The Yoga Tutor

The Story of Khidr

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 438 ]

A society that doesn't know (or cannot see) the depths of its own distortion, merely accepts its prevailing behaviours as normal, which is indeed the case today. A fable related in a letter by Robert Servine, published in the August 2006 issue of Yoga Life Magazine, illustrates this unsettling reality well:

"Once upon a time Khidr, the teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all of the water in the world which has not been specially hoarded would disappear. It would then be renewed with different water, which would drive men mad. Only one man listened to this advice. He collected water and stored it in a secret place. On the appointed date, the streams stopped running and the wells went dry. The man who had listened went to his retreat and happily drank of the water that he had stored.

When he saw from his security that the waterfalls had again begun to flow, he descended back down to join the other sons of Man. However, he found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought he was mad, and they showed hostility, not compassion to him. At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to the safety of his hideaway and secret supply.

Finally, however, he made the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a way that was different from everyone else. He drank the new water and became like everyone else. His fellows then began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity."


NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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