Sunday, 8 June 2014

Dharmam disarms

Goodness disarms in a way that no weapons can. People like Gandhi and Vinoba have lived this truth. The account of the Bhoodan movement  is stirring and uplifting. Vinoba's biography 'Moved by Love' literally moves the reader. They were both deeply religious in a very deep and broad sense.

The goodness of Chinapaapakka and Eashwaramma which I see daily is rooted in the dharmam which they quote when they feed every hungry soul who stops at their hut for food, and feed with respect.

This paradigm of dharmam has the power to give a poor person the power to give away from his last few seers of rice. There is something in this dharmam - lived and practised - that can disarm all opposition completely.

For some reason I see it only in the unlettered of the country. With more schooling we lose god and dharmam.

So does Chinapaapakka's giving her meal to the mendicant, and being prepared to sleep hungry matter more than anything else ... for in that is all the transforming power of the world. So do telling stories and listening to stories of such goodness matter ... for the goodness might change something very deep inside the teller and the listener. Such acts disarm, and provoke an inner change ... or build the ground for that change.

Nagarajakka - I had mentioned to her that I was looking to buy groundnuts, but as the year was over people had exhaused what they had from the last harvest.

She came home in the evening with a sack quarter full, and gave it to me as a gift. She said she had this left from her last year's stock. I asked her if she had any left, and said said she didn't but they had eaten through the year, and that I should keep these for ourselves, and have it.

To not accept the gift would have been churlish, so I took it in all humility. But it left me helpless in a way nothing else could have.

Such a gesture of genuine giving - of the last of the stock at home - sweeps the heart and the mind and imagination into another space ... and maybe it is in this space that all revolutions will be born.

And I see this again and again and again in this community of the landless and assetless.

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