Story : Get back into your natural element

Years ago, I was walking along the sea shore and I saw a little fish about three or four inches in size. But this little fish was in so much worry, flapping again and again, lying on the dry sand. I do not know whether it was a male fish or a female one. Let’s say it was a male fish, so that the fish could be addressed as ‘he’. So I looked in his eyes and he just looked in total confusion, frustration and misery. Somehow or other a wave had washed this little fish up and there he was, lying on the sand. The fish could not breathe properly. He was flapping and suffering.

Now I could have got a female fish and put next to him; would that be of any help? I could have got some mango lassi with some nice sanitized straw and put it next to him. I could have got him a diamond ring or a ruby crown. I could have offered him a BMW. Would anything of that make him happy?

Because he was out of his natural element, nothing could make him happy. So I tried to pick up that little fish and throw him back into the ocean. But he was so intensely worrying that every time I picked him up he just flapped so hard that he flapped right out of hand back into the sand. And I picked him again, but again he flapped out of my hand into the sand. At least 5 times I picked him up and he flapped out.

I was his well wisher trying to save his life but he could not recognize me, because he was just in such a state of trauma. Finally, with both my hands I cupped him and trapped him so he couldn’t get out; then I threw him as far as I could into the ocean.

Radhanath Swami