Dear Team Members,
Your mail surely touched my heart, so simple and yet genuine.
It is a period of deep anxiety as we strictly follow the Government’s decision for all to stay indoors and maintain a fair distance from one another. Difficult perhaps for parents of young children and for several amongst us for whom a glimpse of the social world is an uncontrollable urge. But as the graph rises with mounting casualties and still several others inflicted and convalescing, we should all take this call of Nature and tune in to its WILL: protect yourself and thereby protect nature.
Hoping good times will soon come by and the silver lining to this dark cloud will soon bring in happy sunshine.
In the meantime, thank you all for the cheerful introspection you give us.
A happy reader,
Nita (Dave) Jain, PGCTE, PhD
Hi Vandana and team,
Thanks for reaching out. Hope you are staying healthy and happy.
I have been playing a game with my grandkids where they have to tell me one good for every bad (good – we get more screen time; bad – we don’t get to see our friends) and in that vein of kids and positivity, I wrote the following.
Lord Rama And the Boatman
One good thing about the Corona Conundrum is that I have taken up one hour of yoga and pranayama.
The second good thing is that before I start my routine, I ask Alexa to play bhajans or Sanskrit shlokas.
The third good thing is that for that one hour I not only hear but I appreciate the subtleties hidden within the words. So yesterday I fully appreciated a bhajan that tells a story from the Ramayana:
Once, while wandering the forests during his fourteen years of exile, Rama needed to cross a river. He approached the boatman.
“My good man, please take my wife Sita, brother Laxman and myself to the other side of the river.”
“Of course. You are my Lord almighty and I must do as you ask. But I have one condition.”
“What is it boatman?”
With folded hands and great humility, the boatman said: “I have heard there is great power in your feet. I heard that once you stepped barefoot onto a stone and the stone became a beautiful woman. My boat is made of wood and is my livelihood, my only support. I cannot risk losing it. May I touch your feet before you get into my boat?”
Lord Rama smiled and agreed to the request and was safely rowed across.
Wanting to pay the boatman but having nothing to give, Rama looked at his wife Sita and she gave her jewel ring to Rama who offered it to the boatman.
“I cannot accept this from you my Lord” said the boatman.
“I must pay you for your service to fulfill my obligation.”
“I cannot accept. There is a reason.”
“Tell me your reason, boatman.”
“Professional courtesy my Lord. A dhobi does not charge another dhobi for washing in his time of need; a restauranteur does not charge another restauranteur in his time of need. I cannot charge you in your time of need.”
Rama was stunned.
“What do washer-men and cooks have to do with me? What can I possibly have in common with you?”
“We are in the same profession my Lord. True, I am only the master of a river and you the master of the universe. But today, in your hour of need, I have the skill to get you from one shore to another. Tomorrow, in my hour of need, when I come to you, will you not take me to the other side?”
Rama returned the ring to Sita, bowed to the boatman with great courtesy and said:
“You are a wise man. I am humbled and from now, I will never give in to ego and forget that all of God’s creation has a purpose and has equal status.”
Thanks to Corona, without missing a single yoga beat, I found I learned not only the moral of the story, but also how a story must be told to withstand the test of time.