A Buddhist story on Fire
Monk: In olden days, a man who wants to light a fire with a fire stick would rub two pieces of wood together, and producing heat eventually. Eventually the wood started to glow, and a fire would then be produced. Can another man start another fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together and counting the number of rubs?
Disciple: No sir. That would not work!
Monk: How would he have to do it then?
Disciple: He would have to rub continuously until he got a flame.
Monk: You are right. In those days, that was the only way-- to rub with strong determination and without taking breaks. However, if one were to rub two pieces of wood together in this way, how long would it take the fire to start?
Disciple: When it gets hot enough, the fire will start, sir.
Monk: Will that be long?
Disciple: Not very long, sir.
Monk: If this man is determined, it would not take long. It is just the same with this practice here. You want fire and you know that if you rub these two pieces of wood together you will have it. But, if you start counting as you go on, it will become a little bit hotter each time. At the tenth rub, you decided to take a little rest. Now, will you start a fire?
Disciple: No, sir.
Monk: And if you continue in this way for a whole year?
Disciple: The wood pieces will just get warm, sir, but there will be no fire.
Monk: What if you were to work like this for one hundred years?
Disciple: It will just become warm, sir.
Monk: In that case, I suppose there does not contain any fire in these two pieces of wood?
Disciple: There is fire, sir, but effort and perseverance are not sufficient.
Monk: It is just the same with our work. We have to work as the fire maker does, without resting. Soon the wood pieces would become hot and not long, a fire will start. It is only then we would be able to use fire in the way we want.
The story of the discussion between the monk and his disciple ends here. But the journey of the knowledge that the Buddha has passed down from generations to generations has not ended. In this short story, do always remember: Be the fire-maker. Light up the lives of others with your determination and love for all sentient beings. Be the warmth. Be the light.