How to Light the Kitchen Stove?

Chapter I

It was around 4 PM and not so fine Sunday evening. The lock down was is in full swing, and it was my tea-time, while I used to be in the office eons ago. I was relaxing in my bed, after a heavy lunch prepared by myself under the minute by minute guidance from my wife who was in the hall. I am not sure whether I am fully awake or not. I am not even sure whether I am in the western bedroom or the other one. I must open my eyes to confirm my location. I know it was a bad idea to use GPS to know my location.

  I am in the beach of the eastern African coast and I was in an era where there was no calendar. I was walking slowly in tune with the slow waves kissing my feet. I was six feet tall and built normal to that height and I was healthy. I born some time ago, since I do not have a calendar to calculate my age, but I was quite healthy compared to people who born along with me.

 I was walking along with a small little girl who was recently born and tall up to my hip level. Sometimes she used to hold my left little finger and walk and jump. She will leave my finger and run ahead to pick up some shell and come back and give it to me to keep it safe. She had a large collection of shells of various colors, whose names I don’t know. This is our daily routine.

 

Every day, when the sun is about to raise, she would shout at me to get up and go for a walk. She was living the next door with her parents. It is a small village of few houses; I can count the number of houses using my fingers and I need to do 4 times. I was known in the village for my counting ability. And I was an expert in diving 8 fruits for 3 people. I will give two each to them and keep the balance with me. I was known as the most skilled person in the small village.

I am a medicine man too. Whenever people would fall sick, they used to call me. I would enter the house and smell the patient. Then, I would go into the adjoining woods in search of the right herb. I would sniff the right herb and pluck it, bring back into to the village. While coming back, I would chew the herbal leaves and make it more potent and give it to the patient. Most of the times, the patient would get well soon. But I am not sure whether the patient got well by my medicine or by his immune system. But the whole village believed in my method of cure. 

I was suddenly woken up by sudden loud noise from outside of my house. When I came out of my house, I saw my girlfriend’s house in full flame. Within few moments, I understood that my friend is inside the house. I immediately dashed inside the house and came out carrying my friend and handed her to the parents.

I felt heavy burning in my eyes and started massaging the same and came to know that I am in the western bedroom. It is time for my evening tea. I was not sure whether to ask my wife or use my skills in lighting the kitchen stove.

Sorry, let me write more next time about – How to light the kitchens stove?

 

Chapter 2

It was not so fine Sunday evening around 4 PM. I am not sure whether I am fully awake or and I am also not sure where I am sleeping. My eye lids are not cooperating to open. This yet another after noon sleep after a heavy lunch prepared by me under the minute by minute instruction from my wife. Sometimes the dish comes out nicely and she takes the credit for her instruction and you can guess what will happen if there is a failure.

Thousands of people have assembled in a conference room. There were a dozen people were sitting the dais. Actually, they are not human beings to be called. They were looking like some virus most probably Covid-19 and suddenly I looked into myself and I was also looking like one of them.

  We were inside a room of a shape of a sack, something like the sack of the respiratory system of human beings. So, the size was changing now and then, and were also slowly rocked by the change in the shape of the sack.

 The meeting was about to begin. The speaker came and sat in a special chair and he started communicating with all of us. But the communication was not with words, what the human beings using. Words are very ineffective and slow way of communication. But here the communication was very fast, it was similar to movies, what human beings watch, but the frame rate was very fast. May be 1000s of frames per second, compared to 24 frames from second of human beings.

 The entire human history was explained, and I really saw how human beings were cruel to their brothers and sisters and how they were cruel to the environment. The presentation displayed death of millions of people by the same race. In the various life forms, humans are the only life form which kills itself shamelessly. There is utter lack love in the humanity. And we need to restore them. This is the task of all of us here. 

I have seen people killed by war, drugs, manmade famines, diseases, biological wars etc.  I was fuming inside the wipe out the entire human race. But my feeling was felt by the chair, and he said, “Hold on, we have not assembled here to wipe out the human race. If that was the case, we could have triggered a nuclear war.  In fact, that was the plan of the section of the people and we can to intervene and save the majority of innocent.

Now, I have shown you who is evil and who is good. Once we leave this sack, we will start multiplying and each of us will be the exact replica of us with all the information imprinted in the mind, whatever I have shared now will be available in every copy of yours. So, infect the evil and kill silently. We will stop our work only after establishing the rule of the right and ethics. Still them we will not relent.

All of you have a special eye. The evil will be dark in color and the right will be white. Infect the dark and leave the white. Do not rest till the job is done. Good luck to you.

When I came out the sudden light of the sun blinded my eyes and started massaging my eyes and came to know that I am in the other bedroom. It is time for my evening tea. I was not sure whether to ask my wife or use my skills in lighting the kitchen stove.

Sorry, let me write more next time about – How to light the kitchens stove?

 

Chapter 3

It was not so fine Sunday evening around 4 PM. I am not sure whether I am fully awake or not and I am also not sure where I am sleeping. My eye lids are not cooperating to open. This yet another after noon sleep after a heavy lunch prepared by me under the minute by minute instruction from my wife. Sometimes the dish comes out nicely and she takes the credit for her instruction and you can guess what will happen if there is a failure.

