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A ticket collector on a train found an old worn out wallet in a compartment full of many people. He looked inside to find the name of its owner. There was no clue. It had some money and a small picture of Lord Krishna. He held it up and asked, 'Who is the owner of this wallet?'

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In response, an old man approached and said, “That is my wallet, please give it to me.” The ticket collector then told him: “You'll have to prove that it is yours. Only then I can hand it over to you.” The old man, who had no teeth, smiled, and said, “It has a picture of Krishna in it.”

“That is no proof; anyone can have a picture of Krishna in his wallet. What is so special about that? Why is your picture not in there?” Obviously, the ticket collector was not an easy person to deal with.

The old man took a deep breath and said, "Let me tell you why my picture is not there. My father gave this wallet to me when I was in school. He used to give me a small sum of pocket money. I loved my parents and I kept their picture in it.

Later on, I replaced their picture with mine as it was an excellent color picture of a handsome looking teenager.

Some years later, I got married. My wife was very beautiful and I loved her a lot. I replaced my picture in the wallet with that of hers. I spent hours gazing at her pretty face.

When my first child was born, my life started a new chapter. I shortened my working hours to play with my baby. I went late to work and returned home early too. Obviously, my son's picture occupied the prized position in my wallet."

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The old man's eyes brimmed with tears as he continued, "My parents passed away many years ago. Last year my wife too left her mortal coil. My son is very busy with his beautiful family. He has no time for me. All that I had close to my heart is out of my reach now.

So, after all the disappointments, I have put this picture of Lord Krishna, my favorite form of God, in my wallet. It is only now that I have realized that He is the eternal companion. He will never leave me. Alas! If only I had realized this before. If only I had loved the Lord all those years, with the same intensity as I had loved my family, I would not have been so lonely today!"

The ticket collector quietly gave the wallet to the old man. When the train stopped at the next station, he directly went to the book stall at the platform and frantically started looking for a picture of his favorite form of God for his wallet!

Innumerable are the occasions when Bhagavan Baba has told us that our one and only true friend is God – He will never forsake us. He will always be with us no matter what. He alone is permanent and will never lift His compassionate gaze from us.

In a Guru Poornima discourse a few years ago, Baba said,

“Try to reduce your attachment to the world to the minimum extent possible. Be happy and make others happy. Do not hurt anybody. Consider difficulties as passing clouds. You have developed family relationships and there are bound to be some worries. But do not be perturbed by them. When you look at the vast sky, you find many clouds. Likewise, in the sky of your heart there are clouds of attachment. They just come and go. Do not worry about them… Develop equanimity and strive to attain Divinity”.

We are grateful to Heart2Heart reader, Mr. Rajen Ghayal, from USA,
who shared this story with us.

Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 6 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2008
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