The Original, three wise monkeys can be traced back into 17th century carvings found in Japan. They represent – See no evil (Mizaru), Hear no evil (Kikazaru) and Say no evil (Iwazaru). Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of Indian Independence movement, also had a small statue of these three monkeys and now we find its use in many places across the world.
In my view, the “evil” word must have been explicitly added later on, as the original Japanese version – “Mizaru, Kikazaru & Iwazaru”, literally means – Don’t See, Don’t Hear & Don’t Speak. See, Hear and Say are the three ways we interface with our outside world. They are also the sources for our Paradigms. As a child, we are always told – “Look at that”, “Look at him”, “Listen to me”, “Speak properly”. And we are forced to live outside-in. By the time we grow up, we have already been programed to take in everything that we see on the TV, that what we hear on the Radio and then we go and talk about it to everyone that we know. As these become our predominant thoughts, we get similar experiences in our life.
The significance of the 3 monkeys is basically to convey the message – “Do not live outside-in”. The 5 physical senses – see, smell, hear, taste and touch are basically to give us (the spiritual beings) the physical experience and not the other way round.
Similar to the three monkeys, that represent – see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil; the fourth monkey represents – Think no evil.
Thinking is a function of mind. And Mind is merely a tool that we (the spiritual beings) should use only when required. Unfortunately, our mind is working all the time, even without we knowing about it. It is generating thoughts based on what we see or hear and it makes us speak on the same topics. All these 4 monkeys that live within each one of us, just compel us to believe in the outside world more than the inner power that we posses.
Realise that we are spiritual beings and we have a body and we have a mind. We are here to experience the physical world and our mind is a tool that we can use to generate the experience we want. On such realisation, all the monkeys will remove their hands and see the beauty, hear the music and sing songs – and life would be wonderful as it should be.
The Four Wise Monkeys
|The four monkeys of right behaviour are depicted here in this traditional mantle piece. The monkeys depict from left to right;
The 3 monkeys to the right together embody the proverbial principle to;
“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”
When we look at the origins of the 4 wise monkeys, they originate from 17th century Japan. Each of the monkeys have names. They are (from left to right);