The Seeds of Enlightenment

Ramana held the image of the insect in his mind, his full attention on the grasshopper, remembering not only the careful hours of detailed observation but also the many other times he had seen the colorful creatures during his childhood in the mountains. Titighodo, they were called, used as medicine by the village elders. His brother Venka had trapped one and brought it home. Believing it to be lonely, he had captured another as companion. In the morning only one remained, having eaten the other.

Ramana opened his eyes, looked at his teacher. “I have the answer, Maharishi.”

His teacher smiled.


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      It’s funny, because I was friends with the guy who played young Kwai-Chang Caine in the series, Radames Pera. I once told him that whenever anyone said “You have learned well, Grasshopper,” they were talking about him. Freaked him out a little. Thanks for reading!

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear J Hardy,

    Love this. I wonder what answer the student will give his teacher. Naturally I thought of Kwai Chang. Good one, Grasshopper.



    PS…I think you’re missing a “he” in the second line. “…many other times, he…”

  2. James

    Something like this actually happened to me as a child. I was about four years old. We lived Spain near Sevilla (my Dad was in the Air Force). We had caught a really big grasshopper and then some crickets and put them all in the same glass jar.

    Later, I looked as was horrified to see the crickets had eaten a hole in the side of the still living grasshopper. That image is all that’s left in my memory of the event.

  3. Lynn Love

    A disturbing lesson to learn – eat or be eaten? Love how you build atmosphere in so few words, giving us a vivid sense of place. Nicely done

  4. Magaly Guerrero

    At first, I feel terribly curious about the question. Then I look at the memory of the crickets, let my mind wonder into what was learned by the narrator (look at the title), and realize that the question doesn’t really matter… just the lesson.

  5. Rommy

    As much as I am curious about the question, I know that oftentimes metaphysical quests are deeply personal things. We could know both question and answer and still have meaning elude us.

  6. Joy Pixley

    Hm, for me, the insight — and thus, the question — depends on which grasshopper survived. The one the brother was trying to help by offering companionship, or the one who was, by proxy, supposed to be helping? Or maybe the pupil realizes that it doesn’t matter, as both are doomed in the process of offering what is not desired.

  7. gahlearner

    If you can’t avoid to be eaten, eat or be eaten. A harsh lesson. I love this. But why, when I google images of Titighodo, does your picture come up? (I tried to identify the grasshopper and think I arrived at the same species).

Don't just stand there.