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My Zongpa (one amongst my grandpa; I had eight grandpa in total of which now lives one).
One day as I sat in the open verandah, trying to think of what I was just told, when I was still a kid made my eyes turn to the huge white sheet of ice on the mountain in front of me.
This is what I was taught on that day.
A koan, as one calls it in Buddhism, one of the most famous stories of Tanzan.
Tanzan and Ekido were two monks who were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling.
As they came around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to raise herself since she was injured by some passing vehicles and as she lay there, she desired help.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud and left her at the village gate, the village where she belonged.
Ekido did not speak until the night when they reached their temple. Then, as he entered the temple, Tanzan moved towards his destination, whereas Ekido moved towards the main monk’s chamber. As soon as he entered, he bowed and immediately began to speak, no longer being able to restrain and refrain himself.
He recited the whole story to the old monk. After a while, the old monk summoned Tanzan, who was wonderstruck, at this sudden call, since he was unable to understand as to what might have been wrong, and it was almost time to retire.
Entering the chamber, he immediately bowed. He was alone with the old monk. Ekido was sent back to his chamber and he was feeling happy that he had understood the rules better than Tanzan.
The old monk’s appearance was grave. He looked Tanzan straight into his eyes and asked, “Is it true that you carried a woman the other day on your shoulders?”
“Yes, master it’s true.”
“May I know the reason behind such an act?” He was grave.
“She was wounded and it was raining and she required help.”
“We monks do no go near females, it is against rules.”
Tanzan kept his head low, “I am not carrying her still.”
“Hmm, I see.” After a long pause, the old master asked him to leave the chamber,
“Do not forget to send Akido, I have some errand to meet.”
“Yes master,” he bowed and closed the gate behind him.
Akido walked in. With his recent achievement he walked in with vigour and happiness in his heart, he was expecting a reward.
He bowed and after another prolonged silence, the master lifted his eyes to Akido.
“I spoke to Tanzan. I saw that he left the girl, just at the village gate, then, why do you still carry her on your shoulder?”
“What do you learn kids? It’s a nice morning and this is no class.”
No one knew what to make of the story. It was a nice sunny morning and we heard a story. It was nothing more than that.
Zongpa laughed aloud, he bent down and touched the floor, then straightened himself back.
“Okay, I will tell you, what little I have learnt.”
1) Letting go- it means when in your life, you meet bad people, bad moments, bad events, rough tides, confusing, insensitive, selfish people, then let go of them. They are not yours, they can never be, no matter how much they pretend. Beware, children of any pretence. Look into the eyes of every being. Pretence cannot hide long. Let go as soon as you recover from the shock.
2) Do no go back to wrong people, places, events and occurrences, if you have to still go back, detach yourself and slip out as soon as your necessity is done. Remember, never be pleased towards those who pained you and were giving you an opportunity, they give you the chance since they are selfish and have been bad to you, be grateful to the universe though for creating a fulfilment of your needs and also be grateful towards those who let you fulfill your need, but once done, at once leave.
3) Never ask for more. Just enough for survival. In that way you stay on the other end of desires.
4) If you need to, then create illusions, but never harm. An illusion of harm can save you from doing some real harm. The same trick which makes movies and this world, it can save you more than you can imagine.
5) Hold on to people you really think are true, and then also feel are true. Never leave them.
6) Learn to see clearly without any filters, this will also save you.
7) Learn to run, will help every time. Fight has never helped, will never help, but flight will.
8) Do not be like Akido. They are common. Be like Tanzan. They are rare and valuable and if you find one more around you, and if the other also recognises you, remember to try being close, if the world of the other is already not inhabited.
9) More so, try to have compassion towards all, even if you are in despicable situations, despite them being anyone or anything. A dog, a crow, a sparrow, a lizard, all are in need of constant compassion and compassion grows when you share, it is a reaction which grows he other way around.
10) Learn to forget, forgive and move on. You should never go back and be friends with the ones you forgave. It might have been really a bad deed that you had to forgive, do not believe again the same who have hurt you enough to make you forgive them, you can try some other resource lest they truly repent the deed, yet be careful, repentance is an act and there are many actors in this world.
Live above all, learn to be compassionate to parents, love them, but fight them if they are wrong since life moves on, and we humans can get stuck at one place, we have to fight our way out, even if it is with your gods. Fighting is not synonymous to disrespect and hatred. It is rather antonymous. Never waste your fights on people and Gods who don’t matter to you.
As I end this, I still fail to understand if I am missing the sun and the mountain or the moment I heard these words.