Three Faces of Life

Crafted with loving care from the same clay by a potter, three earthen lamps got separated soon after they were given the final touches of colour. The first was taken to a temple where it was placed before the deity, its flame lighting up the inner sanctum. The second was bought by a grieving son, to be placed near the head of his dead father as per Hindu ritual, before the body was taken for cremation. And the third lamp was purchased by a young girl, who lit it with great hope as she placed it on the waters of the holy river, wishing for her dreams to come true as it drifted away.


After a few days, by chance or a miracle, the three lamps were together again – this time on the river bed – the first two having been thrown into the river with the flowers which were used in the temple and funeral ritual.

Each lamp had a story to recount. The first eugolized about the beauty and power of the deity, the second shared its understanding of death, while the third had a lot to tell about the dreams to be achieved in life.

All along, listening silently to their conversation was a Gangetic river dolphin, which was blind, as is common among the species. The wise old dolphin wondered if it really mattered how each lamp had lived and experienced life, for the final peace that they had found in the bottom of the river, was the same.

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