Sunday, January 31, 2016

2288 : The real fight

As Yudhistra finished answering the questions posed by the Yaksha (in the form of a hunched crane), the Yaksha smiled. He beatifically said "Dharmaraja, you are truly wise.  I have heard stories  of your legendary focus on Dharma, but today with the 18 answers, you have made me a little wiser too."

He paused. Yudhistra allowed a tired and bellowed smile pass through his lips. The lips pursed as if they were constrained. The Yaksha noticed it and spoke.

"Raja, your own mother, when she was rearing you thought you were a little unusual in the way you always, even as a kid focused almost un-naturally on being "good"".

He paused and continued, "...and today, you have not just made me wiser, you have also restored to life your 4 dead brothers, by unwinding a past karmic bond that was bothering me. And yet, when I swim into your deep eyes, they seem despondent. How can such a wise man, who does not carry a shred of karmic baggage on him, appear so lost?"

Yudhistra started, "I have to live through my fate."

"And does that bother you Raja?  Do you miss the wealth,  the power, the palaces?"

"No, I dont miss it at all, except, honestly, I sometimes wish Draupadi had it easier."

"...and yet, Raja, you do look forlorn then?What then is the bother?"

"Dear Yaksha, there comes a time in every man's life when he is pulled into a strange fight. This battle is not for a kingdom, or for wealth, or for power. The war is on the inside, and the battlefield is the shadows of one's own mind. Whats at stake is the need to grapple with the very nature of our lives. All of us one day will have to deal with the fundamental question of who we are, and who we ought to be. They are far more perilous than the 18 questions you asked. The internal strife is akin to a hollow vessel cankering and hoping to find the answers in its own loud echo. What the vessel never understands that no matter how the question is posed, the echo will always be just a version of the question."

He paused and added, "....the question will come back appearing as the answer. If  deluded, we shall move onto the next question, and that path is one of righteous self delusion. I hope you never have to see such a day in your life, dear Yaksha, but today in my life - I am the vessel, the question, the answer and the echo."

With a final thoughtful wist he added, "I have become my own nemesis, and slowly that realization dawns. On that day, you really wonder what this battle is all about. When Yama, my dear father will come calling out to me, I will try ask him this - Father, was I am the victor or the vanquished?....and I think I know what his answer will be.  That answer bothers me."

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