Putting into Practice
Source: Indian Fable
Intrepreted by Faraaz Tanveer
As three travellers crossed the mountains of the Himalayas, they discussed the importance of putting into practice everything they had learnt on a spiritual plane. They were engrossed in their conversation. It was late at night, when they realised that all they had with them, was a piece of bread.
They decided not to discuss who deserved to eat it and since they were pious men, they left the decision to the gods. They prayed that, during the night, a superior spirit should indicate who should receive the food.
The following morning, the three men rose together at sunrise.
“This is my dream,” said the first traveller. “I was taken to places I had never visited before, and enjoyed the peace and harmony I have sought in vain during my entire life on earth. In the midst of this paradise, a wise man with a long beard said to me, ‘You are my chosen one, you never sought pleasure, always renounced all things. And, in order to prove my allegiance to you, I should like you to try a piece of bread.’”
“That is very strange,” said the second traveller. “In my dream, I saw my past of sanctity and my future as a master. As I gazed at that which is to come, I found a man of great wisdom, saying, ‘You are in greater need of food than your friends, for you shall have to lead many people, and will require strength and energy.’”
Then the third traveller said, “In my dream, I saw nothing, went no where, and found no wise men. However, at a certain hour during the night, I suddenly woke up. And, I ate the bread.”
The other two were furious. “Why didn’t you call us before making such a personal decision?”
“How could I? You were both so far away finding masters and having such holy visions! Yesterday we discussed the importance of putting into practice that we learn on a spiritual plane. In my case, God acted quickly, and had me awake dying of hunger!”
Comment: In our quest for spiritual insights, we should not lose our sense of grounding in the real world of here and now.