How Fate Was Outwitted!
February 14, 2010 12 Comments
Part 5 – Creator in stress
Sunandan stirred from his sleep when he heard the bleats. When the bleats persisted he opened his eyes. For a moment he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming. He saw a bull tethered to the pole. He was very sure he had sold the animal last evening at the market. He woke up Vidyadhar.
‘Don’t worry, it is just as I thought. Take it to the market and work with it as you usually do. In the evening, sell it off and distribute the grains like we did yesterday. Don’t keep a pie or a grain for yourself.’
And so he did with a little more confidence in the stranger’s words. Sure enough, he found a bullock at the pole in the following morning.
This was repeated for a few days. In those few days, Sunandan’s act of charity spread all around and he became well-known and highly respected in those parts. He was warmly welcomed wherever he went. The traders did not haggle with him anymore.
Vidyadhar was pleased to see the favorable turn of events in Sunandan’s life. He had done his bit for the Guru’s son. He took leave of the happy young man, cautioning him to scrupulously follow his words and promising to look him up now and then.
He set out very early in the morning so as to reach his village before it got hot in the day. When he was a mile away from Sunandan’s hut, he saw a white-robed man coming in his way plodding wearily. He looked vaguely familiar to him.
The man spoke: ‘I shouldn’t have told you. See what you’ve done to me. My hands and feet are calloused. Every morning, I’ve to find one and rush it to provision him before sunrise as decreed by his Fate. You guessed it right – since he has nothing else to call his own at the end of the day, he must have the bullock by the morning – and you used it to his advantage.’
Now it all came back to him. It was a tired-out Brahma! And behind him was a bullock marked for Sunandan’s hut.
Vidyadhar bowed and said with a smile: ‘My Lord, You are very kind. I too kept up my promise. Never disclosed it to anyone. And it shall never be more than a bullock for him, not a pie or a grain more, Sir. I assure You.’
And they went on their separate ways!
(PS: The underlying theme is from the original story, everything else isn’t. The original also included the Guru’s daughter and her life and how it was transformed later by the disciple)