I had related the story* in my post here on Intentblog while commenting on a post by Gayatri. I was also having a discussions along the same lines with another friend – so I will write about this in a little more detail.
Naj, a fellow commenter, asked a very interesting question on this story:
There are people who do not know about the existence of mangoes. Those who tasted it and seeing that there are those who are missing this blisss, may want to tell them that there is such a thing and it can be achieved by doing this and that.
The act of the sage, picking up the fruit and passing it to the king for him to know what it is, is quite a profound one
Here is what I think about this story*
I agree that it was important part in the story that the sage picked the fruit and passed it on. My contention is that many Saints have talked about this process and THEN went onto describe how to peel/cut/garnish the mango.. which I think is irrelevant to understand what “sweet” is. It is irrelevant whether someone cuts and eats or just sucks on the mango… the “sweet” taste will still be the same.
Since there is enough record in various philosophies of what is sweet, there is a “route” that is available to anyone in principle. Now, my argument is that a Saint or Guru does not provide anything over and above that. He might say that I personally peeled the mango in this way so it tasted real good… but then he hasnt sucked on it to say that his way was the best! If he had tried it he would have known that it still tasted the same.. so his “marketing” of his own “way” as the best was foolishness at best!
That is another lesson that one can draw from this story – there is NO “best way” or the “Only Way”.. and anyone who claims so demonstrates his ignorance as opposed to his/her enlightened intellect!
A king asked a sage to explain the Truth. In response the sage asked the king how he would convey the taste of a mango to someone who had never eaten anything sweet.
No matter how hard the king tried, he could not adequately describe the flavor of the fruit, and, in frustration, he demanded of the sage “Tell me then, how would you describe it?”
The sage picked up a mango and handed it to the king saying “This is very sweet. Try eating it!”
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