Take little, give more

Even while experiencing hunger, they thought about other’s pain. Even while experiencing pain, they were able to show compassion to other beings. This was the nature of our forefathers.

In the village where Amma grew up, 90% of the people lived off daily wages. Whatever they would earn on a particular day, they would spend that on food. They didn’t have any savings or bank deposits. They rarely got to eat every day of the week. Amma use to go to around 60 houses every day to collect food scraps to feed our cows. Some families would have eaten, while others would be starving.

One day I went to a house for this purpose. They had 11 children. They were all lying in the laps of their parents. I asked for the peels and other such scraps from the previous day. The mother said they hadn’t eaten anything the whole day and as such didn’t have anything to give. I asked why. She said her husband couldn’t find work and therefore couldn’t buy any food. I asked why she couldn’t borrow some money to buy food. She said her husband had walked 10 kilometres to borrow money but didn’t have any luck. On the way back, there was a full moon and he saw turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. He waited for them to go back into the ocean. From among the hundreds or so eggs, he took about half, brought them home, boiled them and fed the kids. Each child got two to three eggs. Then one of his children asked him why he hadn’t taken all the eggs. The father said, “If I lost all my children, how would I feel? If l lost only one of you, at least the rest would be there to console me. The turtles would feel the same way. And if we take all the eggs, turtles will soon become extinct.”

The father was thinking about the survival of the turtle family even though he was going through hard times. Even while experiencing hunger, he thought about other’s pain.

Even while experiencing pain, he was able to show compassion to other beings. This was the nature of our forefathers. Today, we export these turtles to earn money from their meat. Not only we have lost compassion, we have also started exploiting the turtles.

There are three kinds of people: prakrti, vikrti and samskrti. (प्रकृति, विकृति, संस्कृति ) Prakrti people take only their share but don’t concern themselves with the needs of others. People of vikrti nature not only eat their own share, but they also snatch as much as they can from others as well. Samskrti people are those who take as little as possible and then share as much as they can. We have to awaken ourselves to this samskrti nature. But today just the opposite is happening: We are exploiting Nature. We need to wake up. Otherwise, we are heading for danger.