THE SPARK OF WISDOM

Sheikh Raunqi Ram had a friend, Khayali Ram, who lived in a distant quaint mountain village enveloped by snow capped mountains.

Khayali, like many others in his village, lead a simple, contended life which rarely stretched far from his small field and little cottage.  However, his son, like all other youngsters, believed that he was cut out for bigger achievements. So he decided to start a business, in the village itself.

Sheikh Raunqi Ram who visited them for a few days each year, was revered in the village as the prudent one ‘from the plains’.  So he was, naturally, consulted by Khayali and his son, about the line of business to be adopted. Sheikh Raunqi Ram’s view was that they should take up selling of quilts, since they were in great demand in the village, and the neighboring ones too, located as they were, in extremely cold environs. The suggestion was well taken and modalities worked out. Obviously, the responsibility of arranging the cotton fell on Sheikh Raunqi Ram, who was indeed wiser of the lot.

Finally, the idea took shape. A truck load of cotton, arranged by Sheikh, landed in the village. The villagers watched, with their breath held back, as the huge fluffy bales of cotton were unloaded. What huge stuff! They had never seen anything like this in their lives.

However, poor Khayali was thinking something else.  “How shall we handle such a big mass.? Where will we store it? Who will press the bales? Who will stuff it in the quilts?

To say that he was nervous would be a gross understatement. Khayali was going through much more. He was simple dumb. The worry got the better of him.  He could not eat a morsel and couldn’t sleep a wink.  “Who will handle all this cotton! What shall we do!” was the refrain, he couldn’t control.

The wise men of the village were called for help. They tried, in vain to reason it out with Khayali.  “Why are you worried? We are all here to help”. Sheikh Raunqi Ram also chipped in, “Just think of the amount your son will earn by selling quilts made of this cotton”.  But even the thought of prospective profit couldn’t help. At last, a doctor was called.  The sedative injected by him, brought some sleep, to Khayali and others, beside him. However, this too was short-lived. The moment the sedative wore out, Khayali resumed his refrain, “Who will handle all this cotton! What shall we do!”

Worried over the terrible state of his friend, Sheikh Raunqi Ram thought of a strategy.  Aware that, nothing but the huge size of cotton load was worrying Khayali, the Sheikh went near him and whispered in his ears. “Which cotton are you talking about? Don’t you know that a small cracker fell on that huge mound and all the cotton went into flames, in a jiffy.”

The magic worked. A relieved Khayali sprung up, “Thank God, it is all over. I am feeling hungry. Get me something to eat.” Khayali’s assumed worry was reduced to ashes by the concocted fire.  Khayali was a happy man, again.

The incident was enough to stimulate Sheikh Raunqi Ram’s fertile mind  to reflect.

The celebrated verse of Gita flashed into his mind.

“The fire of Knowledge burns away all Karmas.”

The rivulet of wisdom was flowing through Sheikh Raunqi Ram’s being. The physical fire burns all that comes its way. But the fire of wisdom, the Gyanagni, is selective. It burns away only the trash, the unwanted. This fire purifies the mind it gets kindled in.

Manifesting itself in the intellect, it frees one’s will from all fears, all obstacles, and truly orients us towards the truth. One’s determination, then, can never be shaken.

Manifesting itself in the mind, this fire renders it totally immune to all duality.

Manifesting itself in the prana, assuming the form of yogagni, it awakens the infinite power within the mind and the intellect.

Manifesting itself in the gross physical body and the senses, it conquers the physical dualities like hunger-thirst, cold-heat etc. and renders this mortal body worthy of being worshipped even by the gods.

But the question is, how?  How do we make this gyanagni manifest in our being?

Khayali Ram had inhibited his will under the huge mound of cotton, of his own perceptions, his own conditioning. Sheikh supplied him the spark of wisdom, to burn away the huge load off his being.

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No one but the Guru, along with faith in the Shastras can provide the spark to kindle the fire of wisdom, the gyanagni.

Gyana means complete and firm realization, free of any doubt or contradiction