guidance. The guru gave him an idol of VISHNU and also necessary
instructions for daily worship. But the saadhaka found that, even
after some months of meticulous puja, he did not get any spiritual
reward or elation.
So, he reported his dissatisfaction and the guru gave him another
idol, this time of SHIVA and asked him to have another try. The
disciple came after another six months demanding another idol, because
even Shiva had failed him. This time, he got a GANESHA idol, which he
duly installed in his domestic shrine. The two previous idols were
standing, dust-ridden and neglected, on the window-sill.
After a few months he was quite disgusted at the progress he made &
went to the Guru again for the 4th time. This time the Guru gave him
an idol of DURGA & the Saadhaka said if this also doesn't work, he
wouldn't bother the Guru again!
One day, while performing Durga-puja, the disciple found that the
perfumed smoke from the incense-stick was being wafted by the breeze
towards the dusty idol of SHIVA on the window-sill. He got wild that
the ungrateful stonehearted SHIVA who was deaf to his powerful prayers
earlier should get the perfume intended for his latest idol that was
So, he took a piece of cloth and tied it round the face of SHIVA,
closing up the nostrils that were inhaling the perfume & continued
with his DURGA puja.
Suddenly, to his immense surprise LORD SHIVA appeared in all His
splendor and Glory & stood before the saadhaka! The man was
dumb-founded & stunned that in spite of the ill-treatment that he had
given to SHIVA, the LORD gave him darshan.
So he asked SHIVA, "When I was doing DURGA puja, why are you giving me
darshan & why didn't you come before me when I was worshipping you
LORD SHIVA answered, "My dear devotee, for the first time you believed
that the SHIVA idol was alive, conscious & full of life and it was
that belief which forced you to tie the bandage around my nose! The
moment you realized that the idol was full of consciousness you got
the realization that you were struggling to get all along!!!"
SHIVA continued, "Therefore, you should see, not the stone which is
the material stuff of the idol, but the Power that is inherent in it,
that is symbolized by it, is the same DIVINE Power that is inherent in
your own heart and that pervades and transcends all creation. It's the
same power in the whole UNIVERSE!!!"
"This time you believed the stone image to be God while earlier you
used to bring God down to the level of a stone image! You may worship
a picture as God, but you should not worship God as a picture!!!
That's essentially the difference! Wood, stone or mud may be assumed
to be Divine, but Divinity should not be limited to wood, stone or
mud" concluded SHIVA.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God