Once upon a time, a renowned thinker traveled a long distance to meet a Fakir (Holy man). He was exhausted, thirsty and tired. As he reached the ashram, he forcefully pulled the door open and banged it behind him. He then sat on a bench and dumped his shoes on the floor with a thrust. He came inside the hall where the saint was meditating with his disciples. The thinker greeted the fakir.
With a stern look to the visitor, the fakir said authoritatively, “I do not accept your greetings. First, you go back and apologize to the door which you banged and to your shoes that you threw on the floor.”
The thinker was annoyed, and said, “What are you saying? Apologize to that stupid door? And to those dirty shoes??? Do I look crazy to you?”
Fakir smiled and said, “I did not think that way earlier, but you forced me to believe that you are crazy. If you could get angry on your shoes, then you could apologize to them too. If you think you were not crazy while expressing anger on the shoe then how will you be crazy by apologizing? You had banged the door as if you were pushing your enemy”. Fakir then asserted, “So now, apologize or go out of this ashram.”
The man had come with a lot of anticipation to clear some doubts and have a meaningful discussion with this renowned holy man. He had come from very far. Fakir said, “you may have traveled a great distance but the door is now not that far. Walk four more steps and seek apology.”
The man felt very weird and awkward. You would also have felt the same way if you were in his position. He had to go back. The fakir was stubborn, he denied to have a dialogue with the man because he considered him as a dead person, who just did not realize that he had misbehaved with his shoes and the door. The man had to go. He went and apologized to the door with folded hands. He bent down and lifted his shoes and apologized.
Later the man wrote ,”Initially when I was apologizing, I wondered what I was doing, as I had never done such a thing in my whole life. I had never apologized to anyone ever, actually I didn’t know how to seek forgiveness. I had never imagined and experienced that an apology could bring so much of calm and tranquility within me. And when I extended my hands towards my shoes and bent my head – I had never bowed down to anyone; and had never thought that I will be bowing to my own shoes – but as I bowed down, I felt as if a heavy load was lifted from my head. Either the fakir was crazy or I was, but I didn’t know what really happened in that moment. The bigger surprise was that, as I apologized to my shoes, I realized that they were not mere shoes anymore, and when I touched the door and begged for forgiveness, I felt that the same door was no more a “thing”.
And it cannot remain the same. What we see is the manifestation of who we are.
(thoughts captured from Osho: Naye Samaj ki Khoj)
What is meant by Michchami Dukkadam?
Michchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्) is an ancient Indian phrase, which is translated from Prakrit to literally mean “may all the evil that has been done be fruitless.” … As a matter of ritual, Jains greet their friends and relatives on this last day of Paryushan with Michchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ, seeking their forgiveness and to forgive all in the Universe. .
Paryushan Parv comes during monsoon. Dr. Gunwant Shah once said, Monsoon is a season of cleansing, that is when the Mother Earth cleans herself and dresses up in green. This is the season when we too have to do the dusting and re-fresh ourselves, our lives, our outlook. This is the time to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.
In his discourse “Art of Dying” Osho says – “In love, life comes to a climax and hence people are afraid of love. What is the fear of love? Because when you really love somebody, your EGO will start slipping and melting. You cannot love with the ego. Ego becomes a barrier and you would like to drop the barrier and the ego says ‘this is going to be a death, BEWARE !!!’
The death of ego is not your death. The death of the ego is really your possibility to live. The ego is just a dead crust around you. It has to be broken and thrown away. It naturally comes into being. Just as a traveler passes, dust collects on his clothes, on his body and he has to take bath to get rid of the dust. As we move in time, dust collects of experiences, of knowledge, of lived life, of past. That dust becomes our ego, it accumulates and becomes a crust around you. It has to be broken and thrown away. One has to take bath continuously every day, every moment so that this crust never becomes a prison. Ego is afraid to love because in love life comes to a peak. But whenever there is a peak of life, there is a peak of death. They go together. In love you die and you are reborn. The same happens when you come to meditate, or to pray or even when you come to a master to surrender. The ego creates all sorts of difficulties, rationalizations, not to surrender. Think about it. When you come to a master, ego becomes suspicious, doubtful. Again you are coming to master, to life, a flame where death will also be as much alive as life.”
Have you ever picked up a roadside stone and felt it? Have you ever taken the sand on the seashore in your palm and felt it for a couple of moments? Have you ever picked up water from the flowing river in your hands and tried to understand it by closing your eyes? Have you ever hugged the bark of the tree and felt relaxed? Tree also says something. We are even afraid of taking the hand of a fellow human being in our hand…where is the question of hugging a tree? We are afraid that people may consider us insane. The same man will go to temple, church or mosque to look for God but will ignore what is present around him everywhere.
That is when our enlightened souls say, “Don’t look for God, just LOOK.”
We have to ensure that we rejuvenate our sensitivity towards everybody and everything around us everyday.
If I could understand and interpret the above story, I now understand the real meaning of what Jesus said – ‘Love Thy Neighbour’.
कुछ इस तरह मैंने ज़िन्दगी को आसां कर लिया,
किसी से माफी मांग ली, किसी को माफ कर दिया ।। – मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब
Kuch iss tarah meine zindagi ko aasan kar liya,
kisi se maufi mang li, kisi ko mauf kar diya. – Mirza Ghalib
This is how I eased out my life
sought forgiveness from some, and forgave some others.