An Analogy of life
Once upon a time, there was a man called Milue in a hamlet called Jigten. He was a humble man blessed with good health, adequate fortune and a happy family. One auspicious day he decided to go on a pilgrimage to a sacred place called Shamzur which is perched on a cliff. He started to hitch a hike. Mid way through the journey, he stumbled on a piece of rock and fell. He fell off the cliff.
As he fell he shouted Lama Kheno (oh my lama, similar to oh my god)! Thinking that was the end. But miraculously his frantic hands caught hold of a bunch of grass. That was the critical juncture in his life. In that moment a lot of emotions and thoughts exploded in his head. Most prominent feeling was despair and helplessness. All he could see below was a huge ravine with razor sharp rocks. If he fell, he could be ripped apart. Fearing for his life he tightened his grip on the bunch of grass.
As he gleaned around, he saw a huge abandoned bee hive dripping with honey, right under his nose. Instinctually he started licking and for a moment he forgot the fact that he is still hanging on a bunch of grass. Taste of honey was too sweet to let go. He began to suckle like a baby on mothers’ breast. His grip loosened but enough to keep him hanging.
Meanwhile, two field mice were nibbling at the bunch of grass, one white and other black. They were cutting out one blade of grass at a time and ferrying away playfully. Milue saw them but he could not shoo them as he was busy suckling honey.
He also saw people moving up and down the path. Mostly monks clad in maroon going up and lay people coming down. He could not call them for help either. He could not let go of his clinging of honey.
At sun down, Milue again heard the field mice squeaking and screeching. This time he saw them munching at the last few blades of grass left. In another frantic attempt to strengthen his hold, handful of grass gave way and Milue fell off. His body splattered into pieces and Milue died. Leaving his wish unfulfilled despite having health, family, fortune, human body and help when he was hanging on that bunch of grass.
This is the story of our life. Milue is the personification of human body. ‘Lue’ basically means left behind, when consciousness moves out only body is left. Hamlet Jigten is our ephemeral world which is also slowly going to disintegrate. Milue’s having good health,family and fortune is the embodiment of the infallible law of karma. The sacred Shamzur is the existence of light of Buddha dharma.
Milue falling down accidentally is human birth, which is more or less a rare accident. Bunch of grass is the human life span. Sweetness of honey is the human desire, the more you eat the more you want to eat. The white and black field mice are day and night. Bunch of grass is the total life span, spent day and night, as nibbled one at a time by the black and white mice. The monks going up the path is existence of sangha and lay people going down is the existence of ignorant sentient beings.
Leaving the temptation of the sweet honey and calling monks for help, you can walk the path to the sacred place where there is no need to worry about the bunch of grass and the mouse. Letting go of the sweetness of the honey is the most difficult feat.
Attaining human body in this opportune time when Dharma Chakra is still being turned is rare. Having got it, walking the path along with Sangha and becoming one with Budha is the main objective. Realizing the indestructible nature of mind is the ultimate purpose.
But letting go of this clinging to sweetness of honey is as herculean as ever.
I heard this from my brother in-law. He in turn was told this analogy by one scholar from the Tango College of Budhist Studies. Hats off this beautiful analogy.