Friday, December 25, 2015

2276 : When the will falters

This has been a wasted year for Arjuna. Dwaithavana did not require him to use his sniping skills, and though he indulged himself in a hunt every now and then, it was never going to replace the battles of the real world.

In this past year, his efficacy had been faltering. He tried to take help from his brothers and then from the local seer. "More practice" and "better reflexes" was what he was reminded of.

Months passed, he spent three hrs every morning, honing his own skills...and yet he himself knew not an inch had moved. He was driving retrograde.

Finally, the local seer told him, "Arjuna, you have struggled for months. I have a suggestion - make a visit to the great seer, Kailasa in the Himalayas. He is the One who can make even a broken arrow heal itself. Go, he is the one that the wind is sailing towards."

Arjuna bowed, prostrated at his feet, and next morning proceeded on his month long journey to the North. The high peaks of the Himalayas were a North Star in themselves.

Reaching the mount, finding Kailasa was not difficult at all. The birds, the monkeys and even the local seers knew exactly where he was based.

The first night, Arjuna shacked up at the foot of the hills. Thakshak, the giant snake from Kuber's land, made an unannounced visit in the form of a dream, and warned him - "Finding Kailasa is easy, but you cannot break his meditation. It can sometimes take a 100 years before he opens his eyes. In the flux of his meditation, the massive forces of the universe are being balanced and repositioned. If you disturb him, it could wish armageddon upon us."

The morning Sun woke him up, and he remembered the encounter with Thakshak. By afternoon he was at Kailasa's feet. As described to him, Kailasa was a picture of stillness - so much so that moss had engulfed part of his feet and hair. His face though was clear and radiated not just life, but the colossal cosmic energy that he carried on his shoulders.

From the looks of it, he had probably been mediatating for years already. How long before his spell broke?

No one knew that. Arjuna setup camp near the hermit's stasis. Every morning he would wake up, practice just like he would do back in the forest, and then sit at the foot of the seer waiting for him to open his eyes.

Months passed. Arjuna's game still deteriorated. Meanwhile, he was losing hope that the seer would ever open his eyes, within his (Arjuna's) lifetime. That thought combined with the hope of a magic bullet from the seer, and now the receding possibility of it - killed his life force further.

Four months into the wait, one morning the seer stirred. Arjuna knew this was the day. Mid-day as the sun shone bright, Kailasa opened his eyes. They were like laser, and yet calm and encouraging, they were like icy, and yet warm and welcoming. The moss from his hair melted away.

It took Kailasa less than a moment to grasp the current reality. Appearing as if he had aware (and awake) all along, he benevolently smiled at Arjuna.

Arjuna bowed and lowered his eyes.

After a few moments of reverent silence, Arjuna said "Lord, I come here to seek help. I am Arjuna- Drona's disciple- he has anointed me the greatest archer in the world, but I am steadily losing my edge. I have been told you are the only one who can help me get my mojo back."

Kailasa smiled again, still exactly like a father would at his son and said, "O Archer, I can see a mango tree in the far distance. Can you shoot down the third mango from the top - it appears ripe and tempting."

Arjuna quivered. The tree was really quite far away, and he was nervous. He could not even see the mango well, if he missed - he would fail in Lord Kailasa's eyes.

With the movements of his eyes, Kailasa goaded him. Arjuna bowed, closed his eyes, focussed and shot the arrow. In the blink of an eye, the target was hit, and the mango fell down. A young rabbit scurried towards it to fetch it back for Kailasa.

Arjuna was elated, he could not believe his shot. He beamed like a baby. Before he had even finished smiling, Kailasa spoke again "While the rabbit brings it, can you shoot a leaf off the short banana tree above my head. We can use the leaf as a plate for the mango."

Arjuna was stunned. The banana leaf was so close, he could have plucked it by hand. He could have shot this leaf when he had just started learning at the age of five from Drona. Today he was on a roll.

And yet, out of respect he bowed and he shot. And.....he missed.

He could not trust his eyes. He looked at Kailasa in complete disbelief.

Kailasa looked at him, and said, "Oh looks like the rabbit is almost there (at the foot of the hill). I dont mind another mango. Why dont you should the other one near the top too. He will get both of them along."

As requested, Arjuna shot this time again into the far tree. And to his complete shock, he hit the mango again.

Kailasa said, "O archer, great work. We still dont have the banana leaf, can you try again."

Arjuna again missed. Befuddled he feel at the hermit's feet.

"Lord, what is happening?"

Kailasa said "You are the greatest archer, you should know. Did Drona not train you well?"

"Lord, I need your help. Tell me what am I missing".

"You are the greatest archer, because the universe aligns to you. Not the other way around."

"Lord, what does that mean?"

"The arrow(s) you shot towards the mango wanted to help me to be fed. It wanted to bring the mango down. And lo, you become the sharp shooter. The ones you shot at the tree above, did not feel interested in plucking a banana leaf. And you missed your target. So as an example, unless your arrows want you to succeed, you will not win."

"Lord, does that mean, I control nothing. The arrows will decide my fate?"

"Archer Arjuna, you control everything. The world is a function of only one thing....Intention. The way you and I can surface our intention is by Focus. And the only way you can bring Focus into your game is by having a deep Longing. Focus is nothing but a longing."

Kailasa paused and then added, "Longing - my dear archer I cannot give you. I cannot impart that to you. Longing comes from an internal passion. The passion which says, either the arrow brings the mango down or it rips the heart apart."

In what appeared like moments - Arjuna bowed and contemplated on this.

When he looked up - the seer was deep in meditation. The moss foliage was back on his hair, exactly as he had earlier seen it, almost as if the past few moment was nothing more than a whistler dream.

He bowed, packed up and left. The journey was now going to be the lesson.

Related Posts by Categories

Widget by Hoctro | DreamyDonkey

No comments: