The Priceless Vessel

A king once distributed amongst his people, many priceless objects, like necklaces, bangles, gold and silver bowls, artifacts and clothes etc. A peasant was happy to receive a beautiful vessel studded with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies. He was very happy to bring it home. Eagerly he showed it to his wife. The wife was almost blind, but she received the vessel with gratitude as it was a gift from the king.

Every day, the wife would cook food in the vessel. She would set it up on the log fire and cook vegetables or rice in it. Over the years the vessel lost its shine. Most of the precious stones came off during heating and fell into the fire. The vessel was blackened and ugly.

Many years passed. One day the king happened to be passing that way. He saw the old woman sitting in her courtyard, making rice in the vessel. The king was hungry and said, “Amma, could you give me something to eat. That rice looks delicious and I am very hungry.”

The kind old lady ladled some rice into a simple brass plate. The king noticed the Vessel. He also felt sure that this vessel had once adorned his chamber in the palace. He said, “Amma, where did you get that vessel from?” The old lady said, “Our king gave it to my husband, many years ago. I have used it ever since to cook our food in it. It is very sturdy. You see it has lasted for so many years!” The king widened his eyes and opened his mouth to speak, but realized that there was no point.

This happens with us too. God has given us this human body. It is bedecked with the jewels of sight, speech, thought, compassion, love etc. Most of us do not put it to the use for which God gave it to us. Most of us do not take proper care of it. Resultantly it becomes diseased and ill. We do not realize the value of the human body. By the time we realize it, it’s already decayed and old. It is our bounden duty to realize that the body has been given to us for a purpose. The object of human existence is to understand that each one of us is a part of the whole (God). All other activities are common to birds, beasts and man. It is the unique privilege of man that he has the faculty of reasoning and the faculty of analysis and synthesis.

In the words of our beloved Bhagwan Baba, “Man has clambered through all the levels of animality, all the steps in the ladder of evolution in order to inherit this high destiny. If all the years between birth and death are frittered away in seeking food and shelter, comfort and pleasure as animals do, man is condemning himself to a further life-sentence!”

So, arise and awake! Use your divine power of understanding and reasoning. Use the priceless vessel of the human body that has been gifted to you by God and discover the truth of yourself, which is the truth of everyone else and of everything else!