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Mytheyma of Takhilam

THE STONE

 

One day I went to the mountains to hunt. Looking for prey I was inattentive and stubbed my toe on a stone. I fell down and tore my sleeve and had blood on my hand. Then I stood up on the stone and told him: “You, nasty stone! You were in my way and hurt my toe! This is your fault that my sleeve is torn and my hand bleeds. And this is your fault that I lost my prey, so thus I came to the mountains in vain. You lay here, brainless, andyou care about nothing. If you were a man I would punish you so you would dream of being a stone. But you are a mere stone, you are so insignificant, that I cannot punish you. My abuse is the highest honour for you. You deserve no attention, and I will not even piss on you. I will go my way and you, pathetic stone, will stay where you are. So stay, pity consolidated mud!” – This is what I told him. And he replied: “Since when have blind men started to hunt in the mountains? You are twice as blind but you came with a bow. Firstly you are blind as you saw no stone under your foot, and secondly – as you do not see the nature of the stone as he is”. Then I sat in front of him and said: “Hey-Ho, you cured my first blindness. What should I see to cure my second blindness?”. He replied: “If it was cured so easily, men would fly. Your first blindness was cured easily: you just tore your clothing and hurt your arm. And the second blindness in the blindness of a soul: to cure it you should hurt your soul”. I asked: “What do you mean I should “hurt my soul”? Might it be that it is better to compare knowledge with food and to say “to fulfill myself with knowledge” not “to hurt my soul”?”. He replied: “When you gain one thing you lose another. If you were blind in one eye and there was a doctor who could cure you, he would tear out your blind eye and you would cry from the pain, and only then he would put in a new eye. The same way with a soul: you tear away the delusions and put in the Truth. And a soul hurts more that an eye; everyone can bear pain to cure his body, but hardly anyone will bear pain of his soul. The blind soul is worse than a blind eye, as the eye knows its blindness and the soul believes it is always able to see. The first pain of the soul – is to know its blindness, and the second one – is to cure itself”. I answered: “I know the first pain, as I realize that the mere stone is wiser than a man. And I wish to know the second pain as I do not want to be blind”. He said: “This pain is hard to bear, but it is sweet at the same time.The healing is joyful and thus pain and joy are not enemies. The pain for the sake of the good is joyful. He who is looking for enjoyment, knows nothing about the real enjoyment; but he who is looking for the good, finds the enjoyment even in pain”. I said: “How pitiable are those looking for enjoyment! They are looking for food – but will never be full; they look like a hungry spirit. Some may be satisfied with their enjoyment but will lose the taste of life, as they see no life. If so, they were born in vain, lived despicably and died disgracefully. He who destroyed his teeth eating sand can taste no fleshy fruit. Now I see not only you but myself, as I see that I hurt not my toe on a stone, but my soul”. He said: “If your soul bleeds thus, it is not dead”. I said: “Indecent was torn from my soul and the wound bleeds. Now please give me what is needed to cure my soul”. He said: “Truly you act wisely, - it is better to ask good from a stone rather than from another man. Every river has its rise, a tree appears from the seed; life starts from a second. One, who sees the Truth in the smallest part, will see it in the great. If you realize the true gist of a stone, you will know the gist of the sun”. Then I said: “Reveal me your gist”. He replied: “You should know that a stone knows more that a man. I feel all other stones in the world and I know their lives. I lay here, but I know the valleys, and the top of the mountains, and the depth of the seas, and the abysses of the earth. I see through the earth the way you see through the transparent water of a spring. I see through the sky and I see the whole Universe to its borders. I know my soul and thus it is able to see. My soul is the one with all existing souls and thus I am united with everything. I am here in front of you: but I am also the sun. I contain the essence of the sun, and the sun contains my essence. The man with a blind soul is worse than a stone; he is only suitable to stub a toe on. You should also know that a stone is kinder than a man. I know my place; and here I am, and I do not wish to take someone else’s place. Why would I want someone else’s place if I am one with everything that exists, and all belongs to me? You wear a precious bracelet: if you did not get it, it would not be yours; and if it is taken away from you, it will not be yours any more. You got it and you keep it safe; but indeed it has always belonged to me and it had been mine before the metal was mined, and it will be mine where ever it is. I know neither offence nor vengeance; if I am one with all that exists, by whom can I be offended and against whom can I take my revenge? I am accepted by the world as I do not go against it. I am what I am; I will be what I will be. I am to be a stone - and I am a stone; shall I complain about not being a bird? Shall I argue with other stones for the place in the sun? I know what I should be and how should I live: this is what I am. Thus my dirt is nobler than your clothing. Thus my immobility is more efficient than your actions. Thus my silence is more beautiful than your songs. I am more beloved by the world than you; as I love everything and everything loves me. I am virgin and thus I am better than a man; and every other stone is the same”. I was confused and ashamed, and I asked: “If a man is worse than a stone what for does he exist?”. He replied: “he exists to be better than a stone. A stone has its soul, and a man has his soul; and the soul of a man is better that a soul of a stone.If a stone is so beloved by the world, how good a real man must be!Compared with a stone a man must be an amrita compared with water. But a man blinds his soul and becomes worse than a stone. Compared with a stone a man becomes stinking pus compared with pure water. This happens because he himself blinds his soul”. I asked: “How should a man reach his real level?”. He answered: “If a baby was not taught to walk, will he run like a courier when he becomes an adult?He should learn to crawl first, then to toddle, then to walk straight and only then to run. And an immobile chunk will always be a chunk even if it runs claiming to be a man. So firstly you should see what you are. If you can see it, you will cure your first blindness. Secondly you should understand that you will not become a man just claiming to be so. If you can do that, you will cure your second blindness. Then acknowledge your way to become a real man. If you can do that, you will cure your third blindness. Then your soul will be fully seeing, and you will follow the way to become the real man, the way a child follows to manhood. And remember that in order to reach the height, awarded to the real man, you should firstly grade up to a stone”. After hearing him out, I knelt and bowed to him. Then I stood up and went homeward.

Translated by Amradhari