Tuesday, February 2, 2010

To be an Ideal House Holder is more difficult than to be an Ideal Sanyaasin


To be an
Ideal House Holder is more difficult than to be an Ideal Sanyaasin


( Swaami Vivekaanand in lecture on the
Karma Yoga)


The idea of complete sacrifice by a
house holder is illustrated in a story of MahaaBhaarata: After the battle of
Kurukshetra the five Pandava brothers performed a great sacrifice and made very
large gifts to the poor. All the people expressed amazement at the greatness
and richness of the sacrifice and said that such a sacrifice the world had
never seen before. But after the ceremony, there came a little mongoose half of
whose body was golden and the other half brown; he began to roll on ground of
the sacrificial hall. He said to those around, You are all liars; this is no
sacrifice. What?! they exclaimed, You say this is no sacrifice. Do you know
how many gold coins and jewels were poured out to the poor and every one became
rich and happy? But the mongoose said:


There was once a little village
and in it dwelt a poor Brahmin with his wife, his son and his sons wife. They
were very poor and lived on small gifts made to them for their teaching and
preaching. There came in that land a three years famine and the poor Brahmin
suffered more than ever. At last when the family has starved for some days, the
father brought some flour which was then cooked and divided into four bowls,
one for each member of the family. Just as they were about to eat it there was
knock on the door. The father opened it and there stood a guest. Now in India the guest
is a sacred person; he is as a God for the time being and must be treated as
such. So the poor Brahmin said. Come in Sir. You are welcome.


He set before the guest the bowl of
his own portion of the food which the guest quickly ate and said, Oh, Sir, you
have killed me. I have been starving last several days, and this little bit of
your food has increased my hunger. Then the wife said to her husband, Give him
my share. But the husband said, Not so. The wife however insisted, saying,
Here is a poor man and it is our duty as house holders to see that he is fed;
and it is my duty as a wife to give him my portion. Then she gave her share to
the guest, which he ate. And said he was still burning with hunger. So the son
said, Take my portion also; it is the duty of the son to help his father to
fulfill his obligations. The guest ate that but still remained unsatisfied; so
the sons wife gave him her portion also. That was sufficient and the guest
departed blessing them. That night those four people died of starvation. A few
drops of that flour-meal had fallen on the floor; and when I rolled my body on
them half of it became golden, as you see. Since then I am traveling all over
the world, hoping to find another sacrifice like that; but nowhere I have found
one; no where else the other half of my body turned into gold. That is why I
say this is no sacrifice.


This idea of charity is going out of India. When I was first
learning English, I read an English story book, in which there was a story
about a dutiful boy. He went to work, earned some money and gave part of it to
his old mother. This act of his was praised three or four pages. No Hindu boy
can understand the moral of that story. Now when in West I can understand this Western idea.--every man for himself; and
some men take every thing for themselves; and fathers, and mothers, and wives,

and children go to the wall ( face
financial difficulties) .
That should never and nowhere be the idea of the
house holder.


Now you see what Karma Yoga means.
Even at the point of death to help any one without asking questions. Never
vaunt (boast) of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude; but rather
be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practicing charity to them.


Thus it is plain that to be in
ideal house holder much more difficult than to be an ideal sanyaasin. The true
life of work is as hard as the true life of renunciation.


(22:Samhita & PMP )

Arise Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached.

- Swami Vivekananda




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