Monday, October 21, 2002

Our Hindi textbook was full of short stories and there was a particular story, which was my favorite. The story was about a priest who has lived his life in a temple. Upon his death he arrived at the gates of heaven and hell and this priest had assumed he would go to heaven for sure. God on the other hand thought he didn't deserve to go to heaven. This obviously irritated the priest and he starts arguing with God - about how he has served in a temple throughout his life etc... and in reply God calls him a murderer!! Obviously the priest is fuming red now and challenges God to prove it.

God, sitting on his chair, calls on an old man. The priest immediately recognises the old man to be his neighbor. God asks the old man how he died. The old man replies "I was very ill and being a man with no family I lived alone. One early morning I was very sick and I went to this priest for help. Unfortunately he was busy with pooja and he refused to help me".

The priest said to God "clearly, you would appreciate me adhering to my dharma of conducting pooja more than anything else?" God snickered in reply.

Next God called on a young boy. The boy narrated his story of how the priest would blast his stereo early in the morning and continue late into the night. Being his other neighbor he found it difficult to study. On complaining the priest replied that his bhajans to God were more important than some measly studies. Being unable to bear the humiliation of failing repeatedly in exams the boy took his own life.

The priest, now shivering said "but.. it was all with good intentions... so that people could appreciate your splendor more...". God said, "you don't need to 'advertise' me". Well, no prizes for guessing whether the priest ended up in heaven or hell.

A Red-Indian chief was asked by missionaries about the concept of heaven and hell in red-Indian mythology. He replied:

"We do not have any apprehension that the good will go to heaven or the bad will go to hell; for we do not know whether what appears good or bad in our eyes, it is so in the eyes of God".


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