September 2015

Each shock is yet another knock to add to our spiritual stature. –  Chinmaya

It is said:

When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty, trust Him fully. Because two things can happen –

Either He will catch you when you fall.

Or He will teach you how to fly.

Ranganna was an illiterate poor man who worked in a temple. His job was to ring the bell during the temple services. The villagers fondly used to call him ‘GhantaRanganna’.

As the years passed by, the temple became very famous. Devotees from all over the world started visiting the place. It became one of the major tourist destinations. Money started pouring in and the authorities soon decided to upgrade the facilities, comforts and conveniences of the temple in a modern, fashionable and state-of-the-art way. 

With the increase of foreign visitors day by day, the authorities decided to appoint qualified educated temple staffs in all departments. One day a circular was sent to all staffs of the temple that they must learn English as early as possible or they will have to resign and go. Worried Ranganna tried to learn English by approaching the learned ones. He tried as best as he could but unfortunately, nothing entered his head. Needless to say, he was shown the door by the strict authorities.

Poor Ranganna sat at the doorsteps of the temple not knowing where to go, what to do. He knew that his beloved Lord would never forsake him. He thought a lot but nothing struck his head.

Tired and depressed, he felt like having a cup of tea. He walked searching for a tea shop. There were shops selling flowers, fruits, puja items, pictures and idols of God etc. but he could not find any tea shop after walking over a kilometre.

He felt, “Poor devotees! How much they have to suffer just for a cup of tea!”

The next day he set up a small tea stall near the entrance outside the temple. As the days passed, his wife also joined him and brought small tiffin items.

SoonRanganna’s shop became busy with customers. To accommodate more people, he had to renovate his little tea shop to a canteen, and then to a full-fledged hotel. Seeing the growing demand from the people, the erstwhile hotel was upgraded to a five-star hotel and then further up to a seven-star hotel. With experience and money at hand, the income generated was further reinvested in starting similar such seven-star hotels in various parts of the country in posh localities. Within a few years, Ranganna became an internationally known figure in the business community.

One day he had to sign an important deal with another big business firm. When the Director of the firm saw that Ranganna was using his thumb impression to sign the deal, he was shocked. He asked in disbelief, “Sir, despite being illiterate, you could establish such a big business empire! Where would you have reached if you had learnt English!!”

Ranganna smiled and replied, “I might have remained even today GhantaRanganna!!”      

When things go wrong and tragedies strike, we in our immaturity blame God – as though we are wiser than the Creator of the universe!! How can we insignificant creatures ever understand the purpose of the Omniscient Lord?

In this world, nothing happens without a purpose, and He knows it well.

Dr.Stephen, a well-known doctor, was once on his way to an important medical conference in another city where-in he was going to be granted an award for medical research he had recently done.

He was very excited to attend the conference and was desperate to reach as soon as possible. He had worked long and hard on his research and felt his efforts deserved the award he was about to obtain.

However, two hours after the plane took off, the pilot announced that there was a problem with the plane and that they were going to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport. Afraid that he wouldn’t make it in time for the conference, Dr Stephen immediately went to the help desk as soon as the plane landed and explained to the woman at the desk that he was expected to be at a very important conference and that he needed to know the immediate next flight to his destination. She told him that there was nothing she could do to help him as there wouldn’t be another flight to his destination for another ten hours, but suggested he rent a car and drive down to the city as it was only four hours away.

Having no other choice, he agreed to the idea despite his hatred for driving long distances. Dr.Stephen rented a car and started his journey. However, soon after he left, the weather suddenly changed and a heavy storm began. The pouring rain made it very difficult for him to see and he missed a turn he was supposed to take.

After two hours of driving, he was convinced he was lost. Driving in the heavy rain on a deserted road, feeling hungry and tired, he frantically began to look for any sign of civilization. After some time, he finally came across a small tattered house. Desperate, he got out of the car and knocked on the door. An old woman opened the door for him. He explained his situation and asked if he could use her telephone. She told him that she didn’t have a phone or electricity but that he was welcome to come in for some food and something warm to drink as he had completely lost his way and that it would take him some time to get back on the right road.

Hungry, wet and exhausted, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walked in. The woman told him to help himself to some food and hot tea on the table and then excused herself to finish her prayers. Sitting on the table sipping his tea, the doctor watched the woman in the dim light of candles as she prayed next to what appeared to be a small baby cradle. Every time she finished a prayer, she would start another one.

Feeling that the woman might need help, the doctor seized the opportunity to speak as soon as she finished her prayers and told her that he hoped God would answer her prayers. He then said that he noticed that she had been making a lot of prayers and asked if there was something she needed that he could get for her or help her with. The woman smiled and said that God had answered all her prayers except one. She said she didn’t know why God hadn’t answered this specific prayer yet but perhaps it was because of her weak faith.

The doctor asked if she didn’t mind telling him what she needed. Nodding her head in approval, she said that the child in the cradle was her grandson. She said that the child had a very rare type of cancer and that all the doctors she had seen were unable to treat him. She also said that she had been told that there was a doctor who specialized in the type of cancer her grandson had, but there was no way for her to get to this doctor as he lived very far from her; so she has been spending her days and nights praying to God to help her find a way to get to Dr Stephen – the doctor who could treat her grandson.

Upon hearing her words, tears began to flow down the doctor’s cheeks and He said, “God is great! There was a malfunction in the plane, a thunderstorm hit, and I lost my way; and all of this happened because God did not just answer your prayer by helping you find a way to get to Dr Stephen, but He brought Dr Stephen to your house. I am Dr Stephen.”

Tears streaming down his cheeks, the award did not seem too great for him.

Why do the airports see more affectionate kisses than the wedding halls?

Why do the walls of the hospitals hear more sincere prayers than the walls of temples, masjid and churches?

The human mind has a very bad habit – taking things for granted. When we lose a thing we realize the value of that thing.

Nothing belongs to us. Whatever we have are gifts from God. These gifts are given so that we may grow in our love and gratitude for God. But when things are taken for granted, the possibility of developing a loving relationship with God is shut off.

The shocks and knocks in life is a gentle reminder –that sans God we are nothing, that we have nothing, that we know nothing, and that we can do nothing!

Such a humble soul who has realised his insignificance becomes fit to enter the kingdom of God, where he is made aware – that he is Everything!!

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Posted in: Chintana

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