Author Nagesh Sonde


By: Nagesh D. Sonde

Published by:


I remember having read a story.

Once there lived a man, learned in scriptures and perfect in philosophies. He had an inquiring Mind and was always concerned with the world around him, his Individual existence as well as the Primeval Existence. He was neither awed by mysticism of the Seers nor the intellect of the commentators, neither silenced by ancient scriptures, howsoever hoary and hallowed nor by Time which heaped one thought over others. He considered himself to be an intellectual and, therefore, liked rationalizing his emotions. There was always a constant conflict between his emotions, his intellect and the Mind. Peace eluded him, his emotions, intellect and the Mind being in riddles. Often times, his Intellect would desert him and his Mind would bask him in luminosity with Peace and Clarity for which he had no explanation. Words would fail to voice what was experienced by the Mind and his intellect could hardly justify what Mind experienced. Yet he was ever eager to intellectualize ad rationalize every problem that rose up in life.

In the same neighborhood, there lived an old woman who was illiterate and could neither read nor write. She had neither read any scriptures nor understands the mysteries hidden in them. She was neither conscious of her Individual Self nor of the Universal Self. She could neither understand the complexities of samsaara or of the Way of Deliverance. She believed that some Supreme Power controlled her life, who, she was her God, living far above in heavens. Overwhelmed by this knowledge, she worshipped God and prayed for His Grace. She had neither any goals in life nor any purposes to fulfill. She had, however, and unconcealed desire to punish three persons. The first one was the old hag, Shabari, who made the Lord eat the fruits, which she had first tasted with her unclean mouth. The second one was the destitute Sudama, who had the audacity to offer dry, parched, pounded rice to the Lord, causing his delicate slender throat to bleed. The third one was Arjuna, the arrogant one, who claimed to be a great warrior and yet sat, during the great battle, safely behind the Lord to be shielded by the deadly arrows of the beastly Kauravas. Except these three, she had no other enemies. When she lifted her face up to the heavens, she saw her Lord, showering Grace on her, which would shine in her heart with peace and satisfaction.

A stranger, who observed these two, was perplexed. He did not know who was content and happier, whether the man of wisdom or the woman of simple faith. Because every body knew the intellectual but none were even aware of her existence. When he asked her, she could not even understand his query. The intellectual replied after deliberation. that he would be content to search for and experience than be satisfied with having faith in God. He was always independent in his thoughts and always refused to be awed by mysticism of the Seers or silenced by ancient scriptures. He was impressed by the devotion of the old woman, yet he would not follow her example. He would rather be receptive and intellectual, seeking the Prime Existence than be devoted without inquiry and be doomed.

The stranger was not surprised with the words of the Intellectual who would rather search for the mysterious existence of the Prime Existence he could understand and experience than be satisfied with the unknown and unknowable Existence, which he could neither understand nor experience. He chose to perceive Primeval Existence in its face, if possible, and experience Truth in its essence, drawing out the Prime Existence from obscurity to clarity. In his opinion, it is better to be an intellectual and receptive, ready to err than be silenced by scriptures, howsoever hoary or ancient they might be, to remain dumb, foolish and satisfied.