The child reached the school. He was a five-year-old child; it could not be known what his capacities would be. The principal of the school said, “The entrance test here is difficult. Sit near the door with your eyes closed and do not open them until I come back, whatever happens. This is your entrance test. If you open your eyes then we will send you back, because one who does not have even this much strength in himself to sit with his eyes closed for a while cannot learn anything. The door to learning has closed. Then you are not worthy. Go and do something else.” All this to a small child of five years…!
He sat near the entrance with his eyes closed. Flies started disturbing him, but he knew that he must not open his eyes because once he opened his eyes the matter would be over. The other children were coming in and out of the school, somebody started pushing him, somebody started disturbing him, but he was determined not to open his eyes, else the whole thing would be spoiled. And he remembered his servants telling him that if he failed the entrance test then his father’s house was closed to him forever.
One hour passed, two hours passed, he sat with closed eyes afraid that even by mistake he might open them. There were many temptations to open his eyes: the road was busy, children were running around, flies were harassing him, some children were pushing him and throwing pebbles at him. He wanted to open his eyes to see if his master had come. One hour passed, two hours passed, three hours, four hours, he sat there for six hours!
After six hours the master came and said, “My child, your entrance test is over. Come in, you will become a youth of strong will. You have the determination within you to do whatsoever you want. To sit for five to six hours with closed eyes at this age is a big thing!” The master hugged him and said, “Don’t be worried, those children were told to harass you. They were told to disturb you a little so that you would be tempted to open your eyes!”
The Lama wrote, “At that time I thought I was being treated very harshly, but now at the end of my life I am full of gratefulness towards those people who were hard on me. They awakened something in me, some dormant strength became active.”
We are doing the opposite. We say, “Don’t be angry at the children, don’t beat them!” Now all over the world corporal punishment has been absolutely stopped. A child cannot be struck; no physical punishment can be given to a child. This is not wise because a punishment is out of love; it is not given with enmity. Those children who are given some kind of punishment get their centers awakened within them. Within them the spine is straightened and strengthened. A determination arises within them. Anger and pride also arise and an inner strength is born and grows.
We are creating people without spines who can only crawl on the earth and cannot fly in the sky like eagles. We are creating a creeping crawling man who has no spine. And we think that we are doing it out of compassion and love and morality.We teach man not to become angry, we teach him not to express any intensity, we teach him to become weak and wishy-washy. There can be no soul in the life of this man. There can be no soul within this man because he cannot have the intense feelings of the heart inside him which are needed for the soul.
There was a Mohammedan king, Omar. He was at war with a man for twelve years. In the last battle he killed his enemy’s horse with great difficulty, knocked the man to the ground and sat on his chest. He lifted his spear and was about to plunge it in his chest, when the enemy spat in his face. Omar threw away the spear and stood up. The enemy was amazed. He said, “Omar, after twelve years you finally got the chance to kill me. Why have you missed it?”
Omar said, “I was thinking that you are an enemy worthy of me, but by spitting in my face you have shown such pettiness that now there is no question of killing you. The pettiness that you have shown is not the quality of a brave man. I thought that you are equal to me, so for twelve years I continued the war. But when I was going to kill you with the spear, you spat at me, this is not the quality of a brave man. I will commit a sin if I kill you. What will the world say to me if I kill a weak person who could only spit at me? The matter is finished; I am not going to commit a sin in killing you.”
Those were wonderful people. The invention of weapons and war materials has destroyed all that was significant in human beings. Face-to-face battles had their own value. They used to expose whatever was hidden inside man. Today not a single soldier fights directly. He throws a bomb from an airplane, this has no relation to bravery, and this has no relation to the inner qualities. He simply sits and presses the button of a machine gun.
The possibility of awakening whatever is hidden in man’s inner being has become less and it is not surprising if man looks so weak and feeble! His authentic being cannot develop. All the elements within him cannot unite together and be expressed, manifested. Our education systems are surprising. According to me all the heart qualities within man should be intensely and extremely developed. This should be the priority. Only if there is extreme development can there be a transformation. All transformations take place at extreme points; no transformations happen below that.
Thanks – E Mail from Sharad Shah