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A saintly lesson

india Updated: Mar 07, 2013 23:01 IST
Sunita Bharal

We waste our valuable time over unimportant issues; and in this process the important and serious things are given a miss. Here is a short story of a great saint who arrived in a village and started giving public discourses on serious subjects of life and death.

Initially, the villagers gathered in large numbers to hear him but soon they did not find it interesting, and the crowd became thinner day by day.

One day the saint announced that he would tell them a story, so a large number of people turned up. The story: A merchant started his journey towards the city to sell his goods. He was to cross a hill to reach the city. On his way, he found a man with a donkey. The two became friends and the merchant requested the man to let his donkey carry his bag of goods. The man agreed.

The villagers left their important jobs to hear the story. The saint continued his story and said by noon it became very hot. They wanted to take rest in shade but the hill was bare, not even a single tree was around. The only shade they could find was under the donkey.

The owner of the donkey claimed his right on the shade. But the merchant said that since he is paying for the donkey, the shade also belongs to him. So, both of them started arguing.

Observing the anxiety of the crowd, the saint stopped abruptly and retired to his hut. People went to him and requested him to continue the story.

Then the saint said, “When I was talking about the valuable things about life and death, you didn’t pay any attention; but when I started this stupid story, everyone has been so attentive.”

The story has a lesson for us: we waste our time over silly things and fail to address the more important aspects of life.

Until we do that, our life will never change for the better.