Ev­ery life is im­por­tant

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - By Davin­der P.S. Sandhu

My teacher once told me a favourite al­le­gory of the great sufi, Sheikh Hamza Maq­tul.

A gnat was look­ing for a place to stay, and de­cided that the ear of the ele­phant was a good place. It was safely high, warm, and shel­tered from the el­e­ments. Be­ing of a learned dis­po­si­tion, the gnat sat in the ele­phant’s ear, and in­formed him of the de­ci­sion. He dwelt in length on from where he came, and since the ele­phant raised no ob­jec­tion, the gnat set up home in the ear. Much time passed, the gnat raised many gen­er­a­tions, and sent them into the world. He al­ways felt a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ear and him­self, as pre-or­dained for him—the ear was warm and wel­com­ing, and very com­fort­able.

Af­ter some time, the gnat wanted to leave, and so he in­formed the ele­phant, but got no re­sponse. He did not want to leave with­out telling the ele­phant all the good rea­sons for which he was go­ing away, and so he tried again and again, shout­ing louder ev­ery time. Fi­nally, it ap­peared to him that the ele­phant un­der­stood, for his large host trum­peted and shook his head from side to side. The ele­phant had ac­tu­ally con­veyed that the gnat’s go­ing was of as lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance as had been his ar­rival, but sadly, there had been no con­ver­sa­tion dur­ing his stay!

My teacher said that the learn­ing here is not the use­less­ness of life, but about our judge­ment of what is im­por­tant, and the triv­i­al­iza­tion of what is vi­tal.

We re­main ob­sessed with the rather unim­por­tant ques­tions—where did we come from, and where will we go, which is largely of lit­tle con­se­quence. But we fail to fo­cus on what is vi­tal—our time in this life, and whether we are us­ing it well: This hu­man form is your chance to meet Him, With­out this vi­tal un­der­stand­ing, no act will aid you. Dwell with trav­ellers of the true path, and med­i­tate on Him.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.