In the middle of a town in southern India stands a gigantic tree. No one knows how old it is. The tree is called Ammamaram, i.e., the mother tree; it has a cavity large enough for a man to sit in. There is story that goes as follows: Many years ago a wise old man lived in the cavity of this tree. He ate the fruits of this tree and used its bark as his clothing. After he died they found the following lines on the bark that he had worn:A tree does not itself eat of its own fruits. A river does not drink its own water. A cloud does not rain for its own use. The gifts of the good are used to serve the needs of others.”
– Fr. Kristudas
The sage who authored the above lines, clearly understood that in nature everything is altruistically ordained. So too we are to have unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. Some would even say heaven and hell are the same; the portion occupied by ‘other-oriented’ ones is heaven and the area populated by the ‘egocentric’ is hell – remember the story of people with long-handled spoons attached to their elbows.