It is said in the texts that 80% of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days Mahabharata war.
Sanjay, at the end of the war went to the spot where the greatest war took place; Kurukshetra.
He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood.
“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.
Sanjay turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust.
“I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.
At the heart of Nhat Hanh’s teachings is the idea that “understanding is love’s other name” — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. (“Suffering” sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psychoemotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding. He illustrates this mismatch of scales with an apt metaphor:
If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.
Our thoughts impact on the lives of others, not only in prayer but also in mental telepathy. With every thought we think, we are either helping or hurting, aiding or hindering the person to whom or about whom the thought is directed. Continue reading
What distinguishes Sun Tzu from Western writers on strategy is the emphasis on the psychological and political elements over the purely military. Continue reading