Diwali is the festival of the legendary King Rama returning from the forest after an exile of 14 years, the culmination of the great epic story of the Ramayana. Here is one of my favourite stories.King Janaka was on the battlefield, he saw the great army ahead of him stretching as far as the eye could see. ‘It’s amazing what you can do with computer graphics’ he said.
But unfortunately all the soldiers were real! All dressed in black as they were the baddies, and his soldiers in white, the goodies.
As the battle commenced, the enemy soldiers moved through King Janakas army, like black ink through blotting paper. As the clamour of battle drew close to the king, with arrows raining down and his trusted men falling around him. His horse reared up and hastened away from the battle.
King Janaka was now in agreement with the horses decision, and sped towards the edge of the forest. He dismounted hurriedly, entered into the darkness of the trees, and ran for his life! By nightfall he was deep in the forest, but was now aware of another danger, at night the animals eyes burned bright and he would be easy prey to tigers and other beasts.So he had to climb, and hide in the safety of a tree. All night he stayed awake, untill dawn rose over the horizon.
The nest day he ventured on, tired and hungry. Eventually he came to a small hut. He knocked on the door and begged for some food. He was given a few scraps, and King Janaka sat down some distance away.
Now he thought about how he had been a king, and become a beggar! He remembered his loyal friends probably killed, his wife and family, his kingdom invaded. Great sadness overwhelmed him and he began to cry.
Then he opened his eyes and felt the softness of his bed, it was peaceful, he saw the guards by his door. He was in the palace it had all been a dream, a terrible dream.The king thought the dream seemed so real! What is the true reality? He sent out a proclamation ‘who can explain, was the dream real, or is this present moment the true reality’.
One day, soon after there was a commotion outside his court! A young boy Astravakra was being refused entry, he was deformed in eight places. But eventually he was allowed in, and everyone laughed at him. He called them skinners, which was an insult as it was the lowest castes, that removed the skins from animals.
The king who had laughed too, asked him why he insulted them. He said, you only see skin deep, you see a deformed boy not the wise soul that lies within.
The king was impressed with his answer, and said can you explain the dream?
He said the dream was not real, but neither is this real either. The only reality is the consciousness, that witnessed the dream, and the same awareness that witness this now.
He went on to say it is a bit like the original . In that SeriesBobby Ewing was killed off, and we went though the whole series without him. Then the next time, they decided that they wanted him back, so it starts off with Pam (his wife) waking up! It had all been her dream. So we had all watched a whole series of Dallas, that was now revealed as Pams dream, complete with adverts and previews. Viewers were now confused, about what was real, this could be another dream, perhaps JR’s one?
Ashtravakra explained neither was real, it is a TV show, only the person viewing it was real.
But then King Janaka said: ‘Only the consciousness of the person watching the dream Dallas, and then the awake Dallas was actually real!’
Categories: Keith on Life