There was a young woman called Kumari who lived in a village. She lived a very normal life, like all householders. She spent her time in housekeeping, cooking, washing etc. She never had any time for other things. One night while she was asleep, she died. After her death, she felt that she was being pulled out for her physical body by two huge and strong looking men, who took her to a ‘light.’ There they repeated an account of all that she had done in the twenty four years of her life on Earth. They said that she had never given anything to anyone, except a shawl that she had once given to a lady who was a relative of her husband. The men who were reading out the account of her life said, “The only thing we can give her now is this shawl, for that is just about the only thing she ever gave to anyone.”
Suddenly a voice came from the ‘light’, “This is not the woman I told you to bring, why have you brought her?” The men replied, “Lord, you told us to bring Kumari from Saloona village.” “No, no! There is another woman in the same village by the name ‘Kumari.’ She is a weaver. It was her time to die. Go immediately and return this soul. This Kumari has a long life to live, whereas that one’s time is over.”
In an instant the attendants took the soul back. When they reached her house, they saw that Kumari’s husband and children were crying, sitting near her dead body. As per instructions, the soul was put back into the dead body and to everyone’s utter surprise, Kumari sat up and rubbed her eyes, as if she had just had a long, long dream.
Just at that moment, the other Kumari, who lived a few houses away, was rolling out chappatis for breakfast with the rolling pin in her hand. She just fell down in the kitchen and breathed her last!
Dear Readers, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. There are many people who have had ‘near-death’ or ‘after-death’ experiences. They come back to life to tell their strange stories that are difficult to believe. This is a true story. The lady in question is old now, but she is still alive. After this unfathomable experience, she realized the importance of giving. Then she donated all kinds of things to those in need. She donated food, clothes, utensils, shoes, gold etc. Whenever there was an opportunity to give, she rose to the occasion.
Dear Reader, you may or may not believe this story to be true. But the lesson from it should not be overlooked. Everyone in this world may not be as fortunate as you or us. We must resolve to set aside some portion, be it a fixed sum or a tiny percentage of our monthly earnings for extending a helping hand to those who are not as fortunate as we are.
Swami says, “Good and bad are self-made, the effects of what was done in previous lives.” If you do good to others, you may not get anything in return. But, you must continue to do good anyways!