The Sanyasi and his shishya were passing through under the Mango Tree.
That’s when a small stone fell barely missing the Sanyasi’s head. No damage done.
The shishya looked around and saw a scrawny looking man poised to have another go at a raw mango on the Tree.
‘Hey, pause for a couple of minutes, we’ll be gone. See, you almost hurt my Guruji with the stone.’
The man was unapologetic: ‘Do you guys know what it is to go without food? You appear well-fed. Move away. Else you might get hurt properly this time.’
Turning to the Sanyasi, the sishya mumbled: ‘What insolence…uncouth fellow…Let’s go from here, Guruji. No point in talking to him.’
The Sanyasi agreed with his assessment: ‘You’re right, we should go. An empty stomach never feeds on reason…give me a moment.’
Calling the man to his side the Sanyasi turned to his sishya: ‘Please present him the fruits we are carrying. That should ease his hunger until he finds his next meal.’
Disapproval writ on his face, the shishya did his Guru’s bidding.
The man grabbed the bag like it was his and walked off without even looking at them. No gesture or word of gratitude for them.
The Sanyasi calmly picked up the stone, held it to his eyes like it was something scared and stowed it in his habit.
As they continued their sancharam, he shared his thoughts with the puzzled sishya more as a self-reflection:
‘This stone is a great reminder to me. A sanyasi’s dharma is not to save food for the next meal – even fruits. Even otherwise, look at it this way: To a fellow throwing stones at it, if a tree can give away its fruits, shouldn’t we…mind you the one stone wasn’t thrown at me nor did it as much as graze me.’
The Mango Tree smiled.
Source: Inspired by a strip in Dina Thanthi