At the edge of an oasis, under the shade of some palm trees, sat a circle of white-robed pundits. All highly learned in the scriptures, their topic of discussion was water. As they went through different words for water, there was a lively debate over what was the best word for it. Many quotes from scriptures came forth. That led to what is the best description of water? How would you explain the feel of water? Well, this book says this but the other book says that. What is the best way to drink it? Is the best way a cup, glass, straw, jug, or hands? This led to all the merits that various scholars had put forth for their own particular method. What does it taste like? How does it feel when you drink water? All the books seemed to have a multitude of confusing experiences. The punditry was very animated, argumentative, and with little agreement.
Unnoticed by the pundits, an extremely thirsty man came to the pool of water. He was dressed in worn clothes and did not look like a learned pundit. Drawn to the water by his urgent thirst, he dipped his hand and felt the cool water. Oblivious to the pundits and their chatter, he scooped a handful of water to his mouth and drank deeply, again and again. Satisfied, he leaned against a tree, and sat blissfully content, still. He then heard the pundits with a quiet smile.
In his thirst he did not care what people called water. It was irrelevant. When he saw it, he knew it without words. He drank the water with whatever he had. Were there any words to describe the feel of it? No, the feel itself was enough. Were there any words to truly describe the taste? No, the taste was enough. There were no words that could express the quenching of his desperate thirst, it had to be experienced.
The discussion of the pundits continued well into the evening. Not one had touched or drunk the water they so passionately discussed right by the edge of the pool. The man, unnoticed, quietly slipped away knowing that the pundits would talk water to death but never know it, touch it, drink it. There was no thirst for water. If they were desperately thirsty, would discussion matter?