« PrécédentContinuer »
FROM THE BOOK OF IMAGES
INBARA DAS prospered exceedingly. By speech alone he guided his elephant, clothing sound reasons in soft tones. When the troop came to deep waters where the ford had been, the head man smote with his iron in vain. The elephants trumpeted one to another, denying the efficacy of effort. They swayed from side to side, trembling, fearing the sharp iron, fearing more the rush of waters saying, "abstain, abstain from disturbing our meditation. We bear in our bosom the seed of further harvest. The plain of Iran waits. Delay us not."
The mahouts held counsel. The younger drivers, headstrong from uniform experience and knowing no language than the commands of their chiefs, cursed the great bodies and small heads of the beasts, cursed the deep waters running yellow with blessings for the starved soil and parched fields of Iran, cursed the far mountains, elder brothers of the plain, for the unseemly melting of the snows, cursed the bland air of the uplands, cursed the hot sun of the spring, but the herd obeyed not their oaths nor their adjurements.
The older drivers, seated around the raj-mahout, advised encampment and the preparation of sacrifice. "It is well-known, Master of men and of elephants," said these, "that those strive in vain who seek to make head against the will of the gods. These are religious beasts obeying according to their natures. To beat them because of the high waters is to prick against the gods through them. We are far from home. If we are not patient in this adversity it may well be that the gods will punish us our rebellion by smiting our women and children. It would be well that we should wait till Surya turns his hot eye. Then the snows will sleep, the bland air return to the mountains, the waters, unnourished, will recede, and the work of the gods, not being hindered, will pass, and we can resume the journey. We have food in plenty and provender lacks not for the herd. Of a truth, this is a sign that we should abide in peace. Being but drivers of elephants our lot is hard and rest comes but seldom. Veritably, this is our gift from the gods, did we but read with the eye of gratitude the signs."
Thus, one by one all spoke, each according to his nature, esteeming his experience sufficient and his understanding complete, seeking no other rendition of the meaning of circumstance.
But the raj-mahout remained with his mind swaying from side to side, hearing within the diverse trumpeting of duty and of fear. Upon the ceasing of speech from the drivers his attention returned from the abstraction within to the circumstances without, for his was the false abstraction due to the pressure of circumstances. Goaded by the sharp iron of necessity, as the
beast is goaded by the sharp iron of the mahout, the head-man spoke.
"Sinbara Das, hast thou no word? All these have spoken, tendering the aid of advice and opinion, but the obstacle remains. The merchants will have cause for reproach and the administration of punishment upon the company, I being chief. Silence is not seemly while the road of efficacy remains unfound. In times of stress it is customary for all to speak. There is no other way known to seek a way than by much speaking and a multitude of counsels. The will of the gods is to be known only through the voices of men, and whom the gods choose for their vessel, through him comes the speech of the gods, giving true directions. Manifestly, these others are not chosen for the way is not found. Sacrifice having been made, interpretation is needed. It is known that the gods are present where sacrifice has been made. that it may be known if the sacrifice has been sufficient."
Sinbara Das, putting off the garment of silence, uttered wisdom to fools, for by what means can a fool weigh wisdom?
"Master of men and of elephants, the snows perform only their own duty and know no other. The tall mountains hold in custody only that which is theirs. The yellow waters, being a mixture, know only the meditation of action and run swiftly and deep, meditating only upon the seed in their bosom. The herd is confused in its duty, hearing the voices of the duties of the waters, and fearing the duty of another which, as is well known, is full of danger. It is not well to curse Father Surya, setter of the duties of all. It is not well to curse the snow, nor the mountains, nor the bland air, nor the yellow water, nor the obedient elephants, for they be ignorant of the duties of others, seeking only to learn their own duty well. But we, being mahouts and men, are of superior caste to all these. It is our duty to know the duties of these younger brothers of the mountain, of the snow, of the air, of the waters, of the herd, and instruct them in the coherency of all duties. We being faithful to the duties of our caste will be true interpreters of the will of Surya, shining on all, and the duties of each will then become the bridge of the waters. It is by understanding, not by doing, the duty of another, that Antaskarana is formed. I have obeyed thy injunction and have spoken."
Though Sinbara Das spoke in the words of men, answering to the injunction of the raj-mahout, yet, since the air is a common air, both for men and for beasts, and performing its duty well carries all sounds, whether of men or of beasts, whether of wisdom or of the uttered noises of fools, therefore the air carried the tones of Sinbara Das to all who had ears; to the head man who listened with the ear of perplexity, to the older drivers who heard with the ear of tamas, to the younger drivers who heard with the ear of rajas, and to the elephants who heard with the ear of sattva, being faithful in the performance of their duty,
and confused only in their sense of duty, confounded by the mixed voices of the waters, interpreted for their understanding through the tamas and rajas of the understanding of the older and the younger drivers, not fully faithful and learned in the performance of their duty.
The younger drivers, heady with rajas, reviled Sinbara Das, saying, "This troop of words hath indeed the sound of much wisdom, but the belly of our understanding remains empty and not nourished. Better, O Head-man, had he not spoken."
The elder drivers in their turn and after their manner complained with fault-finding. "Master of men and of elephants," complained they, "this Das means well, beyond doubt or objection, but like a false bale from a swindling merchant, there are many wrappings of speech which being removed and the content examined show small measure of value. It is clear that Sinbara Das has hidden in his heart more desire to find favor with thee through soft tones than sound reason. This is not respectable in morals nor good as a means of obtaining the desire hidden deep in his heart, seeing the wisdom of experience required in a head man. Or, peradventure, Sinbara Das, in the depths of his cunning, prepares in advance the fortifying excuses which, softly clothed at the occasion, will deceive the Master of Merchants and cause in the end thy replacement as raj of mahouts, himself being cunningly disposed to that end. After much counseling and the opinion of all, no way has been found. Even thy superior wisdom is perplexed and discerns no true interpretation. How, then, should Sinbara Das discern that which thou hast not discerned? We have spoken with reverence to the gods and with gratitude. towards thee. Sinbara Das is a disturber of the will of the gods, and has no respect for his elders, nor gratitude towards thee. Gratitude towards superiors, respect to elders, reverence to the gods, is true duty. Let Sinbara Das be silent, or, if needs his conceit must have speech, let him talk to the elephants. We have said."
