Tuesday 10 July 2007

Brahmin’s Curse

ONE DAY A sage called Pakanar was weaving a basket in front of his house. Hearing a loud voice chanting, “Hare Ram”, he asked his sister who it was that was chanting. His sister replied that it was a brahmin who is keeping his own daughter. Pakanar replied, “You are the hundredth person to repeat the scandal”. Meanwhile, the brahmin having come to that place, the sage told the brahmin that his curse was lifted and that he could return home. Later, he explained to his sister thus: “This brahmin was living with his widowed daughter. They were generous and kind-hearted. They would invite sadhus and feed them with love. On hearing of their generosity a sadhu came to visit them. He was well received and fed. The sadhu was immensely pleased with their devotion and decided to bless them.

He just glanced once and knew what was in store for them when they die. He called the brahmin and told him that after his death he would be tortured by a mountain of leeches in hell. On hearing this, the brahmin fell at his feet in terror and implored him for some means of escape. The sadhu told him, ‘Once while you were cooking food a leech fell from the roof into the cooking pot and died unobserved. You offered that food to a realised sage. Since whatever is given to a sage will be received back a thousand-fold a mountain of leeches are in store for you’.

The sadhu then advised the brahmin that in order to escape this fate he should conduct himself towards his grown- up widowed daughter in such a way, as to provoke a scandal that he was having illicit intimacy with her. He assured him that when a hundred persons had uttered the scandal the sin would leave him completely, having been distributed among the scandal-mongers. The brahmin did accordingly and you are the hundredth person to tell the scandal. So I say that the brahmin’s curse is now removed.”

Sri Bhagavan drew from the story the following moral: “Have the best intention, but act in such a way not to win praise, but to incur blame. Resist the temptation to justify yourself even when you are just.

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