January 14, 2010

Do you own things or do they own you?

I read this statement recently and was quite struck by it: Things that you own now will end up owning you someday.

It is an extremely powerful thought. Loved it. It has been running inside my head since the moment I read it. Today, as I was having a conversation with my professor, he shared a beautiful story with me. It goes like this:

One fine day, while a sage is giving a discourse to his disciples, a man comes walking with his cow. The sage says to his disciples "See there, a man and a cow are coming together". The man hears this and gets a little agitated. He tells the sage "Hey old man, we are not coming together. You cannot put it like that." The sage replies "Oh yes, you are right. I am sorry. I will correct myself." He then tells his disciples "The cow is bringing the man". This makes the man very angry. He yells at the sage "Are you crazy? The cow is not bringing me. I am bringing it. I am controlling it. Do you understand?". To this, the sage replies beautifully saying "Sorry boy. The way I see it, the cow is bringing you alongwith it. If you leave the cow alone, it will still keep walking on its own, peacefully, without your help. But if it leaves you, can you do the same? So who's controlling whom?"

Awesome story. Hope you understand the gist and the message.

So, are you owning things or are they owning you?


pandemonic scribbles.. said...

Well, I hope, rather, assume that's a rhetorical question! Would like to admit that the 'cow' that owns me sometimes is expectations. At times I manage to walk hand in hand with it, at times I don't. I guess many would've experienced it too!

Prajita said...

Each of us believe or like to believe that we are in charge & it’s we who control our possessions, without realizing that inadvertently we are getting controlled by them.

U No Hoo said...

@PS: It is not a rhetorical question at all. Meant it to be one to be introspected upon..

@Bhabhi (hope I am presuming right): Very true.. kind of an illusionary world.

Arunkiyer said...

I think the gist here is to not get too attached to any form of money or material in life..Even people for that matter..

viren shah said...

Great one Sir.. Yeh maha prabhuji ne bataya story???

Pradip Patil said...

Just read your blog.

Don't know if u have read the Novel Fight Club or seen the movie based on it.

It takes this thought to an extreme level.

U No Hoo said...

@Arun: Good one :)

@Viren: Yep, Enkay Sir it was :)

@Pradip: Could you please elaborate a little more on the connection with the novel/movie? Are you referring to the movie where 3 college friends start this 'paid fight service' for students? If yes, what's the connection with this post/story? I have not seen the full movie.

Pradip Patil said...

No, I am not talking about the hindi film.


Go thru this link if u have time.
I think you would find the movie interesting.

Ankit the Writer said...

no sir, he is not referring to bollywood fight club movie but hollywood one. You should watch that movie, the plot and theme is sole of the movie and yes it involves theme you have discussed in this post

hariharan said...

Thank ou for all the learnings sir. Looking forward to learn many things and working towards making a difference.

krithika said...

really an amazing story with a good message sir..Truely speaking yes things do own us..if we understand and kind of try to accept the fact than life would be more meaningful..

U No Hoo said...

@Pradip/Ankit: Thanks friends. Will try to get my hands on the movie and see it. I was stupid enough to think that the Dino Morea movie might have that message :D LoL

@Hari: Tanku Sir. We have a LOT to do.. and many of them together.

@Krithika: Glad you liked it. Thanks :)

Insearch Ofdivinity said...

Hi Restless,

I had sent a comment earlier & am not sure whether you received it. It was more an invitation to a blog I created yesterday based on articles that I have been writing & sending to a group of friends periodically. Someone suggested to start a blog & I placed those articles there. I do not know how else to invite you since I have no other contact of you. The web address of the blog is


Hope you visit there if you get time.

The Eternal Aspirant said...

Its a great thought, Harish. So hard to put into practice though.. wld be great if we can keep sharing these stories and reminding each other.. In our rat race, while we learn exotic options, we forget the basics..