THE HEALTHY GRAIN – STORY
Some boys were playing in the sand of a dried up streambed. They found a wonderful thing that looked like a hen’s egg but wasn’t.
Someone was passing by, saw the boys playing, and noticed that they had found something wonderful. That person took it.
“This should be given to the King.” That was the rule at the time: “If something wonderful is found it must be given to the king.”
When they brought it to him, the king couldn’t understand it.
“What is this unusual thing?” Generally kings have some pandits, learned scholars, who know sastra.
He called them, and said, “You examine this thing and report to me within seven days what it is. If you can’t explain it, your heads will be cut off.”
The pandits took it away. They searched through the pages of their sastras. They couldn’t find where such a thing was mentioned.
“Oh what shall we say, our heads will be cut off? In seven days we have to report.”
They were very morose, thinking, and praying to God, “Oh what shall we do?”
They put that wonderful thing on a windowsill.
Then a hen came and put its beak into it and some portion was removed.
Then they saw, “Oh, this is a grain.”
They reported it to the king, “O lord, this is a grain.”
The king said, “Such a grain, it looks as big as a hen’s egg. Where and when was it being produced? Give me a report. Otherwise your heads will come off.”
The pandits said, “Oh sire, it is a grain. Only the farmers can say. We are pandits, how can we answer these questions? You may ask the oldest farmer in your kingdom. He may be able to say.”
The king sent his men: “Find the oldest farmer in my kingdom.”
One old farmer was found who was ninety-something years old. He could not see nor hear well. His hip was bent and he could barely move. With much difficulty he moved with two crutches and two persons carrying him. He was the oldest man they could find in the country.
With the help of his two helpers and two crutches, the old man came to the king’s court.
The king showed him this grain. “Examine this grain and tell me, during your time were you producing this type of grain?”
The old man examined the grain and said “Oh, no sir. We were not producing such grain during our time. However, my father might be able to say.”
The king said, “Is your father still living?”
“Where is he?”
He named a place. “He lives there. You may call for him; he might be able to tell you.”
The king then sent his men to bring the old man’s father. The king was surprised to see that the father was much stronger than the son. He walked with only one crutch and was able to see and hear much better then his son.
The king showed him that grain. “Please examine this and tell me whether you were producing this type of grain during your time?”
He examined it and said, “Oh sir, no. During our times we were not producing this sort of grain. However, my father might recognize it.”
“Oh, your father is still living?”
“Where is he?”
He named a place. “He lives there. You may call for him.”
So the king sent his men to bring his father. When his father arrived, the king was surprised to see that he walked without the help of crutches. He looked very young, strong and stout. His hip was not bent. He could see and hear very clearly. All his teeth were still there.
The king gave him that grain. “Please examine and say whether you were producing this type of grain during your time.”
He examined it, and said. “Oh, yes! We were producing this grain during our time.”
Then king asked, “Please show me the plot of land where you were producing this sort of grain.”
He said, “We were producing this sort of grain everywhere. During our time there was no individual possession. Everything belonged to the Lord. Those who were of the farmer class, they cultivated the land. They never said, ‘This is my plot of land.’ There was no individual ownership at all. Everything belonged to Lord and there was no enviousness. No one said, ‘No, this is my plot of land! Why are you encroaching on my plot?’ There was no jealousy, no fighting, no quarelling. Everything belonged to the Lord. And such grain we were producing! It was so big, so full of vitality and vitamins. Because of that I am still so strong today. However, my son is not like that. My grandson is not like that. During our time there was no monetary system. We just exchanged things. The farmers would give grains to a carpenter. Whatever we needed the carpenter would give. Similarly we would give grains to the oilman and whatever oil we needed he would give us. We would take grains to the grocer and whatever we needed the grocer would give us. In this way we traded things. The medium of exchange was not money at that time. No personal ownership, everything belongs to Krishna. That is a grahastha.”
Bhaktivinode Thakur says, amara bolite prabhu! ara kichu nai “There is nothing I can say is mine. Everything belongs to you. O Lord.” [Saranagati 2.5.1].