Parable «About the Wayfarer and Bodhisattva»

“Once upon a time the Wayfarer lost himself. He happened to be alon in the desert and wasn’t able to recall who was he and where he had to go. Everywhere, where the Wayfarer gazed, were sands and endless sand-dunes. He didn’t know where is their end and where their beginning. The sun mercilessly burnt his skin. The wind burnt with hot air.

“The Wayfarer has been walking for a long time. Suddenly he saw a dry bush with thorns. He sat near it. But a sudden gust drove it on the sands. It rolled easily, leaving a trace with its thorns. And he thought that if it rolls, it means that it knows where. If it leaves a trace, it means that it shows a way for him. And the Wayfarer followed it. But the wind calmed down and the bush stopped. A new gust drove it back. And the Wayfarer again followed it setting foot on his own traces. But finally he appeared at the same place where he started his way. And the Wayfarer comprehended that the bush is dead, and the wind just plays with it. He understood that it’s senseless to run after the dear dry bush since it has no life. Now only elements rule over it. He took it to his hands, but it stung him painfully. It surprised him. Even being dead, it continued to bring pain. And he threw it away angrily.

“The Wayfarer moved on. He walked long time. He was parched with thirst and hunder. But he went on going. Having seen a flying big bird, the Wayfarer thought that he is also a bird. He followed it. He believed that if this bird flies so high, then it sees far than he. It knows the way, that is, it will route him to the place where he would be able to slake his thirst and to satisfy his hunger, where he would finally find peace and will get rid of sufferings. Rejoiced Wayfarer ran appraising its rash fly and look forward to fulfil his dreams.

“The strong bird flew nicely and quickly. The Wayfarer raced after it as fast as he could. He got tired but he continued his run hoping for better. The bird lowered over the nearest sand-dune, and the Wayfarer quickened his run. He assumed that only instances separate him from his dream. Having run up the sand-dune he stopped was horrified by delusion when he faced the truth. Over the sand-dune a flock of the same birds tore to pieces a dead body and swallowed up with greediness a rotten flesh. Having turned back with disgust, the Wayfarer went away. He understood that he is just a food for a bird.

“The Wayfarer has been walking for long. The sun was burning mercilessly all the time. The wind burnt with its hot air. He suffered from unbearable thirst and hunger. He was coming to an end. But there was around only endless sand and blue sky. Suddenly the Wayfarer has seen a snake. It was moving resolutely and without haste as if it knew its way beforehand and enjoyed every moment of its overcoming. A peace was felt in it. It spreaded coolness despite the hot weather. And the Wayfarer thought, “If it doesn’t hurry up and it spreads coolness, then it knows where the source is. If I follow it, I will find shelter from the sun and will slake my thirst.”

“The Wayfarer followed the snake. He felt that he was gradually restored. And the Wayfarer thought, “Maybe I’m a snake?” But at this moment the snake stopped and turned to him. And he saw that the snake has teeth full of venom. His body trembled from fear and bolted him away. And it stopped only when it fell down to the hot sand. He was angry with himself that he couldn’t resist when only one step separated him from salvation. His body betrayed him. But he had considered that his body is himself.

“Standing up with difficulty, the Wayfarer again dragged himself along the desert. He was wandering under the burning sun rays recalling coolness and peace of the snake. Anguish oppressed his heart. Suddenly he has seen a flashed by shaddow. He thought it was a mirage, a phantom of the snake. But the shaddow flashed by again. Having peered at it, the Wayfarer has seen a lizard. It seemed to him that it also spreads coolness. And he thought, “If it spreads coolness like a snake maybe it also knows where is the source.” And he ran after it trying not to remain behind. But the lizard moved deftly and quickly. The Wayfarer got exhausted in desert following it and the lizard burried itself into the sand. However hard the Wayfarer dug the sand in that place, he was unable to find it. But having lost the lizard, he wasn’t upset. As it wasn’t a snake, it was just a restless lizard which only superficially reminded of the snake. And all its essence was just an empty tossing around.

