A wise old man had a dream. He wanders into a grave yard one dark night and is startled to see lot of people searching desperately for something amidst the graves. He asks them- “What are you searching for ?”. Without even halting for a moment, one of them shouts back – “We are searching for all the invocations the visitors to this place have made on our behalf. We are being punished for all our bad deeds and these prayers offer us some respite ”. As the wise man stood transfixed, he was also surprised to see one of them sitting comfortably on his grave, doing nothing. “And , why aren’t you searching ?”, asks the wise man. “I have a pious son who prayers for me regularly. That gives me all the respite I need”, he replies proudly.
The wise man gets the same dream, the next night. And this time, he sees that the one who was sitting idly is searching more desperately than everyone else. “What happened. Why are you searching as well ?”, he enquires. “My son died a few days back. There is no one to pray for me now and I need these tidbits to save me”, replies the dead man.
Couple of humble pointers…
Let us make it a point to pray for all our near and dear ones who have moved on. This costs us nothing. But it may help a lot of souls who are paying heavy prices for their irresponsible actions. We can do much more good to these deceased souls now, than what we could have ever done when they were alive. So let’s not miss this opportunity.
Let us also ask ourselves the very important question- “Who will pray for us when we die ?”
If we are all dashing through life merely pursuing material goals – My job, my house, my savings, my family, then we may just end up being dead, buried and forgotten. Abraham Maslow, the famous American psychologist deemed Physiological , Security, Social and Esteem needs as Animal needs. Because every dog, bull, weasel and man has it. They are the most basic needs that one gets by default. But a rare few rise above these needs and acquire a higher need- The noble need for Self Actualization. They realize that they are not in this world to merely begin, beget and be gone. They believe that they are here to serve a particular purpose- of making a difference in the lives of the millions around them. Their love extend beyond familial boundaries and they find happiness and contentment in serving people who may never even know them. And they do it merely for fulfilling their purpose. They care little for appreciation or recognition. For them, the very purpose of life is a life of purpose.
I have friends here who spend their free time, collecting money for charity. There are some who frequently visit labor camps to help people who have been abandoned by their sponsors. There are some who relentless seek out patients who need aid and serve them. Another lot spends weekends educating fellow beings. Some of them mentor poor students. I also have lot of friends and relatives who spend all their weekends sleeping, watching TV and shopping. It is crystal clear as to who has transcended the wall that stands between Animal and higher needs…. And it is obvious as to who will be more remembered, mourned and prayed for…..
It’s the same wall in both cases.
A study done at a California University has proven that people who volunteer for community service suffer fewer heart attacks . Their recover more quickly than others from illnesses. They get ahead in life faster and they enjoy more self esteem than others. This has led the university to coin the phrase… Only Givers Get.
So as the week end is approaching, let us all ask ourselves these questions, before we plan our activities.
What difference can we make (however small it may be) to someone this week end?
What is the true purpose of our life ?
Who will pray for us when we die ?