Sunday, 26 January 2014

The gift of Life

There was news a few days ago that Dwayne Johnson, the WWE wrestler-turned actor, had gifted his housekeeper, Esperanza, a new Ford Edge car
The gift came to light after Dwayne took to Twitter, saying that the gift was for his housekeeper as, she has cared after their home with for ten years.
The gift may have created news on the net, but does it match up to the gift a diamond merchant form India gave to his employees. This was sometime in December  and a Surat-based diamond merchant had gifted brand new Chevrolet-Beat as incentive to 70 of his employees for achieving their annual targets.
But what makes this gift all the more poignant is that several of the Surat diamond merchant’s employees  do not even know how to drive.
The diamond merchant, Savji Dholakia, had an year ago, set specific targets to all his diamond artisans. Savji employs 2,000 artisans and of them 100 achieved their target. Savji gifted cars to 70, while the remaining 30 opted for cash.
The cash wasgiven to some employees as some of them had to repay home loans, while others wanted to buy gold jewellery for their wives.
 Dholakia has a diamond-cutting and polishing unit at Varachha in Surat.
This post is not about gifts we give ourselves or to our friends and family. It is about what people give to their employees. One of the earliest such act in India is by Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, during the Mahabharata period when he sees Karna in tears and magnanimously gifts him the Kingdom of Anga and makes him its ruler.
True, die hard critics may say Duryodhana gifted the Kingdom for a purpose. They may say that he anted Karna on his side and he saw him as a champion who could take on the redoubtable Arjuna. Whatever it may be, the fact that Duryodhana elevated Karna to the ranks of a King ought to be appreciated.
There are several other such tales in India, which has a huge storehouse of such acts. Our epics-Ramayana and Mahabharata, Puranas, Shastras and history is full of such instances.
A unique case of a gift is by a Haridasa from Karnataka, Gopala Dasa (1722-1762), whose aradhane was celebrated yesterday. He  gifted forty years of his life to Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi after his guru Vijaya Dasa asked him to do so.
Gopala Dasa not only gifted his life but also took on the pain of Jagannatha Dasa.

Jagannatha Dasa was suffering from severe stomach ache. When Gopala Dasa gifted him his life, he also took upon himself the pain of Jagannatha Dasa. Till he met his end, Gopala Dasa suffered from severe stomach ache. But there was no murmur of dissatisfaction or repentence.  Gopala Dasa continued with his life with equanimity. This is perhaps the greatest gift of all-the gift of life which is unparalled anywhere in the annals of world history.      

No comments:

Post a comment