The drunkard and the goddess

There was a drunkard who used to drink and drink and drink and make his wife and children all absolutely miserable. Also, he used to torture people. There was a forest near his house. When people would go to the forest to enjoy themselves, he used to go there and torture them. He was heavily drunk, so he would beat them up. In every way he would torture everybody. He was very, very strong, and everybody knew that he was a horrible, horrible drunk.

One day the drunkard saw a most beautiful lady in the forest. The drunkard said he wanted to beat her up. Now, she happened to be a divine goddess. The goddess immediately showed her power, and he became frightened because the goddess had so much power. He had thought she was just a beautiful lady.

The goddess said, “Now look here, I can easily kill you, easily! But with my infinite compassion I am telling you to give up drinking. You are torturing your wife, your children, your father, your mother — everybody. You are torturing your family, and you are torturing innocent people who come to the forest. Why are you doing this? Give up drinking! Give up, give up! I am telling you, if you do not give up drinking, one day you will suffer terribly. You will have a very short life, and your family members will feel sad when you meet with an untimely death.”

The man said, “But I have been doing this for such a long time. I cannot get rid of this bad habit.”

The goddess said, “No! You should and you must! And if you do not, then you will soon be punished. You will see your fate.”

After saying this, with her spiritual power the goddess created a swimming pool right in front of them. The man was so happy, because the swimming pool was filled to the brim with wine. He said, “Every day I will be able to come here and drink!”

The goddess said, “All right, every day if you want to drink this wine, you can do so. Since you are such a rogue, since you are such a bad fellow, you will never keep your promise. You drink and drink. I am going away.”

Then the goddess went away and left the swimming pool full of wine. The drunkard said to the swimming pool, “Today I am taking an oath. I will drink wine to my heart’s content. I will be so heavily drunk that I will enjoy myself tremendously. Then I will never, never come near you again. I will totally give up drinking. Today I will drink as much as I can, because there is so much wine here. Then, after today, I will not drink any more in this lifetime.”

This was the promise that he made to the swimming pool. Then he became totally drunk. The wine was so tasty that he was overjoyed. He went home and told his wife and children that he had drunk so much that from the very next day he was giving up drinking altogether. They were so thrilled that he promised to give up drinking.

A few days later he went back to the swimming pool and saw that still there was so much wine left. In fact, it was absolutely filled to the brim. Again he started drinking. The goddess came and said, “Look, you promised to the members of your family that you would not drink any more. What happened? How is it that you are drinking again?”

The drunkard said to the goddess, “Mother, you are a goddess. Tell me, have you ever heard of a drunkard keeping his promise? I am a bad person, but you are such a fool. How can you believe a drunkard? I am a bad fellow, that everybody knows. But I will tell everybody that you are a fool. You are a stupid goddess!”

The goddess felt sad that she could not change his nature. Then the goddess said, “All right, I will do something.”

She immediately used her spiritual power, and the swimming pool disappeared. Then the man started crying and crying and crying because there was no more wine for him. The goddess said, “If you cannot keep your promise, you will see what happens. I am telling you that soon you will die if you do not keep your promise.”

The man said, “No, no, no, I will not drink any more! Please forgive me, forgive me!”

The goddess said, “No, you will never keep your promise. I gave you an opportunity.”

The man said, “But my family will suffer.”

The goddess said, “Your family will not suffer. Your family is miserable because you are such a horrible drunkard. Nobody will miss you. Now you can go and tell everybody that I am a fool and you are a bad fellow.”

From:Sri Chinmoy,Life’s bleeding tears and flying smiles, part 2, Agni Press, 2001
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