Knotting and Noting About It

The story:

So the Tathagata, had a piece of cloth is his hand. As others watched in awe, he made six knots, one after the other.

” Is the cloth the same or different?” he asked.

Many learned explanations emerged.

“Of course, the cloth is the same, even with knots.”

” Now let me get it undone,” he said, and pulled strongly in both directions.

The disciples tittered.

” No, that way, you deepen the knots and make them more complex. The only way out is to understand , how you knotted each originally,  and undo each knot in that manner,” they explained.

” So it is with life’s problems,” smiled the Buddha. ” Understand the root cause of each knot that you are facing, owe up to your role in creating it, and try to undo each in that manner.”


I reflect on that one.

How very true! I am responsible for each knot of difficulty in my life and I very actively played a role in creating it.

Need for external validation, for example, makes you vulnerable to hurt and distress. That is a knot which attracts all sorts of complications! If you seek it from unworthy people, those who simply do not have the inner grace to see the light within you, you are left to pull it frantically in all directions and suffocate in the process.

Following the Wise One, all I need to do, is to simply stop wanting that validation from outside. Easier said, than done! But definitely, the healing begins. And the happiness too.


Speaking of knots, I remember Susan Glaspell’s terrific short story, ” A jury of her peers,” later made into a classic play called ‘Trifles.’

Knots, played an important part in that murder mystery.”To quilt it or knot it?” is the lynch pin of the drama.

You can read at:


Yes,I conclude, you can unknot a problem, only if you observe closely, how it came to be knotted in the first place!



  1. A short one but very interesting indeed. What occurs to me is that knots happen and they are happen to teach us something. Yes we need to unknot it and celebrate it. After we unknot it the orignal cloth is still maybe in a slightly different form. It will never be original and that is fine.

    Afterall impermanence is only permanent.

    I feel the purpose of unknotting to universe teaching us something and not to restore to original. By the way is there a need to be attached to the original cloth?



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