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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Story Time -- Are You Crabby?

By Prasoona

There was once a crab seller, who would export the best crabs across the world. What impressed the people that received these imports was how they were packed - a dozen crabs in a long cylindrical metal canister WITHOUT a lid! No one could figure out as to how the exact number of crabs as ordered were unerringly present in the canister. Finally one person couldn't hold his curiosity any more, and so traveled the distance to meet the crab seller. Mr. Curious asked the seller, "Sir, I have been purchasing your crabs all these years. Please enlighten me about your packaging technique. Every time we receive the canister, my team counts the number of crabs hoping that at least one would be missing, but alas! How, without a lid, are you able to send them with the confidence that all of them would reach the destination?" The seller smiling, picked up a shipping metal canister and tucked in about a dozen crabs that would just fill half the tube, set it aside on the deck and said, "just watch!"  A crab in the canister started to crawl up the tube, but much before it would reach the top of the tube, the crabs from underneath would pull it down! Another crab would attempt similarly, only to meet the same fate. Only a package with just one crab would need a lid to keep it in!

I heard the expression "he/she is crabby" first when I came here to USA, and it was mostly to denote a toddler's disposition when he/she would be sulking. Luckily for the child, well-wishing adults try to put a check to that attitude/expression. But as adults, are we ourselves free of this yet? It's interesting that we excuse this feeling, which appears in different disguises, through our lifetime, within us. And by doing so, every excuse for a jealous feeling stains over our true Self; beware it's not a splash or a drop, but a rather uniform coat. Finally, when the Guru walks into our life and steadily works at deweeding our mind, it's a shock to see a "jealousy" weed coming out. Despite all the denial that upsurges from within, we are pushed to self-analyze. By the grace of the Guru, after some significant struggle, the coat over our Self becomes obvious as something foreign. No wonder we were not going forward, despite thinking of ourselves as goodness personified! This story accentuates the motto of Ramakrishna Math & Mission, as phrased by Swami Vivekananda, "For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world," as we don't truly help the world till we help ourselves by internal purification. 

Jai Guru Maharaj!

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