Friday, 29 June 2012

Art of Tolerance

Sant Eknath was particularly famous in his village for his patience; nobody ever saw him angry, and nothing could ever make him lose his temper. Almost all his fellow-villagers paid respects to Eknath for his great virtues.

In the same village, there were a few vagabonds who used to regularly meet for gambling. One morning it so happened that one of them arrived late. When the others looked at him with a questioning look, he said, "I had been to Sant Eknath's residence to pay respects to him. So I could not come here in time."

On hearing this, the others guffawed and with a mocking tone asked him, "So my friend, what is so special about this gentleman, which makes you fall at his feet?" "Sri Eknath never loses his temper under any circumstance. Isn't this trait unusual?" They teased him further..."How can he who never gets angry be called a human?" On hearing thus, he immediately answered, "That is the reason why I regard him a saint..."

The conversation which started in a light vein, took a serious turn... In the end, one of them challenged, "I shall make Saint Eknath lose his temper, and prove to you all that he is no different from others and I shall accomplish what I just said by tomorrow itself."


Now the vagabond was totally perplexed, "Swamiji, how is it possible for you to be like this?" Saint Eknath replied, "Brother, if you can stick so stubbornly to this vice of harassing sadhus, it isn't the least surprising that I, on my part, should stick to my virtue of not losing my temper.I am on the way to offer my morning worship to my Lord. The dirt on my body can be easily cleansed by a dip in the river, but if I let anger enter my mind, it defiles the mind, and no amount of bathing in any river cancleanse me of this impurity.Worshipping with an impure mind would not bear fruits."

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