Period 21 – Nothing that God has created is useless
In olden times boys used to go to ‘Gurukuls’ and live there with the Guru for many years for their education.Once, two boys, who completed their studies were to leave the Gurukul for home. They went to the Guru and said, “Gurudev, please tell us what gift may we give you as your Guru-dakshina?” The Guru was pleased with the pupils’ love and gratitude. He said to them “Dear children, go into the forest behind our Gurukul and bring me some dry leaves for which no one has any use.” The obedient boys left for the forest as their Guru wanted them to go.
They saw a small heap of dry leaves beneath a tree. When they were picking up some of the leaves, an old farmer came running to them and said, “ Please put those leaves back into the heap. I have collected them. I am taking them to my field. When I burn them their ashes will make excellent manure which will enable me to have a rich crop of food grains.”
The pupil left that heap. Then they saw three women collecting dry leaves and putting them into their baskets. “What do you do with these dry leaves?” asked the pupil. “ Dear brothers, I use them as fuel to heat water for my bath, and for washing our clothes.” The second one said, “ We pin the better leaves together with reed pins and make ‘patravalis’ which are used as dinner plates.” The third one said, “ My husband who is a ‘vaidya’ uses them for preparing some herbal medicines.”
The pupil then went still further into the forest. They saw some dry leaves under a tall tree. As both were looking at them, a big bird swooped down and picking up one leaf, flew away. The pupil watched the bird carrying the leaf to the top of a small tree near-by, where it was building a nest of dry leaves and grass. They did not wish to take away the dry leaves which were useful to the bird.
Near by they saw a small pond in which a big dry leaf was floating on the water. “ There is a big dry leaf which is of no use to anyone.” said one of them. The pupil went to the pond and picked up the leaf. To their surprise, they saw two big red ants moving on it. The ants seem to say “This dry leaf has been our life boat in the pond. Please don’t throw us away.”
The pupil returned to the Gurukul. In a sad tone they told their Guru, “Gurudev we found that even dry leaves have so many uses. Please forgive us for not bringing with us the Gurudakshina you had asked for.”
“Dear children, replied the Guru, the knowledge you have gathered today is my real Gurudakshina. Even a dry leaf is of great use and help to man, bird and insect. How much precious then, should a man’s body be when it is put to good use. So, take good care of your body and use it to make your life as well as the lives of others happy. Never miss a chance to use it to serve the needy, the sick and aged or to help the ignorant and the poor. Never forget this great lesson you have learnt today.”
- Best from waste