Something to Think About
Temptation of the Dates
A holy man was one day walking through a bazaar when he came upon a grocer selling dates. His mind urged him to buy some of the succulent dates. Being a holy man, he tried to reason with his mind, but, being a slave of the senses, it would not listen. All night he dreamt about the dates and was completely unable to meditate.
The holy man was defeated by his mind. So he went into the jungle the next morning and collected a bundle of wood as heavy as he could carry. He sternly told his mind, “If you want the dates, you must carry the load!” He walked only a little way before he fell. Barely able to carry one bundle, he picked up yet another. He fell again and again but walked on, telling his mind constantly, “You want dates!”
With great difficulty, he walked the two and a half miles to town, sold the wood, bought dates with the money and went back to the jungle. He placed the dates in front of him and said to his mind, “Today you asked for dates, tomorrow you’ll ask for good food, good clothes and then, a wife. When the wife comes, children will follow, and in the course of time I will be your slave.”
Just then a traveller came by. The holy man called out to him and said, “Brother, take these dates.”
If you resist the impulses of your mind, you are sure to make the best of your human life. However, if you follow its dictates, you will remain its slave. We must live in the will of the Master. If the Master wants us to tend grass, that should be good enough for us.
Tales of the Mystic East
The Tricks of the Mind
It is the duty of every devotee to keep constant watch over his mind and never let it loose.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems
A holy man was once standing near a shop in the bazaar, looking at the goods for sale. A thought came to him.
“O mind,” he said to his mind, “I have heard so much about you. Why not show me some of your tricks ?”
“Please wait a while and see,” the mind replied and said no more.
Sometime later, a merchant nearby dipped his finger in some honey he was selling and wiped it on a cloth. The moment this happened, dozens of flies swarmed over it. Then more and more flies came and fought to get at the honey. “Those flies are my food,” a lizard said to itself when it saw the flies, “ I will eat them all up along with the honey.” This it did.
Now, the shopkeeper had a cat. When the cat saw the lizard, it pounced upon it and ate it. A dog was standing nearby, and the moment he saw the cat, he chased it and killed it. The shopkeeper lost his temper and asked his servants to catch the dog and beat it, and they beat it so hard, they killed it.
The dog happened to belong to a customer who was buying something at the shop. When he saw what had happened to his dog, he was distraught and abused the shopkeeper. The result was that both lost their tempers and began beating each other.
The mind then asked the holy man: “Are you satisfied, now that you have seen a sample of the kind of tricks that I perform ? I am an expert at duping people by creating desires of every kind. Who knows where these desires may lead ?”
Tales of the Mystic East