Selfish Intelligence – Invitation to Catastrophe

Once Gurudev was explaining the significance of virtue with stress on selflessness.

Gurudev says, “If one is selfless, he can achieve great things. On the contrary, if one becomes self-centered, then he begins to weigh everything in terms of rewards. His attachment to the fruits of his actions makes him egoistic. He fails to realize that his behavior is not only harmful to him but also to society and eventually the nation. Samarth Ramdas Swami says the same thing in his ‘Manache shlok’.”

Gurudev continues further, “O child! There are many with whom we must share what we earn. They include our family, our parents, hired help, society, the government, etc. If we don’t give each one of them their share and keep everything to ourselves, they will come up with ways to snatch it from us. We may suffer from contempt from our family, friends, and society. We may be levied high taxes and penalty by the government. In other words, the moment we act selfishly, we not only lose our character but also our wealth.”

Disciple says, “Please tell us a story.”

Gurudev says, “Alright. I will tell you a story so you can understand. There were four friends, but they were all deceitful. They would steal from others and share the loot amongst themselves. On one such occasion, they stole a lot of wealth. Now they needed to divide it amongst themselves, so they went to their secret hideout in the forest. Since they were all very hungry, two of them said, ‘We’ll go and get us something to eat. In the meantime, count out all the wealth so we can divide it equally amongst us’.”

Gurudev continued, “Now remember, they were all deceitful. The saying goes, ‘when our doom is near, our intellect fails us.’ The two friends who went to the village to get some eatables thought, ‘If the stolen wealth is divided among the four of us, we will get very little share. Instead if we get rid of the two friends, we will get more. We will poison these sweets and give it to them’.”

Disciple says, “What a mean thought!”

Gurudev says, “Yes. The two men who were waiting in the forest were also thinking the same thing. They said to each other, ‘When those two guys return, they will go to the well to freshen up. We will push them in and keep all the wealth to ourselves’.”

Disciple says, “My goodness, what an evil thought.”

Gurudev says, “Too much greed destroys the intellect. The two men returned with the sweets and said, ‘We were so hungry, that we already ate our share. We brought these for you. Please eat to your heart’s content. We will freshen up and be right back.’ They left, but as soon as they reached the well, the other two pushed them in and killed them.”

Disciple says, “This is extremely awful.”

Gurudev says, “These two men now rejoiced that all the wealth was theirs. They sat down to enjoy the sweets. No sooner had they put the sweets in their mouth, than they began to feel sick. But nothing could be done. There was no doctor available, no one to call for help and no one to take them to the doctor.”

Disciple says, “What happened next?”

Gurudev says, “The two men died a horrible death. Not only were they unable to enjoy the wealth but they also lost their lives.”

Disciple says, “Oh no!”

Gurudev says, “We should exercise extreme caution so that we don’t fall prey to greed. To prevent our minds from falling prey to deceit and conspiracy, Samarth Ramdas Swami has written ‘buddhi de raghunayaka’ in the karunashtaka. P. P. Shrivasudevanandasaraswatiswami Maharaj has also pleaded Shri Guru Dattatraya in the stotra ‘mama chittam sthiri kuru’.

Gurudev further says, “Regular and sincere spiritual practices will stabilize our mind and make us more and more selfless. So, tell me, will you follow your practices regularly?”

Disciple says, “Yes, definitely.”

Gurudev says, “Alright then. Sit comfortably, close your eyes calmly, observe your inhalation and exhalation. Slowly, you will begin to experience inner peace.”