A woman baked roti (Indian flat unleavened bread) for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She kept the extra roti on the window sill, for whosoever would take it away.
Every day, a hunchback came and took away the roti. Instead of expressing gratitude, he muttered the following words as he went his way: “The evil you do remains with you; the good you do, comes back to you!”
This went on, day after day. Every day, the hunchback came, picked up the roti and uttered the words: “The evil you do remains with you; the good you do, comes back to you!”
The woman felt irritated. “Not a word of gratitude,” she said to herself…“Everyday this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean?”
One day, exasperated, she decided to do away with him. “I shall get rid of this ungrateful hunchback,” she said.
And what did she do? She added poison to the roti she prepared for him! As she was about to keep it on the window sill, her hands trembled.
“What is this I am doing?” she said.
Immediately, she threw the roti into the fire, prepared another one and kept it on the window sill. As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the roti and muttered the words: “The evil you do remains with you; the good you do, comes back to you!”
The hunchback proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman.
Every day, as the woman placed the roti on the window sill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him. She prayed for his safe return.
That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak.
As he saw his mother, he said, “Mom, it’s a miracle I’m here. While I was but a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged of him for a morsel of food, and he was kind enough to give me a whole roti. As he gave it to me, he said, “This is what I eat everyday; today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!”
As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale.
She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned roti that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her own son, and he would have lost his life! It was then that she realized the significance of the words:
“The evil we do remains with us; the good we do, comes back to us!”
“As we sow, so shall we reap.”
Each and every thought that we entertain in our intellect; each and every emotions, feelings and sentiments that we entertain in our minds; each and every word that we speak and each and every action that we perform; the smallest and the most insignificant, whether good or bad, positive or negative, all return to us in the same measure, intensity and power by which it was expressed. There is absolutely no escape from it. The only way we can escape the results of our accumulated past karma-s is by realising who we are in Reality, realizing our Pure Self.
Do well and don’t ever stop doing good, even if it is not appreciated at all or on the contrary, are criticised for it. Always performing positive karma is good, but doing selfless karma is even better. The best is doing karma-s without doer-ship notion — not an easy thing.