Ratan and Nivesh, having completed their education at Gurukul ( a residential school run according to ancient Indian norms) were to leave for their homes and were to give Gurudakshina (offering made in appreciation of education received) to Guruji. His demand: ‘Get me something which is totally of no use to anyone’. They set off into the forest, and eyed the fruits, trees, animals, birds, stones etc. For each one they felt that there was at least one use for them all, till they spotted a heap of dry leaves. ‘These should be useless to everyone, perhaps we can gift these to Guruji (teacher)’ they thought.
As Nivesh bent to pick them up, a young girl came running and said, ‘Please don’t! I have gathered these leaves, to make a fire for cooking food to feed my old mother, please do not take them away’. Moving further, Rattan started gathering some dry leaves at a distance. An old man came and said, ‘Son, I am a Vaidya, I make medicine from these leaves, please leave them alone.’ As they walked along the stream, they spotted a dry leaf floating on the water. Exchanging a happy nod, they reached out for the leaf; when a tiny voice cried out, ‘Stop! This leaf is my boat to float onto the shore. But for it, I would be drowned in the water.’ A tiny little ant, was sitting on the leaf!
They returned to Gurukul, with apologetic faces and narrated their experiences to Guruji. A smile spread slowly over Guruji’s face and he said, ‘The understanding that nothing is useless, is the Gurudakshina I wanted. Go forth with my blessings! May God be with you at all times!’
Nothing is useless! Nothing in God’s master plan is out of place; it is only lack of comprehension at our end.