The Pomegranate Paradox

There was once a man who hadmany pomegranate trees in his orchard. For many an autumn, he would put hispomegranates on silvery trays outside of his dwelling, and upon the trays, hewould place signs on which he himself had written, "Take one for nought.You are welcome."

But people passed by, and noone took of the fruit.

Then the man bethought him, and one autumn he placed no pomegranates on silvery trays outside of his dwelling, but he raised this sign in large lettering: "Here we have the best pomegranates in the land, but we sell them for more silver than any other pomegranates."

And now, behold, all the men and women of the neighbourhood came rushing to buy.

Would you have thronged to the man with free pomegranates? Or would you, perchance, be the one who would feel safer buying the pomegranates when they were worth their weight in silver?

Why do we believe things more expensive to be of greater value? And why are we wary of freebies? Does this have to do with our own conditioning – conditioned to doubt, believe there are no free lunches, look for a catch, or misconstrue the very existence of a genuine heart out in the world!

We often act out of our minds' automated response mechanisms, rarely taking the time to pause and be guided by our intuition. 

It is the tendency of the mind to breed insecurity, fear, and caution, viewing the world with doubt and mistrust. These are necessary for survival. Unfortunately, they also spell the end of our fearless, authentic self that thrives in faith, trust, and love.

Going back to the story – the wise ones would have enjoyed the fruit with the greatest gratitude to thegiver. Unfortunately, the world is riddled with the knowledgeable many who are doubtful, cautious,fearful, untrusting, and sceptical.

Oftentimes, well-intentioned people are not recognized or valued simply because the world views them through their mental filters or coloured tints of the mind/ego. For this reason, truly great men remain unnoticed by the side lines, often viewed as unenterprising, ambitionless, ordinary, and inconsequential.

Daaji of Heartfulness meditation says, "Wisdom is often toothless and wrinkled."

I would add that authenticity or goodness, too, is often plain, lacklustre, and unglamorous. It hasn’t the time to find the right moment to be captured, doesn’t care for the perfect angle to be altruistic, or the opportunity to find the best catchphrase!

Think about it. Not havingthe time or inclination to be on social media, not having glowing pictures orcleverly worded motivational speeches, and not having the need or urge to makeone's presence felt with loud proclamations or declarations are often thetraits of the wise.

As one takes a tiny steptoward worldly success, or in other words, readies to look right in the eyes ofthe outside world, they drift away a wee bit from the authenticity of theirreal inner beauty. This temptation of worldly recognition is a trap of the mind,a lure of the outer world. It is what pulls a conscientious, soulful being intoits snare ever so carefully and slowly.

I recently read on a social media platform – “Even if you are doing the best job, it is still only half the job. It gathers dust until you spotlight it and tell people about it. Networking, marketing, and packaging your product are critical to success.”

It got me thinking because I am surely one of those who made a conscious choice to step aside from marketing and networking. I chose, instead, to devote the same time to making my work better until last year. And yes, my work and I have stood as an undiscovered gold mine, often appearing to others as a mound of ordinary dust.

The packaging and selling may contain a part of the truth. But imagine what happens when people make this the only truth. Stunning packaging with shallow hearts, grand projection with groused customers, ravishing reputations with rotten services!

Goodness and generosity have no takers unless they are garbed in the materialistic ways that the world understands. I know it's hard when the market is filled with imposters, but can we give the genuine soul a chance instead of using the same yardstick to measure everyone?

What a beautiful world it would be if it could recognize the sweetness of the pomegranate and the generosity of its giver purely through their merit, and not for the marketing.