Sleeping On The Seashore!
Walking along the seaside on the sandy beach, a saint was enjoying the cool mist laden breeze, as it played with his open hair and flowing beard. He was waiting for the sun to rise, for watching the sun emerge like a fireball out of the shining sea was always a beautiful sight to behold. Just then he saw a young lad of about twenty sleeping on the sand with his head in the lap of a woman. The pallu of her saree partially covered his face. There was an empty bottle of liquor lying next to them.
The saint was disgusted at the very idea of the man drinking, that too in the wee hours of the morning. He thought to himself, “These drunkards don’t even see what time of the day it is. Dawn or Brahma Muhurtam, is supposed to be most auspicious for prayer. Tch!Tch!” To add to it he was sleeping with his head in the lap of the woman. How shameless! And how undignified to be in this position in a place where anyone and everyone can see! Display of lust in such a place! How uncouth! The saint looked away distastefully and hastened to walk further ahead, to remove them from his sight.
A few minutes later, he heard a voice from the sea screaming, “Help! Help! I’m drowning.”
The saint could only look on helplessly, because he did not know how to swim. Just then, he saw that the young lad had snapped out of his slumber and was racing towards the drowning man. In a jiffy, he was in the water and a few deft strokes of his strong arms were all it took, to reach the man who was gasping for breath. In a few minutes, the lad brought the man back to safety and pressed his lungs to expel the water therein.
The saint was watching from a distance and wondered whether he could still brand the lad to be a shameless, impudent fellow. Confused at his thoughts he decided to go up to the lad and clarify his doubts. The saint asked him, “Who are you? I thought you were drunk when I first saw you.” The young fellow bowed respectfully to the saint and said, “I am a fisherman. I had been out at sea all day and night. I came back to the shore at around 4 AM. My mother had been waiting for me at the shore. She had brought food and some water for me in this old glass bottle.
I was so exhausted when I reached the shore that I just had the food and the whole bottle of water and lay down on the sand. The cool breeze of the sea fanned me so beautifully that I dozed off. My mother lifted my head and placed it on her lap.
The saint had no words now. Truly, what meets the eye may not always be real. It is best not to judge others. Who knows what the truth is?
In a discourse, Swami said, “You will soon come to the conclusion that there are far more useful ways of spending the little time you have here in this life than ridiculing or praising others. Do not concern yourself with the faults and excellences of others. Instead care earnestly and sincerely about your own faults. Foster more carefully and sincerely, your own best qualities. This is my advice to you today.”