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Suffering: A Folk Tale
|by Ganganand Jha|
Long long ago, some brave soldiers were passing through a far away land. Their path crossed through a dense forest, where tangled vines were very dense and stout; these vines used to tear to shreds the muscles of those who lost the path, and the leaves of the trees growing in the forest used to be very thick and deeply colored; so much so that no ray of light, which could lighten the gloom and mourning pervading there, could pass through the branches.
And when they were passing through that dense and dark forest, one soldier, from among the riders, got lost far far away and did never returned to them; and the rest of them, immersed in gloom, continued to go forward without him.
Now when they reached that beautiful fort, to which they were journeying, they stayed there for many days and enjoyed and celebrated. And then one night - as they were sitting cheerfully around burning logs in the big hall, -arrived that friend of theirs whom they had lost, and he greeted them all. His clothes had been in tatters, as of beggars and there were many sad cuts and injuries on his muscles; but a great light was radiating from his face - light of deep bliss.
And they enquired! They asked him as to what had happened with him. He narrated to them as to how he had lost his way in the dark dense forest and how he kept on wandering for days and nights and that at last he made himself lie down, in bleeding and wounded condition, to die.
And then, when he did approach death, amazingly came a heavenly damsel piercing the savage mournfulness. She held him by her hand and led him on such an unknown and zigzag path, which no man knows. She kept going on holding him till on the darkness of the forest a light appeared which was like the light of a bright day, like sun in comparison to a small lamp; and in that mysterious and magical light our soldier saw - as in a dream - a light—so bright and clear it appeared that he became quite unmindful about his bleeding wounds; rather he was struck spellbound His joy had the depth of seas. No man can ever measure that depth.
And the light faded! The soldier knelt down and thanked the saint who had strayed his steps to that sad forest, and he had the vision of that light which was hidden there.
And the name of that dark forest was suffering. But the light that the soldier saw there, we cannot speak about, nor can we describe.
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