Once upon a time a nomadic priest came to a river bank to take morning bath in the river. He was alone. There was nobody around. He had to return the call of nature. He had a pot of copper which was his total “assets”. Hence he wanted to hide it some where. He feared that in his absence some thief may steal it. So he found a solution. On river bank sand was spread all over the area. He made a pit in the sand by his hand and after placing the copper pots in the pit, he covered it with sand. Now to identify the place he made a Shiva Lingam (a Religious Image; See below) over it. Now to make it more authentic, he also placed some flowers and leaves over it so that it may appear that some one has recently worshiped it. Of he went to attend the call of nature. Upon his return to that place, he was in a shock.Now there were so many similar ‘Shiva lingam‘ statute carved on sand. People presumed that on that particular date, it was a ritual to make that image on the sand and perform the ritual of prayer/worship. Hence the people without much thought and consideration followed the presumed ritual. Now the priest could not find his own Shiva lingam under which he had buried his valuable copper pot and had to lose it. Finding himself in this situation he expressed his anguish in these words in a couplet:
In this world people follow each other in passing;
Who cares for right or wrong;
Actions are performed in automatic motion;
Sand ate my copper-ware due to shiva-lingam.
(The story and couplet translated to English from Hindi/Sanskrit Source: Nishant’s Blog)
This is a sequel to my earlier post on Automatons. How we are lost in our thoughts and are acting mechanically. This story is also reflective of the fact that we plan things from a very limited perspective and future is always uncertain. Fatalists can blame the priest in above story, for his loss as natural because he had misused the religion to cling to his assets. But that is not the point. Point is how our mind travels, in limited two dimensions and we create problems for ouselves and others.