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Translated teachings of Master Patana

A Parable of Friendship, Validation, and Awakening

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Once upon a time, in a charming village, lived a young man named Jivan. Jivan was well-liked, and he had a best friend, Prem, who was always by his side. They shared all their experiences, both joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures.

Whenever Jivan found himself amidst negativity or facing difficulty, he sought comfort and validation from Prem. True to his nature, Prem, the good friend, would empathize and reassure him that his feelings were justified. This pattern became so deeply ingrained that Jivan began to rely heavily on Prem’s validation for his emotional well-being. He abandoned introspection and questioning his emotions. His existence started to revolve around the comforting validation provided by Prem.

Over time, however, people began to distance themselves from Jivan. His constant seeking of validation and inability to handle criticism started to create a stifling atmosphere around him. He remained blissfully unaware, comforted by Prem’s reassuring presence and perpetual agreement.

Life, however, had a twist in store. Prem had to move away for work. Suddenly, Jivan found himself alone, with no one to validate his feelings or agree with his views. His emotional wounds, once soothed by Prem’s reassurances, now lay open and raw.

It was during this time that a wise old man from the village, observing Jivan’s melancholy, offered some wisdom, “Dear son, the river of life is filled with both rapids and smooth streams. If you only seek comfort during the turbulent times, you’ll never learn to navigate the waters. A real friend doesn’t merely provide solace; they also teach you to face the rapids.”

The old man’s words resonated with Jivan, sparking a realization. He saw how his dependence on validation had alienated him from others and obstructed his personal growth. He understood that he had let the comfort of agreement overshadow the wisdom that comes from introspection and acceptance of criticism.

Recognizing the need to change was the first step, but initiating that change was an uphill task. Like an addiction, the habit of seeking validation was difficult to break. It’s arduous to relinquish comfort, much like how a bird, accustomed to the security of a cage, might fear the vast, open sky.

Yet, every day Jivan tried. Some days he’d progress, accepting criticism, and embracing introspection. Other days, he’d fall back into old habits, unable to let go of the familiar comfort. The battle was with himself, a tug-of-war between his habitual self and his awakening self.

As days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, Jivan began to understand the nature of real growth. It’s not an overnight metamorphosis but a journey marked by small, persistent steps towards change. Each stumble and fall became a lesson, an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser.

Over time, Jivan noticed a shift within him. The superficial comfort of validation was gradually replaced by a yearning for something more profound – personal growth, wisdom, and genuine success.

Breaking a habit, especially one that provides comfort, is indeed hard. But, as Jivan’s journey shows, it’s not impossible. It’s a path that requires strength, courage, and an unflinching commitment to self-growth. A path leading to awakening and success. And every step, no matter how small, is a step towards progress.

Patana Org
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