The ancient Rishis of our country used to say, “He who has two hands and ten fingers has everything.” If a man does not possess these things, he possess nothing. Hands are the symbol of manliness and manliness is the custodian of our independent personality. It is only by dint of hard work that an individual can preserve his existence. Only those who happen to be lazy stay away from work and want to eat without doing anything. The bread that one gets in this manner is too heavy to be digested. There is a well-known saying in Sanskrit literature:
Udyoginam purushinghamupaiti Laxmi
Laxmi, the goddess of wealth favours, only that lion among men who is given to perseverance. Our ancient literature is full of many inspiring stories- which speak of the sons who had renounced their inherited property and had chosen to live on their own earnings. To enjoy the property earned by a man’s forefathers is a privilege that he gets under a social system but it fails to encourage him to do hard work.
Dependence on others is unlikely to bestow on him the pleasure that he experiences in self-reliance.
*A sanctified sage or an ascetic of the ancient India is known as a Rishi.
Self-reliance has been highly valued in Indian literature. A Sanskrit poet has said:
“He who earns fame by virtue of his personal attributes is an excellent man.
He who carns fame due to his father’s name is a mediocre.
He who earns fame due to his maternal uncle’s position is a low man.
He who earns fame due to his father-in-law’s reputation is the lowest among the low people.”
The doctrine that says that the soul is the doer of everything in the field of philosophy is almost the same as the doctrine of dignity of labour in social sphere. Our spiritual leaders have expressed this truth time and again in their writings :
“He who sleeps finds his fortune asleep.
He who sits finds his fortune sitting.
He who stands finds his fortune standing.
He who moves finds his fortune moving.”
hence, move on, move on and move on again. The world owes its progress to those who made their bodies wet with drops of perspiration. Those who regard toiling as mean and the toiler as a man of low position are striking at the every root of society. A man no longer remains worthy of being called a man when he fails to see things in their right perspective. There is a touching satire in this context.
There lived a millionaire, very conceited and conscious of his dignity. Once a man went to him.H bowed low and requested the rich man to lend him some utensils which he needed in connection with a marriage ceremony in his family. The wealthy man looked about for someone ard asked the gentleman to wait for a while. The man sat there and waited for half an hour but no one came forward to give him the utensils. When he reminded the richman, the latter looked about as before and asked the gentleman to wait for some time more as there wasn’t any ‘man’ who could do the work.. The poor fellow waited in vain for half an hour more. This time he begged the seth” to make haste as he had left home in the middle of an important piece of work. “I do realize it”, replied the seth, “you have the marriage ceremony at home and have a great rush of business. It’s not proper for me to detain you here at this time. But I am also helpless as there isn’t any ‘man’ here.” The man whose patience had already been exhausted could no longer resist his anger. He burst out in a fit of emotion, “Excuse me, I came to you because I thought you were a ‘man’.” The seth felt ashamed at this reply. He stood up immediately and gave him the utensils with his own hands without waiting for any one else to come and do the same.
A man with abundance of wealth and property. Man’s wrong attitude towards work involving labour strips him of his very basic attributes. There can be no greater degradation than this. Work is the spontaneous nature of man. Idleness results not only in loss of wealth but also in loss of health. He who wishes to lead a healthy, prosperous and independent life will certainly not take pride in letting his manly vigour rot in this manner.
1. Elucidate the importance of hard work.
2. Why does Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, choose only an industrious person?
3. What does the short story illustrated in the lesson teach us?