I read with interest the article on little Gurus by Priyanka Sukhija. No doubt one can find a Guru in everything on this earth. Sage Dattatreya accepted not only man but the entire universe as his Guru.
I have gone through a similar experience in my neighbourhood. I have seen him begging for the last so many years. He would beg for a living and he would never miss his regular quota of liquor. Almost everybody in the area knew about his addiction but would still give him alms as if it was their sacred duty to take care of his need.
This outrageous practice would quite often leave me fuming, but the best I could do was to gnash my teeth.
And then came my daughter's birthday. I was keen to do some charity for the needy. As I set out from my home, he was the first to come my way.
I thought it wouldn't be proper to single him out on this happy occasion and gave him Rs. 50. However, I couldn't refrain from giving him an unsolicited advice, "Don't take liquor with this money."
He gave me a surprised look. Then he exclaimed, “Sethji, even the Almighty doesn't put any condition, but this paltry donation of yours has come with a condition. Please take it back. God is there to look after me.”
Here, it was a beggar, not a spiritual guru, who had given me a lesson in spirituality. This is one of the many occasions when I received lessons from very ordinary and humble people like this beggar.
Recently a big factory collapsed in Jalandhar in which hundreds of people lost their lives. The work of saving the people, buried under the massive structure, continued for a month.
One person who was brought out alive after 10 days said that after having lost all hopes and seeing death very closely, he tore into pieces currency notes worth Rs. 15,000, his monthly salary.
After all, he thought, what was the value of money?