Friday, August 11, 2006
More on Horse's Ass
I had received the e-mail about "Horse's Ass" from a young friend. Here's my reply to him.
"And you thought that being a Horse's Ass was not important?"
No one ever thought that a horse's ass was unimportant! In fact there is a lot of evidence to point to the importance with which the horse's ass has been regarded. Your mail about everything being traceable to the HA is only further evidence.
In many languages, across the world, the expression for something utterly value-less is "horse-dung". Why?
In mystic language in diverse cultures (sandhyabhasha in India) , there is a tradition of speaking in riddles, or using a word to mean its opposite. Thus, horse-dung could be a term to denote the ultimate treasure i.e. knowledge i.e. self-knowledge i.e. knowledge of God.
The same knowledge that was realised by young Nachiket in the story in the Katha Upanishad.
Talking of behinds - it is a fact that the horse has perhaps the most exquisitely-sculpted behind. And it has perhaps the most beautiful tail of all creatures; placed there just to conceal - or adorn - the horse's ass?? The source of that most value-less dung??
In Bangla, every child learns the mischievious expression:
"Shodh bodh ghodar pondh"
Which is like saying: "even-steven, horse's ass".
Some years back, it occurred to me that vulgar expressions are mediums for transmission of precious wisdom, like coded messages to future generations. Such messages are hidden in expressions that are sure to be in common currency, heard by and embedded in the minds of nearly everyone, so that some time someone, somewhere may also reach through to and grasp the inner meaning.
So, the expression "shodh bodh ghodar pondh" could be unravelled, like a puzzle, to discover hidden wisdom.
To me, it seemed to mean:
"searching, and feeling, to attain blissful self-realisation" (or enlightenment, or self-knowledge, or divine vision).
It seemed to be simply the message of Lord Buddha. I was overwhelmed to find the imprint of the greatest teacher on even everyday vulgar expressions!
The horse has often symbolised the mind. Like a wild horse the mind races uncontrollably. Controlling the mind yields a very good vehicle to journey through life. And in that journey, searching for TRUTH, and never failing to FEEL - the light of TRUTH is eventually attained.
Hindu religious mythology refers to the present time as Kali-yuga, or the age of Kali, a period of darkness, ignorance and corruption. Vishnu, the sustainer of Life would incarnate as Kalki, 'the avenger', riding a white horse (seated backwards), to destroy the present world and to take humanity to a different, higher plane.
So my young friend, it appears you are off to a very good start indeed with your interest in the Horse's Ass!