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Sunday, 16 January 2011





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Government Gazette

Sansaaraaranyaye Dadayakkaraya

(The hunter in the wilderness of sansara):

Chapter1 :(Part 4)

Stories of internment

No thoughts of death whatsoever entered the mind of the hunter. The Hamuduruwo appeared to be at absolute peace, eyes closed and in the majestic manner of a lion.

Over the infinite years that the hunter had lived in this jungle he had encountered an infinite number of deaths. How many funerals of how many creatures had he witnessed as he wandered among the trees? How many robust and seemingly healthy animals had he seen leap with full confidence and drop dead upon reaching the earth once more? How many who had suffered what seemed to be an insignificant scratch but whose festering enveloped the entire body, gradually weakening and causing death? How many creatures had seen days stretch to months and years, suffering the inevitable and daily decay that is common to all things and perishing as is the order of life, some before their time, as they say, and some consequent to old age?

The hunter knew that those who died by receiving claw or tooth would quickly turn into morsels of food in another’s stomach. He had also perceived a distinct pattern in the event of natural deaths. The changes in the immediate environs surrounding death were clearly visible to the entirety of his senses.

The first change occurs in the air surrounding the carcass. This change is then first detected by the smallest ants and other insects. The tiniest ants approach and invade the mortal remains slowly; the flies are quicker. The change in the air is later perceived by carnivorous birds that inhabit the far off skies. Then the quadrupeds. Some sniff and turn away in the manner of having recorded some fact about impermanence. Carnivores such as foxes and wild dogs then surround the carcass with the intention of satisfying hunger and persuaded by the need to keep the jungle clean.

Not having perceived any such changes, it is not surprising that the hunter did not entertain thoughts of death. What he did feel was strange. By this time it was well past noon and the time that the Hamuduruwo took his midday alms. The Hamuduruwo remained under the Esatu tree, as calm as ever. The difference was the disruption of diurnal pattern. Unlike on any other day, the Hamuduruwo was stretched out in the open air, seemingly fast asleep. Thoughts of slumber nagged the hunter time and again. And so he went a distance that took him out of the Hamururuwo’s circle of vision and fell asleep.

He who had for years fallen asleep while sitting and while walking, had for the first time fallen asleep stretched out on the rock, just like the Hamuduruwo.

The hunter did not know how long he had slept. However, he remembered one thing clearly before the drug of sleep gradually entered him from the ends of his limps and envelop him completely.

There was complete silence; this he remembered. All the creatures given to making calls during the day were silent. Not even the flapping of a bird’s wing could be heard. No birdsong either. Even the trees seemed to have kept the winds at a fair distance.

During the long hours of his slumber the hunter did not even dream. When the usual post-death activity of the air, ants, insects and other creatures was not forthcoming, a different class of being approached the mortal remains of the Hamuduruwo. The first was the tree spirit who had made a home among the vast branches of the Esatu tree.

It had been this tree spirit who had first brought the hunter to this jungle.

He climbed down the tree and performed all such rites that a loyal servant would in the event that his master died.

He first sprayed the body with sandalwood water. There not being another garment to drape the body with, he covered it with the dried leaves of the Esatu tree and dried grass stuck among fallen branches and sticks.

In this manner did he attempt to decorate the Hamuduruwo’s lifeless body to the best of his ability.

Having completed all this over several days, the tree spirit sat down and spent another few days reflecting on the work he had done. He realised that he was neither content nor happy.

He went into the temple and picked up the conch shell held in the hand of God Vishnu who stood in one corner of the chamber. Thereafter he went to the far end of the rock and blew it to the full extent of his lung capacity.

It was akin to a thunderclap, as loud as an earthquake and like the roar of the sea as it crashed around the rock Yugandara.

The great god Vishnu awoke with concern and burning anger at someone else using his conch shell.

His consequent eruption shook the very heavens. The gods and goddesses quickly made their way to the Mullegama Galkanda, realizing that they had been remiss in their duties.

The sky around the rock was lit for many leagues by thousands upon thousands of flower-trays, wrought-iron lamps and massive banners in the five colours.

The delay of the gods was a direct result of a certain sloth in that of humankind.

They could not be faulted for there had been no occasion since the passing of Arahat Maliyadeva when the incomparable festival where attainment of enlightenment coincided with the parinirvana. It was as though they had forgotten the earth all this time.

Before civilisation went into decay, the gods have very little time to enjoy paradisial pleasure for they were required to attend numerous festivals pertaining to the high incidence of enlightenment.



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