Sometime back, I visited an old acquaintance of mine at his home. He was abed and was prey to multitudes of physical problems. On my way back, the auto driver commented, “So rich …. but no one to inherit.” I knew that he was hard working and industrious. I understood that it was about this person that the driver has commented. I am not the first one to write on the uselessness of our ambitious hoarding attitude. All around, we have examples only, still it is a puzzling question, ‘When shall we learn to live at least a day in peace’? We accumulate more than what we need on the assumption that others consider our efforts, and there will be generations to remember us.
I am reminded of an old Indian story: a young man called Rama Swami died an untimely death. His parents, wife and nine year old son were crying bitterly sitting next to his dead body. They all happened to be disciples of a holy man whom they called 'Maharaj Ji'. When Maharaj Ji learnt that Rama Swami had died, he came to visit the family. He entered the house and found the family wailing inconsolably. Seeing Maharaj Ji, the wife started crying even louder. She sobbed saying, "Maharaj Ji, he has died too early, he was so young....... Oh! I would do anything to make him alive again. What will happen to our son? I'm so helpless and miserable." Maharaj Ji tried to pacify the crying lady and the old parents, but the loss was too much for them to come to terms with so easily. Eventually, Maharaj Ji said, "Alright, get me a glass of water." Maharaj Ji sat near the dead body and put the glass next to it. He said, "Now, whoever wants that Rama Swami should become alive again may drink this water. Rama swami shall come back to life, but the person who drinks the water shall die instead!" Silence..! "Come, did you not say that Rama Swami was the sole bread winner of the family? Who would die instead of him? It is a case of fair exchange, isn't it?" The wife looked at the old mother and the old mother looked at the wife. The old father looked at Rama Swami's son. But no one came forward...
Everyone had their individual excuses to say. Maharaj Ji at last asked the son, "Well little boy, would you like to give your life for your father?" Before the boy could say anything, his mother pulled him to her breast and said, "Maharaj Ji, are you insane? My son is only nine. He has not yet lived his life. How could you even think or suggest such a thing?" Maharaj Ji said, "Well it seems that all of you are very much needed for the things you need to do in this world. It seems Rama Swami was the only one that could be spared. That is why God chose to take him away. So shall we now proceed with his last rites? It's getting late. Having said that, Maharaj Ji got up and left. God's plan is impeccable.
The story is very relevant in our common life. We tend a plant only when the leaves are green; when they become dry and the plant becomes a life-less stick, we stop loving it. Love lasts as long as life exists …….. the rest is only memories of happy times..!