STORY: HONEST TRADER

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jajli kashi sadhu with jatas

    Brahmin and Mahatapsvi (Great hermit) Jajli till late in his life practiced vanprastha (retiring into a forest) with great discipline and reverence. In fact he had pushed it to the next level and was now surviving only on atmospheric air. He had also stood still on one leg for long period of time in intense tapasya (meditation). When birds mistook him for a tree and made nests in his long jatas (long, dense hair) and even delivered their eggs in it. But the kind maharishi quietly stood there. Soon the eggs hatched and broods came out of it and grew up to be beautiful birds and started flying. When the birds gained proficiency in flying, and they didn’t return for a month, Maharishi Jajli decided to let loose a bit. When he was surprised at the intensity and perfection of his own tapasya, and started considering himself as having obtained moksha. Just then there was an akashwani (celestial announcement from the sky)—‘Jajli! Don’t pride about yourself so much, because you are not as virtuous, righteous and religious, as trader Tuladhar, of Kashi.

    Upon hearing the akashwani Maharishi was quite surprised. He immediately left for Kashi to meet Tuladhar. After reaching there he found Tuladhar to be just an ordinary shopkeeper, who was sitting in his shop. He was continuously weighing and selling daily household products to his customers. But Jajli was surprised, when Tuladhar without enquiring got up and said ‘pranam’ to him and even described his tapasiya and the akashvani in great detail. Jajli asked, ‘you are an ordinary baniya, but then how do know so much about me?’

    Tuladhar politely said—‘Respected Brahmin! I very carefully follow the religion of my caste in which I’m born. I don’t sell wine, nor do I sell any stuff which is cursed and forbidden. I never cheat my customers on the weighing scale. I sell all my products at the correct price no matter who the customer is, whether a child or grown up, and whether he knows the price or doesn’t. I don’t mix any product with anything harmful. I don’t exploit my customers in an unfair manner after taking their feed backs.  It is my duty to serve my customers and I always keep this in my mind. I build my relationship on the premise of benefits, for my customers, and that is my fundamental religion and reason for existence.’

He further said—‘I am not greedy and I keep myself away from anger and disparity. I donate as much as I can, and always serve my guests with love and respect. And I prefer non-violence. I don’t promote greed and excessive desire and I consider everyone as equal in my eyes, and pray for everyone’s well being.’

    On Jajli’s request Tuladhar then explained the pillars of dharma to him. He explained any violent yagya (Hindu religious sacrifice) will always have devastating consequences. And even otherwise in such yagyas there are great possibilities of blunders that give negative results. And people who give pain to others never reach heaven and never meet up with goodness in life. And non-violence alone is the best religion.’

    The birds that were born in the jatas of Jajli returned to him when he called them. They also heard the sermons on dharma from Tuladhar. And with Tuladhar’s sermon Jajli’s pride vanquished.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                    https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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