The Last Pebble.

Tik…tik….tik….the clock is ticking and the New Year 2020 is gushing into its first weekend. I am not sure about you, but every year around Christmas-New Year time, I get a feeling that this year passed faster than the previous year or any other years before. I also feel that there were a lot of things that I had decided to accomplish but couldn’t. It got me thinking, will I feel the same way at the end of this year as well or will it be different?!

I’m reminded of a lovely story told by Osho.

“An old fisherman had a daily routine of waking up early, picking the fishing net on his shoulders and walking towards the river for fishing.

One morning he woke up earlier than usual. It was still dark but as he had woken up already, he decided to pick up the net and started walking towards the river bank. On the way, in the midst of darkness, he stumbled upon something. He tried to figure out what obstructed his path and found a small gunny bag filled with something. He picked up the bag and walked towards the river bank. As he sat, he checked the bag and found some stones and pebbles inside.

There was still some time until sunrise. The surrounding was really dark and quiet. The fisherman picked up a pebble from the gunny bag and threw it into the river….chhappakk… was the sound made when the pebble touched the silent waters of the river. The old man liked the sound and he picked up another one and the next….chhapakk, chhappakk…he had thrown almost all the pebbles by then..he picked up the last one from the bag and was about to throw it in the river when….the sun rose and the first ray of light touched the earth. The old man looked at his hand, and to his astonishment, realized that what he was holding was actually a diamond, not a pebble. It glittered in the morning rays.

The fisherman checked the rest of the bag’s contents. His heart stopped, his breathing stopped. He realized that in the darkness and in his ignorance what he was throwing till now in the river was treasure worth a fortune. It would have brought riches to several generations of his family. Tears started rolling down his eyes. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH…He yelled out aloud and cried.

He had accidentally stumbled upon enough wealth to enrich his life many times over, but unknowingly, and in the darkness, he had lost it. Yet in a way he was fortunate: still one gem was left; the light had dawned before he had thrown it away too. Generally, most people are not even that fortunate. Life just passes by without the sun rising, without the light of the dawn in our lives, and we throw away all the diamonds of life considering them to be stones and pebbles.

There is darkness all around and time is fleeting. The sun has not yet risen, and we have already wasted all life’s precious gems. Life is a vast treasure trove, and man does nothing with it but throw it away. By the time we have realized the importance of life, we have whiled it away. The secret, the mystery, the bliss, the deliverance, heaven — all is lost. And one’s life is spent.

But it is difficult to enlighten people who treat life like a sack of stones. People are annoyed if you draw their attention to the fact that the very things, they are throwing away are jewels, not stones. They flare up, not because what has been said is incorrect but because they have been shown their own folly, because they are reminded of what they have lost. Their egos step in; they get angry.

Even with what has been lost up to now; even if the life that is left is short; even if only one stone is left, your life can still be salvaged. It is never too late to learn. Help is still possible and, especially in the search for truth, it is never too late. There is still reason to feel confident.

Life is a precious treasure, but we just throw it away and lose it. We waste our entire life without realizing what it is all about. Before we discover or experience its hidden secrets, hidden wonders, delights, mukti, moksha or nirvana, life slips away.

There are many among us who would have lived their lives without knowing or understanding what riches they had and what all they have lost in the surrounding darkness and in their ignorance.

Wake up Before it’s too late.”

नई सुब्ह पर नज़र है मगर आह ये भी डर है
ये सहर भी रफ़्ता रफ़्ता कहीं शाम तक न पहुँचे — शकील बदायुनी

na.ī sub.h par nazar hai magar aah ye bhī Dar hai
ye sahar bhī rafta rafta kahīñ shaam tak na pahuñche — SHAKEEL BADAYUNI

There is a new dawn, ahh but I’m afraid
this morning may slip into the sunset.

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