“Having risen to his feet, the Wayfarer dragged himself aimlessly along the desert. He was disappointed with his meetings, he was angry at his disobedient hungry body. He was tired of this vain wandering, senseless sufferings, encouraging dreams, empty fuss and endless disappointment, lie, deceit, illusions of this desert.

“The heat became unbearable. The body groaned and suffered of thirst and hunger. But the Wayfarer didn’t pay already attention at it. He went on going until he had energy to do it. Finally getting weak, he fell down to the hot sand heated by the sun and was unable to move even a finger. Only his eyes still contemplated endless open space of cloudless sky which merged with shoreless sand-dunes of the desert. The Wayfarer shifted his gaze to many various sand grains in front of his face. Every sand grain distinguished from other. But in the general heap of the sand these peculiarities were unnoticeable. The wind moved them easily.

“And the Wayfarer thought, “I’m the same like this sand grain. I don’t know who I am. But if I exist, it means that Someone created me. And if Someone created me, then it was His will. So my wanderings here are just a part of His plan. And this desert is just a place for embodiment of His will. The events happened to me had to take place. Because the main sense is not in the external movement but in the essence of internal development. If I die, what will be changed? All these sand grains don’t need my life. But why did He created me then? What a pity that I lost the snake…”

“The Wayfarer fainted. He was awaken by the bright light. He screwed up his eyes and coved them with his hand. It seemed to him that the light damped down. Then the Wayfarer moved his hand away from his face. He has seen that it was already dark. A fire blazed in front of him. And there was the Wanderer who sat at fire and cooked some food. The Wayfarer asked him, “Who are you?”

“The main question is who you are,” he heard the reply.

“I don’t know,” the Wayfarer said, “I have been walking for so long that I forgot who I am.”

“The Wanderer passed him over a jug full of water and said, “You suffed for long of heat of the desert. Slake your thirst from my source.”

“The Wayfarer took from the Wanderer with gratitude the jug and began to gulp water with greediness. The vivifying liquid spreaded over his body. It seemed to him that he had never in his life tried such delicious water. Having slaked his thirst, the Wayfarer gave back the jug to the Wanderer and asked, “Where have you found such a cool pure water among the sand of the desert? Its taste remind me a crystall pure mountain spring.”

“The Wanderer smiled and uttered, “I can’t tell you in words about the place of this source. Since you may know about it only if you are in it. The words aren’t able to impart experience.”

“The Wayfarer reflected on it and asked, “Why aren’t the words able to impart experience?”

“The Wanderer answered, “You drank the water. You received an experience. Since before however would I describe to you how delicious and nice this water is, you may feel and estimate its taste only when you try it. Only you may determine for yourself how good this water is. Only you may understand and feel the taste of the water when your lips touch it, when it fills your mouth and flows to your body through the throat. And this experience belongs only to you since everybody drinks his own water. But how much would you drink, you will be thirsty again and again. Only becoming a source will you slake your thirst for ever.”

“How can I become a source?”

“Become yourself, your own Essence. Life and death are like a single flow. The Essence moves in the flow. It gains Eternity during its movement. Nobody can estimate a wild flow properly unless he enters its waters as it is the future. Nobody can enter the same water twice as it is the past. There is only movement of the flow since it is the present. Any water sooner or later reaches its source and becomes it turning back to its original purity.”

“The Wayfarer was surprized to hear such a wise reply and asked, “How can you know all of that about water?”

“I was the source of its moisture,” was the reply.

“The Wanderer passed him over the food and said, “You were wandering for so long in the desert. Appease your hunger, try my food.”

“The Wayfarer took with gratitude the food from the Wanderer and began to swallow it up with pleasure.

“It seemed to him so delicious and nourishing as if he had never in his life tried something like that.

“Having eaten the food, the Wayfarer asked the Wanderer, “Why is your food so delicious? I have never in my life eaten something like that.”

