Tuesday, September 30, 2014



Today is the 30th of September and I am celebrating my Retirement Anniversary.

I retired exactly 4 years ago.

Since then, the 4 years of retired life has been total bliss  living the life I always wanted to live  Doing Nothing.

So, here is a post to celebrate my retirement anniversary.

Are You Ready For “Celibacy” and “Nirvana” ?
Inspirational Wisdom  For the Retired and About to Retire

If you have retired, or are about to retire, here is a story for you to read.
The story is called “VOW OF CELIBACY 

VOW OF CELIBACY - An Apocryphal Teaching Story by Vikram Karve

A worldly man seeking Nirvana, true enlightenment, renounced worldly life, took a strict vow of celibacy which was the sine qua non for attaining enlightenment and achieving a state of nirvana

He then headed for the hills to live an ascetic existence of a hermit.

He found a secluded cave and began his simple contemplative meditative life surviving on natural wild vegetation in the forest and began his journey towards his quest for enlightenment.  

One day he noticed holes in his robe and discovered that there were lots of rats in the cave who were chewing off his robes.

Soon, the rats were nibbling at his toes and disturbing his meditation.

Perplexed, he went down to the town and consulted his Guru who said, “No problem. The solution is simple. Get a cat.”

“A cat...?” asked the man, perplexed.

“The cat will take care of the rats,” the Guru said.

So our nirvana seeking man got a cat and took it up to his cave.

The cat took care of the rats and the man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

A few days later the cat had eaten up all the rats.

As there were no rats left to eat, the cat started feeling hungry.

One day, the famished cat started moaning with hunger.

The constant moaning and crying of the cat disturbed the man’s meditation.

So, the man again rushed to consult his Guru.

“Get a cow,” the Guru advised the man.

“A cow...?” the man exclaimed in astonishment.

“Yes. The cow will yield milk with which you can feed your cat and satiate its hunger,” the Guru said.

Now the man would spend some time milking the cow, feeding the cat and then settle down for his meditation.

A few days later the cow stopped giving milk and mooed loudly in a sad tone.

The cat too had started moaning again.

Totally disturbed by the shrill anguished moaning of the hungry cat and loud disquieting mooing of the starving cow, the wise man ran to his Guru once again to seek his advice.

“Buy some seeds and plant them. Grow grass. Water your garden and tend to the plants. The crop will give food for the cow and for you,” the Guru said.

The man planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and for himself.

However now the man had to spend so much time tending to his garden, feeding and milking his cow, and giving milk to his cat, that he hardly got any time for meditation.

He rushed to his Guru who once again had a ready solution, “There is a young widow – poor thing  she is a destitute woman. She will look after everything, all your needs, and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.”

It was indeed a wonderful arrangement.

The young widow looked after everything.

The garden bloomed, cow and cat flourished, and the wise man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

Then, the winter season came and it started getting cold.

One day it began to snow and the temperature fell to sub-zero.

The young widow started to shiver owing to the biting cold.

Soon she could not bear the bitter cold any longer.

So the woman snuggled into the wise man’s bed.

She still felt cold.

So the woman tightly embraced the man with her arms, put her legs around him, put her entire body in physical contact with his body, as that was the only way for her to keep warm.

Now tell me, which man can resist the tight embrace of an attractive woman in the prime of her life...?

The vow of celibacy lay shattered.

There ended the man’s quest for enlightenment and nirvana.

Soon, with all his new possessions to look after (the cat, the cow, and the woman), the man returned back to the material world.

He began to live a worldly life as he used to do before, the same busy worldly life from where he had begun his journey towards enlightenment to attain Nirvana.

The “wise man was back to square one.

His dreams to attain a state of Nirvana remained unrealized as he got busy with his worldly life.


Metaphorically, retirement is supposed to be nirvana”.

And celibacy is the essential prerequisite to attain a state of nirvana”.

“Celibacy” means burning your bridges to your previous material world, cutting off from your work life, and “doing nothing”.

Once you retire you are supposed to give up all your “worldly” activities and attain a state of bliss.

But does everyone do that?

I have seen that for many retired persons there is no difference between their retired lives and earlier busy lives.

Even after you retire, you keep getting involved in various worldly affairs due to which you are not able to achieve the idyllic state of a blissful retired life.

Read the Story again.

And think about all the worldly activities which are hampering your quest for a tranquil and blissful retired life.

Is your retired life “Nirvana”?

Are you living the tranquil life you always wanted to life in your autumn years?

Have you “switched off”?

Or are you still entangled in the hurly-burly of worldly affairs? 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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