The Two Obstacles

Once a wealthy old lady was living by herself in a city. She was a stingy person. She would not heartily give even a rotten apple to a beggar. However, her only aim was to attain heaven after death!

One day, an old hungry Sadhu entered her house and would not leave until his hunger was appeased. The lady was confused and did not know what to do. Finally she gave him a piece of rotten carrot.

After a few days, suddenly one day Yama, the God of death, stood before her and said, “I have come here to take you to hell. You have not done one good deed in your life.” Immediately she retorted, “You are mistaken, Sir. I am eligible to go to heaven. Pray look at your account books again. Five years ago, I did a selfless service – I donated a carrot to a Sadhu!” Yama referred to his books and conceded. Apologetically, he said to her, “You please wait outside your house. In a few moments, a golden carrot will descend from above and reach your hands. Hold on to it tightly. It will take you to heaven. But remember! you should never let go of it.”

The old lady groomed herself up for the ‘journey’ and soon the golden carrot descended. She held on to it and it rose up like a balloon. Seeing this, a nearby vegetable vendor held on to the old lady’s legs. Seeing this, another person held on to the vegetable vendor’s legs. This went on and on. Each one held the other’s legs and it seemed like a long human chain was flying in the air.

The lady did not realize this until she held on to the carrot. She was happy because she was flying high. When she was about to reach the gates of heaven, she felt that she should see the world once again and looked below. She was angered at the sight of a long human chain following her. She said, “Get down! Leave my feet! I am the only person eligible to go to heaven.” Saying so, she touched her chest with both her hands, thereby letting go of the carrot. With all the people, she fell back to earth!

Children, remember! ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ – these are major obstacles for a spiritual aspirant.


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