2 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen along with reading a short story by Clarice Lispector called “100 Years of Forgiveness.” You can find the text for Dṛg Dṛysya Viveka online as a PDF; also, you can find Lispector’s story translated from Portuguese by Rachel Klein online at “The Paris Review” Issue 199, Winter 2011.
What question arises when I focus on “100 Years of Forgiveness” as an object of Vedanta meditation?
The story is narrated by a young girl who walks the streets of Brazil with her friend. They play a game of claiming which of the wealthiest houses belong to them. One house has a garden of well-trended rose beds, and the narrator is overcome with a desire to possess one of the beautiful roses. She sneaks into the garden, and steals a rose and keeps it and loves it. No one notices. Thus, begins her habit of stealing roses and then she moves on to steal red pitanga berries. Roses and pitanga berries are things of quiet beauty, things that keep hidden; so, no one notices when they are gone. No one notices the joy and pleasure these things give to a young girl. Possessing these things of beauty feels so good, and she never regrets stealing because “a thief of roses and pitangas has 100 years of forgiveness.”
This beautiful story could make a Jnana yogi ask, “Who am I when I am enjoying something that I deem to be beautiful? Who am I when I am reminded that the thing of beauty I behold in adoration is a play of shadow and light that both hides and reveals who I am?