Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Once Bodhisattva, as Shushant, the chief of a monkey troupe had his home on a very large mango tree on the outskirt of Shravasti; the commercial town in ancient India. Every year at the beginning of summer the tree would flower and with every weary wail of cuckoo, raw fruits will spawn all over its ubiquitous branches. At the onset of monsoon the tree would be laden with luscious mangos so much so that the branches would bend with their weight. Fruits were enough to satiate his clan. Life had been one long boring but easy spell for these monkeys until a sadhu on his way to Himalaya settled down under this same tree for a brief sojourn. Monkeys couldn’t resist their inherent nature and began pestering sadhu with their antics. Sadhu suffered them for a while but realizing his tactics of ‘patience will tire these beasts’ will not work decided that monkeys needed to be stopped. He lit a fire drew fancy lines and commenced exotic ritual with chanting of mantras. His countenance gradually morphed into a stern and malevolent visage. Shushant had watched his ilk pestering sadhu, tried in vain too dissuade them but knew it to be futile to fight natural instincts. He keenly watched the effect sadhu’s act was having on his troupe. The monkeys began to gradually recede into a petrified silence by the combined effect of exotic rituals and impressive incantations. At the end of ceremony, sadhu randomly picked a monkey pointed a simmering log at him and declared, “Shadow of death hovers over you!”

Shushant immediately realized the fraud committed by sadhu but also knew for fact that the monkey will die nonetheless, unless sadhu revokes his curse. He climbed down the tree sat before the sadhu said in his quiet persuasive voice,
‘Wise Sadhu, picking someone randomly for punishment is unfair.’
‘Yes indeed, Bodhisattva from the perspective of that unfortunate soul but very fair from my perspective else won’t I look consumed by malicious urge? It is inevitable at broader level, that’s how events occur in this universe randomly yet following a set of rules. I was fair not to choose anyone out of malice. Besides, it is not a punishment but a device to obtain an immediate objective.’
‘But retribution was not your objective.’
‘It still is not my objective. All I wanted was peace to pursue my own quest. You know and I know, Bodhisattva that the monkey will not die, if he has the reason we have.’
‘Wise sage, your have achieved your objective, the primal fear now takes precedence over natural instinct for survival therefore revoke your curse.’
‘Sorry, Bodhisattva, it is not in my hand now. You have the power of reasoning why don’t you convince him of how empty the curse is!
‘No wise sage, no amount of reasoning will work in this matter. Only an elaborate ritual complete with sham incantations and thunderous repeal of curse from your own lips will be sufficient to counter kill signal already released by his mind.’
Sadhu agreed with logic of Bodhisattva. Soon the marked monkey began drifting into his own doom. In a couple of days he dramatically lost weight, juice draining out of his life. Horror of this drift was infectious to all the monkeys.’