The other day, I was driving a car to my workplace. I stay very close to my work place and usually take under ten minutes to reach. This very fact causes me delay, several times, as I don’t see any need to leave any buffer time for any unforeseen event. So, as usual, I was running little late and hence was driving a bit faster. A very small patch of my tiny journey, passes through a slum, where not so blessed dwell. However delayed I might be, I drive dead slow in this particular patch. There are several unattended goats, hens and human kids that run amok in this patch. I was really careful and watching the front left corner of my car carefully, to avoid crushing anything or anyone. Just then, I saw a little child walking carefree on the side of this road. He was about three years old; barely two feet & some inches from the ground and stark naked. Not a thread on his body. It was even slightly drizzling. The child was definitely carefree and wasn’t a bit careless. I drove really slow, as this entity intrigued me no end. He was walking at the side of the road and had sixth sense about the traffic better than zillion adults. He was never stepping in the main traffic flow and was actually giving way to people, dogs, goats, hens and vehicles. He seemed to be in a state of bliss. A sort of contagious bliss! On the way, he saw a goat sitting on the road. He walked towards the goat and gave a tight slap on the back of the goat. The poor, startled goat got up and freed the space for traffic.
It all happened in few seconds, maybe, ten or so. I parked the car and that stark naked child stayed in my mind. In fact, he is intoxicating me ever since. He was so carefree, oblivious to the surroundings, whelmed in self. I finished my lecture in some sort of a trance – that child walking by the side of my thoughts as I spoke in the class.
I am severally a materialistic person. I am not going to preach about earning less and reducing your needs. I live good life and I thoroughly believe in enjoying life to the fullest. I am not taking any position here. I just enjoyed the carefree element in that child, just too much to ignore. I recall a story which was told to me by my friend.
Pune has a place called as Raman Baag. It is named after a wise man, Raman Maharshi. The story is about Raman Maharshi. Once, Raman Maharshi finished his spiritual discourse and was having his dinner. He was served peas’ rice. He was eating intently. A rich man sat beside him and started talking out his troubles. He was complaining about the mistakes he made and how he is suffering in business and how he is dead worried about the future. He sought Raman Maharshi’s advice. Raman Maharshi was appearing almost deaf, as if he was not listening to the man at all. He did not nod nor did he even glance at the man. Without raising his head or even looking at that man, he uttered the words of advice – “Peas and Rice!” and Maharshi went quiet and kept eating. The man was baffled. He did not dare ask the explanation, as Maharshi was engulfed in eating and was looking totally lost in his peas’ rice. The man came out and narrated the incident to one of the disciples of Maharshi and requested for an explanation. The disciple explained that Maharshi has advised him to live in utter presence. Brooding over the past or worrying about the future was the reason for his worries. The man was enlightened.
The child, I saw, was living in utter present.
How many of us can really live in utter present without repenting, rejoicing the past or worrying about the future. I keep trying hard. I am a big failure when it comes to living in utter present but I have not given up. I don’t want it to come artificially to me. It should naturally become part of me. The people, the events, all around me, sometimes succeed in bogging me down but every time I make sure to bounce back.
I am waiting for the moment, when that stark naked child in me takes me over forever and I start advising people – “Peas and Rice”!!! J
I’ll be back!!!