Who Knows? The Farmer's Son:

Fortune or Misfortune?

One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.

Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, "What a shame.  Now your only horse is gone.  How unfortunate you are!. You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?" The farmer replied: "Who knows? We shall see".

Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.

Word got out in the village of the old farmer's good fortune and it wasn't long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck.  "How fortunate you are!" they exclaimed. You must be very happy!"  Again, the farmer softly said, "Who knows? We shall see."

At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer's only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer's son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg.  One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer's latest misfortune.  "Oh, what a tragedy!  Your son won't be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You'll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad".  they said.  Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, "Who knows? We shall see"

Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor's men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor's army.  As it happened the farmer's son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg.  "What very good fortune you have!!" the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. "You must be very happy." "Who knows? We shall see!", replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.

As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences. "Oh what bad luck. Too bad for you"!  But the old farmer simply replied; "Who knows? We shall see."

As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: "Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy", to which the old farmer replied, "Who knows? We shall see!" 


Commentary:What More Can Be Said?

Every event is part of a larger whole. The meaning and nature of any event, what is judged to be "good" or "bad," is only relative to the changing circumstances and conditions surrounding it. How often do we take into consideration the "Whole" picture?

Fundamentally, people become stuck or stagnant by closing down their hearts, their neural circuits – ceasing to listen to their deepest creative evolutionary potential for guidance. Often people learn to resist change by utilizing the intellect, will power, and ego, trying to control, suppress/repress, and manipulate their innate evolutionary potential remains superficial and dull. Man 's confused  mind thus creates an prison, inner war, tension, and conflict which impedes, confines, and restricts his greater expression.

Rather human beings change and evolve by emptying the mind and opening the heart – activating dormant neural evolutionary circuits, not closing them down or restricting them. It can be said that we change our hearts by emptying our heads. That opens the heart. When the heart leads, that takes into consideration a greater *REALITY* than mere conceptual reality which is also much more intelligent and functional (that is, when it is consulted) than the intellectual mental function.

This classic story of the farmer's son is not one of passivity, but rather about how to be free from (unattached to) the limited results of logical efforts – conditional happiness (raga/sukha) and unhappiness (dvesa/duhkha)  stemming from ignorance (avidya) which is obstructed vision seeing the small picture devoid of primary causes. Whatever bothers us the most are the things we have to let go of – they are reflections of an inner conflict. All of our problems — even our health problems—are related to  disturbances of our emotions.

We create our problems and diseases in the mind through mental reactive judgments, intellectually based evaluation processes, and conclusions and then jump into those limited reference frames as ersatz "reality", It is not that suffering or unhappiness is an illusion, but rather they are based on a false notion. False notions exist and must be recognized as such in order for us to liberate them.

In the everyday scheme of things, we organize and plan our life on strategies centered upon secondary causes and events, but how often do we take into consideration the larger picture and causative trends (past and future). Such is not accessible to ordinary intellectual methodology

When it comes to emotional situations, we try to create ideal situations, but how often do we know the cause of happiness and unhappiness which are after all mental states, without knowing our mind? The normal discursive mind is constantly chattering, maneuvering, craving, thinking and planning while trying desperately to obtain what we want/like or escape/avoid what we do not like. But no matter what we do, we can't control our future that way, because there are too many factors. There is no point in being so overly invested in planning a future that we can't control without taking into consideration the whole situation (and that includes primary causes)..

We do what we have to do to live our everyday lives, but we should not be attached to the outcome, or spend so much time and emotion on controlling a future that can't be controlled. Do your best, and leave the rest to the multiverse – consult with it as often as you can, rather than the intellect or Cartesian brain (frontal cortex).  Wise men and women are not attached to results, but rather live beyond time in the eternal present. That is here they move from, abide, and live. Whether the result of our actions is negative or positive, we should not be attached to it. We have to let it go and move on. The essential point is to strive to be empty and to let all things go—let the contents of the mind go -- both good and bad—and let the light that illumines the mind flow through us and guide our way. Then we can treat each moment, each situation, as a new beginning. Then, we will be "seeing", hearing, sensing, and feeling from a deeper more open space -- with and from our hearts, so to speak.

The best that we can do, is to do our very best -- to act from that vast space of great happiness and spread/reflect that as best we can. Always do your best in loving happiness! That feels best!

May the very Best Good Fortune be Yours! May All Beings Be Happy and Know the Cause of that Happiness!


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Patanjali's Yoga Sutras; Pada III (Vibhuti Pada), Sutras III.41-46. Also see III.31 commentary on the Kurma Nadi

"Nature's Finer Forces and the Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)" was originally published in Sanskrit as "Science of the Breath and the Philosophy of the Tatwas"), by Rama Prasad, is available here in PDF format,

Swara Yoga (according to the Bihar School of Yoga). Much excellent data about Swara Yoga at http://www.swarayoga.org

Bhuta Shuddhi (presented by Swami Rama)

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