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The monk and the ignorant sages

Updated on January 19, 2016
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Shaloo Walia is an astrologer and tarot reader. She is an Art of Living teacher and also an ardent Krishna devotee and a follower of ISKCON.

This poem is based on a story from Chandogya Upanishad.

Long, long ago there lived two great sages

Worshipping Vayu (Wind God) in their hermitage.

One day as they sat down to begin their meal

There appeared a monk with an humble appeal.

Pleading to the sages with his begging bowl

He asked for some food to nourish his soul.

Plainly refusing saying there’s no food to spare

The sages asked him to go and ask elsewhere.

Not to be deterred, taking the path of least resistance

“Which God you worship?” asked the monk with persistence.

“We worship Vayu, the Wind God” said the sage with pride

“Also known as Prana, the breath of life which can’t be denied.”

“Then you must know that Prana pervades the whole universe.”

Agreeing the impatient sages asked the monk to disperse.

“O honorable sages! To whom you made this food-offering?

Irritated sage answered “Prana who is present in everything.”

“If life pervades the universe, it pervades me too, isn’t it?

Am I not a part of the universe?” said the monk with gentle wit.

“Yes, that’s right.” Now the sages were genuinely puzzled.

The humility and aura of the monk left them baffled.

“It is the Prana or life that pulsates in me

As this hungry body stands and speaks in front of thee.

O revered sages! You’ re offending Prana in denying me food

To whom you worship day and night in gratitude.”

Speechless and ashamed at their foolish ignorance

Sharing the food with the monk radiating with innocence

The sages learnt a valuable lesson of significance

Merely reading scriptures will not guarantee their deliverance.

Upanishads - Shanti Mantra

© 2016 Shaloo Walia

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lovely story with a powerful message. As we say in the States, you must "walk the talk."

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thanks Bill! Merely reading scriptures without proper understanding is futile.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Beautiful lesson for all of us. I agree with Billybuc's conclusion.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      To know is not to recite. A wonderful story told in an eloquent way. Thank you.

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Dora!

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Eric! Knowing is of no use until it is put into practice.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 16 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Beautiful message conveyed through your poem.

      This applies to everyone who is searching for God elsewhere or somewhere. He is everywhere around us and one can clearly feel his presence by following the path shown by him---the path of love and kindness.

      Thank you for sharing this excellent hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You openly express an importance of belief. Thank you for this hub.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Another great message and talk by Sri Sri Ravi. I see you doing a lot a reading, Dear. Great!

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Manatita! Yeah, reading a lot- from astrology to spirituality to fiction :)

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thanks Devika ! Belief and faith is very important.

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Chitrangada! God is present everywhere and still people are fighting in the name of religion and God. Only if they would read their scriptures- be it Upanishads, Bible or Koran!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 16 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Inspirational with a most powerful message.

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Gypsy!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A good universal message here Swalia, no matter what God you worship. Your words must be followed with actions, don't just "offer lip service." If people did actually follow the sciptures we would all live in peace, love, generosity, and acceptance.

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Jodah! This is the irony of today. Those fighting in the name of religion have no idea what their religion actually preaches.

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 16 months ago

      Again, a wonderful universal message to follow. Kya baat hai, Shaloo. Pleasure to learn from you!

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thank you Surabhi! Our ancient scriptures are full of timeless wisdom.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 14 months ago from SW England

      Lovely story with an important message, delivered with humour. It is indeed important to act by our beliefs.

    • swalia profile image
      Author

      Shaloo Walia 14 months ago

      Thank you annart! It is indeed important to 'walk the talk'.

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