Sitaram was an expert monkey trainer. He went around towns performing with his monkeys and earned money. He never stayed at one place. He moved around like a rolling stone.
Sitaram taught his monkeys to bring water in a pot from the river. They saluted, jumped or hopped whenever they were asked to do so. The monkeys wore colourful clothes. Sometimes they dressed up as men and sometimes like women. Sitaram took them along with him from house to house while touring villages.
One day, Sitaram spotted a new monkey. He caught it and took it home.
But, he could not train the monkey despite trying very hard. He screamed at the monkey. He beat it. He tied the monkey to a pole and starved it. But still the monkey did not make an attempt to learn anything. It always sat alone in a corner and never mixed with the other monkeys. It refused to jump and hop like the others.
Sitaram was feeling tired and helpless. Though the monkey was of no use to him, he felt sorry for it. He did not want to send the monkey away. He let the monkey sit with him. He gave it food to eat. He took it along on his tours. But the monkey continued to be disinterested and refused to perform. But it followed Sitaram obediently everywhere. As the monkey stayed calm and never reacted, Sitaram fondly called it a ‘spiritual monkey’.
One day Sitaram went to a fisherman’s village. All the villagers enjoyed the antics of the monkeys. They invited Sitaram to their homes and served him delicious dishes made with fish. One day, Sitaram went along with the fishermen to catch fish in the sea. Sitaram took the spiritual monkey along with him.
As they went deep into the sea, the spiritual monkey got excited. Its face filled with happiness. Much to Sitaram’s surprise, it escaped from his arms and dived into the water. Then it floated and jumped again into the boat.
The monkey gave Sitaram a pearl oyster! Then it again jumped back into the sea and brought back another pearl oyster. The spiritual monkey kept on jumping into the sea and bringing back pearl oysters.
Sitaram and the fishermen were stunned by the antics of the monkey. It occurred to Sitaram that the monkey was trained to pick pearl oysters in the sea.
Sitaram’s life changed from that day. He stopped being a monkey trainer and became a pearl trader.
He built a house in the fisherman’s village and settled down there.

Our behavior is influenced by our surroundings and the setting in which we are born. That is why the behaviour of the spiritual monkey was different from the other monkeys. Since the monkey did not get an opportunity to show its talent, it appeared useless. Many people are gifted with skills and abilities but the talent remains hidden due to lack of opportunity.
There are children in almost every home. Don’t insist that they should become doctors or engineers. Don’t get angry with them if they don’t want to become what you aspire for. In anger don’t deprive them of food or bully them into accepting your way of thinking. Let your children grow up in a natural manner. Every individual has a special ability.
Each one has ideas and interests. We need to understand them. We should help them to exhibit their talent.
This is one part of the story.
The other part of the story is that …..
You will find a number of organisms in your home and around your house. Some are pets while some you see in your garden. You will also find a number of herbs and plants in your kitchen garden. We may not be aware of their use so we should take care of them and not destroy them.
This is a present day story for today’s parents. In our environment there are many plants. Some plants are considered ‘weeds’. Don’t pluck them and throw them away. You never know what will emerge tomorrow.
Someone may find a remedy for AIDS or cancer from those weeds.
Many of the medicines that we use are the extracts of plants. That is the value of biodiversity.