Love and Forgive – for your own good!!!


My son just got back from his exams and there was a nice little story for his language comprehension section. He gave this paper to me (quite unusual and asked me to read the passage – which was a lovely story). It was such a conincidence that the currently active topic appears in the question paper. The theme – why it is better to forgive than nurse hatred within.

He wanted to know what could be the morals… So please keep posting the moral of the story (He can learn 🙂 and he already thanks everyone in advance.

Here is the unadulterated version as it appeared in the question paper.

A kindergarten teacher has decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the Child hates, so the number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had 2 potatoes; some 3 while some up to 5 potatoes.

The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for 1 week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags.

After 1 week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.

The teacher asked: ‘How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for 1 week?’ The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they go.

Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game. The teacher said: ‘This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just 1 week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime???’

Apart from some basic story related questions, the last question was “What are the learning from this story?”

Based on listening to  Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during various Art of Living Satsangs and my learnings from the same, My answer to him:

Learnings :

It is better to forgive and love for our own good (rather than carry the stench)

Destiny decides who comes across into our lives and our actions decide who stay on in our lives (Fate vs Heart)

While there sharing the lyrics and meaning of a meaningful Akkamahadevi vachana that was sung during a Satsang with HH Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of The Art of Living

ತನು ಕರಗದವರಲ್ಲಿ ಪುಷ್ಪವನೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
tanu karagadavaralli puShpavanolleyayya neenu
From those whose heart does not melt (with compassion) You don’t accept flowers

ಮನ ಕರಗದವರಲ್ಲಿ ಗಂಧಾಕ್ಷತೆಯನೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
mana karagadavaralli gaMdhAkShateyanollayya neenu
From those whose mind does not heed (to those in difficulty) You will not accept Sandalwood paste and Akshata (Colored rice offered during worship)

ಅರಿವು ಕಣ್ದೆರೆಯದವರಲ್ಲಿ ಆರತಿಯನೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
arivu kaNtereyadavaralli Aratiyanollayya neenu
From those who are not realized souls (about nature of the Lord) You won’t accept Arathi (offering of lighted camphor)

ಪರಿಣಾಮಿಗಳಲ್ಲದವರಲ್ಲಿ ನೈವೇದ್ಯವನೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
pariNAmigaLalladavaralli naivEdyavanollayya neenu
From those who cannot transform (rid society of evils) You will not accept Naivedya (Edible offerings, Food/Fruit etc)

ಭಾವಶುದ್ಧವಿಲ್ಲದವರಲ್ಲಿ ಧೂಪವನೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
bhAvashuddhavilladavaralli dhUpavanollayya neenu
From those whose intents (feelings) are not pure, You will not accept Dhoop/Incense stick

ಹೃದಯ ಕಮಲವಿಲ್ಲದವರಲ್ಲಿ ಇರಲೊಲ್ಲೆಯಯ್ಯಾ ನೀನು
hRudaya kamalavilladavaralli iralollayya neenu
In those who don’t have a lotus heart (love in their inner being) You will not stay
ಎನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಏನುಂಟೆಂದು ಎನ್ನ ಕರಸ್ಥಲವನಿಂಬುಗೊಂಡೆ ಹೇಳಾ ಚೆನ್ನಮಲ್ಲಿಕಾರ್ಜುನಾ
ennalli enuMTeMdu karasthaladalli iMbugoMDe hELaa cannamallikArjuna
What did You see oh Lord, that You came to stay Eternally in my folded hands, tell me Oh Lord Channnamallikarjuna

(Akkamahadevi’s Pen-Name Channamallikarjuna)
More about this Saint-Poet of Veershaiva Movement here