The following story is an adaptation of a Buddhist story from the Mahayana Sutras. I give credit to my friend and fellow-storyteller Elisa Pearmain who shared this story which will be included on her next CD.
This story helps me move forward after the Newtown, CT tragedy. It is a reminder that our actions however small have an impact on the fabric of the whole world.
Once Indra the Hindu God of the heavens, invited the Buddha to visit his heavenly palace. Wanting to decorate the Palace to impress his guest, he ordered that thousands of diamonds be brought. Each gem was then sewn into
a knot on a giant net. The net was hung over the walls and ceilings of his palace.
When the Buddha entered Indra’s Great Hall and caught site of the net of jewels he beamed with delight, dancing to the center of the room. There he turned round and round smiling. “This net is perfect, Indra. It captures the nature of reality so well.” He said, “Every jewel is lit by the same light, and in every jewel is held the reflection of all the other jewels.”
Then he Swept to the side of the room calling, “ Come Indra, look.” As Indra came close he pointed to one diamond a gave it a gentle flick. “See,” he beamed pointing to the changing reflections all around the room, “when one diamond is moved it changes the reflection of every other one, not just the ones closest to it. How beautifully this describes the truth that all beings are connected and our actions do affect one another.”
The Buddha looked at Indra more seriously now, “This is why we must practice compassion and kind action for all beings, for they are as much a part of us and our world as we are of theirs.”
The great God Indra wept with his new understanding of interconnectedness and oneness. “This net is not meant to decorate my palace alone,” he said. “It must be seen and understood by all beings.” He gathered up the great net in his arms and took it out onto the balcony of his palace. There he flung it out into the heavens for all to see.
And every night its beautiful diamonds shine all round the world, to remind us of our oneness and inter connectedness with one another.