In this way do men and mahouts speak when tamas and rajas are present, causing whirlpools in the waters of the understanding, drowning the sense of duty. Thus they cannot ford the turbulent waters of the mind, and though the air, performing its duty, brings to their ears the voice of wisdom as well as the clamor of folly, they perceive naught but circumstance, which is the echo of folly, and give heed only to the voice of conceit and of prejudice, aroused by the echo of difficult circumstance.
Upon the ceasing of uttered complaint by the elder mahouts, the herd recommenced trumpeting, the waters recommenced the sound of rushing. The raj-mahout, perceiving by this renewal of clamor that there had been silence, and confused only in the sense of his duty, withdrew his attention to the silence that had been, and perceived further that at the time of the speaking of Sinbara
Das the herd had ceased to trumpet, and that the tones of Sinbara Das had blended with the rushing of the waters. The sounds of conceit and of prejudice which encompassed the speaking of the younger and elders therefore entered not at all in the mind of the head man, seeking the significance of circumstance that he might resolve the perplexity of unlearned duty.
The soft tones of Sinbara, clothing sound wisdom, bridged the confusion of the headman, seeking understanding of duty, yet aroused the conceit and the prejudice of those who were indolent and headstrong, not seeking the significance of circumstance.
Therefore this head man of mahouts addressed further injunction to all.
"Let Sinbara speak further. If his understanding is a ford through this difficulty of circumstance, let him take the direction of action, whereby the duty of all may be joined. Those who cannot see the way should follow those who have perception. This is duty, and all joining in the act of faith, the bridge will be complete. Sinbara Das, having spoken in obedience to my injunction, obey further and act as seemeth best unto thee."
Sinbara Das, having in his heart friendliness toward all, had in his heart the sense of understanding of all, and had in his head the eye which sees the significance of circumstance, and the ear which interprets the meaning of the tones which pervade only. as sounds the heads of those who are hard from habitual things.
He approached to Gunga, smallest of the elephants, and therefore at the rear of the troop, for there is precedence among beasts as among men, which go by the appearance of greatness as among men. The karma of Gunga was meritorious. Thus she had been allotted to carry the timbers for the sacred platform in the Mother river so that the breast of Gunga the sacred river might not be troubled at the period of the pilgrimage. Thus was she called Gunga after this service, and thus had she Sinbara Das for mahout, who had named her and who now named her name.
But the other mahouts remaining as they were, the raj of mahouts spoke as became a wise head man. "See ye not that Sinbara Das has moved to his place and confers with his servant. Act then like him. The first step in wisdom is to emulate the actions of the wise."
Thereupon there took him, each man, to his elephant, and seeing Sinbara Das speak to the meritorious Gunga in moderate speech, giving explanations in soft tones, accompanied with interpretative touch and gesture, confidence entered, they knew not how, into the hearts and overflowed, yellow with blessing, into the heads of the mahouts. Confidence being in the hearts and in the heads of the mahouts, the herd became tranquil and attentive to further interpretation.
Then Sinbara Das, walking in friendliness by the side of Gunga, his arm on her trunk, walked in friendliness with her the
whole length of the troop, walked in friendliness with her into the rush of waters where the ford had been, full of faith in the power of Surya, setter of the duties of all, serene in confidence which comes from understanding the duties of others, instructing in faith in the merits of the performance of one's own duty, bridging by his faith the coherency of the duties of the younger brethren.
Then Gunga, remembering the lesson learned of the sacred river and the transport of timbers for the platform for bathers in the sacred waters, aroused by the friendliness of Sinbara Das, interpreter of Surya, reached forth her trunk, lifted up Sinbara Das out of the rush of waters to his place between her eyes, and marched steadily and tranquilly through the waters. Then the great of the herd followed Gunga, perceiving that where the small can go the great can follow.
Thus in the prosperity of Sinbara Das all prospered and received commendations from the Master of Merchants. But Sinbara Das prospered most for he gained in the fulness of the comprehension of Surya, which is obtained only by those who seek to unite the duties of all into the coherency which bridges difficult circumstances.
ERRATA IN "SEERSHIP," VOL. I, NO. I*
The following corrections by Murdhna Joti, to his article in April number, were received too late for insertion in the text: [Ed.] DEAR BROTHER:-The following errata are to be noted in the article on "Seership." :
36-Take away the word "other" in the expression
...5, 6-Take away the sentence, "In the equilibrium
true progress;" since there can be no such
13...... 25, 26, 27-In the place of the last sentence, substitute, "The
39-For grasping, read "groping."
This article was first printed by Wm. Q. Judge in The Path for May, 1886. corrections given referred to the article "Seership" which had appeared in the preceding issue of The Path, and which was reprinted in THEOSOPHY last month (November, 1917). These corrections should have been incorporated in THEOSOPHY'S reprint; but as they were printed by Mr. Judge on the inside back cover of The Path, and as that cover was not included in the bound volume from which THEOSOPHY'S copying was done, they were overlooked at the time. The only changes made from the original of the above are those required to allow for the difference between the paging, etc., of The Path and THE OSOPHY. [EDITORS ]