Sorry, I Didn’t Hear You


Think and ask before you decide. There are always two sides to every story.


This is the story of a watchman. His life experience will restore our faith in humanity and also teach us never to be judgmental toward anyone without knowing all the facts.


There was a watchman who always used to open and close the gate and then greet the house owner, but the owner never responded him. The watchman thought that the owner was a little arrogant and doesn’t want to talk to a watchman.


Every day, after work, he searched the garbage for food whatsoever was left by the owners. One day, when he was searching for food, he found a well-packed bag full of eatables near the place he usually searched. He didn’t understand who put it there and why someone did it.


This went on for several years until the owner died. After his death, he searched daily but never got that bag again.


Without that food, it was again difficult for him to feed himself with the little salary he got. So, he went to the owner’s wife to ask for a salary raise.


The owner’s wife questioned him, why he didn’t come early and had been working with such little salary.

He told her about the food bag he used to get every day and for that reason, his salary was enough for his family. But now he doesn’t get it.


The owner’s wife got tears in her eyes and said, “you are the fifth one, telling this story. My husband used to help everyone, he could. Don’t worry, you will have the raise.”


Again, from the next day, he started getting the food bag at the same place. This time he understood that it must be the owner’s son.


Every day, he greeted the owner’s son and even he never replied the watchman. One day, nearly fed up with this, he shouted aloud to the owner’s son, “Sir, thank you.”


The owner’s son turned and said, “Sorry I didn’t hear you. I have a hearing problem just like my father.”


Now it dawned on him as to why the owner never replied to him.  



What we see and hear need not necessarily be true. Appearances can be deceptive. We see sun rising and setting every day, but sun neither rises nor sets. The rotatory motion of the earth projected on the sun gives an illusion of the movement of the sun across the sky.


Our sense organs and mind can deceive us. They are finite instruments with limited perceptions. We may see an event or an incident under certain conditions, which may give us a misleading perception. Mirage may be mistaken for water. A rope, in the fading light, may be mistaken for a snake.


Again, just because we don’t perceive or experience something, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. What must be the rotating speed of a merry-go-round? When we are taking a ride on it, we experience its rotatory motion, with everything spinning around us. When we get off a merry-go-round, for some time, we feel as if the world is spinning around us.


The earth rotates on its axis at about 1670 kilometres per hour at the equator. Do we experience this rotatory motion? The earth revolves around the sun at about 107, 278 km/h. Do we experience these movements and at such high velocities as we do in a fast vehicle? We don’t, but they do exist.


Just because a person doesn’t appear to do any charity, it doesn’t mean that he is not generous. He may choose to do it anonymously, like the house owner in the story. 


In the past, many great saints, sages and masters were considered either weird or even mad, just because their behaviors didn’t conform to the existing societal norms.


We cannot draw a firm conclusion merely based on outer appearance and behavior of a person. Someone may seem arrogant, jealous, egotistic. But it will be always better to first ascertain all the facts and then reach any final conclusion or decision. We may be right, but we may be wrong as well. We should never be judgmental and decide the character of a person just by his or her apparent behavior.


On a lighter note…

A wife complained to her friend saying that, “the only exercise my husband does is jump to conclusion”!

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2 thoughts on “Sorry, I Didn’t Hear You

  1. Vimalchand Shrishrimal

    Respected Swamiji,
    Sadar Pranam and Hari Aum,
    Very good article. we are very quick in passing judgment without ascertaining facts. We need to correct ourselves.
    With personal regards,

  2. Pr Narendraprana

    Hari Om Swamiji,

    Humble pranaams,

    Read the full article with great interest which is full of very important teaching.

    Thanks with regards,

    Pravrajika Narendraprana.

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