Our faith diminishes because our ambitions are limitless.
There is a small story of this. There was a rich person
who had a daughter, with a flat nose. The father wanted to get this
girl married. Every person who came and looked at the girl used to go
away, although they were tempted by the wealth. In those days, persons
who could perform plastic surgery were not available. In desperation,
he announced that he would give plenty of money to anyone who would
marry the girl. He somehow found some one willing to marry her.
The marriage was performed, and thereafter the couple developed considerable
faith in God. They visited many temples, went on many pilgrimages
and bathed in many sacred rivers. They met a saint who advised them
that no one who is involved in worldly matters can give a good nose.
He, who created the nose, can alone bring it back to normal. Although
they had a lot of wealth, they were not happy at all. The girl used
to feel that others were looking at her and making fun.
She suggested to her husband that they should both go to the lonely
Himalayas and pray to God and spend a month there in that manner. He
agreed and they did so. The girl had a great desire to get back her
nose, so she began to pray to God in great earnestness. God appeared,
due to her good luck, and asked her what she wanted. As soon as God
appeared, she asked for the grant of a good-looking big nose. God said,
so be it and granted her the boon. As soon as God disappeared, she looked
at her face. She looked at the big nose and felt that she had become
uglier than before. She prayed again more earnestly and God appeared
again and asked her what she wanted. She said that she did not want
that big nose. God said, so be it and granted her the boon. She immediately
found that her nose had completely disappeared. Then she thought that
she was praying to God for a good nose and in the process, she lost
her nose completely.
The moral of this story is that although God is present
before you, playing with you, and talking with you, you do not know
what to ask, when to ask and where to ask. Not knowing what we should
ask, we are asking him for something while really we want something
else. In this process, we are getting ourselves into difficulties. God
is always ready to give you all that you want, but you do not seem to
know what is good for you and what you really want. Since you do not
know what you should want and under what circumstances, it is better
and easier to surrender yourself completely to God and
simply ask for His grace.
Discourse, the Summer Course in Spirituality and
Indian Culture at Brindavan, Whitefield, Bangalore in May 1973