Friday, September 14, 2012


                               In ancient India, students had to stay with the teacher (Guru) for years for formal education. Periodically, there would be tests to evaluate the students and assess their progress and sometimes to teach them a new lesson of life. One morning, a Guru asked his three students to fill their rooms fully before the evening. He said he would inspect their rooms in the evening and announce the result of the test. The students thought seriously about the test and went in different directions in search of suitable materials to fill their rooms to the full.
                          One of them searched everywhere and finally reached the filthy dumping ground. He collected the waste materials from the pit and filled his room with the foul-smelling filth. The second student saw a heap of hay stacked to feed the cows. He carried the hay in several lots and filled his room to the full. 
                          The third student was wiser and remained quite calm in his room. When the teacher was about to arrive, the third student lit a candle and ignited some incense-sticks and placed them at the centre of his room and awaited the arrival of the teacher.
                          The teacher could feel the foul smell from the room of the first student from afar. He closed his nose and asked him to clean his room thoroughly and immediately. He reached the second boy’s room and asked him to carry the hay back to its place to feed the cattle.
                          He entered the third boy’s room and was filled with joy and enjoyed the bright and brilliant candlelight that filled the dark room and the fine fragrance from the incense that enriched the ambience of the room.
                           Later, the teacher summoned his students to communicate his comments about their actions. He congratulated the third boy for an intelligent interpretation of his order. He criticized the first boy for his foolish execution of his order and polluting the whole area with the stench of rotting dirt. The second boy, he said, had done a useless and selfish work which deprived the cattle of their essential fodder.
                           Our hearts may be filled with vices such as selfishness, hatred, pride, envy and enmity. We must fill our hearts with the fine fragrance and brilliant radiance of a clear conscience and genuine love towards everyone around us. Mother Teresa prayed to God for help to spread the fragrance of God everywhere we go.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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