The Borrowed Years

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Information about The Borrowed Years

Published on August 19, 2008

Author: tanksons



An old fable, with lots of credance from Hindu myths retold - it teaches us something.

The Borrowed Years

Before it all began

The Stars and Sun were there, Earth & Moon was there

Nothing living was there.

God Brahma – the Creator was asked to create the life on this Earth – the Srishthi

Brahma – thought of a total picture first– sun, sky, clouds and rains. Their forms in all season, their appearances in harmony and disharmony.

Then of land, rivers and seas.

Then of mountains, valleys, pastures, farms and plains.

Brahma – then thought of human, their constitution, intelligence and role on the earth.

Then of fish

animals and their work, their capabilities and mutual utilities amongst them.

birds and their life ways

Then of everybody’s joy, sorrow, rights, responsibilities, morals, life form and length for every living being.

For example for human there was life of 25 years, brain and wisdom and ability to manipulate all other resources on the face of the earth.

Human was designed so powerless, as infant that he was dependent on parents and then was to learn the life’s ways and then do something for his livelihood, family and happiness.

In animals Ox was prominent one strong in physic, low on wisdom and dexterity and short in needs with a life of 50 years.

In birds Crow received life of 50 years but no major skills or beauty or soothing voice.

Owl was the typically a worst case with no dignified appearance – pigmy and leaning towards the ugliness and pity some appearance but no bog powers like eagle or falcon. It was supposed to live on small insects everywhere on the earth. Owl was given a life of 30 years

Brahma’s assistants told every animal what they are supposed to do in their lives, how they will be living, what they will be eating and how they will reproduce and perpetuate their life form. They were told that each of them have a designed role and why such an arrangement is essential. They were also told after this given life is over, they will be getting a better life as Brahma has designed 840000 life forms – for a purpose of balance, mutual help and taking care of the earth’s equilibrium.

The Human being was told his is the supreme form of life, which will be lesser troublesome and knowledge powered. If he lives it properly he will be free from the cycle of birth and death and he can either get into heaven or hell according to his deeds. In exceptional bad behavior he will again be put back in to the cycle of birth and death consisting of 840000 life forms. He was described about his special abilities, intelligence, language, art, family life, wisdom and creative life.

Brahma, having overseen all this, was relieved of this burden and was sitting to breath freely.

Some animals and also the man were wandering around, being displeased with the life span they were given. They had something to say to Brahma.

Ox was first to approach and complain to Brahma – it said ‘Deva, such a hardworking and long life. I do not want this much of life, you bliss me with a lesser life or lesser troubles, I pray you’ His loud voice was enough to reach even the heaven, eventually Brhama conceded and said ‘I will take out 25 years of your life, now go and be happy’

Man was listening to this, and he approached Brahma and said, “Deva, You know I will be spending first few years just being my own, then the learning and knowing the world around; what can I enjoy in 25 years of life you have given to me? Give me these 25 more years, at least I can enjoy my life with my children and see them being something. Any way Brahma wanted to finish up this, he agreed to it. Man, no doubt found it ok but still was not so happy.

Crow was the next to see Brahma. He said, ‘ Deva, what purpose you see in my life except for scavenging the litters of everything? As I cannot dispute your right is deciding about this, I accept it but lessen years from my life and help me to get into a better life as early as possible. I promise you to live my reduced life honestly. Brahma, was expecting this, he arranged to reduce his life from 50 years to 20-25 years. The crow flied away happily crowing from deep of his lungs.

The man was intentionally around. With his new knowledge about the wisdom he was confident to make even crow like life a better one and approached Brahma again. Brahma was surprised for man’s intention of accepting Crow’s life. He told the man,’ I am neither for or against your wishes, but you better think. Though you have been given the wisdom, you have neither experience nor determination to use it in demanding situations. Nobody except you can help yourself in such days, if you still insist I will give another 25 years of extra life. Be happy with it. Man said, he will do his best and make it success.

Brahma, started doubting about quality of wisdom he has granted to the Human. Then Owl came in. It repeated the plea Crow has made him with some difference. He felt that these creatures are yet to understand his design for the Nature – the Srishti he has thought over in depth. But as a God he knew he had to be indifferent and leave it to ways and wisdom of these animals. He also arranged a reduction of Owl’s 25 years of life. He again expected man to comeback, and man did came back.

Man said to Brahma, ‘ Oh God, with your grace I can be a learned man, a family man, a man who could help and guide his children and grand children and help reduce your load to help them; but this leaves me with no time to think you and the knowledge which as a indestructible soul has to have in heaven. I need to know you and your ways, I want to be one with you and need time to think and practice about it. Brahma laughed, thought Man is trying his wisdom on me, but yes he may need this time late in the life if he does not think of it in the earlier life. He gave man another 25 years taken away from owl’s life.

Brahma asked Man to sit besides him and said, ‘ Oh man, you are right about the plans. Call the first 25 years as a prime of your life – Brahmacharya ( bachlerhood ), call next 25 years as Grihastashram( Householder), next 25 years as Vaanprastha ( Retired life) and last 25 years as Sanyasaashram ( Renunciation).’ ‘ Understand what is involved in these phases thoroughly, never feel this change as imposed by somebody else or you will end up with sorrow and misery. You will waste the best that is earned by you in the past and die as somebody who achieved nothing in the life. Let people not remember you like this’

Brahma told the Man that he has been given the wisdom and inner strengths to live it truly and his will to about live his life with the wisdom is a challenge. He told Man that the Mother Nature expects him to respect the gift by honest practice – something more than just a wish. There will be hurdles , troubles, obsessions tempting man for deviating from accepted ways. He blessed the man for his wishes and said, ‘ earn all you wish with your honest deeds and wishes’.

Thus started the our journey in the Srishthi – the Nature. First 25 years of life is a pure joy, hopes, ambitions, learning and dreams to live a fulfilled life. Next 25 years we compromise with growing responsibilities with no regard for the purity and beauty, we care only about utility and security. In years 50-75 we are left with neither true wish nor power for many things in the life, we keep grudging for lack of significance and good health, we always compare present with the past like owl sitting on a tall barren tree in the evening. Sannyas – the renunciation is reducing the burden of mind for the journey to follow.

In numerous cases people in retired and renunciation phase, who had not planned a suitable mindset for these phases, playing a second fiddle, treat long life as a curse. Gifted with a long life after a long life struggle, one needs to accept a role of consular, guide and philosopher – to work as a sounding board, never imposing their self on the new generation which has its own ways. In case it is required these people must posses power to sale the concept and take a stand on merits.

Human life is not at all about the power and vigor, it is about wisdom and compassion, which comes only when the mind is always connected to the totality of life and not encroached by the irrelevant past. Memories are important for those good old people, but the world is changing so fast that there is hardly an opportunity to change with it in the day today rush of life.

Our myths and fables are great ways of teaching us. They never tell us the principal but they tell us a story – very simple story which progressively leads us to a generalized principal – somewhere near the truth.

Pictures credit Thanks to SlideShare Flickr & WWW drishti~cone – a point of view

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