180 – Theft

When Lord Krishna was a baby, he loved butter. He could not stay away from the lovely white butter churned daily from the cows’ milk. Butter was made every day in the homes of the milk maids. And after finishing their tasks, they would go on to do their other chores. When they returned from the cowsheds, they found their butter pots empty. It was a shock for them as butter was used for making ghee and cooking.

Yashodha, Krishna’s mother had the same problem. They went to Yashodha and complained. So they decided that after making the butter, one of them would hide and see what happened to the butter. Krishna crawled to the butter pot and ate all the butter, and at the same time all the other pots became empty. Yashodha was called. She could not believe it and then she asked Krishna Kanhai (baby Krishna), to open his mouth. She swooned because when he opened his mouth she saw the whole universe. Yashodha and the cow maids fell down in obeisance and then she picked him up and hugged him with adoration and love. Everyone was enchanted. In my mother’s house butter was made in an earthenware pot and as a child I always hoped to see the beloved butter thief.

Now I come to theft

There are such strong words describing it, to name a few stealing, robbing, looting, rip-off, stickup. Why are thefts committed? Thefts are committed because we believe that we need those things. Asteya means non-stealing and to be able to distinguish right from wrong. The other word is aparigriha which means to be non-covetous. Non-covetousness is free from craving. Exercising self-restraint. Desisting from stealing, hoarding and cravings. Not hating an individual and attributing ill motives to him/her and blaming him/her for our faults.

Theft is not just shop lifting. It has a very serious connotation. Many of us commit theft of innocence, ideas, of virtue, and of literature (plagarising), and so on. When we become aware we must understand that there are many kinds of theft. Theft happens to all of us. Astrologers have told me that I will have many thefts in my life. To list, all our warm clothes got stolen from our house. Our dachshund was fast asleep. Then we had all our family silver stolen. Again our darling dog was sleeping soundly. There have been many other little thefts. Of course, I have been angry but we have consoled ourselves with the thought that they had greater need of it than us.

Also, by the Goddesses’ grace this happened after I had been blessed by Swamiji. I was stronger and could laugh a little about it and now it does not matter. However we have to address theft of innocence and virtue. How can we justify it? Where is our moral compass? We have to take action. We have to enable the victim. If we practice atma bhava, love for our fellow creatures we will desist from such thefts and prevent others from committing them. No one is perfect.

Raising a family is not easy. Children follow their parents. Truth must always be spoken, wrong doings not condoned. Slowly the practices of asteya (non-stealing), and aparigraha (non-covetousness) can enable us. Last but not least, theft by a poor person who is starving is not a crime. We can change it by buying him what he was stealing. It works. I have seen boys stealing from a fruit cart. I have bought fruit and given it to them. Even the vendor is tolerant of these fruit thieves.

The practice

Please practice breath awareness with So Ham. Count your breath 54 times backwards, no errors and then perform the sadhana of Trataka, candle gazing. Light a candle and keep it at eye level. It should be one foot away from you. Gaze at the candle until you want to blink. Close your eyes and then open them and gaze at the candle again. Practice for 20 minutes daily, either in the morning or at bed time. You will be centred, calm and balanced.

Aim Hrim Klim

 

Photo by VD Photography on Unsplash

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