Lotus Garden Story

(This story is a summarised version of the story called “Dramatic Performance in the Lotus Garden’’ being written by Patrul Rinpoche after being requested by a boy called Tashi Gelek.)

...dangpo dingpoooooo, there was a very beautiful forest at the foot of a very tall snow-clad mountain. In that forest lived a very young boy called Gakey Thaye Gyamtsho. He spent his days meditating in peace. When he did not meditate, he loved travelling and meeting people. He was a very intelligent and a friendly boy. Everyone who came across Gakey liked him.

Some distance from his hermitage, there was a very beautiful garden where many kinds of flowers grew in abundance. In the garden was a beautiful pond filled with many beautiful lotus growing.

Then one day, there came many swarms of honey bees zooming and playing in the forest and garden. Amongst these bees, two honeybees called Peta and Petu lived together as friends. Both the bees were young, full of energy, clever,open-minded and generous. They were also kind and were very soft in nature. These two bees, with their love for each other, lived and played together.

At that time there was a very learned Lama called Dhisum Khenpo who travelled places helping all sentient beings. He also came to the forest to meditate where the young Gakey and two bees Peta and Petu lived. The two bees visited the lama and paid their respects. They also offered the honey that they saved for the Winter to him and requested him for his teachings.The old lama was very pleased with the bees. He gave them simple Buddhist teachings and teachings that could make their lives meaningful. After teaching, he gave them his blessings and offered prayers dedicated to the two bees.

By wandering around, Lama Dhisum Khenpo satisfied the needs of all living beings who saw, heard, remembered or touched him. Then, many days later in a hermitage far away from the garden, he attained enlightenment. He left the world without even leaving his bodily remains like fuel which leaves no traces when burnt.

But for Peta and Petu, life went on as usual. Although they remembered the teachings of the Lama and tried practising it, they sometimes were careless. One day, while Petu was drinking some nectar from a flower and Peta was just hopping from one flower to another, the sky suddenly became dark with dark clouds covering the Sun. The flowers, all together, all at once, closed their petals. Petu was trapped within the flower. Suffocated and filled with fear, he was unable to speak.Peta was also filled with fear and helplessness. He tried doing everything, including the lifting of petals but he was helpless. They blamed the devils, begged the flowers to open its petals, begged the Sun to shine for a moment but all went in vain. In fact the sky started getting more darker. He called his friend’s name but he could only hear a faint sound as if his friend was calling him from another mountain.

Inside the flower, Petu was desperate trying to catch breath. He called his friend Peta in his feeble voice and made him hear his fear of death. He reminded Peta of the teachings of old Lama and told him how true it has come in his very short life. He wished that the Sun would shine again and he be saved before the death arrived. Petu was taken with remorse that what was once their place of enjoyment had now trapped him and was killing him. He repented for not being careful and for not practising the teachings his Lama had given him.

As they sat there talking, the sky rumbled and the storm started to rage. The flowers, instead of opening the petals, closed it more tightly. Trapped within the flower, Petu was soon suffocated to death.

As Peta sat there crying helplessly, there was a violent hailstones. The rainwater caused landslides and flooded the forest. It washed away everything that fell on its way. After sometime, the dark clouds cleared away and the bright sun rose again in the sky. Peta, who had taken shelter in a hole of a big tree went to check his friend in the garden. There was no garden left. The flood had washed away or flattened everything. There was no traces of any flowers. Peta found Petu’s corpse which was stiff by then. He could not help but cry again.

When he could gather some strength, he left for the mountains where the young boy Gakey lived. There were no more happy songs of dancing in the flowers. He sang a painful song of loneliness and sadness, of remorse and helplessness, of lama’s teachings and repentness. He promised to practice what his lama taught him.

The little boy Gakey, who was in his hermit meditating, heard the song of Peta and felt sorry for him. He was touched to hear the promise made by Peta to practice the teachings of Buddha but he thought that Peta must be making promises only because of the death of his very good friend. He thought that it was just a temporary remorse which Peta would soon forget. But Gakey decided to test him. So he called on Peta and asked him to forget the past and go on to live his life like he always did by dancing around the flowers and drinking sweet nectars. He advised him to be brave and forget his old friend. He told him that there were many friends even if one is lost and he should not despair. He also said that happiness and suffering goes in endless cycle, so he should not despair much.

Peta replied that it was not easy as the Gakey had thought. Peta cursed his ill fate and asked young Gakey to help him.

Gakey was pleased with Peta. He promised to help him. He told him that life is very uncertain and that is what Peta should learn first. He also said that either tomorrow or other life would come early but which one he said he didn’t know. Gakey gave Peta many teachings which would be very useful to him in order to live a fulfilling life.

Peta was really touched by the teachings Gakey gave him. He felt blessed. He thanked him with true heart and vowed to live a life that was fulfilling and purposeful. It was like being reborn again. Peta practised everyday diligently until he died.


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