Friday, 25 November 2011

The Swami’s Underpants

In a cave by a stream lived a swami, who had one pair of underpants. When they got dirty he’d take them off, and wash them in the stream.

One morning, one of his disciples saw him and said, incredulously: “Swami, are you kidding? This is outrageous! You’re standing there naked, in full view of anyone who happens to be passing. You need another pair of underpants. If you have two pairs, you won’t need to stand here stark raving nude in front of the population at large every time you do your laundry.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” replied the swami, “nobody cares about whether I’m naked or not; I’m just an old guy, washing his smalls.”

“On the contrary,” his disciple told him, “it’s completely inappropriate. You have to show some respect for other people. Nobody walks around naked these days; you need an extra pair of underpants.”

So the swami relented, and said: “Ok, go and get me an extra pair of underpants.”

A week later the swami was washing his underpants in the stream, when another disciple saw him, and exclaimed: “Swami, you shouldn’t be standing there washing your own underpants; you’re a sannyasin! It’s not your duty!”

“Really?” said the swami. “If it’s not my duty to wash my underpants then whose duty is it?”

“That’s what wives are for,” replied the disciple. “Wives wash underpants. You need a wife, Swami.”

“Ok,” said the swami, who could see where this was going, “go and get me a wife.”

So now the swami had two pairs of underpants, and a wife to wash them for him, because he was not a doer.

One morning his wife came to him, irritable, restless and discontented, and said: “Now you listen to me, Swamiji! Do you think I’m here just to wash your underpants? Well, I’ve got news for you! I’m a woman, and I have needs! I want you to give me a baby!”

“Mother of God,” said the swami, “really? Okay, if you need a baby to be happy, I’ll give you a baby.”

And so he did.

So now the swami had two pairs of underpants, a wife to wash them for him, and a baby. It was no longer feasible for the family to live in his cave by the stream, so the swami had to buy a house in the suburbs and take a high pressured job in the City to pay off the mortgage.

Before too long the swami wasn’t a swami anymore, and had no recollection of ever having been a swami, all because one day, years ago, he’d succumbed to the desire for an extra pair of underpants, and it had been his undoing.

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