At the funeral of his dearest friend, Anand reflected what a kind and genuinely loving soul his friend had been. His friend led a life dedicated to serving others and Anand could not remember a single instance where his friend spoke negatively about someone. Then, he looked around and saw that a large number of people had gathered to bid a loving farewell to his friend. He felt touched. His friend’s wife was being comforted by her entire family, her children and visitors as well.
At this point, he wondered how many people would turn out at his own funeral? How many lives had he touched so far? None, was the scary answer that popped up in his heart. How could he have? He had been leading a shallow life entangled in crazy superficiality which he takes much too seriously! He had been living a life with a closed heart, he gathered, a life where he had put his own needs and pleasures in the centre and had cared very little to find out what others needed or what pleased them.
He then thought of his wife, who was sincerely dedicated to him but he failed to recollect when was the last time he expressed his gratitude to her or genuinely expressed his affection to her? He had a long list of priority in his life. He was a super busy executive who had many things to achieve and prove his worth to the world. He thought of his children who were sent to the best schools in town but he felt a fear..that the children did not care too much about him as he had spent less and less time with them over these years. Then, he thought of his parents, who had raised him with lot of love and care. He remembered how his father took a huge loan to enable him to study and all their sacrifices so that he has a better future. Today, they live with a hope that one day their son will visit them.
Uncontrollable tears rolled out of his eyes. He had a desperate longing to see his parents, touch their feet and seek forgiveness for his brashness and ingratitude. At this point, he felt the hands of an elderly gentleman stroking his back and gently speaking words of wisdom, ‘God has his own unique ways,‘ he said. Anand could only nod.
As he was driving back home, recollecting the words of the elderly gentleman, he said to himself, ‘God, indeed has his own unique ways.’ After a long long time, he felt close to God. He wanted to thank Him for letting him see the reality of his life. Anand immediately decided to make amends and hereon lead a life dedicated to others including his family members, expressing his affection for others more consciously and in sharing life’s precious gifts that he had been endowed with in the funeral of his dearest friend.
‘We should be in harmony with our own consciousness; our mind, body and soul should be one in interest and in purpose. And in that unified condition, we can actually express that natural innate love that we have found in our own life in everything we do in the world.’ – Radhanath Swami