Greatness of Duty
This is a story to highlight that
performance of one's duty itself is worship
and that the
virtue of a man should not be assessed by the very nature of his work
Once there lived a man called Kanavan in Konkanam village. Hewas a pious man. He used to
worship God day and night.
One day he accepted sanyasam (to leave all worldly pleasuresand live a life of meditation and pray) and left home
abandoning his wife and kids
and reached the mountain of Great Himalayas. In a dense forest he built a hut and
He lived there years praying God for His blessings.
One day when he was sitting under a tree
suddenly birddroppings fell on his forehead.
His face got completelycovered in hot bird excrement. He became very angry andlooked up to find the culprit. There was this bird, sitting high upin the tree oblivious of what it did to Kanavan. When Kanavan -the sanyasi (one who accepted sanyasam)
laid his angry eyes
on the bird, the unfortunate creature
down in ashes.
When the sanyasi saw this, he
and that he
acquired mystical powers
throughGod’s blessings. He stopped his penance and came back to avillage and decided to spend his future life there, worshipingGod.
He used to go from house to house to
. One dayhe visited a house and knocked its doors for alms. It took a longtime for the lady of the house to open the door. The sanyasi hasto stand outside
quite a long time
. By the time the lady cameto open the door, he
got very angry
and decided to
for putting him to wait so long.When the
poor lady opened the door
she saw the sanyasi ina very angry mood. Seeing her the sanyasi shouted, "Do youknow who I am? I
will burn you alive
." The lady repliedpolitely "Aye, Konkanava I am not
like that bird
you onceburned. I am a
. I was
nursing my ailinghusband,
which is my
first and foremost duty
. I will attendanything else only after attending to his needs. So
no power inearth
can touch me."
The words of the lady surprised him. She knows everythingabout him. This opened his eyes. He thought about only hisneeds and forgot to think about others. He apologized to thelady and requested her to give him advice.