Odilia Carmen Chirica

Singer, writer, speaker, coach, counsellor, muse... mostly a thinker - simply just BEING.

Showing posts with label stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stories. Show all posts

"There was once a brahmin priest who earned his livelihood by performing religious services for the people in his village. He was known for his devotion to the god Vishnu, and people regarded him as a holy man. Among his hundreds of followers was a shepherd who wanted to see God - even though he had no idea of what God was. His sheep did not require much attention, so he had plenty of time to visit the priest and barrage him with questions about God. "Why does Vishnu have four arms?" he would ask. "Why does he always sleep on a snake? Why does he have a lotus growing from his navel? Why does his wife just sit next to him without doing anything? If Vishnu is God, then who is Shiva? Which of them is the most powerful? Is there any God higher than Vishnu and Shiva? Which kind of God is the most powerful and kind to human beings?" 

The priest gave the shepherd all kinds of philosophical answers, even explaining the symbolic meaning of the different limbs, weapons, and other characteristics of the gods, but the shepherd was so dense he could not grasp any of these theological answers. Finally, in frustration, the priest thought of how to explain God in a way that made sense to the simple man. He convinced the shepherd that 

God looks like a sheep - the healthiest and most beautiful sheep ever known. He then instructed the shepherd to go into the forest and pray to this Sheep God and not to eat, drink, or sleep until He appeared. Delighted, the shepherd did exactly as the priest instructed. 

On the third day, God came. But he looked like Vishnu, not like a sheep. "I am pleased with your devotion," Vishnu said. "Tell me, what boon do you wish from me?" 

Startled, the shepherd asked, "Who are you? You are beautiful, but what are you doing here in the forest?" 

"I am God," Vishnu replied. "You have been praying to me." 

"God looks like a sheep," the shepherd retorted. "You are a fake. Don't waste my time." 

So Vishnu left. An hour later the Sheep God came. He too said, "I am pleased with your devotion. Tell me, what boon do you wish from me?" 

This time the shepherd was overwhelmed. He got up and greeted God, yet he wondered how a sheep could speak in human language and suspected that he was being tricked again. So he said, "You look like God, but why are you speaking in the human tongue?" 

Immediately God emitted a magnificent bleat. Then he said, "That is how I usually speak, but unless I speak your language, how can you understand?" 

The shepherd was still a bit skeptical, so he asked God to come with him so his priest could verify that he was really God. 

"Wonderful," God replied. "Lead the way and I will follow." 

"You might change your mind," the shepherd replied. "Let me take you by the ear." 

So it was that the shepherd arrived at the home of the priest leading God by the ear. "Look, sir!" he called. "God is here!" 

Annoyed, the priest came out and shouted at the shepherd. "It's a sheep, idiot! You have lost your mind."

The shepherd began praying, "O God, help my priest to under- stand you." 

The priest was also praying: "O Lord, help this foolish man to understand you." 

As they prayed, God appeared simultaneously as Vishnu to the priest and as a sheep to the shepherd. At least, that's how they perceived it. 

When the priest fell at the feet of Vishnu the shepherd thought he was prostrating to the Sheep, so he too prostrated. 

Both were happy because they had seen God. They were grateful to each other for a few hours - but by the next day they had resumed their old habits."

... to your realization, In Lak`ech,  #OdiliaCarmen
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"Maulana Rumi has given us a beautiful illustration of a loving prayer that a simple and unsophisticated shepherd boy was muttering in his own humble way as Prophet Moses passed by him. He was saying:

O God! where art Thou? I would like to serve Thee. I would knit for Thee woolen garments and comb Thy hair. I would like to serve Thee with milk, curd, cheese and clarified butter, tend Thee in Thine illness, kiss Thy hands and massage Thy feet. I would like to make a sacrifice of all my sheep and goats for Thy sake.

These words of the shepherd boy sounded as heresy to the Prophet, who in a rage began to reprimand the boy saying: "Shut up your mouth, O infidel. Why are you talking like a fool? Withdraw your insolent words or else God will curse us with hell-fires for your blasphemy. God is not a human being and He does not stand in need of any of the things that you offer Him. He is a spirit, without any hands and feet, and you have insulted Him with your idle talk." Stung to the quick, the simple-hearted boy tore his clothes, ran to the wilderness and wept bitterly for having incurred the displeasure of God. In the intensity of his agony he lost his consciousness, and behold, he saw within him the Light of God and heard a sweet and kind voice assuring him that all his prayers, sincere as they were, were acceptable to God and He was greatly pleased with him for his offerings. On the other hand, when Moses went into his wonted meditation, he felt that God was sorely vexed with him for having driven a loving soul away from Him. God reprimanded him,

You came into the world for uniting people unto Me, and not for separating those who were one with Me, and spake thus:

Everyone remembers Me in his own words and according to his own inner feelings. I have accepted all that the shepherd boy offered Me spontaneously in his innocent and unpolished words as they may appear to you, but I am highly displeased with you for having driven him from his communing with Me. I am not affected by words alone, for whatever they be, they do not in any way sanctify Me but purify the heart of him who utters them. I see not to the glossy words but to the heart and the inner sincerity that lies therein behind the words, for it is from the abundance of heart that a man speaks, no matter in what broken and uncouth words he may give expression to his feelings. O Moses! there is a world of difference between the learned, entangled in the etiquette of polished speech, and the love-stricken hearts that give vent to what is within them, the withered souls in the waste-land of the heart, lost to all sense of decency and decorum as you would call it. Don't you know that even the Government does not impose any land revenue on a land that is banjar or a waste. A martyr in God needs thy care and attention. The religion of love is quite different from the religion of set formalism and ritual and for the lovers there is no religion higher than that of God Himself. A jewel remains a jewel even if it has no hallmark on it.

When Moses heard these words, he felt terrified and went to the jungle, found out the shepherd boy and said, "I have brought for you happy tidings. God has accepted all your prayer and your seemingly heretic words are as good as those of a devout and your devotion is the light of your body. Whatever comes to you from within, utter without any fear." The boy replied smilingly, "O Moses, I have now far transcended all the barriers of the flesh. Your rebuke was enough to bring in me a great change. Now I know the Great One and my condition is that which no words can portray." www.ruhanisatsangusa.org

... to your realization, In Lak`ech,  #OdiliaCarmen
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