Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Three Priests And Their Guru

Atop a scenic hill surrounded by lush greenery was a temple. It had a following of loyal devotees who thronged to it, not just to pray to the deity but to seek the blessings of the wise Guru there.

One evening, a senior Trustee of the temple went across to meet Guruji. He was sitting in the courtyard deep in meditation. When he eventually opened his eyes, the trustee spoke up.

'Guruji, we need your advice on an important decision. Our Treasurer has retired and we need to select a new one. Since you are aware that the offerings by the devotees are substantial, we need to be careful about the man we select.'

Guruji replied 'If you have any persons in mind bring them with you tomorrow at 6.30 in the morning'.

The trustee returned with three young Sadhus (priests) the next morning. They sought the blessings of Guruji.

Guruji addressed each one of the prospects.
'I want you to go the banyan tree at the base of the hill and meet me again.' to the first Sadhu

'Go to the pond which is covered with lotus flowers and see me again' to the second.

The third one, he turned to and directed, 'Visit the Primary School we have set up and report to me'

The three of them set about their tasks wondering how this had anything to do with their being assessed? The first one easily made it downhill to the famous banyan tree. The uphill path back to the temple made him feel grumpy. Then he saw something shining in front of him that made him grin. It was a diamond necklace! He picked it up, kissed it and pocketed it. 'Thank you God! Maybe this is Your way of gifting me! This a good omen'

The second went to the pond, sat down for a while to admire the tranquility and then took off to return. Immediately on turning around he was amazed to find gold coins strewn as if in a sequence. 'Strange that I did not see them on my way here! Maybe the beauty of the pond distracted me..
He began collecting the coins one after another...

The School was a place the third Sadhu loved visiting. The laughter of the small boys and girls, their cleverness brought him delight. They came running to him the moment they saw him.
'Here's the prasad of the Temple' (the food offered to God) while handing it over to only too willing hands. After spending time with the children, each child excitedly wanting to share her/his recent experience, the Sadhu bid goodbye to them and headed back for the temple.

As decided, the Trustee took the three priests to meet Guruji in the evening.

Guruji asked them 'Tell me. What was your day like'

The first one nonchalantly pretended it had been unexceptional.

The second priest said with a smile 'Guruji! God has been kind to me he gifted me this gold coin which I wish to offer to the temple.'

Guruji smiled and asked the third one. 'So how did your day go?'

'Exceedingly well!' he beamed.
'I had a great time with our School's children. 

Guess what?

These are the wonderful drawings and gifts crafted  by them for the temple! Their love is astonishing!
I also have brought these fruits and flowers which I gathered on my way to be offered to God, dear Guruji.

The Guruji said to the Trustee 'this is your man.'

The first two looked puzzled. 'Did we go wrong somewhere?'

Guruji said to the first one. 'I know that both of you did not directly lie. You were not truthful either. Just think about it. You found the diamond necklace which you pocketed. Had you earned it? Who did it rightfully belong to? Did you pause to think?'

'And you. The gold coins that you found and gleefully pocketed. By returning just one what did you seek to prove: that you were honest or was it to lessen your guilt?'

'Come here' he smiled at the third priest. 

'You have managed to shed all attachment to material possessions. The others got what they constantly thought about. Throughout the trip you were chanting God's mantra. How could you possibly attract anything but the noble? Your mind is now engaged fully in His service, nothing else is important to you.

Your love for the School children, the warmth with which you interacted with them, delighted me. For I was present in every child's eyes.'

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