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    Default Ishwar chandra vidyasagar!

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    In the city of Calcutta,there lived a mother and her son. For the education of the son, the mother made many a sacrifice. She, however, impressed upon the son a lesson, "Dear son, do not be concerned about worldly education.The foolish ones acquire all kinds of scholarship, but have no understanding ofwhat they are. By study alone a man does not get rid of his lowly ways. Through scholarship, one learns only to engage himself in controversy but does not acquire complete wisdom. Why pursue studies which end up only in death. One should study that which frees him from death. Only spiritual knowledge can lead to immortalility. It is enduring.  Worldlyknowledge is temporary. For earning oneís livelihood, worldly education is necessary. But this education should be acquired only to lead an independent life, with limited desires. Therefore, dear son, while pursuing your studies,embark also on the spiritual quest."

    The boy completed his education and took up a small job. One day, in that village, there was a folk festival. The womenfolk of the village donned their best clothes and jewellery to attend the festival. The mother also went, but with tattered clothes. The son could not bear to see that sight. He said, "Mother,you have no good clothes or any jewellery. I am distressed to see you like this. Please let me know what ornaments you wish to have, mother!". The mother replied, "This is not the right time. I shall let you know at the proper time".

    Thanks to the good behaviour and diligence of the lad, he rose to higher positions in services. Once again, he returned to his mother and asked what ornament she desired. I shall get them as fast as I can, he said. The mother told him that she wished three ornaments,but she would disclose what they were later on.

    The son in the course of years reached a very high position. Once again he entreated her, "Mother, I have some money now. Please let me know what jewels you would like. I shall get them for you." The mother said, "Dear Son! I am now not in a state when I can wear jewels. However there are some ornaments in which I am interested and I shall tell you what they are." Drawing the son nearer, she said, "In our small village, I am grieved to find that the children have to go to distant places for education. The first ornament I desire is that you should set up a primary school in the village. Secondly, our people have no facilities for medical care. Set up a health care center. That will be your second ornament for me. The third ornament is something which you have to do by yourself. In the days to come, your reputation may grow. If anybody asks, who is your mother? You may mention my name. Your conduct must be such that you must share with others the benefits of the education you have received. Do not go after wealth. The worshipper of Mammon will not yearn for God. The observance  of this is third ornament I desire from you."

    Theyoung man who heard these words from his mother and later became famous and earned the peopleís esteem was none other than Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Vidyasagar was a well-known writer, intellectual and above all a staunch follower of humanity. He used to spend a part of his scholarships and salary for the welfare of those poor people. He would also buy medicine for the sick. He earned a great name in Calcutta. Once he was proceeding to a neighbouring village to deliver an address. People used to gather in large numbers to listen to his lectures. A young officer, who wanted to listen to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagarís lecture, got down from a train with a suitcase to go to the lecture hall. Vidyasagar also got down from the same train with a suitcase to go to the Lecture hall. The young officer was shouting for a coolie. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar went to him and said, "Why do you need a coolie to carry this small suitcase?Canít you carry it yourself and save the money?". He replied "It is not in keeping with my dignity to carry my suitcase. I am an educated person." Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar told him, "The hall mark of education is humility and not pride. If you cannot carry your own bag how are you carrying your body? If however, you cannot carry your bag I shall do so." Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar carried the officerís bag. He acted on the motto "simple living and high thinking" Ishwar ChandraVidyasagar left the bag where the officer got off. They young man wanted to offer money to his porter. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar told him, "To serve you is my reward."

    The young officer left and was later proceeding to the venue of the meeting. There people were offering garlands to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to welcome him to the meeting. The young officer realised that the man who had offered to carry his bag at the station was none other than the respected lecturer of that evening,Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He felt ashamed that he had made such a great man carry his bag. He reflected." What is his education and what is mine? I have behaved like a little monkey. I am like a glow worm before the sun ".

    Once Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, happened to travel by train in a compartment with some Englishmen. He sat between two of them. One of them asked, "Who is this donkey?" The other man asked, "Who is this pig?" A third English man asked, "Who are you?" Ishwar Chandra coolly replied, "I am a human being sitting between a donkey and a pig." The two Englishmen felt ashamed of themselves. They felt even more ashamed when they saw a large crowd of persons with garlands waiting to receive Ishwar Chandra when he got down from the train. The Englishmen then realised that though Indians might appear simple and unlettered, they were inherently noble and gentle.  

    Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah.(- RIG VEDA)
    "Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions"

    ...being a human...



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