चन्दन गया बिदेस, सब कोई कहत पलास।
ज्यो ज्यो चूल्हा झोंकिये, त्यों त्यों महके बास।।

Imagine a block of sandalwood visiting another country, where people do not know anything about it; people will simply think that it is an ordinary block of wood. But when they start burning it in their stoves, due to its unique and beautiful smell, they will soon realize their mistake.

Once the sandal is put in the stove, it’s gone!

Similarly, we fail to recognize great people when they are among us and realize their value only after they are gone, burnt in the crematoriums.

When I look at my own life, I feel grateful that I could meet so many beautiful souls and mentors. At the same time, I also realize that many of my friends and other people in my circle who also meet and interact with these ‘gems’ fail to recognize them and their grace.

Kabir has used a very beautiful metaphor for what we experience in our lives. He says, not everyone is able to recognize a block of sandalwood by just having a look at it. Some will know its value just by looking at it, while some will find it out only after burning it.

Why is it so? Why we fail to recognize ‘sandalwoods’ around us? One of the most common reasons is, we never look at a person with open heart; rather we just look at him or her through lenses of our own expectations, priorities and demands. Before we truly know a person, based on our impression and our expectations, we create a static image of that person and then we keep on referring to that image instead of the actual person. In order to discover a gem, one has to keep aside all the expectations and demands.

Secondly, one has to be at ease and without any hurry. If you take a block of sandalwood in your hand and just hold it for a few seconds, you will start getting the mild smell of it. Same is with people. We always meet for a purpose, are in a hurry to talk rather than listening to the other person. We always have an agenda and are never at ease. To feel the grace, one has to be at ease; without hurry and without any agenda.

The society is full of so many incredible people! One just has to keep aside the baggage to feel their grace…

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