A teacher told his pupils that a true yogi would attain an intensification of his practice and experience every six weeks.
A pupil of some years came to the master a little later, recalled the remark, and went on:
`I have come across a marvellous story about this, which ha helped me to understand. Arjuna used to do his devotion, with elaborate ceremony, gold and silver vessels carefuly arranged, and with long prayers and meditations. His brother Bhima did nothing like that; he simply stood for a few minute; with his hands clasped and his eyes closed. Then he would go about his daily activities. It occurred to Arjuna one day td wonder what happened to his prayers. and he came to know about a special ceremony which would give that knowledge He performed it, very carefully, and found himself in a vision looking at a great courtyard, which seemed to be knee-deep it flowers’.
Heavenly attendants were hastily gathering these flowers and loading them on to carts, which then set out taking the flowers away. A voice told Arjuna that the flower were prayers, which the attendants were carrying to the hall of the Most High.
“These,” said the voice, “are the prayers of the two brothers Arjuna and Bhima.”
Arjuna noticed a small posy of flowers, and realized that these were the prayers of his brother. They looked rather pathetic in comparison with the masses of flowers lying around them, but when he looked carefully he appreciated that they had a simple beauty of thei own.
One of the attendants seemed to be struck with a sudden thought. “Hasten,” he cried, “hasten, brothers? We must ge these carried away before the next shower comes.”
The other nodded, and they all redoubled their efforts.
Feeling a desire to relieve their anxiety, Arjuna stepped forward and said:
“No cause for anxiety; I shall not be praying again till the evening, several hours away.”
“Oh,” replied the attendant carelessly, “we can handle any number of those little posies. But Bhima is about to pray again, and the whop courtyard will be filled with flowers!”
`When I read that, I realized that the long devotions and meditations I have been doing are no guarantee of intensity. have given them up, and now I am just standing for a few minutes.’
The teacher smiled:
`If you think that shortness of devotion and meditation is a guarantee of intensity,’ he said, `you are making the same mistake that Arjuna made. Intensity has nothing to do with time.
The true man pursues his practice till he attains intensity, whether it takes five minutes or five hours.’
© Trevor Leggett