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The Overlooked Truth About Ourselves

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A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.

The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

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The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land however remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. Soon they agreed to marry. But on the other side of the island, there was still nothing.

After his new-found status as a husband, the first man now started praying for a house, clothes and of course more food. And the very next day, like magic, all of these were given to him! But all along, the second man had yet not received anything.

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Finally, the first man prayed to God for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. The next morning, the man and his wife found a ship docked at their side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to maroon the second man on that island.

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The first man considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.

But just when the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven. The voice asked him, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"

"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve to leave the island!”

"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. And if not for that, you would not have received any of My blessings.”

Puzzled with that reply, the first man asked the voice, "Tell me, why you say so? What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"

The voice replied, "He prayed that all your prayers be answered."

A simple story, but a profound meaning. For all we know, most of our blessings may not be the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.

We might pride ourselves for what we are, often referring to oneself as a ‘self-made’ person. But such thoughts only go to prove how little we are aware of the fact that behind our success there are the contributions of many people. Right from our peers and friends, to our near and dear ones who do their bit silently out of love for us; our success certainly is not a fruit of our efforts alone. We are what we are because we are part of a family, a member of a society. And greatness lies in not only acknowledging this but also in being grateful for this.

The least that we can do is offer our sincere gratitude to the society at large. Even praying for others' welfare is certainly a token of gratitude to society. For, as Alfred Lord Tennyson has remarked: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” We cannot know for sure how God answers our prayers, but our part is to pray, sincerely and selflessly. And then, the magic will inevitably happen. It is for this reason that every session in the Divine Presence of Bhagavan Baba ends with the dictum Loka Samasta Sukino Bavantu – ‘May all beings everywhere be happy’.

Illustrations: Anuj Shukla, SSSU

- Heart2Heart Team


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Vol 6 Issue 07 - JULY 2008
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