“If you want to experience the Divine, you must give up pomp and pride.” (Bhagwan Baba)
There is a fable of a learned man who was recognised for his intelligence and appointed minister to the king. One hot summer day he was out in the forest and became very very thirsty.
He saw a dilapidated hut and a well nearby. A little girl was drawing out water from it. He said, “I am thirsty. Give me some water, little girl.”
She said – I will give it to you, but I don’t know you, so first you must introduce yourself.
Kidas – I am a very great person. You are a child so you don’t know me. If the elders in your house were to see me, they would recognise me.
Girl-No, no! There are only two great personalities in the world and I know them well. You are not one of them… Do you know who they are?
Kidas -I am scorched by the heat and I don’t know who they are. I only know that I am thirsty. Please give me some water or I will faint.
Girl-See! How can you be great if you are going to faint just out of such a trivial thing as thirst? The only great ones are Food and Water. Without them, see what has happened to you! Now tell me who you are?
Kidas -Okay, so I am an eternal traveller. Now, can I have some water?
Girl-How can you be an eternal traveller? You are already exhausted! There are only two of those and I know them well.
Kidas -No, I don’t. Why are you irritating me? I am asking you to give me some water.
Girl-I will if only you tell me the names of those two.
Kidas- I don’t know. You tell me who they are.
Girl-They are the Sun and the Moon. They have been travelling since the beginning of time and continue to do so untiringly.
So saying the girl entered her hut and disappeared from sight. Kidas was at his wits end. He knocked at the door. An old woman came out with a pot and headed straight for the well. She too proceeded to draw out clear and pure water from it.
Kidas had lost some of his pompousness by now. Very politely he said – Amma, please give me some water. I am thirsty.
Woman-I don’t know you. Who are you?
Kidas- I am a guest.
Woman- There are only two guests in the world. They are Money and Youth. They come for a short period. How can you be a guest?
Kidas-Alright if I am not a guest, I am one who has patience. I have been patiently asking for water. But I can hold on no longer now. Have mercy, or I shall die.
Woman-No! There are only two in this world who are patient.
They are the Earth and the trees. Man uses and abuses them but they patiently and silently keep giving more and more. You are not patient by any standards.
Kidas-Oh Lord! Then I am stubborn. I shall not give up till you give me some water.
Woman-There are only two who are stubborn. They are the nails and the hair. Howsoever much you cut them, they grow again.
Kidas -What should I do to please you? Alright I am a fool. Now, will you give me some water?
Woman-Ha ha! There are only two fools. They are the king who rules without being fit for the throne and the King’s Chief Advisor who proves wrong things right, just to please the king.
Kidas was speechless. He felt at the feet of the old woman.
Kidas-Mother, please don’t test me further. Have mercy on me!
Just then there was a heavenly voice, saying, “Rise up Kidas, your pride and ego had swelled up beyond limits, so I had to enact this drama to bring you to your senses.”
As he raised his head, he saw the old woman smile as she lovingly poured water into his out stretched palms and quenched his thirst.