Monday, 8 July 2013

The art of helping others

One day a sadhu was walking through a river when he saw a man with head in his hands. The Sadhu decided to take some rest before embarking on his endless journey.

He sat next to the man and started chatting with him. “You seem to be worried about something, what’s the matter?” inquired the sadhu. The man, Boluram, took his hands off his head and rose to greet the sadhu. The Sadhu, then, gestured him to sit down and as Boluram sat next to the sadhu tears were streaming from his eyes.

“I have a son who is my only child. He lost his mother when he was quite young and all of us around him, including the village elders, pampered him a lot. Little did we realise that we are spoiling him. He has become wayward and none of us are able to help him set his life in the right path” rued the poor father.

The Sadhu sat silent for a few minutes. He understood the situation and turned towards the weeping man. In a firm but gentle voice the sadhu comforted Boluram and told him a story.

"Once upon a time there lived a buffalo. Every now and then he suffered injuries to his back due to the weight of the cart that he helped in pulling. Whenever he got hurt, a crow that lived in the neighbourhood would sit on the buffalo and peck on his wound. The buffalo was quite petrified, but could do nothing. So he bore the pain in silence till the crow had his fill. When the crow flew off the buffalo was in more pain than the one inflicted by the wound.

One day the buffalo asked the crow if he enjoyed troubling him despite knowing that he was in pain. The crow flew and sat in front of the buffalo. He then held his neck high and in a firm voice told the buffalo that if he did not peck at the wound the organisms that he pecked at would cause an infection. All he was doing was helping the buffalo by making the wound heal faster. The buffalo stood unmoved. He asked the crow to find a better way of helping him as the pain was sometimes unbearable. The crow explained to the buffalo that he had to bear the pain if he needed a cure". 
After narrating this story the sadhu told Boluram, that there was only one way of helping someone. If Boluram wished to help his son, he had to send him out of the house in search of a job.

“If you want to help your son, be firm. It may be painful initially, but hunger will teach him to find his food. No pain, no gain” said the sadhu before taking leave.