Ego And Ignorance Go Hand In Hand.

Nowadays I have started meditating in a magnificent garden where a group of senior citizens come every evening. They huddle together and reminisce about their youthful days.

Sometimes these grey-haired crack jokes, at other times they sing old songs in chorus - especially those sung by popular singers of bygone era like Kundan Lal Saigal, Mohammed Rafi - in their cracking yet booming voice.

After my meditation session I always greet these elderly, take their blessings.

Whenever I find time, I join them and listen to their experiences, perspectives about life.

Last week I saw a gentleman in his seventies sitting alone, somewhat sad.

I went to the septugenarian and asked, "Sir, I haven't seen you before in this garden. May I know where do you live?"

"I have recently moved to Chandigarh, with bag and baggage, from Nadaun (Himachal Pradesh) as my son has decided to settle in Chandigarh. He has bought that house." he said and pointed to a red coloured house just opposite the park.

"But why are you sitting here alone? Why don't you join that group of senior citizens sitting under Cassia tree?" I asked.

"They all seem to be retired officers. Will they allow a simple farmer from Himachal Pradesh to sit alongside them?" he said artlessly.

'Yes, most of them are indeed "faujis" (army officers). Let's ask if they want you in their group or not." I said smilingly.

"Uncle, he is Daulat Ram ji from Himachal. He has recently moved to Chandigarh. He wants to join your group." I said to the octogenarian Colonel (retd) Sharma, prominent member of the group and a friend of my late father.

"Will you allow a simple farmer to be your group member Sahib ji?" asked Daulat Ram ji, doubtfully.

"Daulat Ram ji, I have served Indian Army for more than 30 years. Since retirement I have been meditating, living a spiritual life. I have realized that ego and ignorance go hand in hand. Ego exists because of lack of self awareness. When one becomes aware of one's true identity, one's ego vanishes into thin air. One then becomes blissful, kind and beautiful. Am I right son?" said Colonel uncle thoughtfully, smilingly looked at me.

I nodded in approval and smiled back.

He then grasped the hand of Daulat Ram ji warmly and made him sit beside him.

~ Sanjay Gargish ~