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Without that Love  


Once, a man in a forest heard the sound of a tiger. As he ran in fear, his eyes darted here and there looking for shelter. Finally he came across a "blind well", a well that is no longer in use. Grass  and plants had grown over that well and a tree grew beside it. Taking help from two branches of the tree, the man lowered himself into the well, comforted by the thought that he was beyond the  tiger's reach. As he descended the well, however,he saw beneath him many snakes. The snakes raised their hoods and hissed, ready to bite him.As he hung from the two branches he reaUzed  that his predicament had only increased. At the bottom of the well there were many poisonous snakes waiting to bite him and at the top a ferocious tiger waited to eat him. He was suffering great  anxiety.Then, two rats - one black and one white - began gnawing the branches onto which he held. It was only a question of time before the branches would be eaten through and he would fall  into the pit of snakes. To escape this predicament, he had to either climb out and be eaten by the tiger or descend into the well and be bitten by the snakes. Whatever he chose to do, his fate  would be gruesome.In this very dangerous situation, the man suddenly noticed a honeycomb on the branch of the tree. Because the tree was shaking, some honey was dripping and it just  happened to be dripping very close to his face. Taking this opportunity to enjoy, he stuck out his tongue and took that honey into his mouth. He began to relish the flavor, thinking, "Oh, how sweet!  How sweet!" Feeling some happiness, he completely forgot the danger he was in.


All the components of this analogy represent our own condition. The man in this story exemplifies all souls who are attached to this world. We are in a dangerous situation, as we may die at any  moment, and there is no way for us to be saved by our material endeavors. The snakes represent our many problems, coming at us one after another like waves in an ocean. We think, "Oh, this  is the last of my problems. I will be happy as soon as this problem is solved." But sometimes the next wave is larger still, and sometimes many waves, or problems, come at once - five or six at  a time. At the top of the well stands the tiger, who represents death, which is waiting for every one of us in this world.The two branches represent the reactions to our fruitive activities - good and  bad, pious and impious. We live our lives experiencing the reactions of our pious and impious activities. Combined together, these reactions comprise the duration of our life, and that duration is  being taken away moment by moment. The black rat represents nighttime and the white rat daytime. We are very happy when another day comes and goes, but actually the coming and going of  days only means that the duration of our life is being gnawed away.Amidst so many problems and dangers one drop of honey falls on our tongues, and this drop is likened to the momentary  happiness we may feel with friends and relatives of this world.