The Right Successor

The ashram was old and well known for it’s holistic teachings and upholding the values of life. But the acharya was getting old and wanted to appoint an upright and deserving candidate to succeed him. All his disciples were intelligent and hard working. So to make a choice was becoming difficult for him.
Then he hit upon a plan. He called all his disciples to him and said, “I have a task for you all. Each one of you must go and steal one valuable item from somewhere without anyone catching you or seeing you. You have three days.”
At the end of the third day, all the disciples came back and placed before him, articles of great value.They smiled smugly as they waited for his verdict. All, save one boy who was the youngest and was a relative newcomer.
“And you,” said the Acharya sternly. “You, where is your item?”
The boy looked down and shuffled his feet. Then he took a deep breath and looked the Acharya directly in the eye.
“I am sorry, Master, that I could not carry out your bidding. In the the first place, you had said that nobody should see us. Even if there is no PERSON watching us, the Lord watches our every move. Besides, our own conscience is watching us. And then, do we not know that it is wrong to steal? That is the reason, Master, that I could not carry out your bidding”.
The Acharya’s old face became creased with smiles. “Here”, he said, “is the new-head of this Ashram!”


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Bharati Sukhatankar

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