Once upon a time a spiritual teacher was explaining to a class of young students, that devotees who have love for God can be joyful in all situations of life. In Bhagavad Gita (6.22) Lord Krishna says, “When a devotee develops love of God, he experiences unlimited spiritual happiness, trough his spiritual senses. Upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest calamity.”
The students were very eager to know how one can reach a state where one is peaceful within, in-spite of difficulties and challenges all around. The spiritual teacher thought of an idea to teach them the quality of joyful living. He told the students, ‘The best person to answer this question is the old man living in the small cottage at the bank of the river.’
The spiritual teacher then explained to the students that the old man had lost his parents when he was a child. He had to work every day, to pay for his and his younger brother’s school fees. His brother become an engineer, went abroad, married an American girl and completely forgot this old man’s gifts and sacrifices. When he was about 35 years he lost both his legs in an accident, so his wife divorced him, took both the children, never to return. Since then he has been on a wheel chair, living in this small cottage and worshipping the Supreme Lord with whatever little money he had. The children were moved to hear this story.
The next day all the students went to the river for a picnic. After much searching they found the small cottage of the old man. When they knocked on the cottage door, the elderly gentleman on a wheel chair opened it and welcomed the students with a beaming smile!
They asked their question to the old man, ‘How can one remain peaceful and happy in-spite of problems and challenges all around? Our teacher has said that you’ve had many, many difficulties your whole life, so you are the best person to answer this question.’
The old man with smiling lips and sparkling eyes, now had a surprise on his face. He said, ‘My dear children, I think you have got the wrong address. There were no problems in my life! I only had so many, many opportunities to learn lessons to enrich my life. For this reason I’m deeply grateful to my Lord for these life shaping events which have brought me closer to His lotus feet.
Seeing the genuine devotion of the old man, the students were stunned in disbelief. In his brief answer he had spoken volumes of wisdom. Carrying the deep impression, of the old man’s love for Krishna, in their hearts they returned home. From that day, instead of cribbing, crying and complaining they were more patient of others, tolerant, grateful to The Lord for his every blessing and shared His compassionate affection with everyone they met.
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