“You were hungry. The food is just a pleasure for flesh. It feeds flesh but it doesn’t slake the thirst. Those who consider it as the highest blessing are not able to refuse from its accumulation. But however much will you pile it, it will rot. The food gives only a temporary pleasure of possessing it. It’s useful only for sustenance of flesh which is a container for the Spirit.”

“But why after such a small quantity of your food I was filled with much more power than ever?”

“Because this power which makes the food like it is doesn’t have any boundary or beginning. It’s a limit of the limitless and the end of the endless. But the food itself has its end, it’s limited within itself.”

“The Wayfarer was surprised again, “How can you know that about the food?”

“I was the Cook of this world.”

“Having saturated his hunger and thirst, the Wayfarer paid attention to his clothes. It was shabby and torn. And he felt ashamed for his appearance.

“The Wanderer noticed it and said, “Don’t feel ashamed for your clothes. Clothes is just a particle of the universal process of creation and destruction. There is nothing more stupid than to satisfy caprices of your clothes. Since its essence locks you within the limits of its narrow space, estranges you from the world, plunges you into hesitations and fears caused by this estrangement. It makes you exist for the sake of its shapes and external illusions it creates for others thus involving you into even more worries about it. Since every shape has its own rules. And the rules are just a number of contrasts.

“Your clothes has its limit. It wears out. And you are free not to wear it. But having worn out one clothes you put on another one. However without destroying the limit, it’s disastrous to strive for the limitless.”

“The Wayfarer was amazed again, “How can you know it about the clothes?”

“I was the Tailor of this world,” followed the reply.

“The Wayfarer looked around, “Tell me, how did I get here?”

“You have come,” answered the Wanderer.

“But I remember only heat and sand.”

“And what have you seen?”

“The Wayfarer began to recall, “I have seen a dry thorn bush which was rolled by the wind. It dinted on the sand. I followed it and thought that it would show me the way. But the wind changed its direction. I went back. And I decided that it’s senseless to run after the dead dry thorn bush as it’s not alive. But the thorn stung me when I took it up. Even dead, it continued to cause pain.”

“You have met the dead one which doesn’t show anything else but its thorns. The dead defends the dead. The dead will not change into the alive because there is life and the alive will not change into dead because there is death. Both death and life depend on something, there is something which unites them,” uttered the Wanderer.

“The Wayfarer went on telling, “I have seen a big bird. It flew high in the sky. I ran after it and thought it would bring me to the place where I could find peace and get rid of sufferings. I praised its flying and appeased myself with a dread. But it led me only to the flock of the same birds who ate dead rotten flesh.”

“And the Wanderer answered, “It’s stupid to praise someone who sees only a future food in you. You were attracted by the height of its flying. And you followed it thinking of your own benefit. But the bird strives in the flight were different. Though it flies high in the sky over the desert, it feeds itself with its victims. The bird which eats carrion doesn’t suffer when its “dishes” change. Since its essence is rot. You deceived yourself. You have seen the reality and your illusions disappeared. But your reality is also an illusion. The big bird was only a shaddow in comparison to the essence of things. And things used to be born in the Shapeless and return to the Lowest.”

“The Wayfarer said, “I have seen the snake. I felt peace in it. It spreaded coolness. And I thought that it knows the place of the source. I followed it. But the snake turned to me. And I have seen its teeth full of venom. My body trembled from fear and dragged me away. But I thought that my body is me. I lost the snake but I thought all the time about it.”

“Those who rely on external things may only assume. Those who rely on internal things possess the true knowledge,” uttered the Wanderer. “Your body is just a dust. Its essence is ashes. You might have possessed the Wisdom of Eternity. You needed just to make one step. But the fear of your dust death happened to be stronger. The dust ran away. You remained anguished as the Spirit always strives to the Eternity. You may not cognize the Wisdom of the Eternity through the power of the dust as it will turn it to nonsense. To run away from fear doesn’t mean to save yourself. To kill your fear means to gain perfection. Perfection lets make a step over the verge. Since only on the verge you cognize the source of the Wisdom.”

