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Story of the farmer and the monkeys
There was a farmer who went to a saint and said, “Give me something so that my life becomes wonderful. Give me a mantra, a japa and then I will do something great.” The saint agreed and gave him a mantra to chant. The farmer was very happy. He was about to leave when the saint said, “Just a minute, I forgot to tell you something. Whenever you want to chant the mantra or when you sit for meditation, take care not to think of a monkey. If you do, the mantra will become useless and impotent. It won’t be of any use to you.”
The farmer said, ‘Oh, this is so easy! I have never thought about monkeys in my life. There is no reason why I should think about them now. And I have just a wheat and paddy field. Monkeys don’t come there at all.’ So he went home and sat to meditate. The first thing that came to his mind was a monkey! He thought, ‘Oh, perhaps it is daytime now. Maybe they are here somewhere and those vibrations are striking my mind. It is not me. Maybe the monkeys want me to remember them. But at night they’ll be asleep. Let me meditate then.’
So he got up at 10 o’clock that night, and started to meditate. The first thing that came to his mind was the monkey. He thought of monkeys not only during meditation, but at all other times too! While sitting, standing, eating, drinking, he even had nightmares of monkeys in his dreams! Within three days he was so bothered by the monkeys, he ran back to the saint on the fourth day and asked him to take his mantra and monkey back! ‘I don’t want it! Relieve me of this monkey business! I have gone crazy! I can’t do anything!’
What you resist persists. It is the nature of the mind! There is one golden rule by which the mind can be lifted up, and that is wonder.