Bamboo And The Master – Spiritual Story

Beautiful bamboo trees in the forestOnce upon a time there was a farmer who had two gardens. One was in the mountains and the other was in the plains. The farmer loved both gardens very much. But in particular he loved one tree in the mountain garden. This tree was a bamboo.

Bamboo was very tall and very beautiful. The farmer used to visit Bamboo every evening to admire and enjoy her beauty. When the farmer was visiting, Bamboo would always dance beautifully, which made the farmer even happier. The farmer loved Bamboo very much, much more than other trees.

It so happened that there was once a drought in the plains, and the lower garden started to dry. The drought was so severe that the plants started to die off. The farmer was desperate to find a way of watering this garden. There was plenty of water in the mountains, but he had no way of taking the water to the plains. Then the farmer remembered his friend Bamboo.

So the farmer went to Bamboo one evening and they started talking. “Bamboo,” said the farmer, “I love you a great deal.”

Bamboo was very happy. Dancing, she responded, “I too love you so much, master.” The master was pleased.

“So now, Bamboo,” said the master, “I want to use you.”

“I am ready, master,” answered Bamboo.

“But there is one condition,” the master went on. “In order to use you, I must cut you down.”

Bamboo was grieved and very disturbed. “Master,” said Bamboo, “you say you love me. Why then do you want to destroy me?”

“Bamboo,” the master said, “I don't want to destroy you, I want to use you. But in order for you to be usable to me, I must cut you. If you are not ready to be cut, I cannot use you.”

Bamboo was most unhappy, because she feared the pain. But because she loved the master and trusted him, she decided to let the master go on. So the master took a hatchet and cut down Bamboo. It was very painful.

The master said, “Good, but there is some more work to do on you; I have to chop off your branches.”
Bamboo complained even more. “Master, you want to kill me now.” The master remained silent; and seeing that he was serious, Bamboo decided to submit. The master took his hatchet again and cleaned off the branches until Bamboo was very clean. Then he said, “This is really good, Bamboo, but there is still one last thing. I have to pop out your inside.”

Bamboo was terrified. The last two steps had been painful enough, but to pop out her inside — that was unthinkable. Bamboo struggled with this.

But then the master said, “I cannot use you unless I pop out your inside.” Seeing that the master was serious, Bamboo again submitted.

The master took an iron rod and popped out the inside until Bamboo was hollow. It was extremely painful. But Bamboo was now ready to be used.

The master used Bamboo as a pipe to connect his two gardens. Soon water started to flow from the mountain garden into the garden in the plains. The plants were revived. Seeing her usefulness, both Bamboo and the master were very happy. They ended up greater friends than before.

Thanks to Emmaus-Katigamu for sharing this spiritual story with us!

If you liked this story, you'll love this list of our community's favorite parables and spiritual stories!

What Is the Spiritual Meaning / Message of the Bamboo Tree Parable?

The parable of the bamboo tree is an invitation to explore the profound essence of surrender, transformation, and the sacred dance between love and pain. Amidst the verdant gardens, where life unfolded in its myriad hues, a connection deeper than sight or touch blossomed between the farmer and his cherished Bamboo.

The farmer's love for Bamboo transcended the ordinary; it was an ethereal communion, a bond that transcended the boundaries of the tangible world. For in Bamboo, the farmer found solace, inspiration, and a divine grace that filled his heart with an ineffable joy. Each evening, as the sun dipped behind the mountains, the farmer would traverse the paths to the bamboo's abode, reveling in her splendor and watching her graceful dance amidst the whispers of the wind.

However, fate, that enigmatic weaver of destinies, unveiled a trial that tested the resilience of their bond. The parched plains begged for salvation, gasping for life amidst the unforgiving drought that threatened to consume all in its wake. The farmer, desperate to nourish the withering gardens, turned his gaze to the bamboo, seeking a conduit to bridge the gap between the abundant waters of the mountains and the barrenness below.

