Bodhi Dukkhan:

Bodhi Dukkhan dranyen player

By Lama Sakadagami

Bodhi Dukkhan was a talented dranyen player from Anderan.

Bodhi started his day in the typical way. He met with Lama Yacana for morning meditation, and daily lessons about the path to enlightenment, and nirvana.

Lama Yacana was a wise teacher, who knew since he was a child that he wanted to spend the rest of his life studying and teaching the Buddha’s dharma.

Lama Yacana’s brother Vadana was a dranyen teacher, and Bodhi Dukkhan was his best student.

Bodhi studied the dranyen under the guidance of his masterful teacher Vadana for six months. After six months of training Vadana said to Bodhi, “I can teach you no more. You already know everything that I do.”

Bodhi although disappointed knew that he was a great dranyen player already.

Vadana was also a student of his brother Lama Yacana, and Bodhi saw him often.

Lama Yacana’s class focused on Inner Peace since many of the villagers seemed stressed about the coming rains that were predicted to be heavier than normal this summer.

The Anderan fair tonight was sure to help the villagers forget about their worries for a while, and have fun.

After class Vadana bowed slightly before his friend and former student and said, “See you at the fair tonight Bodhi. I look forward to playing my dranyen with you for all of Anderan to enjoy.”

Bodhi returned the bow and said, “I do as well Vadana, see you tonight.”

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Bodhi reflected on his talent for playing the dranyen as he walked back home to help his father on their farm.

“Perhaps I learned how to play in a past life, and that is why I am so gifted in this one”, he thought. “With Lama Yacana’s teaching about reincarnation, it is the only thing that makes sense.”

Bodhi looked up, and suddenly saw Kalpana approaching him.

“Are you going to the fair tonight?” Kalpana asked Bodhi Dukkhan. “Will you be playing your dranyen there tonight?” she asked with an air of excitement in her voice.

Bodhi answered with a nod of the head and replied “Indeed I am lovely lady, and I would be most pleased if you would come and listen to me play.”

She blushed slightly and said, “You play your dranyen so beautifully, I wouldn’t miss the chance to hear you play.”

“The beauty of my music pales in comparison to that of your own Kalpana.” Bodhi responded confidently.

“See you tonight.” Kalpana said, as she hurried off to bring the fresh vegetables she had just purchased from a farmer who just so happened to be Bodhi’s mother home for her family to eat.

Bodhi’s mother grew up with Kalpana’s mother, and considered her a dear friend. She had always added extra vegetables, and eggs to the amount Kalpana wanted, which Kalpana always accepted with a radiant smile.

Bodhi’s friend Simitri who was slightly out of view, and witnessed the encounter between them approached Bodhi as Kalpana walked away. Bodhi warmly greeted Simitri who has been his friend for as long as he can remember.

“What say you my good friend, what say you?” Bodhi said as he placed his hand on Simitri’s shoulder, and grasped his hand firmly with the other.

“A very beautiful lady Kalpana is, I often imagine myself with her by my side. How happy I would be with her as my love.” Simitri said with a glimmer of hope in his eye.

“Happiness comes from within my friend, do not seek it in Kalpana.” Bodhi said with a hearty laugh.

“I know this lesson well. The great bodhisattva Lama Yacana is a wise teacher Bodhi, we are fortunate to have him here in Anderan. Sometimes it is difficult to remember Lama Yacana’s teachings when in the presence of the most beautiful woman in all of Anderan.” Simitri replied matter-of-factly.

“Kalapana is a captivating woman I agree my friend, and she does indeed make Lama Yacana’s lesson of non-attachment a difficult one to embrace.” Bodhi said with a sigh.

“She has clearly taken a liking to you Bodhi, or perhaps your eyes fail to see it.” Simitri said with a big smile.

“It is the music from my dranyen that she finds appealing. She would never want to be with a simple farmer like me my friend.” Bodhi said.

“I trust that you will be playing your dranyen at the fair tonight.” Simitri said with a questioning tone of voice.

“I will my friend, but for now I must return home to help my family with chores on the farm.” Bodhi said.

The fair of Anderan that all of the villagers took part in occurred around the time of the full moon between spring and summer to celebrate the bountiful spring vegetable harvest, and hopes for a summer rainy season that was helpful to farmers, yet not too destructive to Anderan.

Bodhi hurried home to help his father who not only grew vegetables on his farm, he also raised animals on his farm as well. He had pigs, sheep, and chickens.

There were always vegetables that were damaged by insects or that were past their peak of freshness that were perfectly fine to feed to the pigs he kept on his farm, and were quickly devoured by the hungry pigs every time.

There were three pigs on their farm, and part of Bodhi's responsibility was to feed them.

They were kept in a fenced in area with a trough near the fence. Bodhi stood outside of the fence and dumped vegetables and other food scraps into the trough, and the pigs charged quickly towards the trough to eat.

