Parable Of The Jack-Fruit In The Courtyard
A big jack-tree in a man's courtyard was laden with fruits. From the very bottom of the trunk up to the topmost branch it was dotted with fruits. As though one possessed with an evil spirit, the man rushes out towards the fruit several times. He touches the jack-fruit, but the surface is uninviting. He abandons it in disgust. Far away from home he had seen one palm tree. Walking in the hot sun several miles, he stands near the tree. His craving had reached its zenith. The few small fruits that hung on the top of the tree tempt him. He rushes forward. He falls on the bush of prickly pears and gets injured by the thorns all over the body. Not discouraged by this he tries to climb the tree. The scales that cover the trunk are hard and knife-like. They hurt him. But he does not mind. As he climbs, a swarm of poisonous ants that sting like devils, sting him all over the body. He has somehow managed to reach the top; such is his mad passion for the little fruits. The fruits are surrounded by hundreds of bees. When he lays his hands upon them, the bees angrily sting him. In spite of this, he tries to grab the fruits. Then and there he drops more than half the catch. With the remainder, he tries to climb down.
Several fruits drop off his hand before he reaches the ground. He sits himself down to enjoy the few fruits left with him. To his horror he discovers that the major portion of these little fruits is hard nut; and then even the skin has to be thrown away. There is little pulp in the fruit. In disgust he throws the fruits away. Instantly he comes back to his senses, and begins to suffer with agony. The pain of the thorns, the bites of the poisonous ants, the stings of the bees, and the cuts produced on his body by the sharp scales of the tree - these seem to torment him all at once. It is now past several days since he left home. With his tattered clothes and bleeding body, he runs home .... to find that his father had been waiting for him with the delicious jack-fruit.
The young man stumbles into the house and falls at the father's feet. Without asking a question, the father gives him new clothes, pulls out the thorns from his body, dresses up the wounds, all the time feeding him with the honey-like jack-fruit. The young man's happiness is now complete. Peacefully he sleeps on his father's lap.
Similarly, man ignores the fountain of Eternal Bliss that is within the core of his own heart. He is frightened away by the apparent initial difficulties in Sadhana. He does not care to cut open this rough exterior and enjoy the highest bliss. He is hungry. He runs away from home and from this tree that yields the best fruit. Over the burning sands of Samsara he runs hither and thither. Here he falls into the thorny bush of dishonour; there he knocks against the rock of failure. He falls in love with a woman. How many sacrifices-of a care-free life, of freedom from worry and anxiety-he has to make before he approaches her! Lured by illusory pleasure he succumbs to passion.
As he tries to go up this tree of wedded life, a thousand worries about feeding the children, finding money for his wife's sarees and jewels bite him all over the body. Even then he pursues the evil goal. He is intent on the little fruit of sensual pleasure. As he grabs it, several fell diseases prey upon him. He becomes sick of it all and, writhing with pain and disease, he realises that the world would not allow him to enjoy even the little pleasure which he thought was within his grip. He looks for a way-out.
While ascending this tree of family life, and even while descending, the sharp knife-edges of the demands of creditors and relatives tear his clothes and bruise him all over. He is now left with tattered clothes and a body which had been bled at a hundred places, and depleted of all energy. Tired, he sits down for a while and examines the fruits that have caused him all the trouble. Much of it is hard nut (the impenetrable heart of a woman, that gives her love the magic of magnitude, without the least real substance in it!) and part of it is mere skin. When these two are thrown away, there is practically nothing left-except the cuts and bruises, the stings and bites, the torn clothes and tired body. With supreme disgust, the man throws away the illusory fruit and runs home.
There the Guru is waiting for him, with the delicious fruit of wisdom, all cut and ready to serve. He wipes his tears, heals his wounds and supplies the new clothes of renunciation and devotion. The young man falls at the Guru's feet, and rests securely on his lap. With the supreme love and compassion that can flow only from a Guru's heart, the Guru feeds the disciple with the sweet honey of wisdom, of Atma-Jnana. Awakened in his innermost Self, man sleeps to the affairs of the world and enjoys the great sleepless Sleep of Samadhi.
OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI!!!
Let us pray at the feet of Sai Baba who is the incarnation of all gods and protector of all, to show mercy on us, and increase our devotion towards him.