The Elderly Ant

Stories and Allegories


One day an elderly ant was seen to be scurrying to and fro in her house.

"What are you doing?" enquired the neighbours.

"Packing my things", the ant replied.

"But why? For what? Where are you going? How will your household manage without you?"

"Well," said the ant, "I have long ago paid my debt to Nature. My children are all out in the world. I have done my duty to the ant-heap. Now I must think of my service to God."

"And what is that?" the neighbours asked.

The ant told them.

"Impossible!" they all cried. "You will have to cross mountains and seas and deserts."

"Indeed, I am well aware of that."

"But you are old. You will die on the journey, with no kith or kin to bury you."

"Probably", the ant replied, as she lifted her bundle onto her back. "Nevertheless, I can take the first step on the road that leads to Mecca."

A Persian Tale

Unexpecting, pure, resourceful, detached, devoid of all disquiet, fully renouncing all [selfish] undertakings, such a devotee of Mine is dear to Me.

Bhagavad Gita XII.16

Shri Krishna