Tuesday 10 July 2007

Earnestness or Faith (Sraddha)

A devotee obtained a copy of Sri Bhagavan’s work Ulladu Narpadu (Forty Verses on Reality) and began to write out the entire work for himself. Seeing him doing this writing with earnestness, though with a certain amount of difficulty and strain, since the devotee was not accustomed to squatting and doing continuous writing work, Bhagavan told the story of a sannyasi and his disciples to illustrate what is called sraddha – earnestness of purpose.

THERE WAS ONCE a guru who had eight disciples. One day he instructed them all to make a copy of his teachings from a note- book he had kept. One of them, who had lived an easy-going life before renouncing the world, could not make a copy for himself. He, therefore paid a couple of rupees to a fellow disciple and requested him to make a copy for him also. The guru examined the copy books one day and, noticing two books in the same handwriting, asked the disciples for an explanation. Both the writer and the one on whose behalf it was written told the truth about it.

The Master commented that, though speaking the truth was an essential quality of a spiritual aspirant, it alone would not carry one to one’s goal, but that sraddha (earnestness of purpose) was also necessary. Since this had not been exhibited by the disciple who had entrusted his own labour to another, he was disqualified from discipleship. Referring to his making payment for the work, the guru sarcastically remarked that “Salvation” costs more than that and he was at liberty to purchase it rather than undergo training under him. So saying he dismissed that disciple.

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