A farmer had planted a field of corn, and it was time to ensure that rodents and birds did not damage the crop. The farmer spent the days in his field, scaring away the birds. He had a catapult with him, and when he saw birds descending on the field, he fired a stone from the catapult to scare them away.
One day, he found a vase full of pebbles at the edge of the field. He was happy because he did not have to search for pebbles any more. With his vase of ammunition ready, he used them to fire his catapult.
Soon, all the pebbles were gone, save one. He took a close look at the last one, and liked its colors; so he took it home.
His wife too liked the smooth texture, and she tied it in a strong thread, which she wrapped around her child’s waist, as a talisman.
A few days later, the town jeweler asked her about the talisman, and if she would like to sell the pebble. She told her husband about this offer, and he agreed. The jewelers called a meeting, and determined the pebble to be a priceless jewel.
They recommended that the farmer could take as much gold as he could in one day from the royal treasury in exchange. The farmer was heartbroken as he had used the entire vase of priceless jewels as catapult ammunition. If only he knew!
The human body is a vase full of priceless, but finite number of breaths of life. They can be spent in gathering some fickle pieces of silver, or they can be used for being of service to others, and in always remembering Him. For when we will be left with one last breath, we will know how priceless the gift of life is.
The Guru Granth Sahib warns us:
Be conscious of Him night and day, O mortal.
Every moment, your life is passing away, like water from a cracked pitcher.