The Scent Of A Ripe Jackfruit
The other day uring our travelling to Myanmar I bought a jackfruit while in Mandalay. When I ate the fruit, I happened to note an interesting but solemn meaning. The jackfruit is in a way like a human. When it was young, it had no scent, its spikes were tiny, it did not look attractive, it however still had a long way to go. By time it has big spikes, develops an inviting scent, that is also about the time it has to drop off. If no-one picks it off the branch, it will fall off on its own. What we call the scent of the fruit is actually the smell of death, the hint of impending death. Human can smell this death smell when getting close to a dying or dead person. Scavenging animals of prey like vultures and hyenas can smell the smell of death from every high and far.
The scent of the jackfruit reminds me of the life of people. By the time they get somewhere, have created some wealth and made some position in life, their children are all grown up and successful, their grandchildren cute and clever, by the time they can sit down and enjoy their lives, they would most likely be over 50 already. So one can say success in life is the smell of death.
I now will tell you an interesting meaningful story. There was a very poor man, all his life working for others, he had a very tough life. Though over 50, he had nothing to show for. One day he walked by the house of a very famous clairvoyant, most expensive fortune teller in town. Suddenly the poor man had an urge to take all his earnings and went in and asked the clairvoyant about the rest of his life.
"I am over 50 but I am so poor, no decent meals, not enough clothes on my back, nothing to show during festivities, ... This is my entire earning, please do your thing and help me. I am suffering with this terrible poverty. Please help change my life, remove me from this suffering".
After reading the man's palm and knowing the man's details including his birthday, and his parents, the fortune teller said: "So you want me to help you with your life, and mainly you want to know what will happen to you in the future, whether you suffer less or not. I tell you this, I will try my best but 50 percent effort must be from you. Listen very carefully. Your future is not bad at all. In the next 5 to 15 years you will become super rich, so rich no-none around can compete with your wealth, the richest in this area. However, there is a catch, you will live long being poor, but your life will be cut short if you get rich. This is how it is. I can't do anything about it. Stay poor and live to nineties. Get rich and, I am not sure, you die can any time really."
The man thought about it. He was so poor now, so if within 5 to 15 years he could be very rich, that was not so bad.
I now ask all of you here, if you are in this man's shoes, what would you do? Would you choose wealth? ... Ah, I heard some say "Yes" to wealth.
But in this the story it was a big "No". The man was very poor and wanted to change his life. He went home and lying in bed pondering all night. Then he said to himself: "I would rather stay poor and live to nineties. If getting rich leads to early death then what all that wealth would be for? What would be its worth?"
So from that day the man loved his poverty more than anything. I am the same. If I happened to be in his situation. I would rather stay poor but live long, though sometimes I wonder for what purpose I am living longer for ....
The West has a saying: "Everybody wants to live longer but is afraid of getting old" - strange but true.
So three years had passed and the man returned to the clairvoyant with a huge tray of expensive gifts of wines, teas, fruits and biscuits. The clairvoyant looked at the gift tray and then the man, who had dirty fingers, torn shirts and uneven pants: "Why this? Did you make it big?"
"Oh no, dear sir. I am still poor, even much poorer than before!"
"I am so sorry to hear, but why thank me now?"
The poor man replied: "Because in the past I saw poverty as poverty. But now with your help I see poverty as longevity! Also, before when we did not have enough to show at festivities I was so ashamed I had to hide at the back of my home and cry. But now when I see there is not enough food on the dinner table, I feel so happy because I know I will live longer!"
This story has a very deep philosophical meaning.