The Daily Dharma – January 12, 2022

Apes and monkeys; their life and language (1900)

Monkey Mind


The following is a story from the Holy Adi Granth, about people who hunt monkeys.
Monkey hunters know the minds of monkeys. They take five or six pots, which have small mouths, just big enough for a monkey’s empty hand. Inside the pots, they put some food, and fix them in the ground on a path where monkeys travel. When the monkeys see the pots with the food inside, they put their hand in, fill them with as much food as possible, and then try to pull their hands back out. When their hands were empty, they could reach into the pots easily, but after filling their hands with food, they cannot remove their hands.


That is when the hunters come. The monkeys see them coming and are afraid of being caught, but they don’t let go of the food, which would allow them to pull their hands out of the pots. They only try to take their hands out of the pots holding onto the food, which is impossible because of the small pot mouths. So the hunters come and catch the monkeys, placing ropes around their necks and teaching them to dance. They make them dance in houses and the monkeys are the hunters’ prisoners forever. 


Moral: Wealth is given to us to use, but not to indulge us. 


Sant Thakar Singh
from Good Stories Make Us Good

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