Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spiritual Parables: Body Building vs. Farming

The Body Builder:

A young man strives to be physically strong so he seeks a Champion who will help him develop big muscles. He finds a champion in body building and learns how to modify his diet and lifestyle to grow big muscles. His Champion is demanding and mean. He expects to be served and waited upon by his students. The young man perseveres and achieves physical greatness and becomes like his Champion teacher. His obsession with his physique expands into every aspect of his life. He becomes selfish and very competitive with other body builders. Only his system of body building can achieve the optimal muscle mass in a human being and only he has achieved the highest level of attainment. All others are inferior. He becomes the new Champion and establishes a school for aspiring young men looking to be large and intimidating. They seek training with the new Champion because only through him can they achieve optimum muscle mass. Eventually this new Champion grows old and dies, leaving only his legacy as a man with big muscles behind.

The Farmer:

A young man grows up on the farm. From a young age he worked on his family farm stacking hay bales, branding cattle and working the fields. He developed tremendous physical strength. He grew up and inherited his family farm and became a successful Farmer. Great famine spread in the world making food scarce. The Farmer worked hard to grow crops to feed his family and others. He donated milk from his dairy to the local orphanage and provided crops and livestock for soup kitchens that feed the poor. He was active in his community. One day a storm came through and a tree fell on his neighbor’s house trapping a young child inside. The child was bleeding to death and needed to be set free in order to live. The man, being strong from back breaking farm labor came to the rescue of this child and using his strength lifted the tree with brute force, saving the child’s life. The Farmer grew old and passed away. The community sadly honored the passing of a great man who used his naturally developed strengths to serve his family and community and save the life of a child when no one else had the strength to do so.

Sahaj Marg was supposed to be the path of the Farmer described above. Grihastha Ashrama, or Ashram of the Householder was the term used to describe it. Here spiritual development occurs naturally in as a result of ones daily life in conjunction with prayer and silent meditation. It strikes me that SRCM has become an organization of aspiring, bodybuilders rather than householders who develop their spiritual skills through service to their families and community.

I hope and pray that I am incorrect in my observations. How foolish it would to be worry about the size of one’s muscles rather than finding meaningful ways to use them…

1 comment:

4d-Don said...

Hi Michael..

I like the new look...And your farmer is what I wished my wife would have "remained" rather that running around the world seeking God, and leaving me to take care of the animals, the plants that she planted, the garden she said she wanted to retire to.

She is now an "invincible" body builder as in your story and the labour and the love is left for me to fill as the farmer.

All the country songs of my youth are starting to make new sense now...;-))

Like this one by an unknown star of the past:

Pick me up on your way down
When you're blue and all alone
When their glamours startto bore you
Come on back where you belong
You may be their pride and joy
But they'll find another toy
And they'll take away your crown
Pick me up on your way down.

Oh well, Farmer Brown has a dog to feed and asparagus(es) to pick...

God Bless you for your story...