Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nothing can defeat hope



This is the story of a poor Brahmin who decried the irresponsible and corrupt rule of an Indian King. It is placed somewhere in the history of ancient India.

The poor Brahmin lived in a small Kingdom in India. Brahmins were placed at the top of the hierarchical order of the cast system prevailed in India. Still the financial conditions were poor. However they were sincere and truthful. They could not tolerate corruption.

The King of the country was corrupt and irresponsible. He was looting people in the name of tax. He lived a luxurious life in a poor country. He never cared for the welfare of the people. The poor Brahmin could not tolerate this irresponsible rule of the King. It was the duty of the Brahmins to remind Kings when they go astray. So he resisted the excessive taxes of the King and spoke publicly against the King. He enkindled the anger of the people against the King.

He posed a threat to the King. The King was afraid of a coup against him. The King’s anger grew day by day. But it was considered a sin to murder Brahmins. Murdering a Brahmin might bring down a curse on him and generations to come. So the King was afraid to kill the poor Brahmin. Still he wanted to get rid of him. So he spent many hours plotting the end of the Brahmin.

One day, in the early morning, the Brahmin went deep in to the river in the village to worship the Sun god. He was performing sooryanamaskara. While he was performing the rites, the King ordered the soldiers to rush to the banks of the river with weapons and stop the Brahmin from coming out of the river. Soldiers rushed to the river bank with sharp spears and sword. With stretched spears and flashing swords, the soldiers threatened the Brahmin and stopped him in the middle of the river.

The water in the river was colder than all other rivers. At night by midnight, the water used to freeze into ice. All living creature in the river by midnight also freeze and die. The King expected the Brahmin to meet death in the night. The King could explain it as an accident.

Thus the poor Brahmin stood in the middle of the river throughout the day and night. Early next morning the King went to the river bank to see the dead body of the Brahmin. But to the disappointment and shock of the King, the Brahmin was alive. He was found performing sooryanamaskara. The King became angry towards the soldiers. He questioned them, accused them of neglecting duty and sleeping at night. But they assured the King that they were awake throughout the night watching the Brahmin. The Brahmin was found looking at a far distance and praying. The water froze, but not the Brahmin.

The King accepted the defeat. He ordered the Brahmin to come out of the river. He asked the Brahmin how he could remain alive throughout the night. The Brahmin humbly pointed to a small light burning in a house far away on a high place.
“That light kept me alive” was his first reply.
The King could not understand a bit.

The Brahmin explained:
“That is my small house. My wife and children heard of my ill fortune. They might have lost all hope. But they hoped against hope. There expected a way where there is no way. They were awake, praying for my life throughout the night. They kept the light burning in the house. It is their hope. The feeling that I have a family hoping against all odds for my safe return energized my mind and body. Nothing can defeat hope!”

The King realized his hollowness. He regretted his ways. The Brahmin was honoured and the country prospered.

What do you get?

Nothing can defeat hope. Keep it alive.



Further reading:
 

Professor Jacob Abraham

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