The Guru and disciples got ready for a long journey. They procured the food and clothes needed for many days. They set out and reached a forest. It was a dense forest. It was full of tall trees and even the sun light couldn’t penetrate into it. Here and there, the roars and sounds of wild animals are heard. Even the path was full of thorns and stones.
The disciples were scared. They felt it was a risky journey. But they didn’t have the courage to tell Guru about it. He, being unperturbed of all this was leading them. They looked at each other. Finally, they decided to express their anxiety. Walking carefully, they said, “Guru, it is a dangerous forest, and if we lose the way we will be in danger. Therefore, we shall go back. This journey would jeopardize than giving us good experiences.” Telling this they stopped.
Guru asked them, “Why did you say that this forest is dangerous? Have you ever been in danger in such a forest before?” They again looked at each other. They had never gone to a forest like this. They said, No, we have never been to such forests but our knowledge about dense forests scare us. “
“Good, Guru continued, what is your knowledge about the forest? Let me see whether they are correct or not. Tell me all those stories you have heard.”
One of the disciples said, “There are tigers and leopards over here. If we encounter them what will happen? Moreover, there are tunnels, gutters and rocks. As we are not certain about the way, if we stumble, we will die.”
Another disciple said, “There are aboriginals who are cannibals. They may attack us, kill us and eat us. “
Yet another one said, “in case any of these things don’t happen, once we lose the way, we won’t get even food. We can’t even eat fruits as we don’t know how to identify poisonous and non poisonous ones.’
Every one said with fear, “Because of all these things we think that journey through this forest is dangerous.”
Guru, hearing all this, thought for a while and glanced through all corners and listening to the sounds and said, “Whatever you spoke about this forest is correct. But they are partially true. “
The disciples looked at them in wonder. They asked, ‘Guru, Why are you saying like that?”
“You see only half portion of the forest. You neither see the other side nor listen to it.”
Then Guru pointed his finger towards a tree called Asoka which was blossomed. What a beautiful scene. There are birds flying from the forest to the sky. Guru asked,”Can’t you see them? Can you ever see such a sight in your cities and in your village?”
Guru continued: “look, there are only flowers everywhere. See the beautiful and bizarre flowers which we have ever seen on both sides the way we are walking. Are there such distinct and unique flowers in our village?”
The disciples didn’t say anything. Guru said, “Listen carefully to the melodious song of birds. These songs are those of freedom. The disciples said, “We hear them”. Guru continued,
“Our world is just like our world where we live. What we hear and what we see depend on our attitude. Those who are good only will see good and those who are wicked will see badly. See well and rejoice in that. “
One of the disciples disagreeing with the Guru asked, “Do you say that there are no dangers in this forest? Should we ignore them?”
Guru said, No, absolutely not. Those who think only of dangers can’t go forward. In our village also there are dangers here and there. There are thieves and robbers. Our wells and ponds are polluted. What is safe over there? My dear children, it is important how we look at the world. Try to see good and go forward.
Guru went forward and the disciples followed him.