I’m still running behind so will keep commentary to a minimum. Suffice to say that from my perspective, these readings fit beautifully together.
The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Thus the master travels all day
without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.
This verse reminded me of the story of Satyakama and Gautama told in the Upanishads. The version I read at class comes from the Vedanta Press edition by Sw. Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester. I think Satyakama perfectly embodies the understanding contained in the above verse. See what you think:
One day the boy Satyakama came to his mother and said: “Mother, I want to be a religious student. What is my family name?”
“My son,” replied his mother, “I do not know. In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala.”
Thereupon the boy went to Gautama and asked to be accepted as a student. “Of what family are you, my lad?” inquired the sage.
Satyakama relied: “I asked my mother what my family name was and she answered: ‘I do not know. In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala!’ I am therefore Satyakama Jabala, sir.”
Then said the sage: “None but a true Brahmin would have spoken thus. Go and fetch fuel, for I will teach you. You have not swerved from the truth.”
After initiating Satkakama, the sage gave him four hundred lean and sickly cattle, saying, “Take good care of these my lad.” The boy promptly drove them toward the forest, vowing to himself that he would not return until they numbered a thousand. He dwelt in the forest for many years, and when the cattle had increased to a thousand, the bull of the herd approached him and said, “Satyakama, we have become a herd of one thousand. Do you now lead us to the house of your master, and I will teach you one foot of Brahman.”
“Speak out, please,” said Satyakama.
Then said the bull: “The east is a part of the Lord and so is the west; the south is a part of the Lord and so is the north. The four cardinal points form a foot of Brahman. Fire will teach you another.”
On the following day, Satyakama began his journey. Toward evening he lit a fire and heard a voice saying, “Satyakama, I will teach you one foot of Brahman. This earth is a portion of Brahman. The sky and the heavens are portions of him. The ocean is a portion of him. All these form a foot of Brahman. A swan will teach you another.”
Satyakama continued his journey. One the following evening a swan came to him and said: “I have come to teach you one foot of Brahman. This lighted fire before you is part of Brahman, and likewise the moon; the lightning too is a part. All these form a foot of Brahman. A loon will teach you another.”
The next evening a loon came and said: “I will teach you one foot of Brahman. Breath is a part of Brahman, sight is a part, hearing is a part, mind is a part. All these form a foot of Brahman.”
At last the youth arrived at the home of his master and reverently presented himself before him. As soon as Gautama saw him, he exclaimed: “My son, your face shines like a knower of Brahman. By whom were you taught?”
“By beings other than men,” replied Satyakama, “but I desire that you too should teach me. For I have heard from the wise that the knowledge that the Guru imparts will alone lead to the supreme good.”
Then the sage taught him that knowledge and left nothing out.”
And we leave the final word to Sheik Nasrudin, as told by Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield in Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart.
Mulla Nasrudin used to stand in the street on market-days, to be pointed out as an idiot.
No matter how often people offered him a large and a small coin, he always chose the smaller piece.
One day a kindly man said to him: “Mulla, you should take the bigger coin. Then you will have more money and people will no longer be able to make a laughing-stock of you.”
“That might be true,” said Nasrudin, “but if I always take the larger, people will stop offering me money to prove that I am more idiotic than they are. Then I would have no money at all.”