Heavy rains lashed the small hamlet of ‘Samsara’ (material world) situated at the banks of the mighty river ‘Gyana’ (Knowledge). The river started to swell to dangerous proportions and slowly started inundating the streets. The village elders and wise men quickly assessed the situation and made a decision to leave the village with whatever they could carry. They knew from experience that once the river reaches such levels there will be devastation all around and nothing will be left of the village. It was in the people’s best interest to leave immediately. As the whole village started their migration the elders saw that one of the members was still at home and unwilling to come along. It was ‘Aham’ (Self) who took pride in his intelligence and higher levels of education. When asked, he curtly replied to the village head, “You people are fools, running away at the slightest of provocation. I was taught to be determined and persistent and so shall I be.
‘Aham’ had amassed lots of wealth and possessions since the time he started to work in the city and had built a house of his dreams which was the cynosure of all in the village. He was just not willing to abandon everything and run away. He was worried that others will steal all he had, while he was away, so he decided to stay put in spite of the persuasive efforts of his elders.
The story goes that ‘Aham’ drowned in the fury of the river and died. After the water receded the villagers found his body lying in the slush, clinging on to some of his possessions. Alas! what use was it now? Most of us cling on in this fashion – to our thoughts, ideas, positions and are so stuck up that we are unwilling to listen, understand, comprehend and adapt. We are simply not willing to ‘let go’.
Are we not all ‘living dead’ like ‘Aham’?