The gods were once so pleased by a man’s devotion that they gave him a magic conch shell that would fulfill any wish expressed to it. You say a palace and immediately a palace appears. You say a banquet fit for a king and there is a great feast laid out before you. The man was very happy as he began to enjoy all the good things in life.
One day a priest who was passing through the town halted at this man’s palace for a night’s rest. He had heard about the magic shell and wanted to possess it. He too had a conch shell which he called Maha-shankha, great conch shell. He said to his host, ”Your shell is nothing compared to mine.
I too practiced many austerities and the gods favored me with this Maha-shankha. You ask one thing of it, it gives two.” Now as is human nature, the man’s greed was awakened. He said, ”Show me the magic of your conch shell.”
The priest took out the Maha-shankha and placing it before him said, ”Brother, make a palace.” The conch said, ”Why one? Why not two?” The host was impressed. He gave his conch to the priest and took his Maha-shankha in return. The priest then soon left. Almost immediately the man tried frantically to find him again, because the conch only spoke but did not perform. You say two and it will say,”Why not four?”
You say four, it will say ”Why not eight?” This was all it could do. The mind is a Maha-shankha. Whatever God gives it says, ”Why only this much, why not more?” The mind is only a babble of words. It is all lies. It can produce nothing. But we are such that we have let go of God and cling to the mind. For the mind talks in a duplicity that sets fire to our greed.
bhanudas <email@example.com 9-7-2011