Submit to the will of the Lord and draw a lesson from every event. – Chinmaya
The omniscient Lord knows all. He does what is good for all. Hence the best attitude is the attitude of surrender.
There is a beautiful story in the Quran.
Once, Prophet Moses was addressing the people of Israel. Somebody from the crowd asked, “Who is the most learned man among human beings in the world?”
Moses believed that there was no other man on earth who could possibly compare with him in knowledge. Hence he said, “I am the most learned.”
The Lord cannot stand pride in His devotee. The all-knowing Lord, the Indweller of all, realising that Moses was puffed up with pride, decided to teach him a lesson in humility.
The Lord instructed Moses thus, “Cross over the river that flows past your house, and meet the fakir who you will find on the other side. Then go with him and do whatever he wishes you to do.”
Moses, obeying the command of the Lord, crossed the river, and soon found the fakir of whom he had been told. He was known as Hazrat Khizr.
“The Lord told me to come to you and to obey your commands, whatever they might be,” Moses told the fakir.
“That is all very well,” replied the fakir. “But frankly speaking, I am not at all certain that you are worthy enough to receive the teaching the Lord wishes me to give you.”
Moses felt that this was not only untrue but also an insult. Nevertheless, he did not reply angrily.
“The Lord has ordered me to obey you, Hazrat Khizr,” he said, controlling his irritation. “Whatever you command, that I will do. I will not raise any objection.”
“Very well,” said Khizr. “Please do not object, then, to whatever I do.”
Khizr then started to walk along the bank of the river, followed by Moses, and before long they came to a place where some small boats were moored.
“Who owns this boat?” Khizr asked the local people pointing at a boat.
“A very rich man who lives in the city over there,” was the reply.
Khizr pointed to another boat and asked, “And this one?”
“Please do not touch that boat,” he was told. “It belongs to one of the most important men in our city.”
“Who is the owner of this one?” he said as he pointed to yet another.
“You can use that boat if you wish to.” the people said. “It belongs to some poor people who are of no importance.”
On hearing this, Hazrat turned the boat upside down, and stamped on it, with the result that some of its wooden planks were broken.
This seemed like outrageous conduct to Moses.
“Are you in your senses?” He burst out, in spite of himself. “Why should you break a boat, and that too the one belonging to the poor ones! It is indeed a cruel act. You should never have done such a thing.”
“Do you remember your promise?” Khizr asked him. “You told me that you would not object to anything I might do.”
Moses, controlling himself with great difficulty, apologised for his sudden outburst. “Please pardon me, Hazrat,” said Moses. “You are right. I should have said nothing.”
The two men then continued their walk along the river bank and after a mile or so they came to a village in which there was a deserted and half-ruined house. One wall was little more than rubble.
“We must repair this wall,” Khizr said. “I will go and get some water, and we can then mix it with earth and build up the wall.”
This was done, and when the wall was finished it was evening and both of them were tired and hungry. Since the house they had repaired was deserted, no one came to offer them anything to eat or drink, and as a consequence, they lay down to rest and sleep with empty stomachs.
“Hazrat, it was very foolish to repair the wall of a deserted house,” said Moses. “Nobody is going to benefit from this house. We could have chosen a dilapidated house where poor people stay. At least they would have benefitted from our effort. Also, then, they would have offered food and drink to us. But look at us now. We are tired and hungry, and there is no one here who will give us anything.”
The murmuring and complaining went on and on for some time. At last, Hazrat had to break his silence.
He said, “Did I not tell you that you cannot be patient with me?”
Moses became silent. But it was gradually becoming unbearable for him to put up with the seemingly stupid actions of Hazrat.
The journey continued. On the way they found some boys playing with each other. Hazrat caught hold of one boy and hit him very hard. The boy died on the spot.
Moses could not believe what he saw. This was the limit of his patience. He yelled at Khizr in total disbelief, “What have you done! You have killed an innocent boy ruthlessly! Are you a demon in human form?”
Moses went on lamenting, “O Lord! Is this the holy man You want me to learn from? He is an embodiment of stupidity and cruelty! How can I obey and submit to such a devil? Where have You brought me, O Lord!”
“Leave me and go away,” said Khizr when he had finished. “It is quite evident that you are unfit to be in my company or to receive my teaching.”
This was absolutely agreeable to Moses, for he had seen no purpose whatever in the things that Khizr had done, and had learnt no lessons from them.
Moses decided to part ways. After packing up, he came to meet Hazrat to bid farewell. He told Hazrat, “I have decided to leave you, Khizr,” he said, “but before I do so, I have a final question to ask you. Please tell me why you did these strange things.”
“Listen,” said Khizr. “Here are my reasons for doing what I did. I broke the boat that belonged to the poor people because a king with a large army will soon pass through this region. He and his soldiers will take away all the boats except the broken one. The poor ones can easily repair it, and make a great deal of money ferrying the people across the river.
“The wall that we repaired was part of a house that belongs to two little orphan children, and inside the wall, there is hidden a treasure of jewels and gold. This treasure belonged to their righteous father who is no more. The Lord wanted to protect the treasure until these children grow up and become mature. When the children come of age, they will have the house and will find the treasure.
“The boy who was killed had all criminal tendencies latent in him. His parents are great devotees of the Lord. Had he been alive, he would have tortured his parents and would have created a hell of sufferings for the whole village. It was the will of the Lord to eliminate him for the welfare of all. Very soon the Lord is going to bless the devoted parents with a virtuous child.
“Whatever I have done, it was only according to the instruction of the supreme Lord. I do nothing on my own. He commands and I implement it without questioning. Who am I to go against His will? I do what pleases Him, not what pleases me. I am a mere instrument in His hands. Hence I am free from the fear of criticism and insult, guilt or remorse.”
Khizr became silent.
Moses was filled with deep regret for having misunderstood Hazrat and for having abused such a holy man. With tear-filled eyes, Moses bowed before him in utter humility, and said, “Sir! In my ignorance, I misbehaved with you. I sincerely beg your forgiveness. I am truly grateful to you, for you have humbled the pride in me, and have taught me what true surrender is. Please bless me…”
The ignorant ones say, “Which God? Mine will be done!” The wise say “Thou Lord! Thy will be done!” The former suffer and repent. The latter relax and rejoice.
Let’s surrender. Only then can the omniscient Lord guide us and lead us out from this abode of illusion to the abode of Truth.
O M T A T S A T
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