A Tale -- B.P. Koirala Four Level | Bikram Adhikari | Adventure Of English

 A Tale -- B.P. Koirala

Literal Comprehension: In ancient times, gods used to take help from humans in their eternal wars against the demons. However, if humans tried to achieve godhood through penance, the same gods would get jealous and try to destroy humans’ penance by any means. The gods would mostly use the beautiful nymphs of their court to destroy humans’ penance. At such a time, a man realized that supreme knowledge could not be found by living a domestic life. He realized that a man’s path to godhood would be blocked by obligations to family and friends. So, he went to a remote jungle and started a difficult life of penance to achieve supreme knowledge. After living such a life for many months, he was able to achieve a state of deep meditative trance. Then he achieved a state of unending ecstasy, in which he was able to experience bliss. His life of penance enabled him to emanate (send out) energy from his body that went up to heaven and threatened the seat of Indra, the king of gods. So, Indra sent the most attractive nymph of his court to the hermitage to destroy the man’s penance. The man’s fame had been spread all over the world, but he was attracted to the nymph when she came near him. The man married the woman. He was able to experience in her company the same kind of bliss that he had experienced after living a most difficult life of penance. He married her and returned to his village and started living a simple domestic life. People in his village considered it to be his great fall. However, the man himself never ceased to experience in the woman’s company the bliss that he had experienced from his life of penance.
Interpretation: This story seems to suggest that a man should not risk his life for experiencing the state of bliss in his life. If he lives a simple domestic life, he will be able to experience such a blissful state. The man in this story, for example, tortures his body so much. He lives a difficult life of penance. He swims in the ice-cold water in winter and sits beside the seven-tongued fire in the summer. He gets victory over his flesh after torturing his body in this way. He reaches a state of deep meditative trance after this and can experience a state of unending ecstasy. Later, he starts living with a woman and can experience the same kind of ecstasy even in her company. The message of the story is simple and explicit. It suggests that the bliss of life can be achieved even by living a simple domestic life and doing domestic duty. One does not need to torture his body for it.
Critical Thinking: This story underestimates the value of meditation in human life. Meditation in fact is very important because it is a means of reaching a state of self-realization. Devotion to a certain cause is also a kind of meditation. The progress that humans have been able to achieve for themselves has resulted from much from human dedication and devotion. The man in this story leaves his friends and family to go away to live in a remote jungle. It had achieved him much fame and prestige. What would he get after returning to his domestic life? Isn’t it an easy life and easy death? Aren’t even animals able to have such a life? What does the writer want humans to do? Does he want them to leave a simple domestic life of ease and comfort and die like animals after producing babies? What glory would it bring for them? The story seems to lead humans to a regressive path of namelessness, without showing them any path to glory.
Assimilation: This story made me think of my own life very seriously. I now think about how I should pass my life. I don’t know whether I should pass a life of meditation or action. The man in this story passes a life of meditation at first, but he later comes to realize that he should pass a life of domestic action. Now the question arises: which life is a better form of life? This story seems to give much importance to family life, which I think is not a good thing for humans. If one gives so much importance to the domestic life itself, then the value of hermits’ lives will vanish. The writer of this story seems to be interested in the ease and comfort of life more than any other thing. However, I think that humans should not live only for ease and comfort. They should try to do something great in their life.

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