Faith

Uncertainty of life

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The time of our death is predetermined, and death can come upon us suddenly. So we should not postpone carrying out our prescribed duties. Yudishtra was well versed in the Sastras and he knew the importance of giving. And yet, there was an occasion when he slipped, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi, in a discourse. Yudishtra performed a Rajasuya yaga, and served a feast to all those who came to the yaga. A man, having partaken of the feast, went to Yudishtra, and asked him for help to meet his travel expenses. Yudishtra told the man that he had planned only a feast and had not planned to provide for anyone’s travelling expenses. However, he did not want to refuse the man’s request completely. He told the man to come the next day, and collect the required money.

Bhima, who had been witness to all this, said to Yudishtra, that he (Yudishtra) must be a great gnani, for only a gnani could foresee what was going to happen. By telling the visitor that he would give him money the next day, Yudishtra had presumed that the man would be alive the next day, that Yudishtra himself would be alive the next day, and that his wealth would not have disappeared overnight. All of these could have been known with certainty only by a gnani. Yudishtra realised that Bhima was indirectly pointing out to Yudishtra his mistake in not giving the man what he had asked for at once, and instead postponing the help until the next day. What was the guarantee that either of them would be alive the next day? Thus Bhima pointed out to Yudishtra the uncertainty of life, and that one should never take anything for granted in life.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 12:30:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/uncertainty-of-life/article6332405.ece

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