At 10.30, this morning, when I reached our Colony gate, there was only one auto waiting. I quickly boarded it. Just then, I heard one of our watchmen blowing his whistle. When I peeped out towards him, I realised that a young lady with bags in both her hands was approaching towards the gate. She wanted the watchman to fetch an auto for her. So, without realising that I had already boarded the only auto that was available, he had blown his whistle, so that she could board it. When I saw this lady with heavy bags in both her hands, and realising the fact that she would not be able to get another auto for quite a while, my immediate reaction was: I asked the autowala to make an about turn towards this lady.
"Ma'am, there are no auto's there out side; would you like me to drop you somewhere?" I said, in the most sincere and spontaneous manner.
"No," she brushed me aside in an equally blunt and thankless manner, continuing to walk.
My face fell for a while; my ego was hurt. I saw even the autowala laughing sarcastically. For the rest of my 15-minutes journey, this lady consumed my mind.
"Why am I doing these kind of things, only to be insulted, ignored, hurt?" I kept asking myself. "Why do I go out my way to please people?"
There was anger. First, at the lady for her impoliteness... Then, slowly, the anger was redirected at me - for my own 'stupidity'... And, finally, it was all over.
I did what I did, because that was what my deep being wanted me to do. I was in alignment with my Values. And, there ended my 'duty'... my 'Dharma'. I really had no idea as to how this lady would react... That was not in my control. So, what she did was in alignment with her Values... It was her "Karma'.
How else could I keep my sanity? How else could I stop myself from being a bitter 'fellow-being'?
The ancient stories are still there for us... to find meaning.
Once, on the bank of a river, a monk was bathing. He saw a scorpion drowning and instinctively placed his palm to save the creature from dying. The scorpion began to sting monk's palm, agitated and restless... and, finally, fell into the river only to go down again. The monk, once again, stretched his hands and lifted the little creature on his palms. The creature left more blows, more blood... and, once again, fell into the water. But, the monk wouldn't give up his efforts to save the scorpion... while the creature would not give up striking.
This went on for some time. A man who was bathing along the monk was amused and even shocked to see this drama. "Swamiji, why do you continue helping that creature, when all that you get in return are the thankless blows?"
"Well, my friend," said the monk. "Because, I am doing my 'dharma'... and that little creature is doing its 'karma'."
How else shall I console myself for the morning blow?