गतानुगतिको लोकः न लोको पारमार्थिकः।
बालुकालिङ्गमात्रेण गतम् मे ताम्रभाजनम्॥
gatānugatiko lokaḥ na loko pāramārthikaḥ|
bālukāliṅgamātreṇa gatam me tāmrabhājanam||
"The world or its average constituents usually follow others blindly.. People have little sense of reality or discretion..
I made a hemisphere of wet sand on the riverbank and my brass vessel with its valuable contents is gone for ever.."
This was the cry of anguish uttered by a scholar who had come for his holy dip in a river frequented by many pilgrims
It was a busy morning and the scholar who looked distinguished in his carriage, carried a middlesized pot made of brass,, and in fact he was carrying all his money and gold in that pot..
As he was planning to have a bath, he wanted to keep the pot safe away from the reach of robbers and other kindred beings..
He hit upon a plan.. and acted on it too..
He dug a fairly deep hole in the sand and placed the pot there. He closed the pit and to identify the location, he heaped a hemisphere of sand in the shape of a linga just above the closed pit..
He proceeded to have his bath..
But the other pilgrims who were watching did not remain idle.
They assumed that placing a lingam of sand on the shore was a holy ritual preceding the ceremonial bath..
And they had no second thoughts about it because an ostensibly distinguished scholar was doing so..
So each pilgrim made a lingam of sand on the shore, and in no time the entire place was covered with hemispheres of sand in the form of lingam.. lingams available in plenty, in all sizes and shapes.
And when the scholar returned, he was aghast to see so many lingams of sand.. and sure it was impossible for him to locate the place where he had kept his pot of money under the sand..
His money was lost for ever..
Yes, when people just ape others without any application of mind, even the men with some good ideas face the music..