Source: A WhatsApp forward
It was the night of 30th Dec. And it was cold out there.
They were returning from a party at a friend’s place.
As they were hitting the main road, at the corner he caught sight of a homeless beggar squat on the pavement and pulling tight around himself a torn shawl, not entirely successful in holding off the shivering cold.
He slowed down and stopped the car a little distance ahead.
‘What happened? Why’re you stopping the car? Any problem?’ his wife got a wee bit tense.
‘No, nothing wrong with the car. Look there, an old man shivering in cold.’
‘We have a shawl with us in there. Let’s give it to him.’
‘What? That expensive stuff we bought for my mom?’
’Let me get it…what to do? There’s nothing else to spare…we’ll get another one for your mom.’
‘You know what? He is not going to use it, let me tell you. He’ll trade it in for some weed. They do it all the time.’
He picked up the shawl from the seat behind and got down.
Went up to the man, draped the shawl around the startled man fearing worse. Stepped back to have a look. With a wave of has hand, left him behind and returned to the car.
They came home in silence.
On 31st night once again there was a party they attended more or less in the same area.
Later they took the same route on the way back home.
The homeless beggar was at his spot.
‘See, what I told you, I can’t see the shawl,’ observed the wife.
He stopped the car and both of them got down.
‘What Baba, where’s the shawl we gave you yesterday? Bought yourself some ganja with it, eh?’ the wife said mockingly.
A bony arm stuck out pointing to a figure crouching on the pavement some distance away, shrouded in what appeared to be the shawl.
His voice was tremulous: ‘One leg, polio affected. Draws unwelcome attention from passers-by. She is without clothes even to cover herself properly. At least I have this for myself.’
They returned to their car without a word. She was sure there was another shawl in the bedroom closet.
vide T R Subramanian
Perhaps more appropriate to eastern cultures?
Father is flying a kite.
His son is watching him carefully. After some time son says:
“Dad. because of the string the kite is not able to go any further higher.”
Hearing this, the father smiles and breaks the string.
The kite goes higher and then shortly after that, it comes and falls on the ground.The child is dejected and sad.
The father sits next to him and calmly explains:
“Son, in life we reach a certain level and then we feel that there are certain things that are not letting us grow any further like Home, Family, Culture etc. We feel we want to be free from those strings which we believe are stopping us from going higher.
But, remember son.”That our home , family and culture are the things that will help us stay stable at the high heights .If we try to break away from those strings our condition will be similar to the kite – we’ll fall down soon.”
Life is Beautiful 😊Stay connected👍
Wishing you A Happy Makar Sankranti. Pongal Lohri, Bhigu…
PS: Makar Sankranti marks the arrival of harvest season. Widely celebrated, kite flying, bonfires, fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization, Cow Pooja…mark the festival.
…doing the right thing!
A story from Africa vide V Narayanan
At the time of the great King Obatala:
Three people came to him dragging a young man with them and said to him:
‘O King!! This man has murdered our father.’
Obatala: ‘Why did you kill their father?’
Young man: ‘I’m a goatherd. My goat ate from their father’s farm, and he threw a stone at my goat and it died; so I also took the stone and threw it at their father and he also died.’
Obatala: ‘Because of this, I pass judgment, on charge of murder, by sentencing you to death.’
The Young man said: ‘Oh King, I ask for 3 days before you execute the judgment. My late father left me some wealth and I have a sister to take care of. If you kill me now, the wealth and my sister will have no guardian.’
Obatala: ‘Who will stand for your bail?’
The Young man looking into the crowd, pointed at Lamurudu.
Obatala asked: ‘Do you agree to stand for him, Lamurudu?’
Lamurudu answered, ‘Beeni (yes).’
Obatala enquired further: ‘You agree to stand for someone you don’t know, and if he doesn’t return you’ll receive his penalty.’
Lamurudu answered: ‘I accept.’
The Young man left; but after two days and into the third day, there was still no sign of the Young man.
Everyone was afraid and sorry for Lamurudu who had accepted to receive the penalty of death if the man failed to return.
Just before it was time for meting out the punishment to the poor Lamurudu, the goat herdsman appeared looking very exhausted and he stood before King Obatala.
The Young man spoke up: ‘I have handed the wealth and the welfare of my sister to my uncle and I am back to receive the penalty. You may execute the penalty now.’
In great shock and surprise, Obatala said: ‘And why did you return after having a chance to escape the death penalty?’
Young man: ‘It would then appear humanity has lost integrity and the ability to fulfill promises kept.’
Obatala turned and looked at Lamurudu and asked him: ‘And why did you stand for him?’
Lamurudu responded: ‘It would then appear humanity has lost the will to do good to others.’
These words and events moved the complainant brothers who had wanted justice for their father’s death very deeply and they decided to forgive the young goat herdsman.
A furious Obatala asked: ‘Why?!!’
They said: ‘It would then appear as though forgiveness has lost place in the heart of humanity.’
Vide Jaishankar Ramachandran
There was this man who had no means of earning a living. He went out every morning into the village and sought biksha (alms) from the houses therein.
So it was this morning too as he stepped out with his joli (actually a piece of cloth folded like a pouch to hold small stuff). It held at its bottom some grains of rice put in by his wife. There was a reason for it. The householder offering biksha would be satisfied on seeing the rice he/she was not being fooled, safe in the thought someone else too saw it fit to offer it to him.
