Zen Questa X

He followed his instinct and instead of wandering around like a wanton, he thought of carefully planning out everything. He wanted his quest to be cast in a certain order and with a certainty of achieving his goal. This is the expectation of most human beings; the control over things, the urge to know the future, the need for security against the unknown, things prowling in the future that one seeks to avoid. The well charted path is what our man desired. Only if life was something that could be tamed by desires. Wes strive to maximize our chances of success and to stave off failure as much as we could. Why? Because, failure hurts the ego and success feeds it. Some call it self-confidence; yes, but most of us transgress that boundary easily when success comes running like lady love and embrace us in that moment of self-gloating and flaunting.

Xandu sat down on the ground; taking rest along a fallen tree trunk and began to ruminate about things. Imagination… He now conjured up all sorts of things in his head, all eventualities, all dialogues that would happen when he meets the seer living in that said gale lying deep in the forest and all sort of things that would happen after that. In a shock, that comes after a sudden realization sometimes, he stood up and realized that he was just making up stuff in his head and the life that was happening outside of him was not of his making and thus he has limited control over it. He gave a deep sigh and looked at the ground on which he was sitting. He observed little creatures slithering, some insects crawling, a bug dragging a mud ball and all sorts of teeny-weeny things minding their business as usual. Life was happening beneath his feet without using much imagination. This is the basic form of existence. He wanted more; after-all he was a part of the most evolved species on this planet, the man(Hu-man?). The power to anticipate is also the reason of muddling up of our lives, when taken outside of moderation.

He picked up his stick and the bag, which was getting lighter with each passing day and  walked towards his planned route, which would lead him to his destination, as he had hoped. Walking for many hours, he felt tired again and sat down to rest. He thanked his stars, that he was still alive and not lying around in bits and bones and being scavenged by the creepy-crawlies for his last rites. “Are you lost my friend?”…He stood up in an alarm and looked for the source of that unexpected human voice. There was a man standing behind him who looked like he was either a peasant or a woodcutter. The man wielded an ax; whose belly was tucked nicely in his cummerbund. The blade had seen many a tress fall, thousands of branches cut and unnumbered logs split over the years and now it was chipped away at places and glistening with a newly rubbed sharpness at other.

He said “You scared me!” and then composed himself with a deep breath and added “Yes, I think I am lost. My life is meaningless and without a clear purpose. I have question upon questions burning like little fireflies and I know nothing. I need somebody to give me some respite, some consolation or just plain answers.” The man laughed and said “You seem to be a philosopher to me. I just asked you a simple question, if you were lost in the jungle. I am not a philosopher or a Guru who could guide you or answer your curiosities. I am just a simple peasant living in the village nearby and came here to collect some wood for the cooking. I am sorry I cannot help you with life but I could help you getting out of here.” Xandu was thinking of something and then asked “Do you know where to find the seer who loves in a clearing inside the forest?”

The man looked at him intently and said “Are you searching for him? but he is too old now and nobody knows if he is still alive or not. It would take three day’s journey towards the south of the setting sun. Maybe you should eat and rest at my place for tonight and then I would give you some food and directions for your quest. However, I have heard that the seer is blind due to old age and lost his sense of hearing also. I would be surprised if he would be able to talk to you. I had seen him years ago, when he was still a wandering monk and came to stay at our village for a while. He would give us village folks some simple sermons of good living and taught some people the techniques to breath and feel calm inside. I was pretty young then and unmarried. This all meant nothing to me. I never talked to him.” and he laughed to shun the nostalgia that was building up. “So, If i come with you, would you be sending me off to my quest the next day as you promise?” Xandu asked with a little poking. “By all means, young man, I could use some help if you would like to…its all up to you.” he said. “Oh…why not? In return for food and shelter, I could do something for you. Please do not hesitate to ask for it.”

Off they walked towards their common destination. This was not what Xandu had imagined in his head, when he was “planning” things. This was totally unexpected. Such is life, things happens on their own. Human life is, perhaps, a series of events on this vast canvas of existence that is highly interconnected and interdependent. Nothing special about us in this wide gamut of events. We are just another manifestation of life, although highly evolved and conscious at a certain level. This is why some wise men of yore espoused that the life is akin to the flow of a river that splashes around, hops over the obstacles, curves at certain places to maintain its flow, and makes much noise as it moves. The journey starts as a trickle and ends up in a deluge that makes its way from the mighty mountains and over the land towards the humongous oceans; its final destination. The water comes back from the oceans as clouds and the quest starts again as the river flows endlessly towards its source, the ocean. Some have called this cycle as transmigration in the web of life.

Continued…

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