While the rats gnaw

The condition of human beings in this world is described in a beautiful story of a man who is lost in a jungle. While he is trying to figure his way out of the jungle, he runs into a mad elephant. The elephant charges towards him. To save himself, the man keeps running. He finds a well and tries to get down into the well, however, he sees snakes in them. They scare him to go into the well. He cannot run further since he is tired and left with no energy. He finds hanging roots of a tree. These branches like roots are hanging right over the middle of the well. The man in all his strength jumps and catches hold of the roots and suspends himself in the middle of the well.

While he is gasping for his breath, he sees five snakes in the well raising their hood and trying to reach the man. To his disappointment, he also sees two rats one black and another white. They climb up the tree and start eating at the roots that the man is holding. To add to his agony, the elephant comes near the tree and starts shaking the tree wildly. While the elephant shakes the tree; some honey drops start falling from a beehive. These honey drops fall over the man and he adjusts himself so that the honey drops reach his stretched tongue and open mouth. The bees are stinging his body. He does not understand what to do next. The only thing that keeps his mind occupied is the taste of honey drops that keep falling and the man keeps waiting for them.

He forgets about the lurking dangers around him when there is honey in his mouth. This is because he is lost in the pleasure of honey. He stops thinking or doing anything to save himself from all the surrounding dangers. When there is no honey in his mouth, he realizes the dangers around him and calls God for help. Hearing his pleas devi-devta or deities arrive and ask him to come to their vimana. However, the man asks them to wait so that he can enjoy more honey.

Gods become frustrated, they ask the man to climb up the vimana; however, man lost in the sweetness of honey ask them to wait. Gods go away and finally the man meets death.

White & black rats represent day & night. They gnaw away our time of existence on this earth. All the dangers represent diseases, vices etc. God represents Guru who is willing to help but we lose sight of the real dangers of the world by being engrossed in meaningless pursuits or pleasures.

Om Sai Ram.

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