There was a system many decades ago when watchmen would either go around in the night yelling or hitting at your gate with sticks to make sure that you did not slip into too deep a sleep and were awake to guard against thieves.
Raj Kapoor made a movie called “jaagte raho” where the whole society is alert against a thirsty villager mistaken to be a petty thief. This villager as he is chased observes various kinds of cheating and wrong-doing that people do in secret. (Its a nice movie, do watch it!) We are alert that no one steals our purse and yet turn a blind eye to those who exploit us of greater things.
This reminds me a story that my father once wrote about a family that is very upset about being robbed, though they have no qualms at all about the dowry they force out of a their daughter-in-law’s parents. They cannot see the similarity in the two kinds of “dopidi”!
And it reminds me of a story he used to tell me often as a child.
There is a wise little boy scholar who is sent to do the “jaagte raho” rounds for some reason.
And he yells,
“janmA duhkham jarA duhkham jAyA duhkham punah punah, samsAra sAgaram duhkham, tasmAt jAgRta jAgRta!”
Birth (life) is sorrow, old age is a sorrow, wife (spouse) is a sorrow, the ocean of samsAra is a sorrow, therefore be alert be alert!
“kAma krOdha, lObhas’ca, dEhE tiSTanti taskarAh, gnyAna ratnApaharaaya, tasmAt jAgRta jAgRta!”
Desire, Anger and Greed are thieves that stand in the body, to steal the jewel of knowledge, therefore be Alert! be Alert!
What are you alert about? Petty Matters, Society Matters or Knowledge?
Satya Sarada Kandula