Banyan Tree - Banyan Tree - Mar 2006
by Life Positive
The New Heaven and the New Earth
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
From The Revelation of St. John the Divine 21,
as contained in the Bible
Taking Fate in his Hands
It's a wonder what you can do if only you set your mind to it. When at the age of three, Riyaz Ahmed Beig, from Kashmir, had both his arms amputated following an electric shock, one would have thought that his fate was sealed. Today, you could hardly believe that the MBA degree-holding youthful KAS (Kashmir Administrative Service) office-holder who loves swimming and football, is the same person.
Completing his schooling, during which he not only captained the school football team, but participated in tournaments and became a swimming champion, he graduated in commerce and went on to do an MBA. Later, clearing the administrative exams became another feather in his cap. Beig recounts that he was the only person interviewed in full media glare. "The interviewers said that they wanted to convey to the world that nothing was impossible in this world," he explains.
Beig today faces no problem as he works in the social welfare department as assistant director, Budgam. He writes with his foot and his artificial limbs and even manages to drive when there is no traffic! By taking control of his destiny, Beig has not only transformed his own life, but is a source of inspiration to his parents.
The Bishop's Candlesticks
Jean Valjean had spent 19 years in the galleys: five for stealing a loaf of bread to feed the starving children of his widowed sister, and 14 years for attempting to escape four times. After his release, Jean journeyed a great distance on foot. He was rudely rejected wherever he sought food or lodging. On the fourth day, as a cold rain chilled his body, a kindly stranger suggested he knock on the door of Bishop Bienvenu's house.
The bishop entertained Valjean, fed him well, and when the meal was over, took him to his quarters. After sleeping soundly for several hours, Valjean awoke in a perturbed state. His thoughts became fixed on the six silver plates that had graced the bishop's supper table and were now in the bishop's sleeping chamber only a few feet away. As solid, old silver, they would bring a handsome price. He slipped into the bishop's room, removed the plates from the cupboard, and fled the house.
The next morning three policemen appeared at the bishop's door holding Valjean by the collar. They had arrested him, searched his knapsack, and found the plates, which Valjean said the bishop had given him. The bishop, seeing immediately what was at stake, spoke directly to Valjean without even greeting the police: "Ah, there you are, my friend, I am glad to see you! But I gave you the candlesticks, too, which are silver like the rest, and would bring you 200 francs. Why didn't you take them along with your plates?"
Valjean was dumbfounded. The police, respecting the bishop's word, released their suspect and went away. Bishop Bienvenu then took the silver candlesticks from his mantle and gave them to Valjean, who was trembling. The bishop said, "Never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man. Jean Valjean, my brother, you belong no longer to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I am purchasing for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God."
Adapted from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
The Buddhist concept of kalyana mitrata (noble friendship) refers to friendships on the path. Kalyana mitras look with clear loving eyes at each other and relate to the other's Highest Self, even if it is temporarily obscured by negativity. They share the joys and sorrows of the path with each other and support and assist the other in her growth. Kalyana mitras keep each others' highest welfare in mind. When our steps on the path falter and confusion and despair bog us down, our kalyana mitra will support and strengthen us. When vanity and arrogance overpower us, the kalyana mitra will lovingly shine a light on our folly.
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|