by Swami Rama Tirtha | 102,836 words
Stories in English used by Swami Rama to illustrate the highest teaching of Vedanta. The most difficult and intricate problems of philosophy and abstract truths, which may very well tax the brains of the most intellectual, are thus made not only simple and easy to understand but also brought home to us in a concrete form in such an interesting and ...
There was very good man who kept a very naughty and wicked servant. He used to do everything in a wrong way; he used to carry out the commands of his master in a curious way; in fact his way of doing things was such as to upset even the most serious man. This faithful master was never annoyed, but always treated the servant in a most charming manner. At one time, one of the guests remonstrated against the servant; he was very much annoyed and displeased with his actions and asked the master to dismiss him. The master said, "Your advice is very good, and it is given with the best intention; I know that you wish me well; I know that you want my work and business to prosper, and it is on this account that you give me this advice; but I know better, I know that my work is being spoiled, I know that my business suffers. But I keep this servant on the very ground or from the very fact of his being so unfaithful; it is his bad conduct and his wicked habits which make him so dear to me. I love him the more because he is a sinner, a wicked and unfaithful servant." This was a very strange way of speaking.
The master said, "This servant is the only person in the world, or with whom I come in contact, that disobeys mc; he is the only person who does things which are uncomplimentary, derogatory or detrimental to me. All others with whom I come in contact are so gentle, so pleasant, so loving that they dare not offend me, and so this man is out of the ordinary; he is a kind of dumb-bells, a kind of special training to my spiritual self. Just as many people use dumbbells, pulleys, or heavy weights, to exercise the muscles in order to develop their physical strength, so this servant serves as a kind of weight or dumb-bells by which my spiritual body is strengthened. Through this servant I get strength. I am compelled to do a kind of wrestling with this servant, which brings strength."
If you think your family ties are a hindrance and a stumbling block, you need not get annoyed. Just follow the example of the faithful master; make difficulties and differences an additional source of strength and power.
MORAL: Obstacles and hindrances, properly used, can be turned into a source of strength and power.