Nama Article 25th October 2014
Stories As Told By Swami Papa Ramdas
GOD EVER PROTECTS THOSE WHO RELY ON HIM
One day a man, who had not much faith in God, heard from the lips of a saint that God always protects his devotees when they are absorbed in His remembrance and meditation. This protection comes to them in all respects. The man became curious and wanted to test the assurance given by the saint. So, one day, he went to a forest some miles away from the town in which he lived and sat in the midst of a cluster of trees. He had gone to the forest in the morning and continued to stay there till midday. All the while, he was unceasingly repeating God's name with mind fixed on Him. When he was thus engaged, a man passed through this forest intending to visit a neighbouring village by a short cut. He was carrying his meal tied up in a bundle. When the traveler saw the man sitting alone by himself, it evoked sympathy and he thought he could offer him the food he was carrying with him. Accordingly, going up to the man, he gave the food to him. The man accepted the offer and ate the meal. A question arose in his mind whether it was God who fed him at the proper time or whether it was a coincidence. He felt that the test that he made was not a proper one. His mistake, he thought, was in having selected a spot frequented by human beings.
So he planned to take himself off the next day to a distant place where no human beings would go. Next day, he started early from home and walking a distance of about 4 or 5 miles and crossing a river, he saw a pretty tall hill which he climbed up looking out for a suitable lonely place for his prayers. To his pleasant surprise, he saw a hollow on the top of the hill and thought that if he sat in it, nobody would be able to find him out. He descended into it and, sitting in the middle of it, started chanting God's name with great devotion. Hours passed. Meanwhile, from the town in which this man lived, a party of ten to fifteen youngsters started on a picnic. They travelled on a boat to the appointed place up the river referred to above. Merrily the boatman rowed the boat and the young men were quite happy. But when they neared the place, where on the top of the hill the devotee was sitting, a strong breeze blew from the opposite direction and the boat would not move in spite of the strenuous efforts of the boatman. Then the boatman suggested that the party might halt at that place and finish up the picnic programme. The party had no other alternative. Getting down from the boat, they proceeded to the base of the hill. They proposed to spread a cloth on the sands and, sitting on it, make a good picnic repast of the many fine eatables they had brought with them.
One wise young man of the party warned that it would not be possible for them to eat there since the strong wind would sprinkle sand on their refreshments. Then another suggested that they might go to the top of the hill and find a suitable place there. Soon all of them, with their picnic articles, went up the hill. In their search for a place, they came across the devotee seated in the hollow of the hill. They were all delighted to see him. They, with one voice, declared that the man should be fed first from the food they had brought with them. Accordingly, they placed before the devotee a plate containing the most delicious preparations. The devotee had a hearty meal of the tasteful dishes. Now he fell to thinking seriously as to who fed him in that unknown and deserted place. It clearly dawned in his mind that God alone provided him with food as he had depended entirely on Him. 'God ever protects those who rely on Him', is an incontestable truth.