Be kind but detached

There were two disciples of the Buddha, a young one and an aged one. Once they were about to cross a river on way to the ashram that they saw a young woman with half torn clothes on the bank. She requested them to cross the river as she couldn’t do it and in attempting to do so her clothes were nearly torn.

The senior disciple said that spiritual seekers don’t touch women. The young one quietly picked the woman on his back and after crossing the river left her on the other bank.

The two kept on walking towards the ashram for sometime, quietly. The elder one suddenly began to scold the younger one saying that he is now impure and unfit for spiritual search. He also threatened to complain to their guru. After listening quietly, the younger one finally replied, “dear brother, I left the woman long back but you are still carrying her.”

In Hindi there is couplet, “jag mein aise rahiye jaise jivha mukh mahin, ghano ghee bhanchan kare phir bhi chikni nahin.” One should live in the world like the tongue in mouth, it eats lot of butter, yet it is not slippery.

The wise man does not brood about the past, does not speculate or plan about the future and remains unconcerned about the present. He performs actions appropriately according to the situation, taking them to be the divine command. And in doing so though he acts but in reality he does not act.

The law of karma does not bind him. He believes that everything that happens is according to the divine plan and no modification is possible. One who accepts this fact and acts spontaneously is liberated here and now.

He is a jivanmukta, liberated while living. Such a person is a sanyasi  (renunciate) even if he is a householder and is pursuing his business. Such were Ram, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Pythagoras and Sufi saints. The others who do not believe in this divine law are no renunciates even if they live away from the world in a jungle.


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