Part 12: Not How Many Hours You Meditate But How

KRISHNA

ARJUNA

CARTMAN

(Krishna and Arjuna are walking along the street. All of a sudden they see a man drawing a cart loaded with flowers.)

ARJUNA: Krishna, look! A man is drawing a cart loaded with all kinds of flowers. Are they not beautiful?

KRISHNA: Yes, they are really beautiful.

ARJUNA (to the cartman): What are you doing with these flowers, my friend? Where are you going?

(The man pays no attention to Arjuna. He continues pulling the cart.)

(Exit cartman)

KRISHNA: Arjuna, let us follow him.

ARJUNA: That’s a nice idea.

(Exeunt Krishna and Arjuna)SCENE II

(The cartman has reached his destination. Enter Krishna and Arjuna.)

ARJUNA: What are you going to do with all these flowers? It seems to me that you have already brought a few cartloads of flowers here. What a huge pile of flowers I see! What are you doing with so many flowers?MAN: I have no time to speak to you. I am now employed in serious business. I can speak only to one person on earth, and that is Bhima, the second Pandava.

ARJUNA: Why?

MAN: Don’t argue with me. He is the greatest spiritual seeker of all. When he meditates just for a minute or two before his meals, saying, “O Mighty Lord Shiva,” he offers thousands of flowers to the Lord. His concentration is most intense; his meditation is most sincere. Look, in his family he has a brother named Arjuna, who only offers one flower at a time to Lord Shiva. He just shows off, meditating for hours. God alone knows when Arjuna will come to realise that his meditation, his power of concentration, is nowhere near his brother Bhima’s.

ARJUNA: Krishna, enough humiliation! You are humiliating me in every way! Why do you humiliate me so badly?

KRISHNA: This is not humiliation, my dearest Arjuna. This is illumination. I am teaching the world through you. I wanted to teach you that it is not how many flowers you offer or how many hours you meditate that counts, but rather your power of concentration, your power of dedication. You pray to this god and that god. You want to please all the gods. You collect many flowers and offer them to Lord Shiva one by one, for two hours every day. Each time, while offering a flower, you utter the name of Lord Shiva. You think that, since you offer many flowers to Lord Shiva and the other gods for so many hours, you are the best seeker. This is your pride, O Arjuna. It was my boundless love and compassion for you that wanted to shatter your pride. O Arjuna, again and again I tell you, you are my dearest disciple, my dearest friend. You have established your eternal oneness with me.

(Arjuna sings.)

Ami tomar phul tumi amar kul

Ami tomar dhenu tumi amar benu

Ami tomar gan tumi amar pran

Ami tomar khama tumi amar rama

[I am Your flower,

You are my Golden Shore.

I am Your divine cow,

You are my Flute,

Divine Flute.

I am Your song, celestial song,

You are my life,

Eternal Life.

I am Your forgiveness,

You are my Beauty,

inner Beauty.]