Few months back, a tweet by Ratan Tata had gone viral and is still doing its rounds in the internet. In his tweet, Mr. Tata talks about an experience in Germany where his group was imposed a fine for wasting food. It seems that the time is right to put the spotlight on a Jain practice that has been carried out through centuries.
Jainism provides a great example of the principle of conservation of resourcescarried out since ancient times. In Jainism, wastage of food is disallowed. They follow the practice of cleaning the plate after their meals and drinking the water used to clean the plate, which guarantees absolutely no wastage of food at all. This is known as ‘Thali Dhoke Pina’, a custom that is taught and followed right from their childhood. By not wasting food and following the Thali Dhoke Pina custom, the Jains teach the world the significance of conservation of resources as well as keeping the environment clean. This gives an insight into the wisdom of the canonical texts of Jainism.
Though these customs might seem like vague religious exercises forced upon them to the youth, it would be a grave mistake to omit the underlying moral that is being conveyed.Even ifthe food has been paid for with one’s own money, it does not give one the right to waste the resources as resources belong to the society. The way the individuals of a developed country like Germany think and put into practice such principles for the collective good of the society, really should be thought-provoking.
Responsible individuals are the building blocks of a responsible society. Reasonable thinking and practices are essential if we are to endure in our path towards development and progress. It is evident that the purpose of Jain scripture is to help shape a society rightful to be in charge of the very society. The customs and rituals turn into means for putting into practice these valuable lessons in various stages and aspects of life. It is heartrending that such a valuable lesson in conservation had to be reminded to us by few old German ladies.
You don’t have to dig deep to realize the role that Jainism plays in crafting a responsible society. Food has been treated with highest respect from ancient ages, and wastage of food is not permitted. It doesn’t take an Einstein to see that the purpose envisioned is to discourage the wastage of food.
The Jain teachings are to live by as they manage to impact even the most-modern western ways of thinking, like the one Mr. Tata had experienced.Underlying every Jain teaching and custom, there is an aspect of daily life that allows us to be a better human being.It is timeto remember the significance of ancient teaching that has stood the test of time and by recognizing the value of such practices we should impart them into our way of thinking and living, evolving into an enhanced human being.
In case you did not get a chance to read the full story that has been on the internet for a while now, have a read. This is what Mr. Ratan Tata (supposedly) told.
Germany is a highly industrialized country. In such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life. When we arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.
There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates. As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us. When we left, there was still about one third of un-consumed food on the table. When we were leaving the restaurant, the old ladies spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food.
“We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind,” my colleague told the old ladies. The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform from Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Euro fine. We all kept quiet.
The officer told us in a stern voice, “ORDER WHAT YOU CAN CONSUME, MONEY IS YOURS BUT RESOURCES BELONG TO THE SOCIETY. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS IN THE WORLD WHO ARE FACING SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES. YOU HAVE NO REASON TO WASTE RESOURCES.”
The story ends on this note, apparently a piece of advice from the guy who shared the story.
The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat.
(Courtesy: A friend who is now changed a lot)
THE LESSON IS: – THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS. Expecting acknowledgment, that u read the message and forward to your contacts.
VERY TRUE -“MONEY IS YOURS BUT RESOURCES BELONG TO THE SOCIETY.”
Ancient Tradition needs to be kept alive..