Pratyek and Prakrit laid there mats on the floor, preparing to sleep. These boys have been learning from Buddha himself, they have been in the vihara for two years now.
Pratyek was very excited about keeping the lock under his pillow for the first night, he begged Prakrit to let him keep it first. Prakrit was a patient being, he calmly nodded.
That night in his sleep Pratyek visited many realms, ether and underworlds, demi-gods and goddesses, who talked to him and revealed many things to him.
Next day when Pratyek woke up he was excited but his next thought was 'if Prakrit slept with this lock under his pillow tonight he may experience more than him and it may deplete the energy from Buddha's hair.'
For the rest of the day he pondered over how to avoid such an event.
Dusk cascaded slowly by then he made up his mind.Prakrit was unaware of the turmoil in his friends head, he went to bed with lock of hair under his pillow. As soon as he drifted off to sleep, Pratyek got up, he slowly pulled the strand of hair from under his friends pillow, kept it under his head and slept off. He got up early next morning and kept the hair back under his friends pillow while Prakrit was still asleep.
Every evening Buddha would discuss the events of the night with them, Prakrit would feel lost, he had no visions, no prophecies to share with them. He felt disappointed with the exercise. He did not trust the lock of hair and dream method but he pursued it because he loved Buddha.
Buddha knew what exactly is going on, yet he pretended to watch the outcome of this exchange between his students.
One evening after an elaborate discussion on dreams and interpretations of prophecies, Prakrit felt he had nothing to contribute, he excused himself, went out and sat by the banks of Kalindi river.
Prakrit sat and cried endless tears then stillness dawned on him and he reassessed his situation:
He asked himself:
What am I grieving for ?
The inner being answered 'because you created an expectation of spiritual growth and learning, you put all your faith in it, expecting result and when it did not materialize you felt pain.'
He went deeper into the soliloquy..
What is it about this expectation that makes my heart grieve so much?
..because you have imagined your sense of well being and happiness based on that outcome, your happiness is dependent on an outcome, if the otuocme is not there then there is no happiness in your being.
How do I get past this matrix of expectation and pain?
Firstly, you need to let go of the idea that happiness in your life is dependent on outcomes of your dreams, investments and efforts.
The what is the purpose of living if there is no happiness and fulfillment?
That's where you are missing the point, your happiness is never dependent on any kind of fulfillment, right now you think if you had visions like your friend you would be happy suppose if that comes true, tomorrow you may want higher level of energy and self awareness. If that is not fulfilled you will be unhappy again.
Does that mean I should live an aimless dreamless existence?
No, creation of life itself depends on creation of dreams you must dream but not about the outcomes just your dream outcome happens with joyous pursuits.we feel unhappy and disappointed only when things do not turn out to be the way we expected them to. If we drop the outcome from our consciousness we can achieve far more than what we set out for ourselves.
So if I don't expect I wont be unhappy, I must only dream and not expect?
Your dream itself creates an outcome, your mind creates the desire for a certain kind of outcome, and losing that certain kind of outcome should not be the cause of your pain.
You must always remember there is never anything to lose in life. When you are dropping expectations from life, people and situation you are setting yourself free from pain.
Why is it that I feel this lingering pain in my heart though i understand exactly what it is?
This is the pain of hope, as long as hope is there, fear, anxiety and pain will follow. Drop all of it and you are free.
Prakrit opened his eyes slowly, it was the dark hour of the night, he was engrossed in a conversation with his inner being for a long time. He looked at the dark river and for a moment he saw Buddha's image on the water, smiling that inner knowing smile.
Prakrit went back to his cottage, Pratyek was waiting for his friend to go to bed so he may retrieve the lock of hair from under his pillow. Prakrit understood, he pretended to be asleep and he let his friend have one more sleep full of fancy dreams.