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Poor Braahman

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A Poor Braahman and His Cow
Told by Dayanand Saraswati (of Aarya Samaaj)

There lived a poor Braahman in a small village with his aged father, his wife and two children. He had no job nor any income except from a cow that used to provide daily some milk. He used to sell that milk and manage his gruel twice daily to fill at least half stomach of his family.

Now there lived a priest also in the same village. He was keeping an eye on the cow of that Braahman, the only source of small income of that poor Braahman. After a while that Braahman's aged father died. The priest told the Braahman that by donating the cow to him, the Braahman's father would be able to cross the Vaitarinee River, a river through which all the dead souls have to go to Pitri Lok. It is written in Puraan that if a man donates a cow to a Braahman, the dead's soul can easily cross that river. That cow takes that soul to Pitri Lok to attain salvation.

As is the case with all people in the society, when the priest asked him to donate the cow for his dead father, he also donated his cow with good intention to see to it that his father's soul crosses the dangerous river and reached Pitri Lok safely.

Some days passed and the poor fellow having lost his only resource, was starving along with other
members of his family. His wife who was a bit shrewd compelled him to go the priest and get back the cow since the donation did not bring any prosperity or comforts to them. Who cares about the comforts or prosperity in the next generation when the present one is suffering was her argument. The Braahman went to the priest and asked him whether he got any confirmation that his father's soul had crossed the river and reached the Pitri Lok for which the priest answered that Shaastra say so.

At this, the Braahman told him that since the soul had already reached the Pitri Lok the cow would be of no use to the priest. Saying this he untied the cow from the priest's house and drove it back to his house.

The moral is: one should not suffer by irrational rituals just to ensure the comfort of a dead one. Swami Dayanand Jee asks that one should shoe people like the priest who are selfish and throw the rituals that help such people.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 05/09/04     |      Contact:      |      Modified on 11/18/12