3 Mystic Monkeys

πŸ™ˆ πŸ™‰ πŸ™Š

We use these emojis in our daily messages, but do we really know the meaning behind these wise monkeys?

Mahatma Gandhi practiced non-possession. What he had under his possession was very limited. A small bowl and plate, a pocket watch, spectacles, sandals and a set of 3 monkeys.

We may have known these monkeys as “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” but individually, these monkeys have names. The monkey covering his eyes is called Mizaru, the one covering his ears is Kikazaru, and the one covering his mouth is Iwazaru. 
In Japan, they are called “Sambiki-Saru”, “The Three Mystic Apes”. 

“Zaru”, pronounced as “Saru” is a Japanese word meaning monkey. This word also means “go away”. 

There is, however, a fourth saru named Shizaru, which translates to “do no evil”. 

According to Osho this symbolism originated in the ancient Hindu tradition and had been spread through Asia by the Buddhist monks. 

Osho’s interpretation of the first monkey was “Don’t listen to the truth because it will disturb all your consoling lies”. The second monkey shows, “Don’t look at the truth, otherwise, your God will be dead and your heaven and hell will disappear”. The third monkey illustrates “Don’t speak the truth, otherwise, you will be condemned by the unconscious people”. The fourth monkey displays “Keep joy hidden. Don’t let anybody know you are a cheerful man because that will destroy your life”.

There are numerous interpretations as to what these monkeys mean and so does everything around us. We all have a different interpretation of everything depending on our perspective.

In the Buddhist tradition, these monkeys serve as a reminder to not dwell in evil thoughts. 

If you look it up, there are other translations that would come up, such as: 

Turn away from the evil in our lives, because every time we hear, see, speak of something evil, just like poison, a part of it enters our body turning us into evil. If you don’t crave evil things, then, you won’t speak of any evil. Think evil and you will create evil.

Do not listen to what will lead you to do wrong, Do not see evil deeds as natural behavior, Do not speak badly.

However you want to interpret these monkeys, I think that in this day and age we are constantly exposed to evil. The news, fake news, the media, social media. All bring too little of something good. 

Like the law of attraction, the more you give attention to it, the more likely it will manifest itself.

The saying it takes two to tango makes perfect sense to me, one hand cannot clap alone. If we take our attention away from evil, we also take its power away. Evil won’t exist but in any case, a wise man once said, if evil persists then dispatch that evil with the loving-kindness of a really big stick. 

To find peace in life, we must cleanse our souls. A good place to begin is from what we absorb from the outside world. If we use our yogic practice to balance out the poison we enjoy receiving, then we will never deepen in our spiritual journey. Having our minds in the right place, we then begin to reap the full benefits of the yoga we practice.