Thus deepened into a dialogue, not merely between the farmer and Bamboo, but between love and sacrifice. The farmer expressed his love for Bamboo, a love that soared beyond the confines of time and space, intertwining their destinies in an intricate dance of purpose. Yet, this love bore a condition—a condition that required the sacrifice of Bamboo's very being.

Bamboo, enveloped in distress and turmoil, confronted the paradox of love entwined with pain. The master's love was genuine, yet the path to fulfillment demanded excruciating transformation. The master's intent was not to harm but to shape, to carve a vessel of utility from the beloved Bamboo.

Through tears of anguish and heartache, Bamboo chose to surrender. Each stroke of the master's hatchet inflicted pain, carving away layers until Bamboo stood stripped of her exterior adornments. Each incision, an ode to trust and surrender, hollowed Bamboo until she stood bare, vulnerable, and transformed.

It is within this crucible of suffering that Bamboo found transcendence. The pain, a testament to the depth of her love for the master, metamorphosed into a channel of service. Hollowed and purified, Bamboo became the conduit through which life-giving waters flowed from the mountain sanctuary to revive the desolate plains.

The spiritual tapestry of the bamboo tree parable unravels before our eyes, revealing the profound significance of surrender and transformation in our journey of spiritual evolution. Bamboo's journey symbolizes our own spiritual path—a path often marked by trials, sacrifices, and the arduous process of self-transformation.

We, too, are called upon to surrender to the cosmic design, to embrace the painful yet transformative process of shedding our attachments, fears, and limitations. Like Bamboo, we must undergo the crucible of change, letting go of the layers that veil our true essence. It is through this crucible of suffering that we find liberation, transcendence, and the realization of our purpose.

In the communion between the farmer and Bamboo, we witness the interplay of divine love and the transformative power of sacrifice. It is a poignant reminder that love, in its purest form, sometimes necessitates sacrifice—a sacrifice that births a higher purpose and strengthens the bonds of connection.

May we, like Bamboo, embrace the transformative power of surrender, recognizing that through the cracks and wounds of our being, the light of our true essence shines forth. As we traverse the landscape of existence, may we dance with grace amidst the rhythm of love and pain, knowing that within the sacred dance lies the gateway to our spiritual awakening.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflect on the farmer's deep connection with Bamboo and the profound love he held for her. How does this relationship between the farmer and Bamboo evoke feelings of reverence and admiration for nature's beauty?
  2. Contemplate the significance of Bamboo's willingness to be used by the farmer despite the pain it entailed. How does her trust in the farmer's intentions prompt reflection on the nature of sacrifice and selflessness?
  3. Explore the metaphorical meaning behind the farmer's request to cut down Bamboo in order to utilize her. How does this act symbolize the transformative process of facing hardships or undergoing change in our own lives?
  4. Consider Bamboo's initial resistance to the farmer's request and her eventual acceptance out of love and trust. How does her journey from fear and reluctance to surrender and submission resonate with moments of personal growth and resilience in your own life?
  5. Reflect on the farmer's actions in shaping Bamboo into a conduit for transferring water between his gardens. How does this act of resourcefulness and ingenuity inspire contemplation on finding creative solutions to life's challenges?
  6. Contemplate the symbolism of Bamboo's transformation from a tall, solid tree to a hollow pipe. How does this metamorphosis symbolize the process of stripping away layers of ego and resistance to fulfill a greater purpose?
  7. Explore the theme of interconnectedness and unity highlighted by the flow of water between the two gardens. How does this narrative speak to the inherent bond between all living beings and the potential for cooperation and mutual support?
  8. Reflect on the farmer and Bamboo's deepened friendship following their collaborative effort to bring water to the parched garden. How does this bond reflect the beauty and resilience found in genuine companionship and shared endeavors?
  9. Contemplate the lessons of resilience and adaptability embodied by Bamboo's willingness to endure pain for the greater good. How does her story inspire reflection on the strength found in embracing vulnerability and embracing change?
  10. Consider the overarching message of the story regarding the transformative power of love, trust, and sacrifice. How does this narrative invite contemplation on the profound connections forged through acts of compassion, service, and mutual understanding?


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