Thief turns Sharana

- ✍ Her Holiness Maha Jagadguru Dr. Maate Mahadevi
ಪೂಜ್ಯ ಶ್ರೀ ಮಹಾಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಡಾ|| ಮಾತೆ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ.

17. Thief turns Sharana

One day Basavanna was fast asleep. His betterhalf-Neelagangambike, went to bed after finishing the remaining work in the kitchen. And she too fell asleep immediately since she was tired. At the same time, a thief sneaked into the house and started removing ornaments stealthily from Neelaganga. At the end when he was about to remove her ear-rings, suddenly she was awakened. Seeing the dark face in the lamp light she screamed in fear, "thief ! thief !!" But the thief had ran out. Meanwhile Basavanna was awakened by her shout.

"What happened Neela ? Why did you scream ?" He asked. "A thief had come ; he had put his hand on my ear" By then the watchmen had brought the thief. Looking at his wife Basavanna uttered these lines ;

"I believed that you were a wife to be like my ideals,
A virtuous woman to join my life
Alas ! My Lord's hands are pained
Offer the jewels to him.
If a thief enters the house of another thief,
He cannot be anyone but Kudala Sangama Deva !

Neela, I believed that you would become an ideal wife. But you could not keep that trust alive. You have pained my innocent Lord's hands. Should you not have offered the jewels without screaming after seeing him?" There was an anger in his voice.

"What is this ? voluntarily offering the jewels to a thief !"

"Who is a thief Neela ? Thief is not the one who steals but the one who hides wealth and prompts some one to steal is the real thief. Is he a thief who steals for his needs ? Is not the person who collects wealth more than what he needs, a theif ?

I am the real thief. what do you know about my agony? I want to build a society free from theft, prostitution, exploitation and cheating. This is my aim. I don't know when it will be possible".

He turned towards the thief and said "Brother, since you have come here to steal, it means you are in severe poverty. Otherwise your wife may not have jewels. Take these jewels. Give them to your wife and be happy. If you have poverty sell the jewels and satisfy your needs." Basavanna handed over all the ornaments given by Neelambike. The thief filled with remorse. He sobbed and fell at Basavanna's feet and said" O father please forgive me, consider me as your son."

Basavanna, with immense affection, raised him from his knees. "You are not just my son but also a teacher. You taught simplicity to Neelambike."

Then Basavanna said, "Neela.... accumulation of wealth will cause inequality and imbalance in the society. Today itself, I take a vow to keep nothing for myself or for my children and wife". After this incidence, Neelambike adopted all of his ideals and she became the true companion in Basavanna's great venture.

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