The Eye of the Owl. Sivarama Swami: Let me tell a story from…

The Eye of the Owl.
Sivarama Swami: Let me tell a story from the ancient India Mahabharata. India’s princes were being tested in archery by their martial arts teacher Drona. He had put a wooden owl in the top of a high tree. And then he called the princes to attention. Their target was the eye of the owl. First he called on the prince regent and said, “Set the arrow to your bow, take aim and tell me what you see?”
The regent did as he was told and being polite said, “I see you. I see the tree. I see the branch. And I see the owl.”
The teacher said, “Ease your bow and move out of the way.” The next prince was called.
Again, “Set your arrow, aim and tell me what you see.”
The second prince replied, “I see the tree and the owl.”
The teacher said, “Ease your bow and move out of the way.” The teacher called for the next prince. “Aim your arrow and tell me what you see.”
The third prince replied, “I see the owl sitting on the branch. And I see the eye of the owl.”

Once again the teacher said, “Ease your bow and move out of the way.” By this time there was silent anxiety amongst the princes.

The teacher next called for Arjuna, Krishna’s friend, and the person to whom the Bhagavad-gita would be spoken to in the future.

The teacher said, “Arjuna! Set the arrow to your bow, take aim and tell me what you see.”

Arjuna replied, “I see the eye of the owl.”

The teacher asked, “What else do you see?”

Arjuna said, “I see only the eye of the owl.”

“Don’t you see me?”

“No!”

“Don’t you see the tree?”

“No!”

“Don’t you see the branch its on.”

“No!”

“Don’t you see the owl.”

“No!”

“You don’t see the owl? Then what do you see?”

“I see only the eye of the owl.”

The teacher nodded and said, “Then shoot your arrow.”

Arjuna shot and hit his target.

The lesson is clear. When you have a goal in life. Especially the goal of self-realization. Never take your eyes off it. Don’t get distracted from it by anything or anyone. Then you will be able to reach it.

Keep your aim on the eye of the owl

– HH Sivarama Swami

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