The Bot­tle and the Cherry

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - By Davin­der P.S. Sandhu

There was a for­est, with a mon­key who loved cher­ries. There was also a hunter, who cap­tured mon­keys. He re­al­izes the an­i­mal’s love of cher­ries, and lays his bait—a large and juicy cherry, placed in­side a glass bot­tle. The un­aware mon­key finds a beau­ti­ful, nar­row-necked bot­tle ly­ing on the ground, a strong rope teth­er­ing it to a stake in the ground. In­side, was the largest cherry he had ever seen. He picks up the bot­tle, and shakes it to take out the big fruit. But the hunter had se­lected the bot­tle and cherry care­fully. The neck of the bot­tle was just the size for this cherry to be gen­tly pushed in­side, but the fruit now can­not roll out.

The mon­key thrusts his hand in­side the nar­row bot­tle, and takes hold of the cherry. As his fist closes around the fruit, the nar­row neck now en­traps the mon­key too. The only way to es­cape was to let go off the cherry, and with­draw his hand. But he just can­not give up the cherry, and soon the hunter ar­rives to cap­ture the mon­key. He re­trieved his bot­tle and the cherry as well.

As one ex­am­ines this al­le­gory, it throws up mul­ti­ple mean­ings. An ob­vi­ous one is the dan­gers of ob­ses­sion with worldly pos­ses­sions, as rep­re­sented by the cherry. My teacher in­ter­preted it to teach that the bot­tle rep­re­sented our body, also called pinda in many In­dian lan­guages. The cherry in­side rep­re­sents life, the jiyo. To­gether, they com­prise of all cre­ation that we per­ceive.

The wise do not al­low them­selves to be trapped, for they know that both the pinda and the jiyo are His gifts, and to Him they will re­turn. So they let go of their ob­ses­sions, and grace­fully with­draw from the bot­tle.

The Guru Granth Sahib guides us: I pray to You, all jiyo and pinda is Yours; It is Your cre­ation, no­body knows even my name.

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