I was walking along a river. The river was flowing through a thick forest and no one was around. The flow was calm and smooth, and water was crystal clear. The evening sun light was throwing its golden color on the surface and making it glitter. As you can guess the sun was setting in the west and I was continuing the walk.

But I was in no mood to enjoy the scene, which could slow down any agitated mind. But my mind was so agitated, and nothing could calm me down. I am intelligent and well-educated in all the Indian scriptures and I can recite most of them from memory. I have the complete understanding of those verses and I can clarify anyone’s doubt in this regard. But still my mind is not calm and at ease. There is something missing.

I left my home after taking permission from my parents. I wandered many places in search of peace and tranquility. In my travel, I even met Buddha and he cannot provide any solution for my agitation. I decided to change my lifestyle. I started working for a trader, and soon I learned the trade very quickly and started my own, and amassed huge amount of wealth in a short period. I married the most good looking and lovely woman and lived with her with full passion and love. Still the mind was agitating and there was no relief.

  I am not sure whether you can understand my mind. It is like at any point of time, having around 1000 unanswered questions, and all of them constantly changing and demanding me to find an answer.  And understandably, there is no tangible answer in any of the Indian scriptures.

 

 With unbearable pain in the mind, I left my business and family and starred walking from the early morning. I asked my wife, whether she is ready to join me or keep the wealth for herself. She preferred the later and I also felt relieved too.

 I am walking from the morning and now I have reached this place. When I looked up, I saw a boat

and a boatman sitting on the bank of the river. I could not see his face, since he has turned to the opposite. By listening the sound of my walking, he slowly turned towards me. 

 I have never seen such a calm and tranquil face. Buddha might have been calm but I might have been blind in those days to see the calmness in his face. May be this is Buddha in different form to make my mind calm and quiet. He was smiling at me as though he was waiting for me. He was looking at me as though he knows me very well. He was looking at me as a mother will look at her toddler. There was so much love in his eyes.

I went near him, and he touched my hand and told me to sit. I felt a flow of energy in my body. I lost my consciousness. I lost the sense of time and space. I was in a state where there was Nothing. Not even me. When there is no more me, then no more those thousands of unanswered questions. I don’t know how long I was in that state. I felt some one slowly rocking my body.

When I opened my eyes, I saw my wife, standing with a cup of tea. She was also smiling like the boatman in the riverbank.

Sorry, let me write more next time about – How to light the kitchens stove?

This story is taken from the book – Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

 

Chapter 4

It was not so fine Sunday evening around 4 PM. I am not sure whether I am fully awake or not and I am also not sure where I am sleeping. My eye lids feeling heavy and are not cooperating to open. This yet another after noon sleep after a heavy lunch prepared by my wife. She got bored of my cooking and today, she wanted to try. Amazingly she is a good cook and I had more than I can have today.

  Buddha was giving a discourse to people. The king of that land was in the audience. No special seat was given to him. He had to sit along with his citizen. Since he is not used to sitting in the ground, he is having some trouble. He was shifting his legs now and then. At the same time, he does not want to be noticed by Buddha about his discomfort. In the process, the king's thumb started shivering. Buddha noticed this. Then he called the king. and asked, "Why are you shaking your thumb?" The king just looked at his feet, and the shivering stopped. Then Buddha asked once again, "Why did you stop now?" Then the king replied, "I was not aware that my thumb is shivering. After you asked me, I just looked at it and it stopped by itself."

 Buddha explained this to the people. He said the following. " The thumb belongs to the king. But he is not aware of it shaking. Once he became aware of it stopped shaking. Similarly, many of our human suffering will vanish once we became aware of it."

I remember J.Krishnamoorthy used to talk  a lot in this manner. Swamy Vivekananda is also saying that “Be awake”. Being awake is being aware of our thoughts. Being aware of our emotions. Being aware of our moods. This simple awareness will relieve us from the effect of those thoughts.

The awareness that all our sufferings are the result of our thoughts and the simple way to be relieved from those thoughts is to be aware of them. The awareness that it is natural to the mind to create a train of thoughts. Let us understand this nature and allow the mind to do its work and be aware of this nature of mind. This simple awareness will relieve us from the pain and pleasure of our daily routine.

Let the body do its worldly functions. Be aware that we are not the body. Let the body do its work of listening, speaking, writing, cleaning, washing and cooking. As it is natural for the mind to create thoughts, it is natural to keep the body working and doing some action.

Being not aware of our thoughts is equivalent to our body  sleeping at the night. Am I aware of sleeping? Am I sleeping or awake?  Looks like I am awake, my tongue is yearning to taste my evening tea. So, let me light my kitchen stove.

Sorry, let me write more next time about – How to light the kitchens stove?

 

Chapter 5

It was not-so-fine Sunday evening around 4 PM. I am not sure whether I am fully awake or not and I am also not sure where I am sleeping. My eye lids are not cooperating to open. This is yet another after noon sleep after a heavy lunch prepared by me under the minute by minute instruction from my wife. Sometimes the dish comes out nicely and she takes the credit for her instruction and you can guess what will happen if there is a failure.