Sep 24, 2013

"Matricide" from Sermons in the Stroms

In this complex earthly life, many uni-magineable incidents take place and baffle us.
Here is one such true incident.
By profession, he was a popular Medico enjoying a lucrative practice in a semi-City where he lived with his devout wife and pious old mother. Because of his emulative maternal love, he could be fittingly called Dr. Mathruprem.
He was so dutiful and attached to his aged mother that he personally attended to her comforts-cum-conveniences. Every day at 8 a.m. this well-to-do car-owning Doctor personally drove his mother in a horse carriage to the local Vaishnav temple. In a horse carriage because, car drives dazed her. The way he drove her, helped her to get down and conducted her into the temple and back openly showed his natural love and affection for her.
In order to keep himself present during his mother's lunch and dinner time, the Doctor never left his head-quarters nor attended social functions. Night after nights he could be seen ushering his beloved mother to sweet sleep through songs of God's glory which he and his wife spiritedly sang.
The way he talked to her, sat or stood near her, fanned her, helped her in her works, or carried out her instructions, all of it, unmistakably pointed out the deep degree of reverential regards he had for his mother who was worthy of veneration. In these: days of waning love and respects for the elders, Doctor Mathruprem's conduct clearly portrayed practical lessons in parental love and service.

Living with such a good son—in an atmosphere so soothsome, the old lady rightly regarded her living place as a veritable heaven on earth.
Years fleeted on and her 73rd birthday was celebrated in a befitting manner. In the afternoon of that very day, the Doctor's wife accidently broke some of the rare curios received as gifts from French friends.
Dr. Mathruprem who could and did always take losses—big and small—easily and understandingly, got too wild over the breakage and was roughly scolding his wife for   her carelessness.
Unused to commotion and as also being surprised over that day's angersome attitude of her ever good-natured son, the Doctor's mother came and saw things to herself. She grasped the situation and addressing her son she said "Why son, do you give yourself to this mad fit of anger over so trifle a matter? Snehalata — your wife, didn't break them wantonly. Just calmly reflect how you would have reacted were these curios met the fate they have, by your very hands. Nothing can be more valuable than mental peace. Erase off from your mind the notion of loss and stop hurting your wife and yourself."
Anger clouds the faculty of discrimination and as such, his mother’s words of wisdom only angered the Doctor all the more. In that infuriated state, he stood up picking up a metal flower vase and yelling 'Who are you to interfere in our affairs?' forcefully flung the heavy vase at his feeble old mother. So abruptly did the Doctor act that neither his wife who stood nearby nor his mother at whom the vase was thrown could block or otherwise ward it off.
The weighty vase hit her hard. With shrieks of pain, his mother fell down with bleeding head injuries.
Doctor's wife also raised a cry of grief and ran near her unconscious mother-in-law. The Doctor stood still, stupefied and stunned.
All this hubbub mustered the neighbors to the scene of the incident and someone from them phoned for the ambulance and another summoned the Police.
The ambulance and the Police vans arrived. The unconscious mother was removed to the hospital and the weeping Doctor was gently taken to the Police station.
Whether committed knowingly or unknowingly, a crime is a crime all the same. The Police, therefore, registered a criminal case against the Doctor and enlarged him on bail.
The Repentant Mathruprem then rushed to the hospital and with remorseful tears he mutely stood beside the cot whereon lay his most beloved mother still unconscious. After some hours, she regained consciousness but could not speak because of her choked vocal chord. But, by not yielding to the administration of medicine or force-feeding, she tacitly informed the medical men attending upon her that she no more wished to live. The hospital authorities pursued their treatment without success. Apparently, they knew not that no power can keep alive one who very resolutely wills to die. Subsequently, on the fourth day Dr. Mathruprem's mother breathed her last.
A few months thereafter, the Doctor was tried by the Sessions Court on a charge of causing grievious hurt. Taking into consideration the mitigating circumstances, the fine past conduct of the Doctor and the unbalanced state of mind in which he unintentionally committed the offence, the Court took a lenient view and felt that the ends of justice would be met through a light punishment. Accordingly, the learned Judge sentenced the Doctor to 18 months' rigorous imprisonment.
The Doctor remained behind the bars for some months, got the remaining portion of his sentence remitted by the Home Department and came out of the prison.
Since his release from the prison. Dr. Mathruprem has become mentally deranged and is also unable to use the hand which dealt death to his reverend mother.

Very often, we perforce act under the irrepressible impulses born of past latencies. This is too true in the case of Doctor Mathruprcm. Because, like everyone, when under the spell of the dictates of the inexorable destiny, the Doctor also acted spontaneously and without reflection. In this interdependent life, to a very great extent it is preordained as to how, when and in the hands of whom one shall profit or perish. Excepting through this rational theory of karma, the inconceivable conduct of Dr. Mathruprem must remain unexplained.