Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 61
It’s been a while, but here I am again. And doing a lot of things, as you can see; this is all a new setup getting ready for the PEP. And, you know, taking care of things, and as slowly, things start opening up, the possibilities of starting off and going different places are looking better and better, whenever that happens....
The most important thing, of course, is to stay safe—for you, for me, for all of us. You know, and if it’s two more weeks or four more weeks, or whatever it happens to be, it’s okay. You know, just stay fluid like water. Remember that tree that knows how to bend, how to flex in the wind—and by that flexibility, it is actually assuring itself a long life—so that’s really wonderful.
Anyways, so what inspired me to come out here and talk to you? Well, I was saving the questions—but there was one question that came up that got me thinking. And let me begin with a little story. So, I hope you’re not bored with this, but this could be, you know, your mouth could start salivating—but let me talk to you about a samosa. And so, what is a samosa?
So, it’s a thin dough—and it’s whole wheat dough, but it’s thin. And you make a filling. And one of the very popular fillings in India is potato. And you add, you know—everybody has their own version of samosa filling.
So, why am I talking about a samosa? Well, so it hit me that there was a time when I was a little boy—and I remember this particular day, because what happened was all my brothers and my mother and some other relatives, they all decided to go to the movies. And they weren’t going to take me; I was too young, I guess.
So I stayed home—but I was devastated. I remember I was absolutely devastated that I wasn’t going to get to go. And I was crying and it was terrible.
So, my father happened to be at home—which was rather rare, because he would always be traveling somewhere—but he happened to be home that day. And he was, you know, a little concerned that I was crying. And so he said, “Why are you crying?” And I said, “Well, you know, they didn’t take me. So, I’m, I’m”—I was heartbroken. (I didn’t tell him that, but I was.)
And he says, “Okay, you and I will go and have a good time.” So I said, “All right.” It wasn’t going to be the good time that I had imagined—because it was a real suffering from my idea of how it should be—they didn’t take me and I was, you know, I was devastated....
So, he took me, and we ended up going to this restaurant—and I was a little boy—and I remember this. And I remember he ordered—he looked at me and he says, “Would you like to eat something?” And I said “Yes,” and he said, “Okay, how about a samosa?” And I said, “Oh, that sounds good.” And I said, “I’m also going to have some ice cream.”
So, believe me, I have had a lot of samosas and I do have ice cream—but that day, that particular day, that samosa and that ice cream, I remember.
Do I remember the filling of that samosa? Absolutely not. Do I remember what kind of ice cream was it that I had that day? Absolutely not. I don’t know if it was vanilla, it was strawberry or it was chocolate. But, boy, I tell you, it was the best samosa and it was the best ice cream that I have ever had in my life.
Now, I had—another time I had samosa, and it was really delicious. And, you know, samosa having that thin dough and then it’s deep-fried, the caramelization happens and it gets crispy. And it’s just, the aroma, the—you know, it’s just amazing. Umami is just amazing.
And this particular day, I was traveling—I was older—I was traveling. And the people where I was, where I had started from had forgotten to pack the lunch—they had packed the lunch but they had forgotten to give it to us.
So I was really, really hungry and so we pulled over, and there was a little place on the side of the road. And this samosa filling I remember—and it was this, just the simplest samosa filling—it was the potato, a little bit of black pepper, salt, little bit of chilies, (chopped green chilies and a little bit of red chilies), and coriander.
And so it was just, when you bit into it, that umami of the fried bread was there; the dough—and the potato, you could taste it, the coriander, the pepper—and the salt and the chilies. And all of these flavors and the smells were there. So, anyways, my mouth is watering; I don’t know about yours.... But it was just something that really hit the spot.
So, now, why am I telling you about samosas? Well, you see, that other one, that other samosa I had that was the best samosa I’ve ever had—and the best ice cream I have ever had—had nothing to do with the flavor, had nothing to do with that particular stuffing. It had to do with the company that I had—and how much it meant to me.
And so, sometimes we don’t understand what “good” is. So, anyways, now let me come back to what caused me to, you know, what—this question that I saw and it really got me going....
So, the question was, “What if the bad wolf ate the good wolf?” So for, (if some of you don’t know this story), I’ll just very quickly reiterate the story. A little boy traveling with the tribe came to the chief and said, “Chief, I have a question.” Chief said, “What?” He goes, “Well, why is it that some people who are good sometimes are bad the other times?”
And the chief said, “Because there is a good wolf in us and there is a bad wolf in us, and they fight.” And so the boy thought about it, and then a few minutes later he said to the chief; he says, “Which one wins?” And he said, “Well, the one you feed. So if you feed the bad wolf, it gets strong; if you feed the good wolf, it gets strong.”
