Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Value Sensitivity

Divya came back from school and without even changing, she settled down next to her mother. With big tears floating in her lovely eye, she said, ‘I must have the latest Lady Bird cycle Mammas. All my friends have it, except me.” Aruna lovingly took her daughter close and tried to reason with her. “My dear, you already have one and it is not so old either, don’t you?” “yes, but ….”Divya tried to explain, but her tears just wouldn’t be stop. The little girl was quite dejected with her mother’s reaction to her demand for a cycle. She thought, “Mother is really mean. Am I asking for too much? It’s only a cycle.” That night, she fell asleep thinking about nothing else.

The next day was a Sunday. Aruna woke up Divya quite early and got her ready. She did not want to give Divya much time to think about what was going on. Nikhil, Divya’s father, was waiting for them in the car. The three enjoyed the ride and before long, they came to huge mansion. Within moments, a lovely lady?” Divya felt so shy, she hid behind her mother. Aruna greeted Mrs. Dilip with great warmth and affection.

Mrs. Dilip then took the three to a hall where there were about 50 children sitting in rows. Most of them were of around Divya’s age but some were as small as a year old. Two assistants were giving the children breakfast. Divya looked at her mother wondering where they had come. Aruna told her, “Divya, this is bal bhavan, an orphanage run by Mrs. Dilip. The children, you notice, are those whose parents either have abandoned them or have expired.” Divya couldn’t take her eyes off the children who were having their breakfast without a fuss. She remembered how she troubled her mother every morning at the breakfast table.

Later, Aruna and Divya walked around the orphanage. At the recreation room, Divya asked her mother, “Mamma, doesn’t each child own a toy?” just the question Aruna was waiting to hear! She said, “Divya, the children who live here are a little unfortunate. They are however lucky to be living in a place like the Bal bhavan. Sensitive and kind people like Mrs. Dilip are able to take care of their basic needs like food, clothing and shelter but orphanages usually do not have big funds for each child to own a toy.” Aruna continued, “We must learn to be thankful for whatever we have and moreover, be a little sensitive to the ones less fortunate than us by giving whatever little we can.”

A month went by. Divya’s class teacher called up Aruna and congratulated her on having raised such a sensitive and thoughtful child. Divya had spoken to her class about her trip to the Bal bhavan. All the children had collected almost three big cartons full of toys and storybooks to be gifted to their young friends at Bal bhavan. Aruna could not contain her tears and hugged her daughter when she came home.

Morel: Teach your children about how fortunate they are for what they have and develop sensitivity for other who are little unfortunate.


One butcher came to Nan-in. He was a butcher and Nan-in was a Buddhist monk who believed in non-violence. His whole profession was of violence. The whole day he was killing animals. But when the butcher came to Nan-in, he asked him, ”What am I to do? My profession is one of violence. So am I to leave my profession first and is it that only then I can be a new man, or is there some other way?”

Nan-in said, ”We are not concerned with what you do. We are concerned with what you are. So you go on doing whatsoever you are doing, but be more alert. While killing, remain alert, meditative, and go on doing whatsoever you are doing. We are not concerned.”

Nan-in’s followers became disturbed – because here was a person who was a follower of Buddha, a believer in non-violence, allowing a butcher to continue. One disciple said, ”This is not good. And we never expected that a person like you would allow a butcher to remain a butcher. And when he was asking, you should have told him to drop this. He himself was ready.”

Nan-in is reported to have said, ”You can change the butcher’s profession easily; he was himself ready. But in that way you cannot change his quality of consciousness. He will remain a butcher.”

He may become a saint, but the quality of the mind will remain that of a butcher. That will be a deception for others and for himself also. Go and look at your so-called saints. Many of them remain butchers. The quality, the attitude, the violence, their very look towards you, is condemning, violent. You are a sinner and they are saints. When they see you, the very look is such that you are condemned, you are thrown into hell.

Nan-in said, ”So it is not good to change his outer life; it is better to bring a new quality to his mind. And it is good to let him remain a butcher, because he is disturbed by his butchery and violence. If he becomes a saint he will remain a butcher, but then he will not be disturbed. His ego will be strengthened. So this is good. He is disturbed that violence is there, and he has become at least this much aware – that this is not good. He is ready to change, but just readiness to change will not help. A new quality of the mind has to be developed. Let him meditate.”

After one year had passed, the man came. He had become a different man. He was still a killer, but the man had changed although the doing remained the same. He came to Nan-in again and he said, ”Now I am a different man. I meditated and meditated and meditated, and my whole life has become a meditation because you told me to meditate in whatsoever I am doing. I am butchering animals, but the whole day I am meditating. Now what do you tell me to do?”

So Nan-in said, ”Now do not come to me. Allow your awareness to make a path for you. You need not come to me.”

So the butcher said, ”Now, only if you say remain in the profession will I pretend to be there. But as far as I am concerned, I am no more there. So if you allow me, I am not going back. But if you say to go, then it is okay. I will go and pretend, and I will continue.”

This is how, when your quality changes – your quality of consciousness – you become a different person altogether.