THE MAN WHO WAS HUMBLED BY A SAINT
There is a well-known incident in the life of Socrates (a great philosopher and saint). A very wealthy man of Athens went to visit Socrates. That man was very egoist of his wealth, prestige and large kingdom. He was contemptuously haughty. He thought others nothing against him. So, his arrogance was natural. When people who are poor have nothing to feel proud of are so arrogant, imagine this man who was a multi-millionaire, the very wealthiest man in the whole Athens.
Socrates, on seeing this arrogant and haughty man, didn’t pay any little bit of attention to him, rather he (Socrates) remained busy in whatever he had been doing at that moment. The man got irritated and angered (which was natural), and bearing it no more, hollered at Socrates, “Do you know who I’ am?”
Socrates humbly told him to remain calm and poised and wait for some more time as he had something urgent to get through. This made the wealthiest man more agitated and thus, seeing his piteous predicament, Socrates said, “Please, be seated, let us try to know and understand who in reality you are”. He brought a big map of the world and unfolded it in front of that man. He then asked him, “So, you are the wealthiest man of Athens, could you tell me where is Athens in this map?”
As we all know that places or countries on a map are marked by small dots on it, so obviously, Athens too was marked by a point on the map. The millionaire pointed, “This is Athens.”
Since Socrates was a man of great and sublime wisdom, whose repute was famous all over the world, he further asked that wealthiest man, “Now show me where your palace is in Athens?”
The question put forth by Socrates literally shocked the man and he answered, “How can I show you my palace when the whole of Athens is shown by a dot itself?”
“And where are you in this palace?” Socrates insisted. “Remember this is a map of this world only, and there are infinite worlds, infinite Suns. Now you can easily judge the superiority of your own existence in this whole universe which has no geographical and spatial limits. Who are you?”
As he was about to leave, Socrates gave him the map and said, “Keep this map with you. Whenever arrogance takes hold of you, open the map, locate Athens and ask yourself, “Where is my place? Where am I standing exactly here? Ask yourself, “Who am I?
Moral of the story: We are like nothing, and the obsession of being everything caught hold of us. This is the bane of all mankind where everybody thinks that he is something to be talked and respected about.