Monday, 28 December 2009

Four harmonious friends

Share with you something. If you recall in my earlier posts, a few weeks ago while I was on the cruise, I said a prayer to the Buddhas for protection and also supplicating to the Nagas not to cause more harm to humans in terms of natural disasters and causing illnesses. Towards the end,  I silently asked to be given a sign if my prayers were heard.

Remember the peacock I saw in the restaurant? There were in fact different beautiful paintings of peacocks, and I don't know why I had to take a photo of this  beautiful white one with this stranger. I also chanced upon a small shelf  at an inconspicuous corner where different types of tea were displayed. I saw a small porcelain elephant with tea inside. When we were reaching land, I saw the first boat which was sailing very fast towards our direction, and I noticed its name "Noble Jewel". I also saw a real live monkey while we were at the deck waiting to get off the ship. The lost monkey was roaming on the dock below. How often do you see a live monkey in such an obscure place?

So what's the connection, you ask? Well, in the Vinayavastu (Foundation of Discipline), the Buddha tells the story of the Four Harmonious Friends – a pheasant, a rabbit, a monkey, and an elephant – who lived together in harmony. Each of the younger animals showed respect for the older animals’ life-experience and knowledge by carrying the older on his back. It is said that wherever a picture of the Four Harmonious Friends is displayed, the ten virtues will increase, the minds of all will become harmonious, and many auspicious events will occur.

You may think I am being silly. Well, those sightings were the signs given and my interpretation, even though they might sound so coincidental. It was only when I was sorting out the photos as well as by chance came  across a picture of the Four Harmonious Friends, then I realised and connected all these. As for the rabbit, well, I recalled a someone wearing a very unusual rabbit blouse too! So I would like to think  my prayers were heard by the Three Jewels, as well as the guardians of the seas and skies. Just feel happy and blessed. May all be harmonious and auspicious.

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