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12 March, 2009

The Best Spiritual Teachers

From the title itself you may be guessing that the contents of this post incline to the famous Gurus, new age spiritual teachers or such enlightened mystics who have been guiding seeker to self discovery. Wait! I do write here about the ‘enlightened’ teachers, not necessarily the human one though. If we keep eye open to wider perspective, there are many bewildering ‘lessons’ around us and some of them are really ‘enlightened’ in their own way. From the ancient time, these have been the inspiration to all, and nobody can just pass them without stumbling. Let me underscore them.

1. Flower

No body left un-tempted when passing through flowers. they are source of creative activities to the artists, gift to the beloved one and worship to 'god'. To be transformed into flower from cherry-blossoma tiny seed, is indeed, the most precious gift from a plant back to universe. Bringing a vivid picture of a blooming flower surpasses all the poetic expression of beauty, delicacy, purity and serenity. The link of flower to the spirituality also goes back to human early time of civilization, and Flower is reported to be the spiritual master for the self-realization of Mahakashyap the originator of ZEN. The juicy story goes like this:

Once, the emperor of that time, Prasenjita has come to offer Gautam Buddha some flowers out of season, with a great philosopher (Maulingaputta), whom Prasenjita has up to now believed to be his teacher. Prasenjita introduced his teacher, Maulingaputta, and said to Gautam Buddha,

"I offer my gratitude that you are staying in my kingdom; just let me know if anything is needed by the great assembly of monks. One thing more I ask you: I have brought my teacher, Maulingaputta, and he has come with his five hundred followers. He is a great philosopher, a man of tremendous knowledge, very articulate in discussing things. I pray to you to give him a chance to discuss ultimate problems with you.

Gautam Buddha turned to Maulingaputta and said, ”I am ready. But are you ready?”

Maulingaputta could not understand what readiness was needed.

Gautam Buddha said, ”Readiness means, are you capable of being silent, utterly silent, not a single thought passing through your mind?”

He said, ”Thought is my life, I am a thinker; philosophy is my profession. All that I know about mind is that it is a thinking process. Beyond that I don’t know any silence you are talking about.”

Then Buddha said, ”You are not ready. And it will be a very strange conversation. From the hilltop I will be shouting to you, and from the dark valleys you will be answering me – without understanding me. So first, let us come to a point where our consciousness are at the same level.”

It was convincing, and even Prasenjita said, ”Gautam Buddha is right. But what is to be done?”

Gautam Buddha said, ”Nothing has to be done. Just sit silently by my side for two years. Many people will come and go, and ask – you don’t bother about anything. Your work is simply to watch and be silent. Not a single word for two years.”

At this moment Mahakashyapa, sitting under a tree, started laughing hysterically, could not manage... The whole assembly was shocked – they had never heard him even speak, he did not speak to anybody. You might say something, he would not answer; he would not take note of anybody. People had accepted him as a strange fellow. But what happened? Suddenly, out of nowhere... And he laughed, such beautiful laughter, resounding in that silence of the assembly.

Maulingaputta said, ”Why is your disciple laughing?”

Buddha said, ”You can ask him yourself.”

This is the only mention of Mahakashyapa in Buddhist scripture.

Mahakashyapa said, ”I am laughing because this fellow (Buddha) is tricky. He tricked me also, in the same way he is trying it on you. But now he has become old, so he is saying only two years; I had to remain silent for twenty years. If you really want to ask the questions, ask now. After two years it will be too late.”

And when Prasenjita offered flowers, Buddha called Mahakashyapa and gave those flowers to him. And he said, ”What could be said through words, I have said to everybody. What could not be said through words, but only through silence, I have imparted to Mahakashyapa.”

This presence of the flower become the final kick to the Mahakashyap and become his master.

................from Nansen the Turning point ( Osho discourse on Zen master)

The flower are delivering the message: Bloom dear Bloom!!

2. Next comes the Stones and crystals.Crystal_Jewellery_Stones

If you see the ordinary rock, what could be heavier, more im-penetratable and denser than it?And,yet,see some of them has great 'courage' to transform into crystals, and become transparent to the light. A mass of 'dirty coal', under inconceivable heat and pressure, transforms into diamonds, and some heavy minerals into other precious stones. What a fascinating and enlightening pursuits! Among them the mysterious paras (philosopher-stone) has the alchemic capability to convert iron to gold. These are the 'gurus' of many sufi fellows, being the source transmuting inspiration. These 'enlightened' rocks are whispering - Transform! Transform! and Be transparent !!

3. Flying Birds

Most reptile creature go on crawling from million years back. They are still remaining unchanged and destined to be most earthbound. However, some refused to crawl any longer and desired for feathers and wings and hence turned into birds, defying the force of gravity that had held them for so long. They didn’t become better at 9905_03_46---Seagull_webcrawling or walking, but transcended crawling and walking entirely. What do you feel when you observe a wild swan flying in the sky!. The story of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull always makes me into tears. The little seagull refuses the tradition of other folk. For them to fly means only to accumulate the food. He seeks larger meaning in flying and learnt the ultimate flying skill, the skill by which he can fly surpassing all the boudary of space and time.

The flying wild swan became the master of Ramkrishna (master of Vivekananda). One day he was in the park observing the setting sun. Suddenly a flock of wild swan came from nowhere and flew across the golden sky. And synchronicity happen inside. He closed his eye and flew wildly in the inner sky and disappeared there!

What they sing: Fly! Dear Fly! why are you satisfying in the earth nook.

4. Finally The Butterfly.

What is the more bewildering story of metamorphosis than that of butterflies'. In a short life span, a tiny egg gives a hungry caterpillar. After his boring eating habit, he pursuits for the higher meaning and enters into 'silence'. When the efforts ripen, a flying butterfly with amazing color mixture born out.

What they are murmuring: Transmute yourself! you are not born for earth-bound and hunger!


What do you feel? Are not they giving a 'kicking' message??

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  1. I am a huge fan of all the above! I especially love crystals (amethyst, citrine, tourmaline, smokey quartz). Congrats on being featured over at Barbara's! Way to go!

  2. Thank you Caroline for your regard. Its my pleasure of being honored in Barbara's Blog, among those awesome blogger. Feeling little blush though..

  3. Yet another great post!.

    And thanks for the beautiful story of Mahakashyap too.

  4. I, too, love the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. After hearing it, I thought how awesome it would be to be a bird.

  5. Dilipji and Barbara,
    It is my pleasure that you like the post. Thank you for your sharing

  6. Very interesting and inspiring post Sumiranjee!

    And Mahakashyap's story was new for me too.