Let me start with a shortened story mentioned in Sai Satcharitra:
One day Sai baba was sitting by a tree after having breakfast. There was a foot-path and a cart-track sheltered by shady trees. As he was preparing to smoke chillim (pipe), he heard the croaking of a frog. A traveller turned up, sat by his side, bowed to him and politely invited him to his house for meals and rest. The croaking was heard again and the traveller wanted to know what it was. Sai baba told him that a frog was caught by a big snake and was crying. Both were very wicked in their past life and were now reaping the fruit of their actions in these bodies.
Post that Sai baba, went to place where the frog was caught by snake and said: “Oh Veerbhadrappa, has not your enemy Bassappa yet repented though he has been born as a frog, and you too, though born as a serpent, still maintain bitter enmity against him? Fie upon you, be ashamed, give up your hatred now and rest in peace.”
Hearing these words, the snake left the frog quickly and dived into the river and disappeared. The frog also jumped away and hid himself in the bushes.
The traveller was much surprised; he said that he could not understand how the snake dropped the frog and disappeared at the words uttered, who was Veerbhadrappa and who was Basssappa, and what was the cause of their enmity. Sai baba returned with him to the foot of the tree and after sharing a few puffs of smoke with him and explained the whole mystery.
There was ancient holy place sanctified by a temple of Mahadev about 4 or 5 miles from My place. The temple was old and dilapidated. The residents of the place collected funds for its repairs. After a large amount was collected, arrangement for worship was made and plans with estimates for repairs were prepared. A rich local man was appointed the Treasurer and the whole work was entrusted to him. He use to keep regular accounts and was honest in all his dealings. He was a miser and spent very little for the repairs, which consequently made very little progress. He spent all the funds, swallowed some amount himself and spent nothing from his pocket. He had a sweet tongue and was very clever in offering plausible explanations regarding the poor and tardy progress of the work. The people again went to him and said that unless he lent his helping hand and tried his best, the work would not be complete. They requested him to work out the scheme and again collected subscriptions and sent the amount to him. He received it, but sat as quiet as before without making any progress. After some days, God (Mahadev) appeared in his wife’s dream and said to her – “You get up, build the dome of the temple, I will give you a hundred-fold of what you spend.” She told this vision to her husband. He was afraid that it would involve him in some expenses and therefore laughed it out saying that it was a mere dream, a thing not to be relied and acted upon, or else why did not God appear to him and tell him? Was he far off from him? This looks like a bad dream, having for its object the creation of ill feeling between husband and wife. She had to remain quiet.
God does not like big subscriptions and donations collected against the wishes of the donors, but He likes ever trifling amounts given with love, devotion and appreciation. Some days after, God again appeared in her dream and said – “Do not bother yourself about your husband and the collections with him. Don’t press him to spend any amount for the temple. What I want is, feeling and devotion. So give, if you like, anything of your own.” She consulted her husband about this vision and decided to give God her ornaments given by her father. The miser felt disconcerted and decided to cheat even God in this item. He undervalued the ornaments at Rs.1,000/- and bought them himself and in lieu of the amount gave a field to God as endowment or security. The wife agreed to this. The field or land was not his own, it belonged to one poor woman named Dubaki who mortgaged it to him for Rs.200/-. She was not able to redeem it for long. So the cunning miser cheated all, his wife, Dubaki and even God. The land was sterile, uncultivated and worth nothing and yielded nothing, even in best seasons.
Thus ended this transaction and the land was given in the possession of the poor priest who was pleased with the endowment. Sometime later on, strange things happened. There was a terrific storm and heavy down-pour of rain; lightning struck the house of the miser, when he and his wife both died. Dubaki also breathed her last.
In the next life, the rich miser was born at Mathura in a Brahmin family and was named Veerbhadrappa. His devout wife was born as the daughter of the priest of the temple and was named Gouri. The woman Dubaki (the mortgagor) was born as a male in the family of the Gurav (attendent) of the the temple and was named Chenbassappa.
In this birth also, Veerbhadrappa and Chenbassappa kept on fighting over money issues. Then after some time Veerbhadrappa died and was born as a snake and Chenbassappa died and was born as a frog.
There are many take aways from this instance. One of is carrying the grudges with others when someone doesn’t behave as expected with us and these memories keeps playing in our mind. Also, whenever these memories come in mind they tend to hijack mind with anger, increase heartbeat and many theories of what we could have done differently with that person.
Let me share a small instance when i started thinking on this: Few months back, me and brother were driving back home. Someone hit our car from back. We had a small talk with the person and he agreed on paying for the damage. But, later he called his friend and verbal augment started. It didn’t go anywhere and we decided to leave the place. But, post this incident whenever i used to sit alone for meditation, the entire scene used to play in my mind. Due to this, my mind would completely get engrossed in thinking what should i have done and creating many cases like i should have also called my friends etc.
I shared this instance with another Shri Hari Bhakt. He said “Why to carry this baggage? Is it more worth than remembering Shri Hari”. This thought suddenly reminded me of the story i shared above. What they gained by doing so? Immediately, i asked another question how would i know if i have offloaded this baggage since we can’t erase some memory from mind. He suggested that the day when you are remember of this instance without having any reaction towards it means you have won over it!!
By no means, i can share approaches to reach that state. It can only be done with guidance of Guru! But, knowing that you are suffering with this is an important first step! During this process, i recollected lot of old memories which had impact on me in my early life and they were baggage too! Slowly, i am working on it but one thing i have definitely seen as benefit that no longer these memories bother me during my meditation!
The incident shared by Sai Baba also points towards that no point in holding on grudges with others. They will not take you anywhere. Forgive and move forward. They will make you light. This will definitely leads us all towards clean mind and heart where one day Shri Hari will come!!
Jaisi Hari Icha!!