“The Wayfarer went on recalling, “I have seen a lizard. I thought, it was a phantom of the snake. It seemed to me that it spreaded coolness. I tried to catch up it. But it ran quickly and swiftly. It dug into the sand and I couldn’t find it. But I wasn’t upset because of that. Since it was only a restless lizard, not the snake.”

“The Wanderer remarked, “The phantom similar to the Wisdom only looks like the Wisdom. Empty fuss is a beginning of the distemper. Those who want to look like a Wiseman in order to boast in front of others, dolefully rush about and dream of the glory. But their essence is emptiness in the shell of Ego. When knowledge comes from the lack of knowledge, it gives rise to endless questions.”

“And the Wayfarer said, “I have seen the sun, endless space of the sky. I have seen boundless sand-dunes of the desert. I have seen many different sand grains. But all together they were unnoticeable. The wind determined their direction.”

“The Wanderer replied to that, “The sky and the sun direct the changes. They can make transformations so that all living beings follow their nature. The sky and the sun magnify the full and annihilate the empty. The desert set in motion in rest. It’s dead but it’s able to bear mirages in order to deceive the alive with its illusions. The desert destroys the full and fulfils the empty. The sand grains in their mass follow the motions of the sand that’s why elements determine their direction.”

“And the Wayfarer admitted, “I thought that I’m the same like that sand grain. Since I don’t know who I am. But if I exist, it means that Someone created me. And if Someone created me, then it was His will to do it. Then my wanderings are just a part of His plan. If I die, what will change? Since these sand grains don’t need my life. Why did He create me then?”

“So that you would become Human,” was the reply.

“So that I would become Human?!” the Wayfarer was surprised. “But what is my life?”

“The Wanderer uttered, “A stone fallen to the sand – rustle of sand grains. / A wave reaching the land – rustle of sand grains. / Your running headlong, / Foot in the sand – rustle of sand grains. / Life is just a step, / And its years are rustle of sand grains.”

“The Wayfarer thought for a while and then asked again, “But what does it mean?”

“You came to a place which was granted to you from your birth,” responded the Wanderer. “You grew up where it was pleasant to your nature. You became mature in those things which became your destiny. And you will go to a place given to you by your death. Death is just a beginning of life. Life is just a successor of Death. You can’t avoid a start of life. You can’t stop its end.”

“The Wayfarer kept silence and then said with admiration, “So that I would become Human?! I recalled! I was looking for a Way so that I would become Human!”

“And the Wanderer answered, “You were looking just for a somebody’s else footsteps but not your own way. Alien footstep doesn’t look like your own. The footsteps appear where they are dinted. But they are not those who dint them. Following alien footsteps you strived after outside images without knowing their internal sense. But everybody carves that way which meets its real strivings. The desert sands up all footsteps with time so that a new Wayfarer wouldn’t make mistakes from the past. That’s why your own experience is so important. In order to become Human, you should carve your own way.

“A foot of the Human takes little place in the endless desert. But despite this it may dint in those places which have never been visited before. Making footsteps where nobody went, the Human is able to go far ahead and to gain much more. Knowledge of his mind is little but if the Human trusts the Unknown, he can reach the One Who created him.”

“And the Wayfarer asked, “And who is the One Who created me?”

“The Wanderer uttered, “He can be perceived but can’t be described. The one can reach Him but can’t cognize Him. He can be Loved but can’t be grasped. He can be understood in the Beginning but can’t be cognized to the End. Since He is the One Who created everything. Since He is the One who Created by His Will.”

“How can you know about Him?” the Wayfarer was surprised.

“I’m His Voice and Hearing,” was the answer.

“But who are you? Tell me your name.”

“Name is just a shaddow of the clothes but I have a lot of it. And the Essence is the only one - Bodhisattva.”

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