So, when I first read the question, I giggled—I mean, I’m sorry but I giggled, because it’s like, well, you know, here I talk about these stories; I give these analogies—and here is somebody giving this analogy back to me, “What if the bad wolf ate the good wolf?” I mean, “Ate the good wolf?” And then I started thinking about it—“Is that even possible—the good and the bad?”
So, that’s where the samosa example comes in—and by the way, samosa is not from India; it’s from Persia, and it was developed at the court. A lot of people used to come and they would be standing all day long to hear the verdict of the king, you know, and in different cases, and so there was nothing for them to eat....
Somebody came up with the idea, “A little bit of bread, fry it; stuff it with something,” and it became samosa. And of course, when—anything that makes it to India becomes Indian very quickly. And Indians have made it their own—and done a fabulous job of it.
So, good is much bigger than you realize. And the bad is much bigger than you realize—it is more than the sum of your life—it’s huge; it’s massive. This unsettled war of the good and the bad has played out on the face of this earth as far back as stories go—they are about the good and the bad. It is all about the good winning over the bad.
And how far does that go? (Not in terms of time), but how big is that good? Because if that good wasn’t good—and that good wasn’t big, then in this life, things become uncertain. If truly it was possible for the bad wolf to ever eat the good wolf, we’re in trouble; we’re in serious, serious trouble.
But then, if you remember what Krishna says, “That even in your darkest moment, I will not abandon you.” There—that’s about the good: “You will not be abandoned,” even if it seemed to you that the bad wolf is eating the good wolf or has eaten the good wolf—as dark as it gets!
Because for me, that day when I didn’t get to go with my family, (my brothers, my mother), I was devastated. You know, there wasn’t the good wolf coming along and saying, “No, it’s, you know, it’s all right; you don’t need to worry about it; you don’t need to be bothered.” I was very bothered; I was crying.
And it had such an impact on me, the bad—and then, going to the good, the most wonderful samosa and the most wonderful ice cream; I mean, my goodness, you know, that flavor.... That you’ve got that hot samosa, the crispy samosa, the salty samosa, and then you take a bite of that cold ice cream. I mean....
You know, and of course, the temperature of the ice cream has to be right. Because if it’s too liquidy, it won’t taste good. And if it’s too cold and it’s like a brick, it won’t taste good—so, everything was just right. But more than that—it was the company.
So there is something that is good that goes beyond the scope of everyday activity that you’re involved with. That everything that happens in your life, for whatever the period is, five years, six years, two years, one day, one minute, one second, whatever, there is a good that prevails. And it’s much, much, much, much bigger than you realize.
Never underestimate the value of darkness; it’s huge. It is very powerful; it’s very potent. But for us human beings on the face of this earth, whatever our challenges may be, there is a good—and that good is more powerful, is backed up by more. There is a power behind it. There is a strength behind it. And this is the strength that we have to, in our lives, latch onto—the strength of the good.
To remember that even in my darkest hour, I am not abandoned. I may feel abandoned, but I’m not abandoned. Because I haven’t latched on; I haven’t made it my home, the goodness that is in me. I haven’t made that good wolf my companion. Not just something that I feed, but that that goodness becomes my companion.
And that that other wolf is something that I stay away from. Not only is a question of feeding it, but I stay away from it—because that’s something that I don’t want a relationship.... I want my relationship with the good, with what is powerful. Because this is who I am.
You know, what is the difference between day and night? Not much. There are the stars; there is the planet Earth, still going around and round and round. But there is a huge difference. And that difference is that during that day, there is the light of the sun and I can see. And that seeing makes all the difference—that I can be, now, awake. It’s not just that I can see, but I am awake too.
And that I have a fundamental need to sleep—and it works very well when the darkness comes because I need that darkness to be able to fall asleep in.
So, one great disadvantage is that when it is dark, I don’t know what’s out there. I need to know that. If somebody is challenged visually, they use a stick to figure out what’s out there. But we need to know what is out there.
And the same thing about the good in our life. That is the beautiful, truly the beautiful, amazingly the beautiful that resides in the heart of every single person that is alive.
Now, you know, of course, there are people—I’m sure they’re going off on this tangent of, “And this could have happened, and that could have happened and, you know, there are people out there that have done horrible things, that have done terrible things.”
True. I’m not saying that that’s not true. But as a human being, we always carry in us the possibility of a change—that we can go from darkness to light. That this war that we engage in can be won. That it isn’t about winning every single battle, but it is about winning the war. And we can win that war. We can win.
