Thursday, March 27, 2008


Once there was an artist who went to the court of a famous King and said, “I am a great artist who can make paintings such as you have never seen before.”

The King said, “Then make them here. But remember, there is no shortage of great painters in my court and I have seen very wonderful paintings.”

The artist replied, “I am ready to meet any challenge.”

The best among the court painters were selected to compete with this artist.

The King warned the best painter of his court, “Use all your talent, do your very best. This is now a question of the prestige of my empire. See that you are not defeated by this foreigner.”

They were given six months to complete their work. The King’s painter began his work very seriously. With the help of ten to twenty co-workers he covered his whole wall with beautiful pictures. News of his paintings reached distant regions, and people came from afar to see his work. But a greater miracle than this was happening.

The artist said to the King, “I need no implements or materials for my work, nor any paints either. The only one condition that I insist upon is that the curtain covering my wall be not removed till the picture is finished.”

Each morning he would go behind his curtain, and reappear in the evening quite exhausted, with drops of perspiration on his forehead. But it was a matter of great perplexity, mystery and wonder that he did not carry any brush or paints with him when he disappeared behind the curtain. Neither were there any traces of colour on his hands, nor any spots of paint on his clothes and he carried no brush in his hands.

The emperor began to wonder whether he was crazy. How could there any competition under such circumstances? But it was necessary for him to wait for six months to fulfil the condition.

With great impatience everyone waited for the six months to pass. The news about the pictures of the court painter reached far and wide, and along with this news, the word also spread about this crazy competitor who had entered the competition without any paints.

After six months the emperor went to see the pictures. He was spellbound on seeing the pictures of the court painter. He had seen many paintings in his life, but never had he seen paintings of such unsparing skill. He then requested the artist to show his work. He removed the curtain covering his wall. On seeing it the emperor was very much puzzled. It was the same picture which his court painter had painted. The artist had created the same picture as the court painter, but with one additional feature: it was not painted on the wall, but emerged from twenty feet deep inside the wall.

The emperor amazed and he asked, “How have you done this? What is this magic?”

The artist replied, “I have done no magic. As I am an expert in making mirrors, I have turned the wall into a mirror by rubbing it continuously for six months. The picture, which you are looking at, is that of the court painter’s on the opposite wall. I simply turned the wall into a mirror.”

He won the competition, because shimmering in the mirror the court painter’s painting became infinitely more profound than its original. The court painter’s painting acquired great depth when seen in the mirror. It became a three-dimensional picture while the court painter’s was only two-dimensional; it had no depth.

The emperor asked the artist, “Why did you not tell us in the beginning that you only know how to make mirrors?”

The artist replied, “I am not a painter, I am a yogin.”

The emperor said, “This becomes more and more interesting. First you did not tell us that you make mirrors, and now you tell us you are a yogin. Why should a yogin make mirrors?”

The artist replied, “I have been making only mirrors since I made myself a mirror and saw the world in it. Just as I turned this wall into a clean mirror by continuously rubbing and cleaning it, so I made myself a mirror, pure as crystal, by keeping constant watch on myself. And such a beautiful image of this world as I have seen within was never seen without. The day, on which I saw and realised the world within me, I became like a mirror. All the animate and inanimate objects of the world have penetrated into me.

1 comment:

rajans said...

"ayurveda" is a Sanskrit word that means "to join." Yoga, then, is union and the way to union. What do we join through yoga?First, we join our awareness to our own essential being: spirit that is consciousness.In yoga philosophy this is known as the atman or self. Next we join our finiteconsciousness to the Infinite Consciousness: God, the Supreme Self (Paramatman).In essence they are eternally one, and according to yogic philosophy all spirits originally dwelt in consciousness of that oneness. But in the descent into the material world for the purpose of evolving and extending its scope of consciousness, the individual spirit has lost its awareness of that eternal union, and therefore los the capacity to live in and manifest the union on a practical level.Through yoga the lost consciousness can be regained and actualized in the individual's practical life sphere. So profound and so necessary is yoga to the evolving consciousness, there is no more important subject in the world.Regarding this, a yogi-adept of the twentieth century, Dr. I. K. Taimni, remarked in his book The Science of Yoga: "According to the yogic philosophy it is possible to rise completely above the illusions and miseries of life and to gain infinite knowledge, bliss, and power through enlightenment here and now while we are still living in the physical body. And if we do not attain this enlightenment while we are still alive we will have to come back again and again into this world until we have accomplished this appointed task. So it is not a question of choosing the path of yoga or rejecting it. It is a question of choosing it now or in some future life. It is a question of gaining enlightenment as soon as possible and avoiding the suffering in the future or postponing the effort and going through further suffering which is unnecessary and avoidable. This is the meaning of Yoga Sutra 2:16: 'The misery which is not yet come can and is to be avoided.' No vague promise of an uncertain postmortem happiness this, but a definite scientific assertion of a fact verified by the experience of innumerable yogis, saints, and sages who have trodden the path of yoga throughout the ages."