Seeker's Dilemma

A wise man seeking enlightenment, renounced worldly life, took a strict vow of celibacy which was a sine qua non for attaining enlightenment and headed for the hills to live an ascetic existence of a hermit. He found a secluded cave and began his simple meditative life surviving on natural wild vegetation in the forest and began his journey towards enlightenment.

One day he noticed holes in his robe and discovered that there were lots of rats in the cave who were chewing off his robes and who soon were nibbling at his toes disturbing his meditation.

Perplexed, he went down to town and consulted his Guru who said, ' No problem. Just get a cat who will take care of the rats.' So our wise man bought a cat and took it up to his cave. The cat took care of the rats and the wise man was undisturbed in his quest.

After a few days the cat had eaten up all the rats and started moaning with hunger. The constant moaning and crying of the cat again disturbed the wise man's meditation and he again consulted his Guru who advised him to acquire a cow whose milk would feed the cat.

Now the wise man would spend some time milking the cow, feeding the cat and then settle down for his meditation.

A few days later the cow stopped giving milk and mooed loudly. The cat too had started moaning again and the disturbed wise man ran to his Guru once again who gave him some seeds. The wise man planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and himself. But he now had to spend so much time tending to his garden, feeding and milking his cow and giving milk to his cat that he hardly got any time for meditation.

He rushed to his Guru who once again had a ready solution, 'There is a young widow ' poor thing she is destitute. She will look after everything and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.'

It was a wonderful arrangement ' the young widow looked after everything, the garden, cow and cat flourished and the wise man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

One day it began to snow, the temperature fell to sub-zero and the young widow started shivering in the cold. Soon she could bear it no longer and snuggled into the wise man's bed and tightly embraced him as that was the only way to keep warm.

Who can resist the tight embrace of an attractive woman in the prime of her life? The vow of celibacy lay shattered and there ended the wise man's quest for enlightenment. And with all his new possessions he returned back to the material world from where he had began his journey towards enlightenment ' back to square one.

Moral of the story ' Less baggage, better travel.  


More by :  Vikram Karve

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