The monk and the ignorant sages
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.
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Upanishads - Shanti Mantra
© 2016 Shaloo Walia