Discover more from Truth Be Told
No matter where you go, there you are.
Two men meet, scaling a mountainside. Both are on a quest.
An audience with the almighty guru.
They seek what we all seek.
Liberation. Release from the suffering of the world.
After their arduous climb, they sit in awed silence in a darkened Himalayan cave.
Their guru sits in meditation on the metamorphic granite floor.
His legs calloused from the stone.
Jasmine and Hemlock mingle in the air.
The guru’s eyes are rolled back in his head, fixed upon the ash smudged between his brows.
“You have come seeking moksha,” his voice thunders.
“Liberation. Is that so?”
The men lean in, shifting on cramped and painful legs, each nod in eager anticipation.
“Return to your villages!” the guru commands.
“Go to the local market. Find a chicken just ten days old…”
His pregnant pause hangs in the air.
“You will pay the merchant ten times his asking price!” he bellows.
The guru settles. Leans into a whisper.
“Take your chicken somewhere no one else can see.” he looks them each in the eye.
The men look at each other.
The one man, the first to arrive, is a man of wealth. This is plain to see.
His Florsheim shoes scuffed and dirty from the climb. His trousers torn to shreds at the heel. Yet he still holds himself as a man above his present surroundings, indignant to the dirt.
“Sacrifice the chicken,” the guru says, “and bring me a single drop of its blood.”
“Do this,” he leans back, eyes rolling up into his head. “And liberation will be yours.”
The first man, the eager chap, successful in every endeavor, leaps to his feet, bows, and backs out of the cave.
The second man, the simple one, in threadbare rags, and simple straw sandals, sits still in contemplation for several breaths before rising and descending the mountain trail back to his village.
10 days later, the first man returns, eager to receive his reward.
“It is right here, your Holiness,” he announces.
“Many, many drops of blood from the ten-day-old chicken, just as you requested.”
The guru sat motionless, eyes fixed on his ashen mark.
By lunchtime, the man’s belly began to growl and echo off the cavern walls, until he could not contain himself any longer.
“Guruji, I beg of you. The second man, the one who was with me. He is not my friend. We do not know each other, we just met on the mountain climb.”
“Guruji, this simple man does not have the means to purchase a chicken for ten times its asking price!”
“Clearly, this man is not worthy of moksha. Surely, as we can both attest, he did not do as you instructed.”
Still, the guru sat motionless.
As night begins to fall, the first man grows ever more impatient and angry.
“Guruji, please! Your Most Holiness, I implore you, Guruji please!”
“Give me my reward so I can descend this wretched mountain and get back to the warmth of my family and home.”
The guru sat cold and still as the stone he sat upon.
But then just as it seemed the wealthy man would spend the night in the cave with a madman, the second man arrived, candle in hand, illuminating his path.
“Guruji,” the man spoke.
“Guruji, I have failed you, and have come to accept my punishment.”
And with that, the simple man pulled a ten-day-old chicken from under his smock.
“You fool!” screamed the first man. “You could not follow even simple directions!”
“Now go outside the cave, where clearly no one else can see, sacrifice that chicken, and bring its blood back to me!”
The simple man stammered, “But that is the problem.” He hung his head in shame.
“Everywhere I go… the chicken sees.”
Truth be Told
I don’t think the actual story goes this way.
I don’t think there was a wealthy man and a poor man.
But that’s the way I wanted you to hear it.
Would it have made a difference?
Asking for a friend. 😉
I love you guys 😊