Those who do not eat fish cannot stand the smell of fish. It will be difficult for them to hang around in the fish market for no reason. They probably want to get out from there as soon as possible. It is a different story for people who eat fish.
Sri Ramakrishna told a story:
A fisher woman went to a distant village to sell her fish.
She carried a basket full of fish on her head. By the time all her fish were sold it was dark. She was afraid to go home at that time. She remembered that her childhood florist friend lives in a near-by village. She had not seen her for a while. The fisher woman thought this is a good excuse to see her.
She went to her house and knocked the door. The florist friend was extremely delighted to see her friend. Both remembered their happy and sad times spent together in their childhood. The florist friend prepared delicious dishes for her friend. They both ate dinner.
Engrossed in talking they did not realize that it was almost midnight. The florist friend made beds for both of them in a room which was decorated with beautiful flowers.
The room was filled with the fragrance of the flowers. After some time the florist friend found that her friend was struggling to fall asleep. She was trying to sleep in various positions, but no avail. The florist friend asked her friend, “Dear! Are you alright? Is something bothering you?” The fisher woman said, “I don’t know friend why I can’t sleep. I am not sick.” After few moments a thought flashed in fisher woman’s mind. She asked the florist friend to bring her fish-basket and sprinkle some water in it. The florist woman was surprised. But she did what her friend told her to do. From the fish-basket the smell of fish came and filled the room. The fisher-woman put that basket near her bed and immediately she fell in deep sleep.
What did I learn from this story?
Each one feels comfortable in an environment one is used to. If a person is placed in a different environment then he/she will be uncomfortable even though the environment is excellent like the room filled with flowers. If we are not used to listening to inspiring talks or doing prayers, then after a while we get bored by such talks and prayers.
Sri Ramakrishna says that a fly sits on flowers and also sits on filth.
But, a bee sits only on flowers and sips honey.
We have to develop our mind to be like a bee which enjoys uplifting thoughts and prayers and derive inspirations from them. Keeping our mind in positive environment will help us grow spiritually. If we do not watch our mind then it will drag us down to gossip and trash talks and we develop a taste for them.
Note: The deeper meaning of the story and the analogy is the following:
The ‘flower-environment’ and the ‘bee sipping honey’ mean to remain on the plane of the Spirit. It is living a life with awareness that my true identity is divine or “I am Atman (Soul) and not the body and mind.”
The ‘fish-smell’ and the ‘fly sitting on the filth’ mean mind dwelling on the petty pleasures of the body and mind forgetting one’s true identity as a Soul.