May 14, 2020
Presenter - manisar
I don't remember when and where did I read this story first, most probably it was in some book of Swami Ramtirtha.
A rich man who was quite good in his business didn't talk much on religious and spiritual matters. One day his wife said to him - "my brother talks a lot about abstinence and renunciation, I'm afraid he'll soon leave everything and take a formal vow of renunciation". The man laughed and explained to her - "O dear, this is not how one renounces the world, don't worry, he'll not go anywhere".
One year went by and the wife spoke again - "brother has learnt many scriptures by heart, he is going a lot to religious gatherings these days, I think he'll soon go to the forest." The main comforted her again by saying that there was no need to think like that. The wife obliged.
Today the wife started again - "he is now winning over mighty scholars in religious debates. I really think..." The man interrupted and said - "there is not the slightest reason for you to worry in this matter. Your brother has become a very good parrot, but is far from becoming a monk. This is not how one initiates renunciation."
This time the wife replied - Ok, then why don't you tell me how one goes into renunciation". The man went to his almirah, took off costly clothes and ornaments, put on a white robe, came back, kept the keys for his almirah and safe in wife's hands, and said - "like this". Saying that he went out the door, never to look back, nor to return.
There are two completely different messages in this story - first - barking dogs seldom bite - of which the brother was the example. But the deeper and more esoteric element of the story is the character of the rich man. He definitely did not renounce merely for showing off to his wife or out of his ego. Nobody can do that. The rich certainly can't. It seems he was on this journey for some time.
The truth is that the researchers of truth, the thirsty, curious and the seekers mostly do not tell their agony, their pain or their efforts to others.
Sometimes they would not just want to do that, sometimes. But mostly, it must be difficult for them to find someone around who will not deem them and their words crazy or delusional. Alone, in isolation, their inner efforts are continued. And then, when the time comes, those efforts ripen and startle the people around.
Swami Ramkrishna used to say "look at a duck - how on the surface of the water it smoothly glides without seemingly doing much, without rolling, coolly and calmly, but below the level of the water, every moment it is moving its feet vigorously. Just like that you should remain cool and calm amidst the world and carry out its affairs and your responsibilities without having any agony or anxiety. But, in reality, every second, every moment, keep moving on the journey of truth with all your might".