Practice, not Preach – aamjunta’s motto of life

I still remember a short story, my father used to narrate to us some 30 years ago. That is a story of high moral value, a story of deep meaning and a story with human touch. That is the story of a common man and the life of a great leader, who built a nation and who showed us the lights of independence. I still feel those golden words almost every moment through the journey called life.

Grandmma was very upset that Ramu (her grandson) loved to eat sweets very much. Ramu’s love for sweets was increasing in an alarming speed, which was the main worry of Grandma. She could not persuade him to stop eating sweets and all her arguments were in vain. Her mind was bubbling with questions, “how to convince Ramu and how to save the young boy from various diseases related to over eating sugar”? After failing in every attempt she thought of taking the help of a Great old Sadhu of some distant place. She took Ramu to Sadhuji and explained him (the Sadhu) about the problem. As usual, she was expecting that the Sadhuji will give some out-of- the-shelf solution to her and all her problem will be solved in no time. That did not happen.

After listening to the troubles of the old lady, Sadhuji asked her to come again with Ramu on the next day. Grandmma and Ramu met the Sadhu again on the next day with a hope. Nothing happened, Sadhuji could not provide a solution to her and asked her again to come on the next day. This business went for some 6 days more, Grandmma’s frustration was building up to its peak. She could not keep patience on the 7th day and gathered courage to spill her dissatisfaction on the Sadhu “what kind of Sadhu are you?, I’m asking solution for a small problem and you do not have solution for this small problem, then how are you going to help so many people?”

With a smile on his face, Sadhuji said, “Grandmma, I too love sweets very much. From the day you asked me to find out a solution for Ramu, I’ve been trying various methods to get a solution for myself and trying to get my self out first from the greediness towards sweets. But, alas!, I’m still far away from getting my self free from that. How can I preach you and Ramu, when I’m still away from the practice, how can I help you, when I can’t help myself? I have to practice before I preach”.

That is the story which still echoes my ear. Mahatma Gandhi’s entire life was built upon this moral value. His ideology of life was very simple, do first and then preach. With his busy schedule he used to complete his daily charkha, which was the weapon of every satyagrahi. His ideology of life is still valid and is badly in need at this stage. The politicians, leaders, architects of the country and above all, the aamjunta should practice first and then should preach – do this, don’t do this. It does not have any meaning, if some one does just the opposite thing of what he/she speaks about.

Giving speech on anti-dowry and getting involved personally in dowry related harassments will not solve the dowry problem. Romanticizing with speeches of a caste less society will not solve the caste problem. Attending meetings on anti-corruption drive will not stop corruption. Talking about non violence will not eradicate violence, if we are a part of it. There is a need to clean up our table first, then tell others to clean up their table. We need to ensure that the gap between our practice and our prescription is as narrow as possible. Let us lead this by an example, rather than preaches; people will more readily forgive us our mistakes, if we have the humility, honesty and integrity to openly admit our mistakes, rather than adopt an offensive strategy to cover up.

In short, aamjunta should become Karma yogis, not dressed yogis.

6 Responses

  1. Fantastic post!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post…it straight away appeals to the heart and to one’s conscience! Thanks for showing us the light…when hardly anyone talks about moral principles and gandhian strategies!

    Kuddos!!! 🙂

  2. Interesting story about the sadhu.
    Good read!

  3. Interesting story about the sadhu.
    Good read.

  4. You have a point there!

  5. preaching is for free but practising costs something. Even I used to do that before, But since few years refraining that in petty jobs. Thanks for the read.

  6. This was a light read with a very strong message. Practicing is hard while preaching is like gossiping extremely easy. I think its time to shed that lazy life and get on with some actual practice in life.

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