Sunday, 12 May 2013

Taste of hunger


Poverty is the most painful experience in human life.
The pain of poverty cannot be compared with anything else.
Pain of poverty is both physical and psychological. One is mentally and physically tortured. Everybody and everything around him seems to inflict pain on him because he is poor.

Who has the best knowledge of poverty?

Hunger is incomparable pain. Hunger is an associate of poverty. If I ask who has the best knowledge of hunger, many of us would raise hands. But it is not true that we have tasted real hunger ever in our life.
Only those who suffered hunger because of poverty have ever tasted hunger.

As a religious practice, I used to observe fasting for two or three days. At occasions, I have observed fasting for more than three days. I have not eaten any food during those days. I surely felt hunger. I tasted hunger.
But was it the real taste of hunger? NO.
It was a religious observance.

The great saint Sree Budha of India was a prince. He later renounced everything and sat in meditation for many days, without food and drink. He was said to be enlightened with the knowledge about the secret of suffering. He proclaimed that craving is the cause of suffering. So he renounced his kingship, riches and luxuries in life. He took the life of a beggar and advised his disciples to live like beggars.
His life is a good example for renunciation.
But has he ever tasted real poverty? NO.

Real poverty is not caused by renunciation of richness that we already have. It is lack of a livelihood in spite of hard struggles.
Real hunger is not renunciation of food; it is lack of food though one suffers to have little.

There is the pain. There is the real want. There is the torture and suffering.
You wish to have, suffered to have, struggled to have; but have not.
While others are eating stomach full, you wish to have at least the left out. But you are chased away even from the left out.
It is real hunger. The pain of hunger is incomparable.

It is not the hunger felt by the religious practitioners who renounce food for a short time.
It is not a part of religious practice; it is not a religious observance.
It is not missing a meal while you are away from home busy in the works.
It is not getting late in a journey.
It is the lack of food; it is denying food; it is a fruitless craving for food.

Have you ever tasted real hunger?
I am sure, most of us do not.

Feed the poor, at least one in a day. Give food to a beggar.
If you are busy, trust someone to feed a poor person each day for you.

There is nothing comparable with the pain of poverty and hunger.

Further reading:

Professor Jacob Abraham                                                                            

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