ONCE, a bird sat on the mast of a ship. When the ship sailed through the mouth of the Ganges into the ‘black waters’ of the ocean, the bird failed to notice the fact. When it finally became aware of the ocean, it left the mast and flew north in search of land. But it found no limit to the water and so returned. After resting a while it flew south. There too it found no limit to the water. Panting for breath the bird returned to the mast. Again, after resting a while, it flew east and then west. Finding no limit to the water in any direction, at last it settled down on the mast of the ship.
What a man seeks is very near him. Still he wanders about from place to place. As long as a man feels that God is ‘there’, he is ignorant. But he attains knowledge when he feels that God is ‘here’. (198)