Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here is the whole long story - Brahma's joke.

Notes: Brahma: Indian God of Creation. Bhagwan: Lord.

One day, Brahma was sitting, ROTFL, and could hardly hold his sides up. An angel happened to pass by and asked “bhagwan! What seems to be the matter?”

Brahma, laughing through his tears and still unable to hold his laughter, said “Wait till u hear this.”

“One day, a species of monkeys devised a way by which they could gather food faster. This would save them time and effort and give them more food for every hour that they worked.”

“Oh splendid. They must have been intelligent monkeys.”

Brahma (still clutching his sides) “No, no wait till u hear the whole thing.”

“Then, they did the same thing with their hunting – they made tools that will help them slay better, bigger, faster, and they got organized as hunters.”

“Oh good. All this must have given them a lot of time to spend on things they like to do, and to spend time with their children.”

“No, next came the need to do something about the cold. They made the fire, and they made clothes. Clothes would keep them warm in winters.”

“But Bhagwan! All other animals are provided with skins that perform this function effectively. Why did you deprive only this species of a skin that saves them from winters?”

“Oh they had a skin all right, they just wanted to be more comfortable than that.”

“Aaah. More comfortable with a foreign element on our bodies all the time?”

Nodding in the affirmative, Brahma continued to laugh and speak in between “After a while, they forgot the comfort of living in their skin alone. Even in hot summers, they would wear this fake skin. “

The angel was silent this time.

They used to make sounds in a particular way that sounded better than normal talking. They also used to make rhythmic sounds on things like rocks and leaves.”

“Why would they do that?”

“For enjoyment. But that’s not the point. As soon as they had some time on their hands, they decided that the rhythmic sound from the mouth and from the leaves needed to be learnt, studied, and it became a job to learn what they now called Music. They would move their bodies rhythmically to this “music” – they called this natural movement “Dance” and some people’s job became to learn this music and dance.”

“You mean they made a job of something that was enjoyment to start with!?” The angel was smiling now. “Why?”

“Oh, they thought it would be better that way. What resulted was that only a few of the monkeys could understand the new, difficult compositions, and what should have been for enjoyment became studies and learning.”

The angel had started to laugh a little. “And then what happened Bhagwan?”

They used to have stories to tell to each other and to their children. They realized that they must preserve the stories, so learning the stories became another job”

“Why couldn’t they just think up new stories with time?”

“Don’t ask. I have no clue, they just wanted to carry their past with them.”

“So, instead of enjoying the stories, they made work of them?”

“Yes. But wait, it gets even better. After this, they came up with more time saving devices – made of metal and much easier to handle and faster to work with.”

“Finally, they were actually saving time to enjoy themselves!”

“There my man, you forget that the making of these implements became another job, their maintenance, their oiling, and shining…some people specialized only in this”

“Groan!”

“Then there was jewelry. Men and women wanted to adorn themselves with shining pieces of metal, shell etc to look better”

“To look better? What can look better than glowing skin and a healthy body?”

“Apparently, shells and metal. To take our story further…”

“Wait Bhagwan, let me guess.. the making and maintenance of these pieces is another job created by the monkeys, right?”

“You are getting intelligent, my dear. Things went on like this till they became too many monkeys to hold in individual groups, and they make social institutions.”

“What is a social institution?”
“Oh, for example, you take a female of the species and you promise to take care of her for her whole life while she bears your children and cooks and keeps home. That is called marriage. The starting of this union is celebrated..”

“Groan… more work created! Why did these monkeys not just go out and enjoy?”

“Angel, do you want to hear more?”

“Tell me….”

“Earlier, fathers used to come home in the evening, before sun down, and spend time with the children… then, they created offices”

“Lord, what are offices?”

“Offices are places where fathers have to stay until after sun down so they hardly get any time with their wives and children. To compensate, the monkeys decided that the offices should remain closed for one day in the week.”

“Bhagwan, now you are telling me that in the pursuit of creating time saving devices, they actually created more work, and so much work that even their basics like spending time with each other were compromised?”

“Oh, it gets better. They wanted to get more organized. They wanted to do things faster, so they created computers.”

“And?”

“Now, they have less time than they ever had, they have no time to eat, no time to drink, they breathe poisonous air, and die earlier than ever, of diseases created by them.. and they are still trying to do better…”

“Lord, what you are telling me is, that this is a species of monkeys that thinks it wants to create leisure, but has actually been working hard to create more work for centuries on end? What is so funny about that?”

“I’m just wondering.. how long before They figure this out?”

9 comments:

Solitaire said...

Makes us sound so foolish!

Mampi said...

SIGH-You speaketh the truth, and nothing but the bitter truth of our times. We stoop to conquer and conquer only to stoop.

human being said...

yes as Mampi said, it is the bitter truth of our times.
these are the questions i've asked many times since my childhood and got no answers... the only thing i could do was to happily 'deprive' myself of some of these inventions and creations to enjoy my life more... things such as TV, personal car, fashion, decorations,... many 'how to do' books (just to do things my way more easily...)
:D

a great story... thanks HDWK for sharing.

Akshay said...

Oh dear lord.....we have got it all wrong!!

The Phosgene Kid said...

I think you owe the present day monkeys an apology, they'd be insulted to be compared to us.

How do we know said...

Hi Solitaire: Makes us sound?? We ARE follish! :-)

Hi mampi: So true!

Hi human being: Yes, me does that too... and life is soo much better!

Hi akshay: How long before WE figure that out?

Hi Phos: I apologise, unconditionally.

Forever Young said...

makes us ashamed, we foolish monkeys! i always thought my mother was being crazy when she used to talk about the 'good old days' but now i see why!

PG said...

HDWK, I did not find the joke so funny. I can understand the reasons behind this and to a certain extent they are true, but only to a certain extent. But, i always ask myself, what reason was it that God gave us this drive, this drive to do something, to keep doing something, creating new things, preserving something which is valuable. Not everybody is capable of making good stories, so the neighbours wanted the goos stories niot the one who made it.
And I agree with phosgene, we are insulting the monkeys. We are not monkeys, related, yes, compared to a rat or an elephant, we are surely more clsely related, but that's it.
I think Gos had his reasons. he gives everyone more and of this and less of that. And the human average age of death is increasing and and not decreasing, despite all the "stress", as we believe we have. I think we have become more "chui mui's". Yes, globalisation has had its negative effects too.
And I feel this applies much more to the Indian situation, maybe to some other places as well, don't know. But, hardships were always there, it is just that their qualities have changed. But, i still rather live in these times than the earlier ones. :)

How do we know said...

Hi Forever Young: :-) Good old times... :-)

Hi pg: These are just perspectives pg.. on the post is mine, in the comments is yours..
I respect your opinion, but cannot change my own. I do believe we have been rather dumb and our ignorance is topped only by our arrogance.

I am answering your comment, but please feel free to ignore the response:-)


Re. there must be some reason why God gave us this constant need to create etc., whatever those reasons might have been, I know that they have not been fulfilled, unless the only reason was the anniilation of every other species on the planet. My feeling is that we are the Frankensteins of the planet.

Re. the lifespan going up, that really was not the point of this post. The point was that we have not been enjoying our lives as much because we have created work that is just... time consuming and not as vital to human happiness if u get down to it, that we are compromising on the very basics - clean air, healthy food and basic leisure - to what end?