It is difficult to know what is right in all cases. - M.B., I.210.29

The Truth


It was twilight. A sage walked through a dark and deep forest. Vowed to chastity and truth, he was an enlightening figure in the darkness. He was going towards his modest abode with 'nothingness' in his mind. Drenched in such serum of 'not thinking' he walked in a steady pace, neither too hastily, nor too leisurely.

He had passed a huge rock when he heard footsteps around him and minutes later saw a man to his left, running in opposite direction to him . The man, apparently, didn't see the sage. There was worry in his run which made sage stop and follow the man's course for as far as sage's eyes would permit.

The running man, sage saw, hid behind that very rock that sage had just passed. Sage saw all of this, looked around once more vigilantly, and then, resumed his untroubled fearless travel.

He had moved only a few steps further away when he heard another pair of steps-- these one, determinant and seeking! When the owner of those footsteps emerged out of trees, the sage looked at the newcomer.
The newcomer evilly smiled inwardly at the sight of the sage.

That dark big newcomer approached the sage and greeted him.
"O great sage! I seek a man whom I believe to be hidden somewhere here. Have you seen him?"
"Yes, I have seen a man."
"Where is he hiding? Tell me, O kind sage."
"Why do you seek him, O good man!?" The sage asked eying the sharp knife in the latter's hand and predicting much on his own.

The man smiled wickedly.

"I wish to rob him! He has a good amount of gold on him. Tell me the truth, O truthful sage, for it does not behoveth you to speak a lie."

True it was: the sage was under oath that he will never lie. He could not lie!
And, albeit aware he was of the vicious consequences, he saw God's will in it.

"He's hiding behind that huge rock you see back there." The sage supplied.
"Thank you, O truthful one.", the robber reckoned the sage and moved towards the rock.

The sage, too, resumed his course and stopped to utter 'God's will' only when he heard a distant cry of pain that, no doubt, was induced by a sharp knife.

2 comments:

Vaishali Jain said...

I guess, I'm so accustomed to reading happy endings that I was hoping for a witty answer from the saint so that the man behind the rock would be saved. That didn't happen. Sigh!
Then, I re-read it from the POV of the saint and understood the reason for his answer. It's God's will for him.
What basically got my attention was your writing style. It's engaging. :)

Prateek Agarwal said...

Vaishali, The Truth was my very first post on this blog; it still is. When I made this blog I was trying to be a better person; I still am. I was having difficulties embracing the ideas of morality I was being fed by our civilization; I still do.

Nothing Is Wholly Good Or Wholly Evil was an idea that kindled me when I came in touch with it. It answered all of my questions; almost all of them.

Through this tale I hoped to bring it to general's attention that even something as pure & hallowed as truth is not 'wholly good'. That when it comes to be a good (read 'righteous', I believe the word 'good' has lost its gravity due to over-use) person, socially set moral laws would not take you too far. And that, in the end, it is your discretion which helps you find out what is right in difficult cases.

You got it right! He made himself see God's will in it. The possible consequences did not baffle him. He did not do what he did, under any kind of fear for his own life but as if he had no choice. And later, he sought reassurance in his own beliefs.

Thank you for spending your time here despite the dust & the cobwebs. As you are the first person to comment on my blog, I owe you another thanks. I also owe you for making me realize that this Wordpress theme that I chose does not allow the blogger to reply to any comments. I am not sure if you'll be notified of my reply. But what I am sure of is that you are very kind. The fact that you called it a sad ending tells us that you took sides with the man behind the rock. Otherwise, it was quite an happy ending for the robber. :)

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