When Bodhi was a child he decided to fill the trough from the inside of the pig pen. As Bodhi dumped food into the trough the pigs charged nearly knocking him over before he jumped out of the way.

His father chuckled and said, “You won’t do that again will you boy.” After seeing Bodhi was unharmed.

Bodhi was older and wiser now. He wished that he could say the same about the sheep that his father kept on the farm as well.

Bodhi Sheep
His next responsibility was tending to the sheep, a chore that Bodhi found most annoying, even with the help of his two sheep herding dogs who loved working with Bodhi to take care of the herd of sheep.

Sheep were known as the least intelligent animals that anyone could take care of. They of course were always kept in a fenced in area to keep them from wandering off, but they had the habit of all getting stuck together at the corner of the fence.

Even if the land owner decided to round the corners of the fence the herd of sheep would still find a way to get stuck there.

First one sheep would go there out of curiosity to look beyond the fence, then another will come over to see what he is looking at, and the next thing you know the rest of the sheep are all gathered around behind each other because they think they are missing out on something.

The ones in front cannot turn around because they are surrounded by the others, and the others intrigued by what is in front of the sheep that are up front stay there and wait to find out.

They will be stuck there until someone, or something moves them out of there. That would be Bodhi, and his well trained dogs in this case, an event that happened more than once a week since Bodhi was a child.

Bodhi thought even the dogs must be tired of getting the sheep unstuck from the fence, but the dogs minds seemed to be focused in the present moment, and not thinking about all the times in the past that they had to free the sheep from their ignorance in the past, they were truly happy to help the sheep be free in the present.

Bodhi thought for a brief moment about the dog’s mental focus on the present moment, and the lessons of Lama Yacana, but his attention was quickly distracted by a bird chirping which was music to Bodhi’s ears.

Looking up at the bird he noticed the color of its wings were very similar to Kalpana’s dress. His mind drifted away to Kalpana, and her desire to hear him play at the fair that evening.

I must finish with my chores so that I have time to practice my Dranyen, Bodhi thought to himself.

While Bodhi was tending to his chores, his father was busy taking care of the chickens. Although chickens were much messier than the other animals on the farm, they were much easier to tend to.

Bodhi’s father kept them fed, and collected their eggs for his wife to sell along with vegetables at a market area set up in the village.

Soon it would be time to shear the sheep, and sell the wool to women in the village who use it to make clothing, and blankets.

“I have had a good life,” Bodhi’s father thought. “I am truly blessed”

Bodhi after finishing the chores on his family farm returned to his room.

He removed his dranyen from its case. It was Bodhi’s most prized possession. The first Dranyen Bodhi had was a cheap one of mediocre quality. Bodhi was now a proficient player of the Dranyen, and he owned a higher quality instrument to play.

Bodhi’s Dranyen was created by the best craftsman in all of Anderan. It was made of the finest hard woods, in fact it took three different woods to create the exquisite instrument the Bodhi was now the proud owner of.

Bodhi strummed its strings and noticed it was slightly out of tune. After adjusting the tension of the strings until they were in perfect tune, he continued to play.

He started off playing a popular tune as if it was a simple mathematical equation, but soon Bodhi’s mind drifted off into the Hypnagogic state, and the music emanating from his dranyen could be felt all the way to the center of their being of all who listened to it.

Bodhi’s parents both arrived at home as he was practicing playing his dranyen. The sounds of Bodhi’s music echoed through their humble home which brought a tear to the eyes of Bodhi’s father.

Bodhi’s father stood outside the door to his room, and listened to his son playing such beautiful music. When Bodhi opened his eyes after he finished playing his dranyen he saw his father looking back at him.

His father said, “Bodhi, you have a gift for playing beautiful music, I am proud to call you my son. Everyone in Anderan will be as fortunate as I am to hear you play.”

Bodhi replied “I feel blessed and humbled that people love my music so much. None of my training and lessons would be worth my effort without their appreciation.”

‘No my son, your efforts are for you, and your accomplishments are all because of your dedication to your dreams. Many others may enjoy your music, and be inspired by it, but in the end it is your dream that is being shared.”

Bodhi hugged his father as he thought about his words of wisdom, before his father left to get cleaned up, and ready for an evening of socializing, and eating good food with his friends and neighbors.

Bodhi put his dranyen back into its case, and started to get cleaned up, and ready for the fair. He began to think about all the friends he would see there, and the tasty food that he would enjoy eating, especially honey biscuits.

Honey biscuits were his favorite snack. Kalpana’s mother was a baker in the village, and always gave Bodhi an extra, warm biscuit which made Bodhi’s tummy rumble with delight every time.

Yes, a warm honey biscuit sounds great right now, Bodhi thought, he was hungry just thinking about it.

Bodhi’s family was ready to leave for the fair together, it would be a great night of fun, food, and friends for everyone in Anderan.

Thank you for reading my little story about Bodhi Dukkhan and his dranyen.

Look for the rest of the story, “The Fair of Anderan” coming soon…

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