Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do not complicate life

-by KParthasarathi Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Raju was born in an orthodox family in a temple town in the Southern parts of Tamilnadu.During his younger days, his father used to take him along to the temple daily in the early morning. Some days he would like to sleep a little longer but his father would not allow him the luxury and made him get up. Unwillingly he would trudge along. He would see poor people, some with young babies or children, sit in a line on the outer corridors inside the temple. Some of the kids had unusual shapes of head either too small for their body or too big presenting grotesque sight and inviting curious stares and sympathy. He had seen some devotees distributing coins to each one of them though his father always walked past them in a hurry. This habit of visiting the temple unconsciously got ingrained him even when he grew older when his father was no more.
He lived in Delhi with his family occupying fairly a good position in the government. His flat was very close to a temple. As one grew older people tend to become pious and religious. In the case of Raju however it was a case of continuing his old practice. He used to go the temple on most of the days though his son refused to accompany him as Raju did when he was young.
Raju found one old man in his early seventies sitting daily in the almost empty corridor with his eyes closed and mouth muttering something. There was a natural dignity about him even though he was clothed in traditional dhoti and a shawl over is shoulders. He thought he must be an indigent man sitting in the temple to collect alms without specifically asking for it from willing devotees. He used to wonder whether he had any children to support him in his advanced years. He could not talk to him as his eyes were always closed as he went past him.Raju took pity on him and left a ten rupee note before him. He started doing this once or twice a week. One day as he was bending to drop the note, the temple administrator who came behind him tapped on his shoulder and beckoned him to come with him. When they were out of the earshot of the old man, he asked Raju.”Sir, what are you doing by leaving money before him? Do you know who he is? He comes to me frequently and hands over the money telling in amused tone that somebody mistook him for a beggar and left the money. Sir, he is a retired judge staying with his son and comes in the car driven by chauffeur.He comes here daily to pray. I suggest you please talk to him and seek his forgiveness.”
When Raju went near him, his eyes were open. When he prostrated before him in full and sought his pardon for his foolishness he smiled at him and said this can happen as the corridor of the temple is the usual haunt of people in need of charity. He then asked Raju about his job, family etc and took him along with him in his car to his palatial house. After the pleasantries and the coffee, he narrated how he withdrew from the mundane activities and how he spent his time after retirement in reading scriptures, reciting slokas in the calm and serene atmosphere of the temple and attending religious lectures in the evenings.Raju took leave of him after a long conversation a chastened man fully aware that one should not judge people by appearances. There are many who reduce the complexities of life by discarding the needless wants of life.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

1 comment:

  1. hi,
    i like this story a lot; it has an atmosphere of peace and satisfaction.