Life in the past was one of simplicity. Rules were simple. Following them was simple as traditions were respected, teachers were revered and Gurus were honoured. People followed the practices implicitly, experienced the results and then asked questions. This was the time honoured tradition. The norm in society now is to encourage use of logical thinking, intelligence and ask questions. Logical thinking and questions have their own worth and value and are essential to understand the material world. Logic and intelligence have contributed greatly to progress in the material world today. But they have to take a backseat when we venture through the spiritual world.
Today great importance is given to showmanship, advertisement and publicity. Stunts, jazzy music, pompous shows and extravaganza are highlighted and given importance. Greater focus is on getting attention through loud noise and gimmicks. Genuine talent, ability and worth are pushed to the side. This works for only a short time. Sooner or later, people will get bored with loud noises, publicity and gimmicks and go back to true talent and worth as that satisfies the inner intensity for genuineness. All of us have the inner recognition of what is true, simple, original and valuable and ultimately we go back to it. We can see this truth in every aspect of life – whether it is food, clothes, homes, furniture, vehicles, gadgets, music, art, literature and even religion and spirituality. This truth is emphasized in the story of the two parrots given below:
There were two beautiful parrots who were brothers. They loved each other and stayed together. They also loved to travel far and wide for visiting new places and also finding food. Once they were attracted by the beauty of a King’s garden and visited it. The gardener saw the magnificent birds and laid a trap for them. They were caught and brought before the King. The entire court and the King gasped at the beauty and magnificence of the stunning birds. All eyes were glued to them. A special spacious cage of gold was made for them to live. They were fed the best of foods daily. The beautiful brothers became the talk of the court and the town. Royal guests admired them and feed them daily. They received endless compliments. Both birds were kind by nature and had pleasant manners. They won the hearts of all people.
One day, the King received a gift of a huge ape. He could dance and mimic actions made by others. He would behave in a boisterous and comical manner. He would pick and throw things around and make all laugh. People had not seen such a huge ape before at close quarters. All the attention that was reserved for the parrot brothers went to the big ape. Streams of people poured in and took a good look at the ape. The ape enjoyed all their attention and his antics became sillier and he made everyone roar with laughter. The parrots were not even fed at times and they began to feel neglected and sorry for themselves.
The younger parrot wanted to leave the palace and go away. He was very dejected. No one cared for them anymore. The older parrot was wiser. He said: My brother, do not feel sad. Attention, praise, blame, honour and dishonour are temporary phases of life. In a short time, people will get tired of the ape’s antics. They will soon understand your true worth.
Sure enough, the clownish behaviour of the ape began to grate on people’s nerves. He fooled and misbehaved around a bit too much. The King also found his mimicry and acts offensive. One day the ape imitated the King. The King was very offended and ordered that the ape be sent back to the forest. People began paying attention to the well mannered and beautiful parrots once again.
We find the same ape like attention seeking in all fields of life including the path to God. Such antics will get attention and popularity for some time. But ultimately, people recognize the true from the false, the real from the unreal and pay attention to the truth. When we follow the path of SitaRam mantra, meditation and practice the teachings of the Guru, we follow a simple and worthy path which always holds up against test of time and human foibles. The worthy and genuine are always recognized and respected eventually.
( As told by Omdasji Maharaj to his disciples)