As we finished, I offered her some money for her service. She blushed and was really taken aback. She said, "To quench your thirst, I simply chopped a few coconuts for you! No no no, I cannot take any money".
There were four of us and all four were stunned by her sense of Dharma and her effortless expression of the same! Living in a mostly corrupt and highly competitive Indian city (and working for even more competitive corporations who exist purely to make money), we were all so conditioned to assume that everyone is like that. This was especially assumed as this lady was a economically not well of lady selling tender coconuts standing in the hot sun all day. But her sense of Dharma immediately awakened all of us to our actions. This is not to eulogise them. They may have their share of their issues. But, it is best to observe each other and learn about Dharma from each other.
As I recited this story to a few people back home, everyone said 'thank god! there are still some Dharmic people in the villages'. If it is commonly well known that cities screw up our sense of dharma, why are we here? This is not a rhetoric question. No answer is assumed. The following questions ensued.
- If it is commonly well known that cities screw up our sense of dharma, why are we here?
- Are we completely in touch with all the changes that are inflicted on us?
- How are we dealing with all of that?
- What kind of social structures are we building for future generations?
As we ponder these questions, let salute ladies like Velammal who invite us to explore these questions. Endaro mahanubhavulu, antareeki vandanam (Oh great soul, I salue you)!