True Detachment

Long ago in a village somewhere in north India, a love story brewed between a young couple whose families were at loggerheads. Their love resulted in lust and eventually in a pregnancy. When the girl’s father found out he demanded to know who was responsible for it. The girl, out of sheer fear, put the blame on a mute rishi (sage) who was sworn to celibacy. When the child was born ,the girl’s father took it to the rishi and said “Keep your lust to yourself you filthy swine!” The rishi undeterred by the false words of the man; raised the child as if his own – with all the love and affection. As months passed the warring families came together and the young couple finally gathered enough courage to admit their folly and informed their parents that the child with the rishi was in fact theirs. Filled with guilt, the girl’s father approached the rishi and apologized to him for his rudeness before asking for the child. The rishi happily returned the child without an iota of separation anxiety. Moral: Detachment does not imply a lack of love and compassion – it is, in fact, without lust, ego and hate.

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