Why Spirituality—An Interesting Story

In a tone of dissatisfaction Kamath’s mother said to Raj, her husband, ‘Look here! I don’t know why the schools should not be open all year round. Kamath is constantly up to mischief— teasing and fighting with his siblings. See if you can keep him engaged, or else talk to him so that he behaves himself’. So saying, she left Kamath there and went back to the living room.

Taking a magazine in his hand, Raj flitted through the pages and, calling his son, he pointed to the central page and said, ‘Now, Kamath, look at this world map for a while. Observe carefully the contours, for I am going to cut it into several irregular segments and you are going to piece them back together. This will be fun for you to do. Now take this, observe it for two minutes, and return it’.

The boy came back to his father and handing the map back to him said that he was ready. Raj took the map and cut it into several irregular segments. Jumbling them up, he gave them to his son.

In three minutes the boy was able to put them together. Raj was astonished to see this feat of Kamath, for he knew that there was no way that he himself could have pieced them together even if he had been given lots of time.

‘Marvellous!’ he said. ‘Kamath, how did you do it? It is really remarkable.’ 

Quick came Kamath’s reply, ‘Dad, it’s all very easy. The map by itself was very complicated, but I turned the page over and on the other side I saw a full-length picture of a man all dressed up. It was an advertisement for men’s suits. So as soon as you gave me the pieces, I turned them over and bearing in mind the form of the man and the colour of the suit, I pieced them together quickly’. The father could not but marvel at his son’s keen discernment.

The cosmos in which we live is a big jigsaw puzzle intricate in design and enchantingly endless in variety. Knowledge is infinite, and the time at our disposal is short. To think of acquiring knowledge through outward seeking is asking for the impossible.

But the Upanishads say that if we really wish to gain it there is a way—Know Thyself. Thy Self shall reveal unto thee everything, as it is the source of everything.

Nobody can take from you what you never took for yourself.

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Chinmaya Udghosh