C R Dash

Abstract Inspirational Others


C R Dash

Abstract Inspirational Others

Suffering And Its Reward

Suffering And Its Reward

8 mins

Haraprasad Tripathi was a thirty something man. His family members were fed up with him. He was filled with anger and dislike. He was abnormally intolerant to things and people around him. Without any reason he would hurl angry obscene words at others. People kept him away from them. There are many likes of him present in society today,many whose business is to hurt others without any valid cause.

Hara's village Bhanjapur Sasan was a safe and peaceful haven. The bad-tempered man was unemployed and everybody ascribed his wickedness to his job frustration. Most of the time he abused Lord Shiva, his favourite deity.  

Yet he would often go to the temple of the Lord in the village and offered prayers to Him. The Lord had a reputation for fulfilling the wishes of the poor. Hara was a brilliant student once but he had fallen on hard times. He had spent fourteen years hunting for a job, but all was in vain.

Adjacent to the temple was a small hut. It was the Lord's kitchen. The cook was a bearded old man who worshipped Shiva and made offerings to Him daily. He was kind and sweet and was a true sanyasi. He hardly ever talked to people for a long time. He spoke only as much as required. Hara tried to squeeze his secrets out of his heart but didn't succeed. The sanyasi whose name was Hari Dasa used to meditate almost all the time he was free. He had been keeping track of unfortunate Hara's continuing suffering and disappointment. People asked the sanyasi:"Baba, why don't you be kind to the man?" Hari Dasa would say,"He is suffering because of his bad karma in his past births. What can I do. . ?"

One day Hara came to the sanyasi and started vandalising his garden and his little hut. He humiliated the sanyasi and fled. He entered his neighbour's house and scolded him harshly. People were astonished and asked each other:"Why is he behaving like this. . ?"

One day I went to Hari Dasa and said,"Baba,why is Hara causing havoc everywhere. . ?"

He became serious and said:"When does a bird flap its wings desperately. . ?"

I thought a while and said:"When the bird is caught in a trap. . . ?

He looked at me and said:"Every human being creates his own trap hidden within himself and being caught in it flaps his wings. . "

"How can he escape from his trap. . .  ?"

"All human beings flap their wings and most of them escape out onto the crazy stage called life. A fortunate few get tired of flapping their wings and in the end stop doing the stupid act. They become insanely embittered with the world and everything in it. They begin to abhor all outside things so intensely and profoundly that they never look at them. . They never think about them. . "

"Then what happens. . . . ?"I said.  

"You had better ask this question to Hara. He will give you the perfect answer out of his own experience. Wait a little. . "

After a year or so when I had failed to get a job,I visited my village with a heavy heart. I went to the village temple. Everything seemed normal. I saw Haraprasad in a much more wretched condition. He was in dirty clothes,his long hair dishevelled badly. He was not at all interested in any talk with anyone. As I approached him,he would ignore me and go away. I solicited about his affairs but he evaded my question and walked away giving me a false smile or a careless monosyllabic answer.  

During my next visit to my village, I saw Haraprasad sitting cross-legged in the meditating posture of an ascetic in the temple. People told me he had lost his mental equilibrium. I couldn't believe the claims. I decided to meet him and know the truth.  

One morning I took my bath and visited the temple. I saw Haraprasad talking to some children. I went to him and he greeted me lovingly.  

We held an hour-long conversation. I could find no trace of sorrow in him. His carefree smile indicated this. He referred to Hari Dasa as his spiritual master. Hari Dasa who was sitting and listening to us said,"I knew Hara was going to attain God. You might ask me how. When you are going through suffering,the Lord keeps watching you and creates circumstances that would radically clear the dregs of your desires both sensuous and sensual and you find your true 

self. "

 I was a worldly person. I was unable to grasp the full meaning of the wise old sanyasi. After a few months I came to know that Hara had refused a teaching job in a college. He had taken an examination and had got through it. The whole village was delighted but Hara's response to the success was sheer shocking indifference and aloofness. When pressurised by well-wishers to accept the employment,he started hissing,shouting,abusing and throwing stones at them all.

