The Opium Eater
This is an ancient story of a person who was addicted to eating opium. All day long he was drowsy and lazy because of this habit. A saint visited his village and saw him in that state of drowsiness and sloth. As the other people of the village came to offer reverence to the saint, this opium addict too went and bowed his head to offer his respects. But he could barely open his eyes and walked too, in a dizzy manner. The saint took pity on him and said, “My child would you like me to help you to get rid of this terrible habit?” The man nodded as he struggled to speak, “Yes, but I can’t leave it; I know I can’t.” The saint said, “Tell me how much opium you eat every day.” The man signaled with his hands to indicate an amount. The saint said, “Alright, so you eat that much of opium everyday! Here is a piece of chalk equal to the amount of opium that you are used to eating.”
“Each day you can eat opium, but promise me that you will eat only an amount equal to this piece of chalk.” The man nodded happily, reaching out for the piece of chalk. The saint continued, “Wait son! I haven’t finished yet. Each day you must write ॐ with this chalk on a black board. Thereafter only you can eat your opium.”
Each day the man did as directed. With each day that passed, the size of the chalk diminished and resultantly so did the opium he ate, till one day there was no more chalk left to write ॐ and consequently no opium could be measured out. Slowly but surely the old habit had been weeded out.
Many of us are addicted to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The sooner the realization sets in, that these things are nothing short of poison, the better it is.