Being Original. A Shaolin Temple Legend
In 2001, at the May Call seminar in Iguazú, Sri Kumar spoke about the qualities Uranus. One quality is being original. As an illustration he told us a legend about the 36th chamber of Shaolin. It is a little bit different than the plot of the famous movie. The story is now also published in the book on Uranus – The Alchemist of the Age.
The story impressed me very much. My wife and I have often spoken about its essence: On the spiritual path, it is not enough to follow a set of teachings of a teacher. You have to apply them in your own life, develop something of your own, and then use it for the best in your service to society: “The path to the Truth does not lead anyone to the threshold of Truth. It leads up to a point. Thereafter one has to invent.”
Here is the story:
“In the East there is a great learning temple for martial arts, it is called Shaolin temple. The temple teaches martial arts in 35 grades. To pass through each grade one needs fiery aspiration, one-pointed focus, concentration and a very high physical, emotional and mental discipline. The percentage of pass from one grade to the other is hardly one percent a year. Very rarely a student stands up to the 35th grade of the art. Such one is a very, very, very special one. Only one comes out in 25 years successfully out of all 35 grades which are called the 35 chambers. He would be honoured by the temple (school) and sent out by the pledge that he would serve and protect the society. Such a one is considered to be invincible.
Once one young man through deep dedication cleared all the 35 chambers and he was felicitated by the chief for his ability and accomplishment. He was wished good luck by the colleagues. Thinking that he is invincible, he started serving and protecting the society. He was also honoured by the society for his martial ability.
It so happened that once he encountered another adept of martial arts and fought with him. The fight was a prolonged fight. But the stranger defeated him. The young one was perplexed. He went through all the training in the temple. He was perfect with respect to all the 35 grades. And he was declared invincible, but he was defeated. He went back to the temple, kneeled down before the chief, informed of his defeat in the hands of the stranger and sought clarification from the chief of the temple.
The temple chief smiled and said that the stranger was also a member of the temple, a student of the temple that went through all the 35 chambers. The student asked, “If that is so, we should be equal. How could he be the winner and I the loser?” The chief smiled again and said, “There is the 36th chamber, which is not in the temple, but is in the nature. Having learnt what is taught, your senior invented yet another art which you have not invented. He invented it working in nature. The 36th chamber is the nature. Go out into the nature and invent something of your own. Your invention comes from your origin. As original each one is unique. You too would become invincible, if you invent from your own origin.”
Such is the Truth. The path to the Truth does not lead anyone to the threshold of Truth. It leads up to a point. Thereafter one has to invent. This invention has to be deep into oneself until one touches the origin of one’s being. Once the origin is touched, the Truth expresses afresh. It expresses originally. All those who realized the Truth, thus realized and presented the Truth afresh. The way one realizes the Truth could form into a path for others to follow. But the path will not lead one into the Truth until one also invents. Invention is the means to ‘well out’ the original. Uranus encourages inventions. Once you are an original, you are unique.”
The two grandmasters of the Shaolin Temple Shi DeRu (Shawn Xiangyang Liu) and Shi DeYang (Shi WanFeng) who are two decedent disciples of the late Great Grand Master of the Shaolin Temple Shi SuXi (aka: His Holiness Upper Su and Lower Xi). (c) Wikipedia