Author Topic: THE LOST SON  (Read 4817 times)

Jessie Fong

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THE LOST SON
« on: July 02, 2012, 08:29:26 AM »
THE LOST SON

"A young widower, who loved his five year old son very much, was away on business when bandits came who burned down the whole village and took his son away. When the man returned, he saw the ruins and panicked. The took the burnt corpse of an infant to be his son and cried uncontrollably. He organised a cremation ceremony, collected the ashes and put them in a beautiful little bag which he always kept with him.

Soon afterwards, his real son escaped from the bandits and found his way home. He arrived at his father's new cottage at midnight and knocked at the door. The father, still grieving asked: "Who is it?" The child answered, it is me papa, open the door!" But in his agitated state of mind, convinced his son was dead, the father thought that some young boy was making fun of him. He shouted: "Go away" and continued to cry. After some time, the child left.

Father and son never saw each other again."

from : http://viewonbuddhism.org/resources/buddhist_stories.html#s

What do you think Buddha was teaching us?

Jessie Fong

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 10:17:22 AM »
When I read this tale, I was thinking that the father was still grieving for his son.  He was so attached to the boy that despite him turning up at the front door, he could not bring himself to believe that his son is still alive.  He could not accept the loss and he did not want to believe that after all this time of believing the corpse to be the body of his son, there is actually a person out front who is his son.

If he had just taken that little step he would have found that all his grieving was in vain.  But if the boy had been more insistent and persisted at it, he might have been able to meet his father again.

Grieving is a reaction to a loss but it should not take over our life.  Crying would not make the dead come back to life. 

Tammy

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 11:12:54 AM »
My take on this story :

Whatever is presented in front of our own eyes may not necessarily be the truth. We must always examine the true nature of everything in order not to have wrong views.

In this case, the father is blinded by wrong view so much so that he didn't know it! Had he had the wisdom to check on the person to knock on his door, he would have had the chance of being reunited with his beloved son and not spend the rest of his life in agony.

Down with the BAN!!!

biggyboy

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 04:07:12 PM »
When mental afflictions for example despair occur, it has prevented the father from perceiving reality but rather distorted that particular perception.  Tendency, when a person is in the grip of a strong negative emotion like in this case sad and despair, it skews one’s memory with selective attention.  The mind saliently remembers things like hate/despair far more readily than what one might like. In other words, it is afflictive as it has distorted the father’s perception of reality and created an inner instability and imbalance.

In this case, the father’s mind hung onto his mental sadness and despair of not wanting to hear or see the truth when comes knocking.  If only he has snaps out of his mental despair, situation would have changed.

This is to say that whenever we are affected mentally be it sad or happy, we have to be mindful of our state and not to hang on to it for too long.  Just move on.  No point dwelling on it for too long as it has any benefit at all.

brian

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 04:17:30 PM »
Well, my knowledge is not too deep but roughly i can figure this one out. I feel that this story is to tell that when the Karma of this two person has ended, no matter how are all condition arises, they will still not be able to meet together. Sometimes, when it is ended, it is ended. The father and the son's karma of staying together has ended and they are in a way 'forced' to be apart.

Another way of looking at it will be, if there is something that bothered our mind on an issue or a situation, one should not just hold on to it and create even more 'damage' (in this case, being despair/negative/closed our perception on everything). As the father created unhappiness for himself by becoming closed minded and negative on what had happened to him. In the end he ended up losing even more.

This is how i take it from this teaching. Maybe anyone can correct me if i am wrong.

brian

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 04:21:43 PM »
My take on this story :

Whatever is presented in front of our own eyes may not necessarily be the truth. We must always examine the true nature of everything in order not to have wrong views.

In this case, the father is blinded by wrong view so much so that he didn't know it! Had he had the wisdom to check on the person to knock on his door, he would have had the chance of being reunited with his beloved son and not spend the rest of his life in agony.

