slowly the words flowed from his mouth, "I find, that ego and impatience blind your vision, and your expressions lack the experience of love. However, as i love you all, let me grant you that which you deserve. please keep your eyes closed and you may have a glimpse of the same."
The disciples closed their eyes, and by the grace of the master, they found that they floated through space, and ended in front of a huge and inspiring arch and a closed door. As they approached, the door slowly opened and a voice rang out, "my children! you are welcome in this domain and you may travel further."
Once inside, the devotees glided through a fascinating panorama of an unseen and unknown universe, which culminated before another arch and closed door equally grand and golden. While they watched, this door also opened, but on entering it, they saw utter darkness everywhere. They missed their way and began to falter and stumble. Their courage and confidence melted away.
At last they could not stand it anymore and cried in grief, "oh, master! please have pity and help us! We know not where we are, and how to proceed. This darkness is too much for us." At that very moment, their eyes opened to witness the graceful smile of the master. "What happened to us dear master?" they cried in fear. "Why could we not proceed further, and why did the scene become suddenly dark and unpassable?"
"Because," said the master with kindness, "you had strength enough only to reach the halfway house, and you did not have enough stamina to proceed beyond it. the door which opened for you initially was the door of knowledge, and it led you further into another door, the door of love, which ushered you into the inner area which is the domain of love. Your ego and impatience darkened that area and prevented your progress. You have to remember the power of knowledge carried you only halfway to bliss. The power of love could transport you through the other half. Knowledge coupled with love culminates in enlightenment."
"Hence," said the master, "you have to retain knowledge but discard ego and impatience. seek the divine with unbounded devotion, and serve the creation with unselfish love. Supreme knowledge and supreme love, which are two sides of the same coin, lead you to supreme bliss. Go into the wide world and serve the people with humility and love, and then come back to me to complete the journey."
This story reveals how essential it is to possess knowledge without falling into the trap of ego, and how essential it is to serve people with love and humility. It also indicates how the power of love has a final say in human relations, on either physical or metaphysical levels, and how the grace of the master is necessary in both the spheres.
- Acharya Ratnananda, Tales for the Young and Old