A person walking out of a general store saw a strange thing on his way home. Two labourers were working on the road side. One of them was making a one foot deep pit at every ten feet and the other person was filling the pits – obviously a senseless work.
He asked the worker, what they were doing? He was told that three workers were assigned to report for work that day. The one who was supposed to plant seedlings in the pits hadn’t turned up. The other workers, without much thinking, mechanically did the work they were assigned. This is exactly what happens in our charity services too. Our focus generally is not on how beneficial our efforts are.
There is the story of an ascetic who arrived at the reception desk of heaven. He had been living a pious and silent life on earth and had not helped anybody for the fear that others wouldn’t like his plan. The angels on duty reported to God that according to his personal records, he had not offended anybody. God punished him with a seven million years purgatory life.
The angels told God that he had strictly observed two disciplines in his life. He hadn’t ever spoke on God for the simple reason he didn’t know God. Also, he hadn’t talked about right living. God said that these two are great virtues which deserve to be taken seriously. He did not mislead anybody talking about things he didn’t know. It is also a great thing to see that instead of showing in practice, he did not talk about right living.
“I give you a chance. Go back and learn what love is”.
The ascetic returned to earth in spirit form and roamed all over, in search of a truly loving act. Until evening, on the first day, he could not see anything, mention worth. At night fall, he saw a big fire in the valley of a distant hill. He went there and saw that a small house has caught fire. He understood that all the residents were already burnt to death.
Incidentally, he saw a parrot shuttling in between the fire and the river flowing by. On keenly observing, the ascetic understood that the parrot was spraying the water it brought from the river by flapping the wet wings and shaking the body. It was trying to put off the fire and save its chicks, living in the house. The bird was getting burnt slowly and finally fell dead in the fire.
The ascetic was shocked to see the depth of love the parrot had for its chicks. He also thought that he had many such chances of loving others and regretted those lost chances. Having seen a model act of extreme love, he returned to heaven. God asked him to narrate his experiences. Hanging is head, he said, “…. Lord God Almighty; true and righteous are Thy judgments.” He was thinking of the chances he did not make use of while on earth and considered the punishment he got befitting.”
He felt guilty and did not hear God asking angels to take him to the corner where the chosen people were grouped.