Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z for Zen

Zen is the art of supreme meditation that can be achieved through a conscious love of everything around us and the realization that we cannot conquer our circumstances. It arises from an unwavering love of the Lord, when we concentrate on just doing our duty and not worry about the consequences. When the mind knows and absorbs this, it is at peace, it is in a state of Zen.

“Maadhav, I have understood that this war is for the establishment of Dharma, but what will be the consequences of my actions?” Arjuna wanted to know. His mind refused to accept that going to war with his cousins was the only way out. He was afraid of the consequences of the war, he was scared to think about the future, and he turned to his master for help to clear his mind.

The Lord chanted a sloka-

"Na Cha Mam Tani Karmani, Nibandhanti Dhananjaya,
Udaseenavadaseenamsaktam, Teshu Karmasu."

“Parth, let me tell you a story,” said Krishna proceeding to explain the meaning of the sloka to him.

“In a forest, a pregnant doe is about to give birth. Her labor pains have begun and she knows that her little one is expected any time now. She settles in a clearing close to the river and readies to deliver the fawn.

Just then she notices a hunter staring at her, his arrow strung up in his bow, ready to make its kill. She turns to the other side, but there is a lion, waiting to pounce upon her and satiate his hunger. To add to her woes, thunder and lightning shake up the skies and start a forest fire. There is no way she can escape. Even if the hunter and the lion miss her, the fire will surely kill her. She will be hunted either which way. What can she do?”

“She must think of a way to escape,” said Arjuna, his mind wandering aimlessly, and mentally trying to find a way to save the doe and the unborn one.

Krishna smiled. “No, Parth, the doe did not attempt to do anything. She let Prakriti take care of everything.”


“She concentrated on the job she had at hand. There was no way in which she could control her circumstances. There was no way she could influence its outcome. She trained her mind to concentrate only on delivering the fawn.”

“Who finally killed her?” asked Arjuna, already feeling sorry for the doe.

“Just as the hunter was about to release his arrow, lightning struck him, killing him at once. The arrow that released from the bow missed its aim and hit the lion instead, killing it instantly. The thunder gave way to rain which doused the forest fire.”

“So the doe was safe.” Arjuna smiled, relieved and happy.

“Not only was the doe safe, she gave birth to a beautiful fawn that lived to see the day, because its mother had decided to be at peace with herself and her surroundings. She concentrated on giving birth which was her first priority, without worrying about the future or the consequences. Her mind was in a state of Zen.”

When the heart trusts the master entirely, and the love for the Lord pervades everything else, it achieves a Zen-like state, when it is at peace with itself and the circumstances.

This day...last year... Z for Zen 
(I didn't realise until now that I did the same word last year too!!)
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