Sep 24, 2013

"Suvrata's Triumph" from Sermons in the Stroms

He was a Government Officer living in a big City with his cultured wife and children. His wife's laudable traits and temperament prompted me to address her as "SUVRATABEN" and I do so even now.
Because of his official power plus position, members of the public used to shower upon this officer gifts in kind and cash for the illegal benefits which they received through him. Many cinema houses in the City used to send him complimentary tickets and the well-to-do people always invited him and his family members for dinners and outings. Many car-owners allowed him the use of their cars whenever and for whatever duration he required them. He was wanted everywhere and entertainments of sorts were always on the wait for him.
Since he could not help others without harming many, there were also numerous persons who suffered undue injustice in his hands. At times, his ways of extortion used to be too exacting and inhuman. Inspite of their concealed hatred for him, none dared to incur his displeasure for fear of more harassment.

His back-door income very often swelled to about ten times his monthly salary which was around Rs. 500/-. With that much easy earnings, he was enjoying life. Things went on well for a year or so.
Generally money got through easy and foul means is squandered after drinks, dices, dances and debauchery. But somehow, this officer was an exemplary exception.
His education and intelligent wife gradually came to know about the corrupt practice of her husband. That knowledge pricked Suvrataben with shame and sorrow. Because, she knew with fixity of understanding that 'repercussion of evil is always misery'. She pledged to bring her husband round, make him realize the futility and dangers of his questionable and unlawful ways.
With this in mind, she appealed to him several times to give up the sort of cheap conduct he got used to. She also cited to him the cases of many officers and their innocent kindered who suffered the ruinous effects of crime. Suvrataben implored her husband in the name of God and his children whom he dearly loved to take a solemn vow thence onwards not to accept hush money and taint his hands and home.
Her husband only argued that receiving gifts of money and the like was not anything wrongful, for, he said, that people were paying him for the extra interest he took in their affairs outside office hours, and as such, that it was as legitimate an income as his meager salary. He was laboring that way, he said, to cater to her comforts and for the future well-being of his children. She was also told in a conveying sense that woman as she was, matters of the outside world cannot be too intelligible to her and her class and that, as such, it would be in the fitness of the situation that she confined her interests exclusively to the kitchen, home and her children.
Suvrataben well knew that undertakings leading to auspicious results were always beset with seeming failures and various obstacles. She decided to tackle her husband in a more effective way. Though it was somewhat risky and demanded too much of moral courage, yet, she was bent upon putting into operation all her resources to open the eyes of her husband who was totally blind to ethical living.
Accordingly, from a fine morning she and her obedient children resolutely refrained from making personal use of any gifts which came home and from partaking of any comforts which her husband's salary couldn't afford. Some unpleasant consequences followed. Still, with rigid insistence she, outright, refused to associate herself or her children with the sinful ways of her husband. Like great souls who can unremittingly suffer for a good cause, when necessary, she went through the ordeal gracefully in the firm faith that her sincere efforts would be productive.
Any good work patiently plus perseveringly pursued, never goes in vain and the tactful technique of Suvrataben worked wondrously and turned the thickset corrupt officer into an honest and dutiful one that he is to-day.
To uproot the growing corruption, the country very badly needs, more Suvrata's to turn their husbands from sinful deeds.