Three "Jewels" Given by a Noble Son
Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar of India
was the epitome of compassion. He along with his aged mother lived
in a village near Calcutta. They lived in such abject poverty that
they had hardly anything for food other than gruel. As Vidyasagar
had sincerity and earnestness, he used to study even under street
lights. One with sincerity can accomplish any task. Vidyasagar
passed the law examination and obtained a good job. Neither
happiness nor sorrow is permanent. One follows the other with the
passage of time. Likewise, Vidyasagar's days of poverty were over
as he was drawing a handsome salary.
One day, he told his mother that he wanted to buy some good Saris
(Indian dresses) and jewels for her as he was earning sufficient
money. He asked his mother to express her wish. The mother said
that she did not need anything at that time and would express her
wish at the appropriate time. Being an obedient son, he would
never force his mother on any matter. As months passed by, his
salary increased substantially. On a particular Sunday, he sat by
his mother's side and said, "Mother, I have a lot of money with
me, I pray you express your wish at least now". The mother said, "Son,
I want three jewels. As there is no school in our village, the
children are forced to walk long distances to attend school. The
parents are concerned about their safety and spend anxious moments
till they return from school in the evening. So, please construct
a small school in our village. This is the first 'jewel' I desire
from you". Accordingly, Vidyasagar got a school constructed in his
village. After some time, his mother expressed her second wish.
She said, "Our villagers are suffering from lack of medical
facilities. When the children are afflicted with any disease, the
mothers have to carry them to the town for treatment. So, I want
you to construct a small hospital in our village. This is the
second 'jewel' I expect from you." Vidyasagar built a hospital too.
As days rolled by, Vidyasagar's name and fame spread far and wide.
People were all praise for his social activities. After some time,
his mother expressed her third wish. She said, "Son! The water in
all the wells in our village has been reduced to a trickle. The
villagers are suffering due to lack of drinking water. So, I want
you to make arrangements for water supply in our village."
As per his mother's wish, Vidyasagar provided drinking water to
the villagers. His mother was overjoyed. She blessed her son
saying, "I wish every mother had a noble son like you who
dedicates his life to the welfare of the society."
From a Discourse by Sathya
Sai Baba in Sai Ramesh Hall, May 6, 2000.
June 2000 Issue of Sanathana Sarathi