INTEGRITY PUT TO TEST
It was Thursday; the most tiring day of my school timetable, with seven periods straight to be taken in continuation and then to take a substitution was like last straw to break the camel’s backbone.
I went through an ordeal to climb down three staircases with 30 steps each and then walking around 200 steps to junior building and again climbing up the second floor to reach fourth standard. Reaching the class in time was another challenge for a myopathic person like me .however I could make it just in time reaching the classroom all breathless and haphazard but congratulating myself at having making it up finally.
tat te nukampa su- sameknam aeo
bhuijana evatma-kataa vipakam
had-vag vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jevto vo mukti-pada sa daya-bhak
When a devotee faces a condition of so called distress or reversal, rather than seeing it as a stringent punishment or unsurpassable test, he considers it a gift or benediction from the lord. A devotee thinks: ‘ Thanks to my past misdeeds I suffer far far greater than I am suffering now. So it the mercy of the supreme lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little token which is also for my purification. Therfore he is always calm, patient and quite despite many distressful conditions and continues to serve lord with enthusiasm. Such a person is eligible to go back to godhead.
The radiant faces of ‘fourthiets’ lifted up my spirits as taught the chapter on ‘stealing’. After the chapter followed the class discussion and I asked the children without giving a thought to my question ‘honestly, tell me who all have ever stolen other’s property?’
Most of them denied saying that they never have. But I could see a little hand going up to say something. A little girl stood up and said, ‘Miss, today only I stole a chocolate of my younger brother’. Tears streamed through her eyes as she looked helplessly at me and said further, ‘Miss now Krishna would be most displeased with me, will He not’. What should I do?
My heart missed a beat and I found myself at a loss of words. Difficult as it was I said a small prayer in my heart asking Krishna to help me and I gently moved near to the child and tried to soothe her saying, ‘Well I think Krishna will not be much angry with you as you admitted your folly. Tell your brother about it and ask for his forgiveness. I am sure he will not mind’. As I smiled at her, her face glowed with satisfaction and peace.
Suddenly another boy stood up and stared directly into my eyes and asked, ‘Miss have you ever stolen someone else’s property??’
My heart sprang and come to my mouth as I thought hard how to escape the most difficult question as now my integrity was put to test in front of these kids. Would they respect me if I confess my moments of weakness to them?
But Krishna came to rescue me out of my dilemma and the bell rang for the school to get over.