Friday, July 5, 2013


Less Baggage Better Travel - A Story on the Art of Living

The Indian Railways had a slogan: LESS LUGGAGE MORE COMFORT

Passengers were exhorted to carry less baggage on the train journey for a better travel experience.

This applies to the journey of life as well.

Every material acquisition and relationship brings some “baggage along with it. 

And this baggage” can sometimes reduce the quality of our journey of life.

Suppose you buy a house, or a car, there will be some baggage” along with it, like maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, parking hassles etc and you must do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the comforts outweigh the baggage”. 

This is true of relationships like marriage which also bring along some emotional baggage”.

Here is one of my favorite teaching stories called “Vow of Celibacy” which exemplifies the dictum: LESS LUGGAGE MORE COMFORT 


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

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.

The rats soon were nibbling at his toes disturbing his meditation.

Perplexed, he went down to town and consulted his Guru who said, “No problem. It’s simple. Get a cat.”

“A cat...?” asked the seeker perplexed.

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

So our wise man bought a cat and took it up to his cave.

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

A few days later the cat had eaten up all the rats, and famished, the cat started moaning with hunger.

The constant moaning and crying of the cat again disturbed the wise man’s meditation so the seeker again rushed to consult his Guru.

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

“A cow...?” the seeker 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 seeker 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.

The cat too had started moaning again and disturbed by the moaning of the hungry cat and mooing of the starving cow the wise man ran to his Guru once again to seek his advice.

“Buy some seeds, plant them, tend to the plants and the crop will give food for the cow and you,” the Guru said.

The seeker planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and 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 destitute. She will look after everything and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.”

It was indeed a wonderful arrangement – the young widow looked after everything, the garden, cow and cat flourished, and the wise man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

One day it began to snow, the temperature fell to sub-zero, and the young widow started to shiver owing to the biting cold.

Soon she could not bear the bitter cold any longer, so she snuggled into the wise man’s bed and tightly embraced him 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 and there ended the wise man’s quest for enlightenment.

And with all his new possessions (the cat, the cow, and the woman), the seeker returned back to the material world and began to live a worldly life from where he had began his journey towards enlightenment to attain Nirvana.

The “wise man was back to square one, much wiser...!


I once read somewhere that the lesser the baggage the better the journey and I am sure you have read the Indian Railways motto Less Baggage Better Travel.
I think this applies to our journey of life too.  

We seem to carry too much baggage, all types of baggage”:
material baggage
emotional baggage
tangible and intangible baggage, 
the baggage of power, wealth, fame, ego, pride ... 
the baggage of painful relationships, 
the “baggage of the past, 
the “baggage like the debris of broken relationships ... 
all types of baggage which contaminate our minds and inner self. 

And it is this baggage that inhibits and spoils your smooth and enjoyable journey through life. 
Maybe this apocryphal teaching story is apt to illustrate this point.

So, Dear Reader:

Unburden yourself of all your “baggage” 



The Lesser the Baggage, the Better the Journey 


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013 all rights reserved

Did you like this blog post?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:
Twitter: @vikramkarve
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


cheetalm said...

Beautiful Story with beautiful MOral. I think i need this book, more i get hungrier i get.

Anonymous said...

so very true! Sometimes the simplest of ideas of convenience can become quite complicated in the long run.
This is a good reminder to the fact.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@chaitanyavs - you said it: sometimes convenience brings along encumbrance

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@cheetalm - that's great - the more you get the more hungrier you get - so what do you do? Maybe stop "getting" new things for some time.