Saturday, October 24, 2015

THE BEING AND THE BECOMING-XV

"So, you have come," he said, "and it is good you have brought Balu along with you."

"It is Balu who brought me here," I said, not a little puzzled that he should know me. Before long, however, I was certain that I met him, the cave, the lake, the cat.

"You have come a long way; sit down and rest; you, too, Balu," he waved us to sit down.

Little Balu prostrated himself in front of Swamiji, and gave the package of sweets to him. "This is from the master at Hanuman's temple. He sent his salutations."

"Ah," said Swamiji, "then we thank him by at once eating them up; mustn't we, Balu. Go and have a wash and come."

Balu and I strolled down to the lake, bathed our face, hands and feet. Balu waded knee-deep into the water and plucked some lotus leaves. A few of these he shaped into cups. From a little rill that flowed into the lake he collected water into the cups, and we climbed back.

Swamiji served the sweets to us and the cat, too, and we began eating.

"How did you know I was coming, Swamiji," I asked, "I myself did not know till now!"

"What is the taste of the thing you just ate?" he asked.

"Why, it is sweet," I answered.

"How do you know it is sweet," he asked.

"Of course, I know it is sweet," I said.

"Ah, so! I knew you were coming, same as you know this cake to be sweet. Balu, there is more for you, here," and he gave Balu some more from the packet.

"But, Swamiji," I persisted, "I know it is sweet because I just tasted it; because everyone knows it."

"Is it sweet because you tasted it?" he asked.

"Of course, how else would I know?"

"Know what?"

"Know that it is sweet."

"Does a cat know that it is sweet?"

"I don't know unless we ask it," I said, a little angry.

Thimmy, do you know if this is sweet? he asked the cat. So, this is Thimmy, I remembered, and Thimmy grinned, and purred.

"You see, he does not answer - so we don't know if Thimmy thinks it is sweet. Do you know if it is sweet to Balu? Balu, what do you say?"

"Yes I know, Master. It is deliciously sweet," answered Balu with his mouth full of one more cake.

"So, Balu knows it is deliciously sweet, not just sweet. If Balu was not here we wouldn't know that he knew it to be sweet. Do you know what a person with fever, nausea and delirium would say of this cake?"

"I don't know. How can I know what anyone else thinks of it?" I asked. 

"Ah, so, it may be anything to anybody else, is it not? Moreover, you would not know it to be sweet simply because someone else thinks it to be so, or because of any why or how," he said.
"But I know it is sweet," I persisted.

"That is fine. You know it is sweet. 'You know' is all that matters - not what anyone else thinks. Next, you said you know it is sweet because you ate it. Does your eating it make it sweet? Who knows, it may make it bitter. It does not become sweet because you ate it! So you see, YOU KNOW is all that can be said, is all that matters. A thousand others may say anything, may prove many things - but YOU KNOW it is sweet!" he looked at me.

"But your knowing about my coming," I persisted.

"Same thing. I knew you were coming. What, how, why, and what others think of it, do not alter this. Knowing happens - like eating. About eating a cake in order to know if it is sweet, why, in a dream, so-called dream, you may know the cake to be sweet without having actually eaten it. Knowing happens," he replied.

"But, still, Swamiji," I said, "you said you knew I was coming. Suppose I did not come."

"But it is nice you came, and such a long way, too. Sleep a while. You can sleep in the cave if you like," he offered.

Balu, too, came and settled down to sleep. Thimmy lay curled up between us. We slept in the open.

Sometime during the night two monkeys kept up a raucous argument: "Suppose you have no tail!; "You are insulting me: It is suppose, YOU have no tail and I had two":, "No, I started supposing first. Therefore, it is supposing YOU, not ME, have no tail at all, and I had three tails, and supposing YOU have no mouth, too!"; and they went at each other, scratching and biting, and then simultaneously screamed, "Suppose the moon falls on us!"

I woke up as Thimmy landed on my chest in a playful jump.

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