I mean, I know that we’re faced with this challenge—and, you know, seeing this, how governments are reacting to it—absolutely unbelievable.
I mean, here is a moment in which humanity needs to come first, not politics. Humanity needs to come first—that those people who are going off and harping on these politics and politics and making this a game and making this a terrible thing, really need in their lives to understand that they are, first of all, they are human beings.
And their decisions of how they handle things affect so many other human beings. So many people that die—and now, I read, so, and they want to manipulate the data! I mean, okay, they’ve been manipulating the data ever since, so it’s not going to be a big shock to anybody.
Because, you know, one of the things is—and this is true, that not all politicians are like this—but I think they all take an oath, or most of them who are just, have got their head buried somewhere else, take an oath that—they take an oath of telling the truth all the time, that they will always lie. (And something like that.)
Because it seems to be so confusing, with “Do this and don’t do this; do this; don’t do this.” And it’s all about ego....
But here is a chance to do something good. And if—and here is my point of it. If they can’t do it, you can—because you find the goodness in you. And you keep safe—and you keep your neighbors safe. And you keep the people around you safe—because the good is in you.
And what are you doing to do when this coronavirus is no more, and everything goes back to, quote-unquote, “being normal”? Are you going to remember this period? Are you going to bring out your best? Again, not measuring how much, but bringing out your best—because it is in you? Are you going to let that shine? Are you going to let that manifest?
Or are you going to be like, “Well, I don’t have the time for it”—another excuse. You have time to make excuses—and as human beings, we are very good at excuses: “I don’t have the time; I’m too busy; I’m this; I’m that.” And yet, your life; you make the decision.
So, going back to my samosas and ice cream and everything else, just to remember how powerful this possibility is. And one thing that I have to say—and my father used to say this; I’m saying it—that the seed is never destroyed; the seed is always there.
So, yes, the seed of bad is never destroyed—but the seed of good is never destroyed. You can hold your head and go, “Oi, you know, it’s all over,” or “the seed of bad is never going be destroyed,” but the good news here is not that—the good news here is that the seed of the good will never be destroyed. And you carry that good inside of you.
And it’s much bigger. However long you’re going to live, however, whatever is going on in your life, the seed and the cycle of the goodness is more, is bigger than you. It’s huge; it’s massive.
So, I don’t know—I thought that there were so many questions being asked that are actually connected to this question. So, answering this particular question, (which, at first, I thought it was hilarious)—but then when I started thinking about it, I saw the depth of what it means.
This is the drama that’s been playing out—again and again and again and again; this is what Mahabharat was all about; this is what Ramayan was all about—that the good won. The good was victorious.
And at the end of the day, we always, all of us, have to make that effort to make the good win in our lives every day. And if it can be boiled down to that, sure.
Now, when pain comes, when trouble comes, you know, that flattens us. It’s like, pegged against the wall, “What are you going to do? Oh my God, oh, this is terrible; this is horrible.”
But—there is something else too—and that “something else” is bigger than the sum of all the problems that are on the face of this earth. And there are a lot of problems on the face of this earth, a lot; I mean, from small problems to huge problems....
And just imagine what’s happening in this world today. You know, whatever is happening in your little life is happening in your life, but imagine what is happening. Somebody was just born—just born. Another person was just born. Somebody just died. They’re gone—they’re gone forever. They’re never going to come back.
Somebody just became really rich. Somebody just became really poor. Somebody just lost their way. Somebody just found their way. The dramas that are going on all the time out there, they’re not trivial. They affect human beings deeply.
But the way that the good affects the human being is also very unique. And that goes back to “I don’t remember the filling of the samosa but it was the most delicious samosa; I remember that. I don’t know what kind of ice cream it was—but it was the most delicious ice cream I have ever had, bar none.” And I have had some good ones, but nothing as delicious as that.
So, stay safe; be well. Stay fluid. This thing hasn’t played out yet. You know, God knows—it’s, what some of the politicians are doing just to make a name for themselves—they have no interest, human interest in sight. That it’s just about their name, their fame, their two minutes of glory—at your expense. At your expense.
I don’t want to talk about that so much—because I can talk about the good that is in you. And that is much bigger than all those trivial little things that still have to play out with this coronavirus thing—this coronavirus thing has got everybody—it’s got everybody’s attention like you wouldn’t believe.
Now, if we give the attention to the good inside of us, we will have a different world, a beautiful world. So, again, be well; be safe. Take care of yourself. And I’ll talk to you soon. Thank you.