Oops! I am in the wrong train again!
I heard the following story from Swami Adiswarananda, the Spiritual Head (1973 – 2007), Ramakrishna Vivekananda Center, New York.
A person in New York was frustrated with many problems in his life. He had problems in his job as well as in his family. He thought he could not handle them. To run away from these problems and worries, he turned to drinking.
One Friday, he spent the whole night drinking in a bar. The next day, he thought he would go to see his friend in Boston. Since he was not sober enough to drive, he decided to take a train. He was so used to drinking that while going to the train station he took a couple of shots of vodka.
He had a ticket to Boston. But the drinks had gone to his head and he could not think straight. He was embarrassed to ask anyone for the train track and platform. He got into a train and found out that it was the wrong train. He got off and sat in another train. But that was also the wrong train.
After getting on and off the wrong train five times, finally, someone helped him to get in a train that was going to Boston. He saw a well-dressed gentleman sitting on a berth. The gentleman was annoyed by the smell and appearance of the drunkard. The drunkard sat a little bit away from this gentleman.
By this time, the drunkard was becoming somewhat sober. To make sure he was in the right train, the drunkard asked this gentleman, “Sir! Where this train is going?”
The gentleman felt pity for the drunkard. He looked at the drunkard from head to toe and said, “Do you know with your drinking habit you are heading towards hell?” The gentleman was a religious preacher.
The drunkard immediately got up and said, “Oops! I am in the wrong train again.” J
Note: I am not promoting drinking.
Lesson Learned: I learned never to judge a person by his/her behavior. Never write off a person. Each person is inherently divine. Negative and wrong thoughts make a person behave badly. In anyone’s life, bitter and painful consequences help replace wrong ideas with the right ideas. Swami Vivekananda said that the role of nature is to make realize each person his/her inner divinity.
We all make mistakes. Swami Vivekananda said, “If a man with an ideal (of realizing one’s inner divinity) makes a thousand mistakes, I am sure that the man without an ideal makes fifty thousand.” When we realize our mistakes, we have to correct them and try not to repeat the same mistakes again.
How do we know if we have wrong ideas? Swami Adiswarananda said that if everyone comes in your way, then you are heading in the wrong direction. We blame other people for our wrong ideas and improper behavior.
Hell and heaven are here on this earth. If we live a selfish life based only on the pleasures of body and mind, then we will be living in hell. If we live life with the goal of realizing and manifesting our inner divinity, then we will be living in heaven. Living a spiritual life or Soul-oriented, unselfish life brings bliss that is beyond heaven.
(Thanks to Sonali Tatapudi for editing and Sneha Shah for illustration .)