Whenever I visited the temple, I found Hara meditating there. He had grown a long beard and long uncared-for hair. He was wearing the same tattered outfit and sometimes meditated for three days together. Haraprasad was my elder by many years,so I respected him naturally. But I was sufficiently sure that he was out of his mind. Therefore,I was very sad about him. Nor did anyone care to listen to him. Children caricatured him in very many ways. He would either give a cheerful smile or fall silent and then close his eyes in order to meditate.  

One day as I reached the temple I saw Haraprasad stark naked. He was abusing someone strongly. Like every other person who had gathered there and was looking on,I also stood there as a silent witness to what was happening. When I decided to leave the place, a furious naked Hara said:"Three spectacular things will happen in the next six months. A money-lender's combative churlish wife will be arrested and go to jail. A woman childless for twenty years will get pregnant and give birth to a son on 27 September the next year. An unemployed non-Brahmin young man will run away with a radical Brahmin's youngest daughter. "

All of us had a hearty laugh. Haraprasad sat down upon a stone and started singing melodiously:"Shyam teri bansi pukare Radha naam. . . . " Some stood rooted there until he charged at them making them flee like a passel of pigeons.

People had pooh-poohed his ramblings as pure tommyrot from a deranged mind. But I wondered at the precision and exactitude with which had he had forecasted the coming events. But I was quite aware he was a psycho. Yet I kept count of the passing weeks and months.

One day I got news of money-lender Ananta Sahoo's wife going to jail on charges of abusing and beating a Harijan old woman whose fault was grazing cattle in a field belonging to her husband. The Harijan old woman was badly injured and had nearly lost an eye. I took stock of the incident cautiously waiting for the coming predicted events. All the three forecasts came true. . . !

I cultivated closeness and nearness with Haraprasad and wanted to solve 

many an unsolved mystery.

Two days before Shiva Ratri I got my opportunity to sit by the village's saint and asked,"Brother,how is it possible to predict the future ?"

Without any noticeable reaction, he said,"You must know both Einstein and Stephen Hawking say that Time and Distance are not absolutes. It is fairly sane to say man can know non-absolutes.

But in order to do this herculean task man must become the Absolute. When man realises God,he begins to live in God and he himself becomes the Absolute too. At this stage he has lost his individuality or self-identity and has turned into the Absolute. "

After a brief pause,we again talked. I asked,"How did you manage to know all these things. . . ?"

In answer to my question,he said,"Anyone can know whatever I was able to know if all his rosy dreams and ambitions are thoroughly shattered.

Man's desires are extremely strong. In this world nothing seems to be stronger and hardier than desires. Very strong and powerful blows are required to destroy and uproot them successfully.  

It's a hundred times easier to climb Mt. Everest than to kill and destroy one's desires. If you are fortunate the Lord will hammer down your desires so irrevocably that you find yourself to be as transparent as glass having neither any beginning nor any end. It is your stupid desires and short-sighted dreams that make you a human being or an individual and you live within limits. Only fortunate few have the good luck to have their desires and dreams so radically exterminated that the possibility of their revival is hundred percent nil. Only people who are finite and limited in all their approaches to and outlook on life,are destined to tremble at the thought of death and experience intense agony, but the Absolute or those who dwell in the Absolute can never die. The latter have no body consciousness and hence they are truly the mightiest kings on earth. "

I came back home happy that I too was suffering then and 99 of my desires,cherished dreams and fond wishes had been most thoroughly and cruelly shattered and full of sharp and stinging bitterness for the outside world,I intensely disliked all things external. Now I was sure there was pure happiness in store for me. After listening to Haraprasad I became strong in my resolve to practice detachment to the world and not to swallow any of the hundreds of tempting baits the world kept dangling before me.  

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