19 Apr 2024  |   04:05am IST

A blind person begs for one eye

By Pradeep Lawande

There is an age old saying that a  blind person begs for only one eye and a deaf person  begs for only one ear. They humbly expect that they should get at least half of their natural right of having two eyes and two  ears per person. This reminds me the story of small Joseph who was naughty and stubborn. His parents were poor. One day little  Joseph demanded a new pair of shoes at his parents.  His  father could not afford  to buy shoes for his son. But the boy was adamant and started crying. After a  while, he stopped  crying and then made his way towards the village market.

The path was passing through a field. Joseph saw a person at some distance lying under a mango tree. Curiosity  led him to  that place. The boy was surprised to see that the person lying on the  ground did not have both his legs. He felt  pity for that man and then began to think for himself. A few moments earlier he was crying for new shoes and here was shoes ! from that  time onwards, Joseph was totally changed. Within and  without.

It is quite  natural that a person who is  bereft of both his legs wishes  that he gets at least one. God has given each one of us two legs and two hands. Similarly, he has also given each one of us two eyes and two  ears but only one tongue. There  might be a wise reason behind this divine plan. Eyes and ears are organs of gaining knowledge. It may be that Almighty might  have wished that we see more, listen more and talk  less. In this regard great Greek Philosopher  Epictetus states that we have each two eyes and two ears but only one  tongue so that we can see and listen twice as much as we talk. Besides, God has put limit on the right to talk of this boneless organ called tongue by assigning it additional tasks of tasting and swallowing !

Words are valuable and important. They should be uttered with caution and responsibility. They are like arrows that are shot from the bows and are irreversible. There are instances in the history of mankind wherein words had become causes of conflicts and wars. In Mahabharata, Draupadi, wife of five Pandavas insulted Duryodhan, the Kaurav Prince by calling him, “blind son of  a blind father”. Similarly, Duryodhan used harsh and arrogant language when he told Pandavas that he would  not give them even that much of land which  equals the point of a needle. The outcome of  these derogatory words was the occurance of the bloody war between Pandavas and Kauravas. On the other hand the encouraging and convincing words of wise Narada turned brigand Valya into  Sage Valmiki.

Pious persons by virtue of their observations, listenings, meditations and contemplations’ obtain knowledge and after then they express words of wisdom by way of their sacred tongues. Thus Lord Jesus spoke, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” and Swami Vivekanand Spoke, “Be good, do good”.

Silence is golden. The practice of silence is an integral part of Jain, Buddha and Hindu Philosophies. 


Idhar Udhar