I had set out to work like any other day. As I was crossing the seven point crossing of Park Circus, a man begging at one of the road sides came to my notice. He was like any other well defined, well bred person. Quite a gentleman and most unlikely appeared to me as a beggar. But there he was, begging at the side of the road, near the petrol pump. I decided not to pay attention and move on. However the conscious inside me took over and I simply couldn’t walk on. I turned around, crossed the road and walked towards the man.
I stood there in front of him and straightway asked him, “You seem to be a well-bred, well brought up, educated, distinguished and physically stable person to me. Then why are you begging? You could simply go and get to work somewhere!”
The man stood up, looked at me for some time and replied, “Who said begging is a substandard and cheap profession? Who said it is not worthy and reputable?” And a smile slowly appeared on his lips, making me wonder whether he was smiling at my question or at me. His smile sent a chill across my spines. I stood bewitched.
He then moved sideways and asked me, “Do you want to have a cup of tea? Come we will have some tea.” I was too paralyzed to say no or say anything at all. I followed him as he went to a nearby tea stall and ordered two cups of tea. He pointed out to a flyover nearby and said, “You see that flyover, I spent at least one to two hours daily. In that one or one and half or say two hours, I earn an average of 150 daily. Which is enough for me to live a day.”
The man calculated again to check whether he had mentioned the exact figures. I was so deeply engrossed in him. I wondered how a man so well knowledgeable could beg to live. I wanted to know more. I paused but asked again, “Don’t you think begging like this is not right, is a crime you doing? What service are you providing in return of this? Don’t you think you are bluffing and taking away all these people’s hard earned money?” However the reply he gave wasn’t expected from a man, who had spent the previous 28 years of his life begging.
“Young man, do you know how begging was introduced in our culture? In this world?”
“The moment a person donates 2 to me there is a certain satisfaction I provide him. The moment he donates me that money, he or she is happy that he or she has done a noble thing. This is the service I provide – satisfaction, a service that comes so cheap and leaves a person so appeased. Find me a person, a profession or an industry which provides satisfaction at such a minimal rate and at such a low cost. There is no production cost involved also.”
He didn’t stop there. “When a person is donating me he is balancing himself with my status. How? Let me explain. Suppose you have ten rupees. You need five rupees for the day and you make a profit of five rupees. You decide to give away those five rupees to me. In that way you turn equal with me. No more you earn more than me or you are richer than me.”
“A person, who donates, finds himself in a much tougher situation than a person who begs. You know why? Because he or she has to give away the extra necessities which differentiated them from the rest, but when they do so by giving away a small portion of their earning, it leaves them quite happy. Then what’s the harm in begging?”
“Now hear this. Begging was introduced in our culture so that the people who were engrossed in spiritual salvation, who didn’t have time to collect material earnings, who didn’t have time to cook, begging, in your term, was introduced for them, by them. People who used to live a domestic life they provided food and other necessary stuff to these people who were engrossed in spiritual salvations and they only took what was needed to live for that particular day. They didn’t take more or less. That is why begging was introduced.”
“You think we are the only one who begs? What about you? When you work, don’t you expect something in return? You inside yourself, beg to the person to whom you provide service, to pay you your benefits. That is one type of begging.”
With that, without waiting for me to reply back, he went away. I was spellbound.
This is a story narrated to me. There are two reasons why I wrote this. One – Satisfaction and Two – No work is less or great if it provides satisfaction.
About begging I have very little idea but whatever was told by this man, I find it hard to reject. Yes it does satisfy me when I donate or when I provide 2 to someone.
Plus there are so many things in this world that we are so ignorant about instead we concentrate ourselves on many unwanted teachings.