A grey bearded old man and a young man were observing the blooming of a lotus, sitting on a shore of a silent pond, when a young man interrupted the silence.
“Master, why the meaning of life is hidden from us? We meditate trying to understand the logic of things happening around us, we see separate parts and we are aware of their interrelations. But all of our efforts appear to be vain when a new component appears, destroying all of the previous logical constructions.”
“The meaning of life,” the teacher reluctantly turned his eyes from the flower, “can only be understood by someone whose mind isn’t clouded with earthly troubles, wishes and passions. Only new-borns are close to that state. The essence of a new-born reminds a lotus, soaring on the unshakable stillness of the pond. The surface of their soul isn’t touched by the wind of aspirations, the rain of attachments, the snow of grievance, and the ice of loss. Their moistness isn’t dried by fears, malodorous bubbles of fear don’t take to the surface the slime from the bottom, their shores are empty, and the forest by the shore doesn’t defile the child’s clean water with fallen leaves, branches and needles. And later the World appears, with all of its meaningless worldliness. On the shores of the pond an impenetrable thicket of teachers grows up, mentors, friends, enemies, lovers, children, relatives. Constantly, the surface of the water becomes inseparable from the thick garbage on the shore. Every word, every moral, every kiss, every punch or kindness, every our influence disturbs the untouched soul of a child, making him to grow up and go further and further from the understanding of the meaning of life.”
“But we can’t get rid of all of this,” the student shouted out heatedly. “We are people! Our life consists of the course of these actions, this coil, the boiling of these passions and wishes! Or are you asking people to become ferns?!!”
“You’ve understood everything right, my boy,” a light smile touched the lips of the old man. “You want to search for the meaning of life? Search for it. But to do that, you will need to refuse every carnal wish, attachment and feeling, become the grass, the fern, go live in the temple, become a hermit, rip all of the ties that join you with worldly troubles and passions, and then, possibly, you will be able to go back to the beginning. But what all of this is for? Is the search worth it? Ask yourself this question and if the answer will be negative, remain the person between the people.”
The teacher turned his eyes towards the lotus again and finished, “And about the meaning of life you will always be able to talk with friends, while sitting in the shade of your home terrace, listening to the cheerful laughter of children, and drinking green aroma tea, that your loving wife brings you.”