Today, you may have to forgive me. I am operating on three hours of sleep in a 48 hour period.
I made a commitment to write regularly however, so here it goes. I hope my lack of sleep doesn't manifest as babble.
If you know me, you know I work, a lot. It's really just that I have a genuine disdain for mediocrity and I never want to be labeled that way. The impetus for this obsession can be summed up in part by an excerpt from my upcoming adaptation of the great Indian epic, The Mahabharata.
The great king Yudhisthira had been in the forest for some time. His four brothers, his mother and he had narrowly escaped an attempt on their lives, been the victims of numerous crimes and ultimately become the victims of a rigged game of dice, in which they lost their kingdom, rights and were exiled from their land. Tired, hungry and thirsty, they were thinking that they may die after all the’d persevered through. A death in the forest, in hiding, was no way for royalty to leave this world. They were becoming pretty desperate and needed to find food and water. The five brothers were regarded as the greatest warriors of the time so it seemed an easy task. Easy enough…
The youngest of the brothers was sent to collect food and water for the others.
A seemingly simple task became a cause for worry when he did not return after many hours.
The next youngest brother was sent to find out what was happening. He did not return.
This process continued until king Yudhisthira was left alone wondering about the condition and whereabouts of his family. He decided to search the forest, for not only his missing family but for food.
He was on the brink of starvation and the stress of worrying for his brothers only compounded the situation.
Eventually Yudhisthira happened upon a lake. On the verge, lay his brothers, dead.
Yudhisthira was completely struck. He could not fully comprehend what was happening. He could not imagine who could’ve possibly bested his brothers. Who could’ve possibly killed his brothers.
The physical pain of his hunger and the emotional pain of seeing his brothers’ lifeless bodies began to alternate, making the act of staying conscious a supremely daunting task.
He looked at the lake. The clear, inviting water was the only thing that made sense at this point. He began toward the lake and just as he knelt to drink, he heard a voice.
“Do not drink this water without my permission. You must answer my questions before you drink.”
Yudhisthira could not ascertain the origin of the voice. He could not even hear from which direction it was emanating. From his knees he immediately crossed his legs and sat back.
“Who are you? Are you responsible for the death of my brothers?” Yudhisthira asked.
The voice replied “Your brothers, were given the same instructions you were. I warned them not to drink from the lake without first meeting my requirements.”
“Your requirements?” Yudhisthira asked “Are you the owner of the lake?”
“I am. Your brothers did not heed my warnings and drank from the lake without my permission. Therefore, they had to suffer at the hands of fate. You should not follow in the footsteps of these foolish men. You may not drink from this lake without answering my questions.” The voice cautioned.
Yudhisthira was completely still. The intense hunger he’d felt along with the pain of grief had left him all but paralyzed. But he was renowned for his righteousness, his humility, his commitment to being the direct offspring of truth itself. He looked at the water of the lake, which seemed to taunt him now. Gently rippling as it caressed the rocks, reflecting the warm sun rays against his face. He lowered his head and said aloud “I will do what you wish. What questions do you have for me?”
The voice began to ask a myriad of deeply philosophical questions.
The conversation seemed to last for hours, but Yudhisthira no longer felt the pains of attachment for anything related to his worldly body. As he spoke to the innominate voice, he was immediately brought to such a level of consciousness that he began to almost enjoy this conversation.
It was then that Yudhisthira was asked “What is it that you consider to be the most amazing thing you've seen in this life?”
Yudhisthira was a king after all, he’d seen the world. He had been privy to things that were even out of this world, quite literally. He thought for some time and reflected on his personal relationship with the Supreme Lord, his friend.
Yudhisthira began “Of all the wonderful things I have seen in this world, in this life, the most amazing thing… although there has never been a living being that has not or will not die, everyone acts as if it is not an inevitability.”
There was a pause. The entire area where the lake was fell completely silent. It was as if the voice was contemplating Yudhisthira’s realizations.
I would love to tell you all about what happens next, but that is not my point here and I need to save something for my adaptation. Sorry.
The point herein is the answer to the question “What is it that you consider to be the most amazing thing in this life?”
The answer, the idea that even though we see the truth, the undeniable truth that death is inevitable, we operate daily as if this is some sort of myth.
There are so many reasons to live our lives, yet somehow we do not. We follow the blueprint of others. We remain dormant for reasons of comfort, of fear. Afraid of change.
It is such a mundane way to live.
The truth is, we only have a limited time here.
We need to die empty.
I want to work until I am empty.