The Reality Behind The Names And Forms

Discussion in 'Hindu Stories' started by Hindu, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Hindu

    Hindu Member Staff Member

    :: Playing Your Role ::


    Once upon a time, there lived a monk who had a statue of gold. It was a golden statue of Ganesh, together with a golden mouse. The monk had some disciples. Since the monk was getting old, he thought, “My foolish disciples will quarrel after my departure to see who will inherit the golden Ganesh, so it might be best for me to sell the Ganesh statue and distribute the money to poor people.” So the monk went to a jeweler, and the jeweler estimated the value of Ganesh at a hundred thousand and the mouse at two hundred thousand. The monk was surprised at the evaluation and asked, “How can Ganesh, who is a god be half the price of a mouse? I don’t understand your marketing value.” The jeweler explained, “Dear Swamiji, I don’t see ‘Ganesh’ or ‘a mouse`- I only see gold. I am not concerned with the name and the form; the weight of gold in the mouse is double that of the gold in the statue of Ganesh.” The ‘gold’ in the statues is the only reality and different forms are imposed on it. This is a lesson to be learnt. Behind all names and forms there is only one changeless entity, and that is ‘what I am’; what we all are. But we all play different roles and we have to play them well.


    Life is a drama in the theatre of the world, and we are forced to play many roles. We play the roles allotted to us. Which role are you playing? Every moment, faced with different situations and surroundings, our role in the drama is changing. How many roles do you play? When I was with my teacher, I was the student. Now you are the students, and I am playing the role of the teacher. Under different circumstances, the name and role evolves as the play continues.
    When I was a school child, I lived in a village. In that village there was an open-air theater. One day, at the theatre, a man from the village was playing the role of a king. When he was on the stage, his six-year old daughter, who was in the audience, recognized him, ran towards the stage and tried to approach him calling “Papa, Papa.” Without any sign of annoyance, the father called out a royal command “Who is there? Come and take this child away” and another person playing the role of an attendant, took away the child. The actor solved the situation very intelligently, without causing disruption in the play.


    Life is a drama, and we should play our role well. If you are really playing your role well, you will get joy through that role, and those who look at your acting will enjoy it also because you are acting your role perfectly. The purpose of life is to achieve joy within and joy in all. It is said in the Upanishad,
    Ãnando brahmeti vyajãnãt
    ãnandãd hy eva khalv imãni bhútãni jãyante
    ánandena jãtãni jívanti
    ãnandam prayanty abhisamviçantiTaittiriya
    Upanishad III.6.1
    Meaning: Know that Brahman is bliss. For truly, beings here are born of bliss; having been born they live in bliss; and into bliss they enter when they depart.
    We are born out of ãnanda (bliss), just as an ornament is made out of gold. We are made from the substance called ãnanda, which means bliss, joy, happiness, and love. We are born of bliss we live in bliss and we will go back to bliss. When an ornament is melted back, it becomes gold again. It was gold before and it will be gold again, only the ring will disappear. Similarly, we are born of bliss, we should live in bliss, and when this drama is over, only bliss will remain. We should try to act our different roles perfectly.


    How to perform in a perfect manner? In a theatre, behind the stage curtain, there is a person who prompts the actors. When you are on stage, looking at the audience, you are acting and at the same time listening to the prompter. So you are doing two things simultaneously. If you forget, if you do not pay attention to the prompter in the back, what will happen? You will not be able to say your lines in proper coordination with others, and people will laugh at you. So to play your part well, you should listen to the prompter, who is behind the curtain. Life is a drama and we are all actors. God is the director as well as the prompter, but we are not listening to God’s prompting. If we listen to the voice of God and act accordingly, the play will be a success. When we listen to the prompter, and repeat the words, it becomes ‘the talk of God’. That is why in the Bible it is said, “Any word that comes from the mouth is the talk of God.” If we spend our time in God- consciousness, we can listen to the voice that is prompting and directing us all the time. We only need to follow directions.


    We should all do our best to become great actors. When we act in life, know that it is a situation of changing roles, maybe several times in a day we must play all our different roles satisfactorily. If I am acting, and distracting thoughts come to me, can my performance improve? I will forget my dialogue, I may forget to move my hand, or I may forget to interact in any given situation. To be a proficient actor, be here and now. Do not bring other thoughts into the mind. To be a good teacher, I should be here and now with you one hundred percent. So to live a complete life, be fully present at a given situation, and act accordingly, without bringing in other thoughts.


    The first thing to remember is to play our role perfectly; we should listen to the prompter, who is behind the curtain. When we do not listen, we make mistakes. In our life, the reason for mistakes is because we do not listen to our inner voice. If we really go within, we can constantly hear the voice of God. God is the Creator, the Supreme Director of this cosmic drama. We are just mere actors for a short time.
    The second thing to remember is when we act we should act completely doing full justice to the role. Now I am a teacher, I will be fully a teacher. If you are a husband, you should be fully a husband when you are with your wife. If you are a doctor in a hospital, try to be a dedicated doctor with the patient. Lead a life of completeness, and then every action will be what it should be. Life is a play, enact it. The world is a stage.

    [ April 2004 ]

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