During Sri Rama exile in the forest, the ten-headed demon king Ravana from who was infatuated by Sita’s beauty managed to kidnap her by deceit. Searching desperately for his beloved wife Sri Rama meets the bird king Jatayu on his way & learns the whereabouts of Sita. But he has to cross the ocean about 300 miles to reach her. In the dense forest without any army at his disposal, Sri Rama in despair seeks the assistance of Monkey King Sugriva to get back his beloved wife. The entire monkey army as well as hundreds of thousands of other monkeys (civilian) volunteers came under Sri Rama’s command. Nala, one of the monkeys had the magical ability to make any object float in water & with his help they decided to build a stone bridge to Lanka. A smart female squirrel let’s call her “Ms. Asha Kiran” (ray of Hope) was watching all the commotion going on around the construction. The despair & grief in Sri Rama’s eyes touched the heart of Ms. AK & with compassion & love she decided to help Sri Rama.Since she was tiny & could not carry the stone boulders, she would carry little pebbles in her mouth. When tired went to the water, wet herself & rolled over the sand & mud, then to the construction site, locate the cracks & dropped the mud/sand down by shaking the body. Back then India was the land of plenty… in every term, like food, animals, flowers, etc.,… & every creature lived in harmony with each other & with the nature.
At that time the Indian squirrels were all brown & could camouflage easily blending in with the ground. But it was also a disadvantage because sometimes they got stepped on or hurt in other ways by bigger creatures who could not see them. At first the monkeys thought that Ms. AK was a nuisance running around, one of the young monkeys caught hold of her & asked her what was she doing? Ms. AK said with pride I am helping Sri Rama to build the bridge!!
LoL… you tiny creature helping build the bridge…the monkey started laughing at her… by then a small crowd of monkeys had gathered around… the young monkey said look every one she is helping to build the bridge… this is the funniest thing I have ever heard… others tired from work & looking for a chance to cheer thought it was funny & joined the young monkey in laughter.
Finally tired of laughing one of them asked: do you think Sri Rama is in need of your pebbles? He commands the largest army in the Seven Worlds, & for whom we carry whole mountains with their granite & rock. He does not want your little pebbles.
Ms. AK said, I cannot carry mountains or rocks like you guys as God has only given me strength to carry pebbles. I cannot do more; hence I will continue to do what I can as long as possible, for my heart weeps for the sorrowing Sri Rama, & what I can do to help, I will.
The monkeys said, enough of your foolishness, little one. We have no time for play & for the likes of you. You are getting on our way…. go home to your nest in the trees & let us get on with our work.
Ms. AK wouldn’t listen & one irritated young mischievous monkey picked her up & threw her away… & Ms. AK fell in the very hands of Sri Rama. Sri Rama the incarnate, knowing everything, still asked: What is it that you were trying to accomplish, my little one?
Ms. AK humbly replied, Lord, I am meek & tiny, I cannot carry big rocks, but I was very eager to contribute to your cause. Therefore was carrying these small pebbles in my mouth. I did not want to lose this opportunity to serve you & so I tried performing service in a manner that befits my size, strength, & abilities. With a smile Sri Rama held the little Ms. AK close to him with compassion & lovingly chided them. Then he said to the monkeys, despise not the weak & the small, for according to each man’s strength will he serve. And to me what matters is not how great the strength & service, but how great the love, care & devotion. This little squirrel with her pebbles has love in her heart that would move the earth & the heavens by its strength & power. Little one, your devotion has touched my heart. Be blessed then by me whom you have loved & served. So saying, he stroked the little squirrel’s furry back. And as he put her down all who had crowded round saw upon the brown fur the three white lines that were the marks of Sri Rama’s fingers. Sri Rama also blessed Ms. AK with the boon that all her descendants would bear the same three marks on their backs making them distinctive as a token of his appreciation & gratitude. Ever since then, the Indian squirrel has carried the three white stripes on its back.
Happy & honoured with the recognition Ms. AK worked harder than ever with more zest along with humans & monkey. Finally the bridge (Rama’s or Adam’s bridge between Pamban Island (aka Rameswaram Island), off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu) was built in five days & Sri Rama & his friends were on the road to saving Sita! Traces of which still exists & it are supposed to be visible from the space….
Moral of the story: No matter big or small you can make a difference in the world. We are bound by time (limited), action, cause & duty; let us put our act together & do something positive when we still can!! Get up & play your part & do whatever possible in your capacity.
Let us stop penalizing Mother Nature in spite of her nourishing us from birth to death (even after death when no one wants us she will accept us). Even a small honest favour to the Mother Nature counts & helps restore, no matter whom & from where it comes!! Let us live in harmony with everything like the pink and white flower in the picture.