Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Matter Of Priority (Comment)

Someone used to comment that there are four types of priorities. Urgent and important. Urgent but not important. Not urgent but important. Not urgent not important.
This is my comment:

There was this person by the name of Malunkyaputta who insisted that unless the Buddha answered all his questions, he would not accept his teachings. The Buddha then used the analogy of the arrow to emphasize a point. If a person were shot by an arrow, the most urgent thing to do was to pull out the arrow and administer the wound. Then all other investigations could follow after that. If the victim was to insist that he must know the reasons for the attack and must know the details as to how the arrow was shot, and what kind of an arrow was that before administering the wound, he would be dead before he could know all the answers. What the Buddha was emphasizing was that we should not wait until all our questions and doubts are answered in order to follow and practise his teachings. We should start the urgent journey now and gradually discover the answers along the way. In this analogy of the arrow, the most urgent and important thing is to pull out the arrow and save life. All other questions may be relevant and important, but not urgent. In this context, the starting of our spiritual journey is urgent. The understanding and realization which are also important will reveal themselves along the path of this journey when we arrive at the various resting places, until we reach our final destination.

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