Zen zgodba: Tempeljski zvonovi


Na otoku, kaki dve milji od obale, je stal tempelj. V njem je bilo tisoč zvonov: velikih, majhnih, takih, ki so jih oblikovali najboljši rokodelci na svetu. Kadar je pihal veter ali divjala nevihta, so vsi tempeljski zvonovi doneli ubrano, da je zvenelo kot simfonija, ki je srca poslušalcev zvabljala v pravo zamaknjenost.
Otok pa se je počasi pogrezal v morje in je po nekaj stoletjih popolnoma potonil, z njim pa so se pogreznili tudi tempelj in zvonovi. Staro izročilo je trdilo, da so zvonovi brez presanka peli še naprej in slišal jih je lahko vsakdo, kdor je pazljivo prisluhnil. Neki mladenič, ki ga je ta zgodba razvnela, je prepotoval tisoč milj, da bi slišal zvonove. Dneve in dneve je presedel na obali nasproti kraju, kjer je nekoč stal tempelj, in poslušal z vsem srcem. A zaznaval je samo šum valov, ki so butali ob obalo. Z vso močjo si je prizadeval, da bi izločil glas valov in bi tako mogel slišati zvonove. A vse zaman; zdelo se mu je, da šumenje morja preplavlja vse vesolje.

Vztrajal je več tednov. Ko je bil že čisto pobit, je pogosto poslušal vaške modrijane, ki so zavzeto pripovedovali o legendi tempeljskih zvonov in o tistih, ki so jih slišali in so tako dokazali, da je legenda resnična. In ob njihovih besedah mu je spet zagorelo srce, a kaj, ko je potem ponovno izgubil pogum, ker mu tedni novih in novih prizadevanj niso prinesli nobenega uspeha. Naposled se je odločil, da bo opustil brezupni poskus. Morda mu pač ni usojeno, da bi bil eden tistih srečnežev, ki zaslišijo zvonove. Morda pa pripoved le ni resnična.
Vrnil se je domov in se sprijaznil z neuspehom. Zadnjega dne je še enkrat šel do svojega priljubljenega prostora na obali, da bi se poslovil od morja in neba, vetra in kokosovih palm. Ležal je na pesku, strmel v nebo in poslušal morje. Tega dne se ni upiral njegovemu šumenju. Predal se mu je in spoznal, da je bučanje valov prijetno in pomirjajoče. Kmalu se je tako izgubil v njem, da je komaj še vedel zase, tako globoko tišino je ta glas ustvarjal v njegovem srcu. In v globini te tišine je zaslišal: zvenenje komaj slišnega zvona, ki mu je sledil drugi pa tretji in četrti. In kmalu je glasno donelo vseh tisoč tempeljskih zvonov v veličastni harmoniji in mladeničevo srce se je topilo v vesolju in čudenju.

The temple was built on an island and it had a thousand bells. Bells big and small, fashioned by the finest craftsmen in the world. When the wind blew or a storm raged, all the bells would peal out in a symphony that would send the heart of the hearer into raptures.
But over the centuries the island sank into the ocean and, with it, the temple bells. An ancient legend said that the bells still rang out ceaselessly, and could be heard by anyone who would listen. Inspired by the legend a young man travelled thousands of miles, determined to hear those bells. He sat for days on the shore facing the vanished island and listened with all his might. But all he heard was the sound of the sea. He made every effort to block it out but to no avail; the sound of the sea seemed to flood the world.

He kept at his task for weeks. Each time he got disheartened he would listen to the village pundits as they spoke with unction of the mysterious legend. Then his heart would be inflamed.., only to become discouraged when weeks of further efforts yielded no results. Finally he decided to give up the attempt. Perhaps he was not destined to listen to the bells. Perhaps the legend was not true. It was his final day, and he went to the shore to say goodbye to the sea and the sky and the wind and the coconut trees. He lay on the sand, and for the first time, listened to the sound of the sea.
Soon he was so lost in the sound that he was barely conscious of himself, so deep was the silence the sound produced. In the depth of that silence, he heard it! The tinkle of a tiny bell followed by another, and another and another… till every one of the thousand temple bells was pealing out in harmony, and his heart was rapt in joyous ecstasy.

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