There is a widely prevalent habit now of judging others and labelling them as Bhakthas or Nasthikas (Atheists). What do you know, what can you know of the inner working of another’s mind? There was once a queen who was a great devotee of Rama. She felt so sad that her husband, the Raja, never even uttered the name of Rama and had no Bhakthi. She had vowed that the first occasion on which she got evidence of his Bhakthi or at least respect for Ramanama, she would conduct Puja in all the temples and feed the poor on a lavish scale. Then, one night, while fast asleep, the Raja uttered the name of Rama thrice plaintively and prayerfully.

She heard the Namasmarana and was happy at the discovery of her husband’s devotion to Rama. She ordered general rejoicing throughout the kingdom and the feeding of the poor. The Raja did not know the reason for the celebration for he was only told that it was an order from the Rani, which the officers carried out.

Similarly, a husband may not be aware of the excellence of a wife’s spiritual attainments.

There is the case of a couple who were proceeding through a thick jungle on pilgrimage to an inaccessible shrine. The husband saw on the footpath a precious stone, shining brilliantly when the sun’s rays fell upon it from between the leaves.

He hastily threw some sand over it with a movement of his foot so that his wife would not be tempted to pick it up and become a slave to the tinsel.

The wife saw the gesture and chided the husband for still retaining in his mind a distinction between sand and diamond. For her, both were the same. The Raja who spoke in his sleep the sacred name of Rama felt very sorry, according to the story, that he let Rama naama out of his mouth, for he believed that no one should know of his “love” for Rama. There are many who will not shout about their Guru or their favourite Nama (Name) and Rupa (Form), but whether you declare them to others or not, keep them ever in your consciousness. Rama naama or any other name must be as constant as breathing. For this, practice is essential. A person once told Dr. Johnson, the famous English thinker, that he could seldom get time to recite the Name of God, what with the hundreds of things he had to do from morning till nightfall and even far into the night. Dr. Johnson replied with another question. He asked how millions of people found space to live upon the face of the earth, which is two-thirds water and the rest is too full of mountains, deserts, forests, icy regions, riverbeds, marshes and similar impossible areas. The questioner said that man somehow struggled to find living space. So too, said Dr.Johnson, man must somehow find a few minutes a day for prayer to the Lord.

Illustrations by
Sai Easwaran,
Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas Student (Group III)

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