True Devotion

by Dr. Pran Rangan

There was a saint living in a forest. He was famous for creating miracles. Devotees from far and wide visited this saint to seek the solutions to their problems. There was one devotee who never missed to visit the saint for his blessings. He generally used to bring simple things like flowers, fruits etc. Everyone considered him to be the greatest devotee of the saint.

One day, just to impress the saint, he thought to offer him a costly gift. He had saved his earnings for a long time to buy two gold bangles for offering to the saint. When he gave the bangles to the saint, the saint started playing with it to show that he was very happy with the gift. The saint was sitting near a river. While playing with them, he threw one of the bangles into the river. The devotee became very sad. Immediately, he jumped into the river and started to search the bangle everywhere.

He kept searching for hours but was unable to find the bangle. He asked the saint the exact point where he has thrown the bangle. To show the exact point where he had thrown the bangle, he took the second bangle and threw it in the same place in the river. He said the devotee to search at that point where he had thrown the second bangle.

The devotee became very sad and asked the saint: "Why did he do so? The bangles are very costly. I had purchased them by saving my earnings for a long time."

Seeing the devotee unhappy, the saint explained the reason why he did so. He said: "I had thrown the bangles intentionally to explain that a real saint does not want such gifts."

He said: "I am a saint free from all these attractions of the world. I don't need such gift that may tempt me."

He consoled the devotee for the big loss. Suddenly, the devotee saw the gold bangles back at his hands. The saint asked the devotee to sell these gold bangles and use it to sustain his livelihood.

The saint preached him: "Your devotion is not pure since you have more attention to the gold than to your devotion. In fact, the gold was acting like a hurdle against your devotion and love for God. God doesn't need all these things. He can only be realized by true devotion and love."

This parable has a lesson for all that the Almighty can only be realized by true devotion, not costly offerings.

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