Clarity — An Essential for Discipleship
In this era of intellect, we all are busy reading, listening and thinking about the words of Masters without contemplating upon the deeper and actual meaning of those words. The story, here, portrays the case of lack of actual understanding of words that leads to fatal consequences.
One morning, Mullah Naseeruddin decided that he had had enough. In his newfound determination, he gathered his family members, friends and neighbours and announced that he has vowed to give up all his possessions and embark upon a journey of spiritual realization. And thus, Mullah Ji set out in search of a higher truth. After months of wandering in distant towns and villages, one day he overheard a group of people talking about an awakened saint who had been residing in the nearby forest since a year. Whoever became his disciple would be free from the perils of worldly pleasures. Hearing this, Mullah Ji’s eyes lit up in exhilaration. At last, he had found a Guru from whom he could receive the path towards enlightenment.
Our enthusiasm to tread upon a certain path must be supported with the clarity of purpose as the latter is what helps us keep going.
The next day at sunrise, he went into the forest and saw the saint meditating under a large tree. The saint had a contented smile on his face, as he sat there peacefully in harmony with nature. Mullah Ji went and sat in front of him, patiently waiting for him to open his eyes. Hours went by, but nothing happened. Mullah Ji began to grow restless. Then after awhile, the saint finally opened his eyes. He listened patiently as Mullah Ji expressed his desire to renounce the mortal world and implored the saint to accept his discipleship and guide him. When he stopped, the saint smiled and stood up and to Mullah Ji’s surprise, went on to carry out his daily chores, without uttering a single word. Thinking that perhaps he should wait a bit more, Mullah Ji asked him several times. But despite his repeated efforts, the saint did not break his silence. Tired and disappointed, he urged him one last time to just give him a sermon, a phrase, anything with which he can set out on the path of self-realization. Seeing his desperation, the saint enunciated, “Do righteous unto others and cast it in the river (Neki Kar, Dariya Mein Daal…)” Obliged and grateful, Mullah Ji headed back to the village, reiterating the words, “Neki Kar, Dariya Mein Daal, Neki Kar, Dariya Mein Daal…”
On his way back, he came across a small wooden bridge over the river. There he saw an old blind woman standing at one end, waiting for someone to help her cross the bridge. Remembering his Guru’s words, he went and aided the old woman and slowly brought her to other side of river. As she was thanking him for his righteousness, Mullah Ji again recalled the latter part of his Guru’s lesson and thus, pushed the poor old woman into the river. “Why did you do that, you fool! Is this what you learnt from me?!” exclaimed the saint, who was watching him from far away. Mullah Ji went to him and said, “Guruji, I was just doing what you taught me. Is there something wrong?”
Seeing how naive Mullah Ji had been, the saint calmly said, “What I meant by ‘Neki Kar, Dariya Mein Daal’ is that one should do righteous unto others and while doing so, one must not expect anything in return from God or anyone else. Selfless service should become an integral part of one’s nature…” Mullah Ji realized his mistake and asked him for forgiveness.
Moral of the story: We must understand the essence of Guru’s words with clarity and consciously apply them in our lives. Without clarity we are nothing but blind followers who despite being blessed with a Sadguru’s presence, are bound to remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death, no matter how dedicated we are. Actions void of clarity can lead us astray from Sadguru’s path as much as our wrong beliefs.