Well, i kinda liking your view on this too Tammy. Being bitter on things or conclusion that we made is solely based on our own projection. He would have made the difference by properly identifying the real identity of the corpse that he thought was his son. In fact, the father should blame on himself only on this matter as he did not really checked properly and quickly jumped to a conclusion that his son is actually the burnt corpse. I am kinda pity on him and came to think about the important of self calm and wisdom to think about a situation and not just make his own simple judgement call and conclude things on his own.

Vajraprotector

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 04:50:06 PM »
Agree with Tammy. The father is blinded by wrong view and refused to check and find out the truth, hence he remained in unecessary agony.

Another thought arise in my mind - that sometimes grieving is not because the dead person need us to grieve for them, nor will our grieving benefit them in any way, but rather it's an extension of our selfishness and unwilling to let go of something impermanent.

We have to be mindful and be careful. I said this because as the person we love or care about dies, the focus shifts from caring for a loved ones to facing one's own sense of separation, loss, and sadness . It is easy to turn inwards and be consumed by one's own grief although if we really care for our loved ones, there are so many things we can and should do at the point of death to ensure he/she will be alright in his/her next life. Otherwise, grieving can become an extension of “self-cherishing” that benefits no one.

ratanasutra

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 04:56:50 PM »
What i got from this story is

1. Before we have conclusion and believe in anything even we witness it with our own eyes, we should check, exam, think and contemplate about it carefully, especially if it concerns with life.

2. If someone tell us something related to us, even if it impossible to believe, we should still think and contemplate about it, especial if it concern with life.

3. We must stay with reality, whatever we had lost is gone. But it doesn't mean that we can't have a new one. Don't attach with thing that we label it, but stay on with open mind.

If the man can let go of his son, stop grieving. He won't be suffer the whole life, he might has other boy to be his god son who both are love and care of each other because son is just a label of it with he attached to it.

bambi

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 04:52:35 AM »
The story is telling us that sometimes we are too attached to what we believe due to our ignorance and wrong view. Like what Tammy said, the father believed so much he did not use his wisdom to check whether it was his son outside the door. In life, we are taught impermanence, never to be attached to material or people so that we do not feel despaired and sad when we lose something. Do not believe in hear say, always examine before anything else, just like we examining Buddhism before practicing it.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2015, 08:35:47 AM »
This is such a short and simple story to illustrate all our delusions, grasping onto our fear, despair and wrong views, that even when the opportunity arises for us to change our lives for the better we miss it all.

This is the great sadness that makes us stuck in Samsara. Recently I was taught that ''BEING IN DEPRESSION IS TO LIVE IN THE PAST, BEING ANXIOUS IS TO LIVE IN THE FUTURE AND BEING AT PEACE IS TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT."

The poor man in the story was living in the past and missed the present which would have a good future. We are all doing this so consistently.  So sad.

angelica

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 04:42:14 PM »
The moral of the story is when we are too attached to something or someone, it blind our vision. We will not be able to see clearly the reality. Strong attachment to something or someone will make us suffer a lot when we lose it. Holding on to the past on his lost will not benefit the father not the boy. We should be mindful about impermanence, how precious is our human life and to start our practice now and not wait till other day.

pinecone

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 02:14:28 PM »
There are many of this beautiful Buddhist short stories which eventually required us to relate and contemplate the moral of the story. From my understanding , the father is a man who only believes in his past experience from the eye sensory that his son has died and even when his son is at the door , due to his grasping to the view that his son has passed away ,  he refused to check at the door. Only if he would investigate  at the door when the son came knocking, he  would not has  lost his chance to reconcile with his son. The moral of the story is always keep your mind open to options and not following our emotion.

MoMo

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Re: THE LOST SON
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 02:19:22 PM »
I love to read story like this as it arouse lots of thinking from the reader side and found that my view changes as time goes by when reread the same story again. My understanding from this story was how we could be blinded by external imputation and grasp to it as if it was permanent and shut the door to all other better options presented to us.
On the same web page there was another similar story of how we “grab hold on a pile of dung”!! ::)