As he began his morning round, he saw a cloud of dust kicked up at a distance and also heard the rumble of wheels on the road. It was the Raja’s chariot, royal flag with the insignia fluttering atop. He was at once delighted. Finally today was his chance to seek alms from the Raja himself. So far he was always thrown out whenever he tried to gain admittance to the palace. He thought furiously about what he would ask of the Raja…this, no, that…
In a few moments, the chariot reached the point where the man was standing and, what more, it conveniently stopped by his side. Providentially his job was made easier now.
Just as he was ready to get going on his act, to his utter surprise, the Raja himself sought him out and held out a joli, his, in front of the man!
Raja: ‘Today I decided to ask and receive something from the first man I meet. It’s you. Please give me something you have!’
Well, the man just stood there in a daze for he had nothing on his person to give. Also he had only known about receiving all along. Here was the Raja of the land standing before him asking him for alms!
‘Come on, you must have something…what about the joli you’re carrying? Surely…’
He remembered he had some rice grains left in there by his wife. So he put his hand into the joli and managed to collect a handful.Then he thought it was too much. He dropped half of it back into the joli. Then again he felt he was still giving away a lot more than he should. So some more grains dropped back into the joli.
Becoming impatient, the Raja ordered him to expedite.
The man finally parted with one grain, just one.
The Raja without a demur thanked him for it and drove away.
The man was sad at what had happened. Not only he did not receive any dhaan from the Raja, he had to give away a grain of his own.
He completed his usual round and returned home.
‘Why, what happened, you look distraught?’ the wife asked him as she relieved him of the joli.
‘You know I lost a grain today…’
Wife said: ‘Why, you’re joli feels full…in fact today you seem to have collected far more than usual and you’re sad for losing a grain?’
‘But I lost a grain…’
As she ran her hands through the collected grain, she suddenly whooped in glee:
‘Look, what we got here…a grain of gold!!’
The man cried inconsolably leaving his wife nonplussed.
no attention to…
Women in the village were heading to the river for a bath.
As they were crossing a field, there upon a ridge laid a sadhu reclining with his head on a brick for height.
One of the women exclaimed, ‘Hey this sadhu is a maha gyani. Let us do pranam and seek his blessings.’
And so they did and as they went river-wards, one of the women remarked loudly: ‘You say he’s a maha gyani, yet he needed the comfort of a pillow!’
After finishing their bath, they returned the same away.
They saw the same sadhu now lying with his head resting on bare ground – he had thrown away the brick.
As they passed by, seeing this, another woman remarked: ‘You say he’s a maha gyani, yet he has an ego that gets pricked?’
The sadhu burst laughing. He got up to get back the brick lying some feet away! The lesson he had learnt early on had come back to him: ‘Let the world say what it wants, do yours.’
Based on a pravachan by Shri Vittaldas Maharaj
This anecdote – not sure if this happened for real – is very readable for its strong and never-truer message:
A certain company had a tradition of holding a party beginning with a lottery every Christmas Eve.
The rules of the lottery draw were: each employee pays ten dollars as a fund. There were three hundred people in the company. In other words, a total of three thousand dollars could be raised. The winner takes all the money home.
On the day of the lottery draw, the office was filled with a lively atmosphere. Everyone wrote their nomination on the slips of paper and put them in the lottery box.
However, a young man hesitated when he wrote – he thought of the company’s cleaning lady, her sickly son needed a surgical procedure soon after the dawn of New Year and she had not yet raised the required funds for the hospitalization.
He knew the chance of winning was slim, a miniscule 0.3% percent. Yet he couldn’t help but write the name of the cleaner lady on the note.
The tense moment came. The boss gave the lottery box a vigorous shake and finally drew out a note. The man also kept praying in his heart: hoping against hope the cleaning lady wins the prize…When the winner was announced, the miracle had happened!
Yes, the winner turned out to be the cleaning lady. Cheers broke out in the office, and she hurriedly rushed to the stage to accept the award, almost breaking down in tears.
As the party kicked off, while thinking about this “Christmas miracle”, the man paced to the lottery box. He took out a piece of paper and opened it casually. The name on it was the name of the Cleaning lady! The man was very surprised. He took out several pieces of paper one after another. Although the handwriting on them was different, the names were all the same – it was the lady’s! The man’s eyes were filled with tears with the thought there was indeed a Christmas miracle in the world, but *the miracle will not fall from the sky – the people were required to create it by themselves!
Curiously enough this is also the message carried in our Sanatana Dharma. Here it is said: in this Kali Yuga, in observance of the yuga dharma, divinity presents itself always through an agency, human or otherwise, never ever manifesting directly.
Forwarding few lines that I enjoyed reading, lightly edited subjectively:
Sometimes I feel I want to go back in time… Not to change things, but to feel a couple of things twice…
Sometimes I wish I was a baby for a while… Not to be walked in the pram but to see my mother’s smile!
Some times I wish I could go back to school… Not to become a child but to spend more time with those friends I never met after school!
Sometimes I wish I could be back in college… Not to be a rebel but to really understand what I studied!
Sometimes I wish I was a fresher at my work… Not to do less work but to recall the joy of making myself useful and being paid for it!
Sometimes I wish I could marry again all over… Not to change the partner but to enjoy her companionship more deeply!
Sometimes I wish my kids were younger…. Not because they grew fast but to tell them more stories…
Sometimes I wish I was more expressive…Not to pursue prose or poetry but to to say thanks to my kith and kin.
Sometimes I feel I still had some more time to live… Not to have a longer life but to know and do things differently…
Since the times that are gone can never come back, let’s enjoy the moments as we live them from now on, to the fullest…doing what we could and celebrate our everyday life*