One day a young archer went to a village. He started showing off his skill. First he pierced a fruit into exactly two pieces from a long distance. Then he cut the burning tip of the candle with his arrow, without even touching the candle. He could shoot targets at far off distance with excellent accuracy.
The real intention of the archer was to challenge the master teacher of the ashram in the village. The teacher was famous archer when he was young. By defeating the teacher, the new archer would have sealed the title as the absolute best archer in the country.
The teacher knew this, but he didn’t pay any attention. But the archer kept on inciting more and more. Finally one day he stood in front of the ashram and posed an open challenge to the teacher saying “I can do anything you can do, only better.”
The teacher accepted the challenge. He started walking towards the jungle. The archer started following him. They walked and walked till they were in remote jungle. They crossed several mountains and valleys.
At last they came to a river between two mountains. There was no bridge on the river except an old rotten tree that had fallen down across the river. The wood was old and soggy and did not look strong. The river was more than hundred feet below and the current was ferocious.
The master teacher borrowed the bow and arrow from the archer. He slowly climbed on the tree bridge. The wood cracked and pieces fell into the river. But the teacher was steady. He almost walked to the middle. Then he stood there and shot an arrow in the sky.
He walked back and gave the bow to the archer, signaling him to perform the same feet. “Stand there and shoot an arrow anywhere.” he challenged.
The archer started walking on the tree. But his feet were shaking. He could not summon enough courage to look in the river below. And if he tried to look elsewhere, he could not stand steady. As the wood cracked more, he lost his cool and ran back. He accepted the defeat.
“You have good control on the hand that directs the arrow. But you don’t have control over the mind that directs the hand. ” said the master teacher “Till you work on that, you won’t be the best archer.”