Sacrifice for a Friend

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In the fifteenth Century, Bengal, India, there was a young scholar, Raghunath, who wished to be the greatest philosopher of his age. He worked very hard to try and be the most respected teacher and philosopher in his region.

Once Raghunath went for a boat trip with his best friend. His friend had written a short book of philosophy. This book was the acme of perfection. With great erudition and clarity he had resolved all the philosophical problems. On reading this book, Raghunath, started to weep because he now knew that he would now never be the greatest scholar. His friend asked Raghunath, why are you so miserable? Raghunath replied “I always wanted to be the greatest scholar, but, on reading this I know I never will be. It far surpasses anything I am capable of. It is concise, clear and original.

His friend said ‘Is that all? Then do not weep, me dear brother. I don’t care to be a great philosopher; Philosophy will never give me the satisfaction I am looking for. I care infinitely more for the happiness of my friend.” His friend then took the book and casually threw this great work into the river.

Raghunath went on to be the first authority on this branch of philosophy. His friend was Sri Chaitanya. Sri Chaitanya was a devotee of the highest order; on repeating sacred mantras he would slip into spiritual ecstasy. Sri Chaitanya cared nothing for worldly praise and worldly success; he only wanted to remain immersed in the inner delight of constant communion with his beloved – Sri Krishna. Sri Chaitanya would later renounce the world and took the life of a wandering mendicant constantly chanting the name of Hari (Krishna). The devotion and love of Sri Chaitanya (Gauranga) revitalised the tradition of Bhakti in India.

Photo by: Sharani, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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3 thoughts on “Sacrifice for a Friend”

  1. Tejvan, thanks for touching story. It’s indeed very noble of Raghunath’s friend to have done such a compassionate deed, and the best thing he did to repay his “debt” per say : become what he aspired to be.

    Cheers,
    Ellesse

  2. This story reminds me that ultimately, the pursuit of knowledge and other self-fulfilling items doesn’t have much value compared to the sincerity of good relationships. What good is all the wisdom in the world if you can’t share it with others?

    Joe Lagrav

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