A Few Bricks!
“Today we find many individuals who exploit others for their own happiness. We rarely come across an individual who sacrifices himself for the sake of others welfare.” (Bhagwan Baba)
In the Epic of Mahabharata is cited an incident where Krishna was crossing through a forest along with some villagers. Bhima accompanied them. They sat to rest on the outskirts of a village. A poor old man was walking by. Some boys playing nearby, threw their ball at him. He stumbled and fell. His stick fell to one side and his turban to the other. He cried out in pain, but the mischief mongers laughed at his plight. Bhima went forward and helped the old man get up and restored his stick and turban to him. Feeling very disturbed Bhima asked Krishna, “Can’t God see the plight of this old man? Why does He make people suffer? Why doesn’t He punish those insolent boys?”
Krishna hinted a smile and ignored the questions. He looked around and said, “Bhima, everyone is hungry. We should cook some food. Will you get some bricks so that we can make a fireplace to cook something? Meanwhile the others can gather up some firewood.” So Bhima went towards the village to look for bricks. He looked around for some time, but could not find any loose bricks or even stones. He saw a beautiful well-built house. Behind it he saw a dilapidated house that was pretty much in ruins. In his search for bricks, he punched the wall of the run down old house and few bricks fell apart. He picked up a few and returned to his people. They made a fireplace and cooked some dinner. As they were eating, Krishna casually asked Bhima, “Brother Bhima, wherefrom did you get the bricks?” So Bhima told Him that he had searched in vain till he found an old and run down house behind a mansion, so he punched a hole in the wall and got the bricks.
“Hmmm” said Krishna. “A poor man’s house obviously … So why didn’t you break the mansion’s wall? Bhima retorted, “Why would I break a beautiful mansion, just to get a couple of bricks, when I could have gotten them from a broken down structure anyways?” Krishna smiled mysteriously. All of a sudden Bhima’s jaw dropped. Hadn’t he done just what the boys had done to the poor octogenarian?
Krishna continued, “So it is my friend. The world is like that. Might is right. The lion feeds on the goat. The cat feeds on mice. The frog feeds on flies. The strong always vanquish the weak. If the weak have to stay alive, they have to strengthen themselves. Opportunities come to all; some take them, some don’t!