Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Touched by Devotion

--by JB, posted Oct 8, 2006
It was time to head to the Gandhi Ashram for the day long events that marked and celebrated the life of one of the greatest influences on my life – Mahatama Gandhi. I decided to walk to the Ashram on this day.

After 10 minutes or so, I’m not sure why but I decided to take a bicycle-rickshaw and a rickshaw pulled up.

On the way to the Ashram, the driver stopped at a flower shop to get a garland of flowers. Instead of getting a small one, he ordered one of the largest ones they had – it was 1m long. I knew this was too expensive for his meager income. He then proceeded to gently place the garland on the rickshaw, with utmost love and devotion. In the middle of the garland, he placed another flower. I was a little confused by the scene and asked the man why he was placing a garland on the rickshaw.

“Today is Dussera (the day after the 9 nights of Navratri). It’s a very important day, when good acts are done. It is because of this rickshaw that I earn an income each day. On Dussera, you do pooja of your vehicle, so today I am honouring mine.”

My heart was filled with love and happiness as I spoke with the man. I reached into my pocket and found the money that I always carry around for just such occasions.

“Here brother. I am so touched by your devotion. Please allow me to pay for your garland today,” as I handed him 10 rupees.

“No, no. I cannot accept your money.” “It is not my money. Every month, friends from around the world send me this money to use for the good of others. It is not mine or yours, but a third person’s. Thus, you must accept it.”

And so with gratitude and love, he did.
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