|Are we really ready to do anything for God? Ready to be like this sheep that has climbed|
on to the Kjeragbolten in Norway?
The first time I narrated this story was in Swami’s presence on the 29th of July, 2005. I keep narrating this story many times. And that is to keep reminding myself more than anybody else of what Swami wants from me.
Without further ado, here is that story.
A messiah who wanted to retire
There was this messiah who lived in a village. He was a tremendous source of help and inspiration for the villagers who sought his wise counsel for almost every problem. He sought nothing himself and selflessly gave of himself to the people, whenever they needed him. Everything seemed to be going well when, out of the blue, the Messiah made a startling revelation.
“I am ready to announce my retirement now,” he said much to the shock of all the assembled villagers, “I have been preparing for this moment and ultimately, it has arrived.”
“No! You cannot do this. Please do not leave us...”
“What will we do without you? Whom shall we turn to for succour and solace?”
“How can a messiah retire? What do you mean!”
“Why do you want to retire? Have we failed you or disappointed you in any way?”
The messiah smiled within himself. As usual, men made their own audacious assumptions and theories. The assumptions may vary in nature and scope, but they all are tinged to varying degrees with selfishness. Everyone wanted him to stay for reasons that meant a lot to them - not him directly!
“Every person in every occupation enjoys a retirement. I am only seeking mine! Is that not fair enough?” asked the messiah with a smile.
That was an argument that none could refute. But still, how could they live without the services of their messiah? Looking at the whole situation objectively, the people realized that their domestic problems could be solved through discussions with each other. Financial advice could be sought from some money-lender who still had scruples left. Health matters could be taken up with a doctor. But what about matters relating to the spirit? Spirituality, though very ‘important’, is never ‘urgent’ and thus gets neglected till times such as these. Now that the messiah was about to retire, spirituality seemed to gain urgency too along with importance.
And so, they all pleaded with him,
“How will we remain in touch with God if you retire?”
“Please, if you must retire, then ensure that we will be in touch with God in some way at least.”
“Tell us what we must do so that God is happy with us always...”
“Yes! Tell us the one ‘most important’ thing that God wants us to do...”
“Yes! Yes! Tell us that ‘one thing’ which God wants from us”, everyone chorused.