June 12, 2020
Presenter - manisar
I read this story in my childhood in some book from Swami Ramtirtha. My child-brain was not able to understand its depth, essence and message then. Would always think why the hell did the yogi had to do something this drastic on that statement of that woman.
But later when I got to the point of it, I really understood the meaning of the story.
A young yogi (monk) lived on a mountain busy discovering his inner and true self wholeheartedly. Meditation and self-analysis - these were his only two endeavors that kept him busy day and night. But the body does have its requirements. So, every few days when hunger used to take over, he would descend to the nearby village carrying his begging bowl.
Once, when he was roaming for alms, a woman on a door gave him something to eat, and he returned to his mountain. Again in a few days when he visited the village for food he saw the same woman at her place. Seeing the yogi, she went inside and brought him some eatables. While keeping the food items in his bowl she said - "I had been looking your way for long... your eyes have captured my heart." Yogi took the food and carried on. After getting away from there, he threw away all that food and received something to eat from some other household and returned to his mountain.
What happened next is beyond one's imagination...
On reaching his cave, he heated an awl to make it red-hot and used it to pluck out his eyes and kept those in his bowl. In a couple of days, he managed to fumble his way up to the door of that woman. She was at the door. Looking at the yogi from a distance she said - "Here I come". Saying this, she turned inward probably to get something for him to eat. But before she would move, the yogi shouted - "Wait mother, have these. You liked these eyes, were captivated by these, these are yours now." Saying this, he kept his bowl there, and carried on.
Just like a little push can support a falling person, the same little push may be enough to keel a person, especially the one walking on a delicate path, more so if he is a new walker on that path.
While walking on the path of Vedanta, even the slightest hindrance was not acceptable to the yogi. This doesn't seem necessary or even likely that the yogi developed a liking for that woman, but softer feelings might have knocked the door of his heart. Or perhaps he might have heard the sound of their footsteps trying to come to him and take over him.
When one is behind his goal with so much fanaticism and assiduity that even the wastage of a second is not acceptable, and when one has long developed complete detachment from one's body, he may take such a step.
Many will find this madness, this obsession ridiculous, but it can be real inspirational for a few.