Past and Present

1. The Past

The first anecdote, from Stories of Buddha, most of us have read.

Once the Teacher and the Student were travelling and reached a river bank. There was a beautiful, young woman standing there, seeking help to cross the river. The Teacher offered to carry her on his back. On reaching the other bank, the Teacher bid good bye to the woman, and continued his sojourn.

The Student was very perturbed. How could his Holy Teacher touch a woman? Struggling with his anger, he finally blurted out, ” How could you carry that woman ? It is a sin!”

The Teacher started laughing. Then he said, ” I let her down, so many hours ago. Are you still carrying her, my boy?”


2. Present

From Sri Ramkrishna Upanishad, translated by Chakravarthy Rajagopalachary, originally in Tamil. His daughter, Lakshmy Gandhi translated it into Hindi.

Then, SriRamKrishna Paramahansa, told a story:

There were two friends .Both came to the city, and did not have much to do. They heard the chants from  Sri Bhagvath, arising from a nearby House. Hearing the melodious recitals about God, one of them said, ” Let us join the crowd.” The other was more interested in women. ” There is a brothel nearby. Let us enjoy the evening there,” he suggested.

The first one went to the House of Prayers and the second proceeded to the brothel.

The man, who sat amidst the crowd, chanting the Lord’s name soon became frustrated. ” What a fool, I am! My lucky friend is enjoying the pleasures of a woman’s company. I am wasting my evening here,” he regretted as he sat there.Meanwhile, the man who had gone to the brothel, started regretting his decision. ” What a bad person am I! My lucky friend is benefiting from the chants of the Lord’s name. I should never have come here.”

Sri RamKrishna Paramahansa explained that the man in the brothel, in spite of being in undesirable company, was redeeming himself with his thoughts seeking goodness. And the man in God’s presence, with his desirous thoughts, was gathering bad energy all the while.


RamKrishna Upanishad : Chakravarthy Rajagopalachary (Tamil)

Translated into Hindi by: Lakshmy Gandhi