There was once an ascetic who was roaming in the forest. He was hungry and thirsty. Suddenly he came upon a clearing wherein he saw a little house. A beautiful woman emerged from the door and greeted him. She gave him water and asked him to sit while she served him food. Overcome by her kindness, he wanted to bestow blessings upon her and in conversation he asked her, her age. She told him that she was 6 years old. He ate the food in puzzled silence. Then a young man came and welcomed him to his home. The ascetic also asked him his age and he said that he was 3 years old. Now, the sage was becoming a little upset, but he kept his silence. Suddenly, a very old man and an old woman came outside. Out of curiosity the sage asked them also how old they were. The young woman replied that the old woman was 2 years old and the old man was not born as yet, hence he was of no age at all.
The sage was furious and finally got up mid-meal. He angrily admonished the young woman for her stupidity and asked her for a logical explanation for her replies. He was on the verge of cursing her for making light of his questions. The young woman patiently folded her hands and told him, that she was 6 years old as she had started following the path laid down by her Guru, only 6 years ago. Her husband had started following it 3 years ago, her mother-in-law had started 2 years ago and her father-in-law had still not started following the spiritual path of their Guru. Hence her real birth was 6 years ago.
Excerpt from the Anugraha Bhashan of Shree Krishnananda Teertha Mahaswamigal Shakatapuram Shreevidya Peetam
Such a simple and yet such an enlightening story. Is the true purpose of our birth to just go through the motions of life? Or are we each born with a higher purpose. According to our philosophy, we are born to ensure that in the battle against Angreh Mainyu, we are the strong soldiers of Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda. And how exactly are we supposed to wage this war? We have to choose, every day and in every way, the right over the wrong, the good over the evil, the creation of Ahura Mazda over that of Angreh Mainyu.
It is said that after Ahura Mazda created this world, he recited one Ahunavar prayer (Yatha), which paralysed Angreh Mainyu for six-thousand years! Our prayers make for our sword and our shield, and even Ahura Mazda Himself could manifest his great power only through prayers. Our Navjote is merely an initiation into the faith. The true essence of our faith can only manifest through our prayers and a strict adherence to our most simple of philosophy of Good thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.
So, follow your faith from the deepest core of your being and that, in itself, will guide towards the path that you must tread. Till such time as we find and fulfil our real purpose, we must merely exist – so when will you start living? How old are you? When were you really born?