Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 February 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sansaaraaranyaye Dadayakkaraya (The hunter in the wilderness of sansara)

Chapter 1 (Part 6)

[Ancient stories]

The hunter once again began to roam the jungle. He stayed upon the rock until noontime for several months. He had been used to preparing the midday meal when the sun was at its zenith. He had done this for many, many years. It had taken him a long time to realize that the need to prepare alms no longer existed. Notwithstanding this, he would feel the pangs of hunger around this time as though on cue. He roasted grains, dipped it in honey and ate. He felt some intense feeling grip his throat. He therefore divided the food into two begging bowls, took one to the image house and placed it before the Buddha statue therein. As he always did, he went to the Hamuduruwo’s anthill and placed the second begging bowl before it. Then he ate his fill.

Thereafter he went walking in the jungle. He walked and walked, many miles and many leagues with gun over his shoulder. All the creatures he encountered on his way cast upon him their usual friendly glances. Recognised sorrow. Smiled. And yet the hunter detected a certain curiosity in their gaze. Perhaps it was a query that decorated their faces. The hunter figured out that in eye and not tongue they were all asking him, ‘so what are you going to do now?’ Like all questions that could not be emptied with an answer, this one too gradually gained weight in his mind.

By and by he met the tree spirit who had lived in the Esatu tree on top of the rock years and years before. He was now temporarily residing in a new abode among the branches of a Nuga tree at the foot of the rock. Having constructed a comfortable seat for the hunter, the tree spirit launched into a sermon without any warning.

‘Do you remember once long ago how I led you into the jungle? Do you remember that you completely fulfilled the task you had taken on, without any cause for complaint, in the manner of submitting to the dictates of fate or the fulfillment of a karmic pledge? Do you remember the Hamuduruwo bequeathing to you this wilderness as well as his family inheritance? Since the Hamuduruwo passed away not as just another layman but one who has obtained the full compass of enlightenment rights to that endowment were denied to you. With the attainment of arahathhood he could not leave anything behind. Now all you have is this wilderness. So you would do well to protect your inheritance and spend your days in the manner that the Hamuduruwo recommended.’

The tree spirit continued his sermon, delving into deep philosophy and articulating a strange argument.

‘From then until now I made my home among the branches of the Esatu tree. The Hamuduruwo reached the status of an Arahat. As a result I was dispossessed of my abode above the Hamuduruwo’s anthill. You, the hunter, had been chosen to receive the Hamuduruwo’s inheritance. You too lost your inheritance since the Hamuduruwo became an arahat.

Now you have only the wilderness. All this happened to the two of us on account of the karmic powers of our actions somewhere in Sansara. If not how is it that having been so devoted and in such proximity to the Hamuduruwo, I lost the only dwelling I ever had and you your inheritance? Should we rejoice on account of this divestiture because it amounts to a further lessening of our sansaric burden? Should we wipe our hands upon reflecting on our ancient acts?’

The hunter who had been chewing on the ends of the thick beard that covered his face, listening to the exposition on the dhamma delivered by the tree spirit under the shade of the Nuga, once again fell asleep. Was it on account of some ancient karmic force that his body was afflicted with this ailment of falling asleep whenever he sat down to rest? Or was it a more benign and beneficial lightness that had accrued to him on account of the Hamuduruwo becoming Arahat?

In any event by this time the hunter was snoring loudly and caught in a slumber sans sky and earth and therefore inhospitable for all creatures in the jungle.


Tender for the Capacity Expansion of the GOSS Magnum Press
Donate Now |
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior | Magazine |


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2011 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor