I was just 8-10 years old when my maternal grandmother, at where I was born and brought-up by her throughout my childhood, told a story of lazy man and his desire of seeing a God. She also explained me as to how the trust in God should be. Most of us, always pray God whenever they undergo some problems in their life. When problem comes they say, ‘why me?’ When prosperity comes, they never say ‘why me’, as told by Swami Ramkrishna Paramahamsa. We need God to only protect always as and when problems come around us. We never even recall his mercy when we attain few peaks in our life, sometime we are not even eligible to reach of a few of them. For us, God was only and just only to remain as saviour all the time irrespective of all nonsense we do. Let’s bar a few who always in their life whatever good or bad they face, remember in every step. The belief in God should be like life and body not like water and lotus leaf. Just because we were not given few our likings, God should not become ‘Godness-less’.
I have reproduced the story exactly same way as told by my grandmother without changing the main theme, however, hardly any little flavours was used here and there for better interest reading. Now, let me narrate the story that my grandmother told me.
An indolent man who always wants to exploit the situation for the sake of shelter and some food instead of be industrious to make some. It became so habituated that he always sought some place where he could gain food for a day and shelter for night.
On his search he found one big temple where the food that offered to the deity, is distributed among devotees. By this way, this lazy man managed to get food three times a day. The temple was so huge that any corner would accommodate him for night sleep. His days were going nicely without any trouble.
His regular presence for food and stay at temple was noticed by one of the temple authorities and went to him for asking as to why he remained in the temple for day and night. As the lazy man has no proper answer to give, was just staring at wall with incessant silence. Sparing some mercy on him, the temple authority offered some temple job for his livelihood so that he can stay in the temple without any embarrassment. How would this lethargic man accept this offer, who never wanted to work? He refused to accept and that resulted him to throw out of the temple since lazy people has no place to stay anywhere. Being sent out all of sudden, the lazy man developed anger on the temple authorities initially, later that turned on the entire village community and finally stopped at God. He decided to meet God and ask as to why he was denied shelter and food in the huge temple, where it is no matter to offer these for a single man. Thinking of these, he started walking towards outside of the village without having any idea of finding a way to meet the God.
On his way out of the village there was huge tree and one old man was sitting and chanting some hymns on God. The lazy man thought that the old man looks wise and would be right person to answer his query and he asked the old man too. The old man was surprised on this question, but was not able to give any answer. However, he directed the lazy man to go to forest where some Saints are in penance whom might help this lazy man. Happy to hear this, the lazy man walked through to forest which is a few hundred miles from that village.
Walked on… walked on… and finally he reached the jungle and soon he could able to find a Saint who is in penance. He was in hesitation to disturb the penance, hence he waited entire day there along with the Saint. Days gone, and one day the Saint came out of penance saw a man sitting in front him. Asked him as to why he is here and what he is doing. The lazy man explained that he walked several miles to reach this jungle to only request the Saint to show the God. Hearing this, the Saint was slightly astonished and speechless for some time. He thought the lazy man might be mentally weak otherwise how can be a normal man without any penance or any virtue can see the God? Anyway, the Saint decided to show some ways to meet God. However, the lazy man did not want to undergo any practices, but wanted to see the God straightaway. By now, the Saint understood the character of lazy man so he directed him to go Himalayas where so many Sages who do incessant and rigorous penance for salvation of life, perhaps they might help him for his desire. Hearing this, the lazy man stared walking again towards Himalayas which is far, far away from this forest. The lazy man did not give up his desire of seeing God which made him to walk again and again towards his goal. His journey continued.
Few months later, at last, he reached the Himalayas. It was too chill to be there, but with unbroken desire he moved further to find some Sages who do rigorous penance around there. To his luck, he found very soon a Sage who was in deep penance. Having experienced earlier for waiting few days only to wake-up the Saint, he now decided to shake the Sage from his rigorous penance so that he can get the answer quickly. The lazy man got closer to the Sage and shook him up. Alas, unlike the earlier Saint, the Sage opened his eyes with terrible anger with the aim of burning out, the one who disturbed his penance, with the power of his years long penance. Observing the situation becoming out of control, the lazy man instantly fell on the feet of Sage and explained his intention. For a minute, the Sage was really anger but later he declared his mercy on him and said,
“Son, that’s not so easy to meet the God. You need extraordinary will power to perform penance continuously. You have to come out of all hurdles that would try to stop your penance. May be some years or for several years you might need to do this.”
The lazy man did not want do any such activities but wanted to see the God just like that. Hearing his idea of reaching God, the Sage now told him to climb the top of the Himalayas where the abode of God is there. The lazy man now asked the Sage, if that was the way to see the God, he could have simply climbed up and meet the God, why he was doing this penance for several years instead. Seeing his innocence, the Sage smiled a bit and said that his age would not allow him to do such adventurous journey to the top of the mountain. The Sage had cautioned him the danger he would face during his journey towards up side of the hill.
He walked day and night without any stop for any basic reasons such as sleep, food and drink. So many hundred miles up he climbed. With the loss of food and sleep, he was trailing his control and at one moment he placed his leg in a wrong place and rolling down and falling in air towards the valley. He was falling… falling and falling for long time. He now remembered the God, cried and said,
“Oh God, I have troubled myself all the way to only see you. Now that I am falling on air, you are only source to save me. Please help me, save me.”
There was no response from anywhere. He was still falling all the way. Suddenly he had to fall in between trees and caught hold of some branch of one tree to save his life. He was now hanging on the tree and there was full of dark all around. He was a bit happy that at last he could save his life by hanging on the tree. Now, he had to wait until sun light emerges. He was dangling some time and started crying again.
“My God, can’t you respond at least now? Is this the punishment you give to those who want see you or pray you?”
Miracle! There was a big bright light emerged in the sky and followed by a voice. It is the voice of God indeed!
The voice said, “My son, I am here to save you”.
The lazy man was so happy that God has come to help him. With overjoyed face, he said,
“What a grace my Lord, please save me now”.
God, “Ok my son, take-off your hands from the branch of the tree, I will catch you”
“What? You must be kidding with me God, if I take-off my hands from the branch, I will fall further and die. Is that what you want? You want me to see you after my death, up there?”
“No, my son, I will not let you fall further. Trust me, take your hands off now, I will catch you.”
The lazy man now developed doubt and thought, ‘Will it be wise to take-off my hands? There is no doubt that I would fall further and die. I would better dangle like this till sun light arrives and see what best can be done.’
God, “My son, this is your last chance, are you going to take-off or shall I push off?”
There was big silent from lazy man which was very evident that he has no trust on God now. Within seconds, the light and sound disappeared. There was a big silence everywhere with few insects’ ringing sound. Few insects sliding on his hands and neck; and few even bit off on his hands giving severe pain. After taking so much of pain by handing and insects’ bite, he never took off his hands from the tree. He cursed himself for believing God and took all pain and strain to reach there. Now, he had to wait till sun rise and see how to go down from the tree. After a few hours of awakening, the Sun slowly emerged from back of the mountains and things are visible now everywhere.
The lazy man slowly put his head down to see how far he is from landing. What he had seen made him almost faint. Yes, the land was just half-foot under his feet. Without knowing this, entire night he was hanging on the tree branch. He recalled what God had said, ‘take-off your hands and I will save you’. The voice of the God was hitting back his ears again and again. ‘What a shame! What kind of trust I had in God!’ How can I disbelieve the Supreme Power? How salvation comes to one when distrust laid on Creator of Universe?’ The lazy man had now, broken into tears!
Had he heeded the almighty, he would have not missed the chance of seeing God. In fact, his fortune of hearing the voice of the God itself because of his undoubted intention of seeing the God and taking such a long walk to Himalayas without sleep, food and water during his journey to the top of the hill. When his life was at stake, instead of heeding the words of God, he simply dismissed it. What human needs is undoubted trust in God.
God, saves everybody all those who deserve it!
There is no difference between distrusting your mother and God, because both are meant to be worshipped throughout one’s life.
Balaji Canchi Sistla
@ 4.07 pm on 11-11-2014 from Hyderabad