When I got a mail in a group that I am part off, asking if anyone would volunteer pick someone up from BWI airport on Sunday at 6.30 am, and drop him of at Montgomery village health center, I was a bit hesitant... - for one, I would have to get up around 5 am on a Sunday.. and for another, I was to pick up some one flying a red-eye flight from CA, and he being in his seventies, would need some break to freshen up, before I can take him to his destination, and that mean a back-home time beyond 10 am... [in fact u can check the time stamp on the post :-) ]
But then I knew perhaps I was the one in a best position to be able to do so, and hence I volunteered.. never knew exactly what the person whom I was picking up (whom, I never knew until a few days back either) was here for... all I knew was that he was here to meet someone on sunday(today) and fly back to CA this evening .. so as I started on sunday morning I just took it as another chance to drive around a bit, listening to some nice music, and perhaps chat with some one in Samskritam (yes, in his seventies, he is now enjoying speaking and learning Samskritam) .. nothing more
But then, as I knew further and further about whom he was going to meet, and when I finally met the patient at the health center, my whole perspective changed.. It was his sister (or may be cousin sister), just a year or two younger to him. Being diabetic, she has had to amputate both her legs above her knees... he was here to give her some confidence...... she looked quite gracious, sitting in her wheel chair.. well, I should actually say "kept" on her wheel chair ! her nurse took us to a visitors room where her brother could chat with her, and told us "she is doing good this morning, but make sure you do not leave her alone, please"....
As I walked back from the center to my car, I could n't help thinking two things... first a mail that I had gotten in my inbox a few weeks before (I am attaching the text of it at the end, eventho not all pts are relevant to me .. now)... and second - how my entire perspective changed when I realised that I was being a small connecting link, in a great act of compassion and care... in a small way, a nimitha (a la Gita 11.33) ... somwhere deep down, the feeling of satisfaction... of "i have made my day".....
And that naturally reminded me of this point which i heard- either on a talk on thursday on campus or on friday (at the temple by sadhvi vrnda chaitanya) about the idea of a good deed being its own reward ( parOpakAraM as the punyaphala itself) within the law of karma.... Isn't the feeling of having being able to [and being provided with enough resources like a car- a car like chetak :-) ] even a small help to some one, a gift, a reward in itself....
I am curious to find out the references , if any, of such a norm of karma anywhere in vedanta, or other philosophies of hinduism... (anyone, who knows , please let me know).....
anyways, adya prAtakAle eva dinaM sArtakaM abhavat ..... epatraM atra ArOpitaM astI
I am thankful...
1. For the husband who snores all night, because he is at home asleep with me and not with someone else.
2. For my teenage daughter who is complaining about doing dishes, because that means she is at home & not on the streets.
3. For the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.
4. For the mess to clean after a party because it means that I have been surrounded by friends. 5. For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
6. For my shadow that watches me work because it means I am out in thesunshine.
7. For a floor that needs mopping, and windows that need cleaning because it means I have a home.
8. For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means that we have freedom of speech.
9. For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
10. For the noise I have to bear from my neighbours because it means that I can hear.
11. For the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.
12. For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.
13. For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am still alive. AND FINALLY .......
for received e-mails because it means I have friends who are thinking of me, at least. HAVE A NICE DAY !!!