The Fakir

There was a fakir who would come to our village, beg for food, collect money to go for pilgrimage. He would come every year after his pilgrimage and give us sugar that he would bring from various pilgrims he would visit. Our village loved him and I loved him because he had seen a bigger part of Earth than I had. One day, as a child and out of innocence, I asked him a question and his answer has saddened me forever. My question was, “Baba,what is a human being?” He smiled, ruffled my hair and began to answer. He said –

“Son, God’s most precious creation is human. He who rules the Earth today is human. He, who can fly in air, walk on earth and swim over water is human. He, who can domesticate anything but is trapped by his own five sensory organs (indriayan) is a human. You are a human my son. Look at you, so innocent. But when you will grow, your five senses will begin to trap you. You will be attracted to the things around you. You would want to have things that will attract you and you will never know when your sense organs have started to dictate your actions. I am a Human and I chose to relinquish. I gave away my home, had no family and have no choice over what to eat. I have chosen to discover the Creator who created me and have found it in everything that I sense.”

“So, you have no affection?”, I asked again. To which he smiled and began to speak.

“I am a human too and therefore have affections. I long for Hari (God) and love humanity. But this love has given birth to pain. I am pained to see how humans have began to own even their creator and the nature. This, one beautiful planet has been fenced and divided. A human stands to kill another who crosses this fence. They ask for papers to allow you to cross. I want to see how beautiful this world is and hence I chose to go for pilgrimage. While I am away, the way I am now, I meet people – some are bad but one good person makes me forget the badness that has grown into the hearts of many. I am sure there are good people all over this Earth and I want to meet them all but I can’t; I don’t have papers. If you have papers you belong to one small part of this Earth and I refuse to be that. I am a fakir and was born on this earth without a paper of belonging and would die as a son of mother nature. Nations have been divided; there is hatred amongst people and I muse on the reasons of such hatred. People hate each other because of their colour, place of birth, cause of birth, they hate you when you call that Almighty with a name that they don’t identify Him with (actually they don’t identify Him at all and God is just another reason to draw lines on this Earth) – humans hate each other for the reasons they had no control over when they were born. I know you are a child and may not understand the meaning of what I am saying but Imagine a world where you could visit any part of this earth without being hated. Just imagine a world where everything is in plenty and we all live in peace and happily shared this planet with each other.” I could see the pain in his eyes and then he walked away with a stick in his hand with small but heavy steps. He never came back after that. We heard that he died besides the river Ganga.

Ya, he was right. I could not understand it then. I cannot even understand it now – how can we live on this Earth without ownership rights? I don’t allow anyone to use laptop. But yes, I would have certainly loved a world where there were no nations and we all could meet without restrictions the way this air that I have breathed out would meet yours one day.

Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?  — William Wordsworth

(fakir, faqir noun [C]: /feɪ.kɪər/ a member of an Islamic religious group, or a Hindu holy man)


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