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Once a sanyasi (ascetic) came to rest under a tree near a village. He started to contemplate on the glory of God revealed in the nature around him and God’s peace within himself when suddenly a man from the village ran up to him and began to plead with him in a frantic way: “Give me the stone, give me the stone!” The man was very excited and his voice trembled as he spoke. The sanyasi did not lose his calm demeanour and somewhat bemused asked him, “What stone?”

“Swami, I have been worshipping Lord Shiva all my life. I look to Him for all my joy in life and I regularly offer some of my earnings to feed the poor in His name. Last night Lord Shiva came in my dream saying He wanted to reward me for my devotion. He said that a sanyasi would come near the village who possessed a stone that would make me rich beyond measure for all my life. Sir, I am a man of moderate income with a large family and so I am asking you for this stone which will solve all our material worries.”

The sanyasi searched his bag and took out a large diamond with a big smile on his face. “Oh, you must mean this stone. It seems Lord Shiva wishes to give you riches beyond all worldly dreams. I found this in the forest yesterday and felt that God may have a secret purpose in a humble sanyasi finding it - as obviously I am beyond any material attraction for it. So I have been waiting to discern His will and now you have come along! My boy, I am so happy you have come and now I can hand it over to you. Go and make your life prosperous and give joy to all those who you will help with your wealth!”


So saying, the sanyasi blessed him and beckoned him to leave without more ado. The man was moved beyond all measure and bowing low to the holy monk turned away with his mind racing. ‘What am I to do with the diamond?’ ‘How can I sell it?’ ‘Would anyone try and rob me?’ ‘How can I please Lord Shiva with the money?’ ‘How could the monk give away the diamond so easily?’ All these thoughts were bothering him for the rest of the day.


He hid the diamond in his belt without telling his wife or family and spent the night without a wink of sleep. The image of the calm and serene sanyasi returned to his mind again and again and he resolved to visit him the next morning as a balm for his fevered mind.

So, early in the morning, feeling exhilarated but also confused at the gift he had received he approached the sanyasi and after touching his feet said,

“Oh revered master, I have not slept all night worrying about the wealth that the Lord has bestowed upon me. After being given this huge diamond I have become very anxious.”

After a pause to take a deep breath, he continued with his voice soaked in emotion, “Please sir, what I really want is to have the love and detachment that makes it possible for you to give this stone away. Then I will be truly rich!”

The sanyasi smiled and seemed to pass into ecstasy. He was feeling supreme joy at the man having passed the test that the Lord had given him.

“My son, you have earned the grace of Lord Shiva. Henceforth God Himself will foster you and bestow His grace upon you. You will always feel His divine presence and will rejoice in His love and protection.”

With that the sanyasi disappeared and in his place was the radiant form of Lord Shiva, raising His hand in blessing.

The man was stunned. In the last few hours he had been through a tremendous divine test and now he was blessed with the Darshan of the living Lord. What could be more precious than this? He marvelled at the ways of God and how he blesses the devotees which He is pleased with. “Is there no end to His mercy and compassion?” he wondered.


On his return home he arranged to sell the diamond and organised all the money in a trust for charitable projects, run by trusted staff. The man would spend all day in devotion to Lord Shiva and take great joy in serving Him in the poor who came to receive the various services from the trust. He knew that it was all God’s mysterious plan – he was simply the Lord’s humble instrument.

Adapted From East And West, May 2007

Illustrations: Sai Krishna, SSSU



- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2007
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