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When Villagers Saw the Heavens

There lived a fool in a village, whose name as Alas. Alas would do some foolish act every now and then, and, as a result suffer. Occasionally, he would break his leg or hurt himself on account of his foolish deeds. One day, Alas pierced needles in both his eyes. As a result he became blind and was unable to see anything around. Soon he realized that he had once again performed a foolish act. He was now afraid that people would laugh at him and ridicule his folly. His mind began churning — “What shall I tell other people?” Very soon, he got an idea.
Next morning, unable to see anything, he was passing through the lanes holding a stick in his hand. Suddenly he was surrounded by a lot of people. ‘Alas, what happened, what happened?” everyone was questioning him.
An old person asked him, ‘Alas, have you become blind? Why are you moving with a stick in your hand?” Alas, who was ready to answer the question, replied, “Oh, you see, I pierced needles in my eyes. It is not that I have become blind; now I can see the Heavens.” “The Heavens? Now how is that possible,” asked someone from the crowd.
“Yes, I can see the Heavens now! Piercing needles through my eyes has given me that power,” came the reply from Alas. People didn’t believe Alas. But, everyday Alas kept repeating the same words in order to avoid ridicule. After a few days, a certain person began thinking, “Maybe, Alas is speaking the truth. What’s wrong in taking a chance? If I can also see the Heavens, it will be wonderful.”
So, he too pierced needles through his eyes and became blind. Unable to see the Heavens (and other things as well), the poor villager was terribly shocked. He immediately went to Alas and asked him, “Hey, you told me that if I pierce needles through my eyes, I will be able to see the Heavens. But, on the contrary, I can’t even see anything around me. What does all this mean?”
Alas replied smilingly, “My dear friend, you have become blind now. You won’t be able to see anything. But do not tell this to other people. If you do so, they all will laugh at you.
The person became sad on hearing this. After a while he spoke with a heavy heart, “Alas, you lied. You have cheated me. What shall I do now?” Alas replied, “Now that you have become blind you should not speak the truth because people will laugh at you. So, the only alternative left is that you too can see the Heavens now”
The poor villager, in order to avoid being ridiculed by others, began telling the other villagers that it was a wonderful experience for him to have pierced needles through his eyes. And, he too could see the Heavens now. The poor villager continued, “Alas is a great scholar. He has done me a great favour.” On listening to him, the villagers were astonished. Gradually, they began believing Alas and the other villager. Soon, others followed and, gradually, all the villagers became blind and kept saying that they too could see the Heavens so that other villagers would not laugh at their foolish act.
MORAL : Never follow a fool’s advice.

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