Fear of death
Once, a devotee of a Saint enquired, “Maharaj! Your life is so calm, peaceful and sweet, whereas mine is always overcast with disquiet; why is it so?”
“ Brother! Forget all these. On the eighth day from today, you will be dead! Think of that”, said the Saint. The devotee was alarmed. He went home, straight. He summoned his relatives and informed them, “ I will be dead, on the eighth day from today. The Saint has told me. Therefore, if I had committed any indiscretion, kindly forgive me”. Thereafter, he engaged himself only in performing virtuous acts. On the eighth day he went to the Saint and asked, “Maharaj! Tell me, when will I be dead?”
“Brother! Only Shri Hari knows when death will overtake us. For now, keep it aside; tell me, how had you spent your time during the past week?
“Maharaj! I only saw ‘death’ dancing in front me, continuously without any break. In the past week I did not do anything bad. I hadn’t spoken harshly to anyone”, replied the devotee.
“Brother! You hadn’t done any wrong thing only because of ‘death dancing’ before your eyes for just one week. You had also not spoken anything wrong. Now, what should I be doing, with death ‘dancing before my eyes’ every day without any break? Therefore, I remain
calm!”, said the Saint.
“Death is not something to be feared. It only needs to be kept in our view; then, life becomes peaceful”, the Saint concluded.
The frightened bees flew away and most hovered around the hive, got burnt and died. The ‘Jenu-Kuruba’ removed the hive. Drained it of all honey, of which he drank some and took the balance home.
The honeybees did not consume all that they collected with so much diligent effort. They did not also share the honey with anyone else. Finally they met with a disastrous end. I chose them as my Teacher for the self-same reason. I learnt my lesson from them. “ I must not be stupid like the honeybee. What I collect as alms with great effort going around many houses I must not save for the evening or for tomorrow. I must not seek so much ‘bhiksha’ that something will remain left over for tomorrow. Should I collect so excessive a ‘bhiksha’ that something does remain for the morrow, then just like the honeybee I shall not escape misfortunes”.
For begging just a bowl is enough; no need for other containers. To fill up, just the stomach is enough; no need for a huge container.