upon a time, there lived a warlord in Japan. He had an only child, a
daughter for whom the Shogun would do anything. One day, when it was
raining rabbits and foxes, the princess saw rain drops falling like
lustrous Mikimoto pearls in her courtyard pond. That’s when the fancy
struck her to possess a necklace made of rain drops from the pond.
She had only to express her wish and the doting father summoned the
best craftsmen from the land. The artists peered carefully at the rain
drops falling into the pond and then at each others’ faces with growing
alarm. For although they tried their best, they just could not skim out
the droplets, forget about stringing them. Admission of failure,
however, would be tantamount to inviting hara-kiri.
It was in
this acute state of embarrassment at the courtyard that the court jester
burst forth: “Surely the task shouldn’t be so difficult?” he said,
venturing boldly where wiser souls shuddered to tread.
pray, how do you propose to come up with that matchless necklace for our
princess?” the warlord asked contemptuously. “Who can be so bold as to
fathom the princess’s mind?” the jester parried with great obsequies.
“She must therefore make her own selection and hand us over the precious
beads of water. The rest ought to be completed in a jiffy,” he said
with a straight face.
The princess went to the edge of the
pond and tried to capture the raindrops without any success. She might
as well have tried to fish out the reflection of the moon from the pond
as snare a raindrop from it — each one that she touched burst at once.
“Perhaps the Highness has changed her mind?” the joker suggested humbly. “She does not desire the baubles any more?”
Rather than suffer further loss of face, the Princess quickly assented:
“Yes. I would rather have a nosegay of pretty flowers.”
moral of the Japanese fable is based on the Buddhist Doctrine of
Impermanence or Anitya: people and events too can be looked upon simply
as impersonal products of causes and conditions just like rain drops
falling randomly on the pond. We mistakenly attribute intrinsic meanings
and significance to them. Everything is in a flux: change is the only
Those failing to recognise the fundamental truth are
guilty of abhinivesha says Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra. It is the root
of all other kleshas and fear lies at its core. It can only be overcome
with the most subtle practice