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Faith in Providence

There was a princess who was very pious, immersed in the contemplation of the glory of God; her father sought in all the quarters for a suitable partner for her, but, could not find one. Of course, many princes competed for her hand, but, they were all worldly minded and fond of royal luxury and the father knew that his daughter would not be happy with such a partner. At last, the king heard of a young mendicant, a devoted servant of the Lord, whose face shone with inner joy.

When the king met him he pleaded that he was too poor to confer any happiness on the princess, that he lived in a little hut, that he had barely three paise with him and that he would not receive anything from others. The king was overjoyed at his piety and the marriage was celebrated with three paise only, to the satisfaction of the groom and the bride and the king.

When the princess went into the hut to share her life with the mendicant, she was surprised to find on an earthen plate a bit of bread! She asked her husband why it was kept there and he promptly replied, “I felt it could be put to use today and so, I kept it on that plate yesterday.” On hearing this, the princess said, “Then, I have no place in this hut with you. I shall return to the palace where I came from.” The husband was very much confused at her behaviour, which appeared strange. He asked why the bit of bread should so upset her. She replied, “That bit of bread proves that your faith in providence is not rooted deep; the Lord who provided for you so far, will He not feed for you this day too? Why this doubt, this hesitation about His Mercy, His Love and His Care? Either this bit of bread that is kept for another day must go or I must go out of this but,” she said.

The husband had his eyes opened by her remarks; he caught hold of her hands and pleaded her to remain as his Guru, teaching him lessons on Faith and Devotion. He thanked her for her advice and promised to mend his ways. They lived together happily, encouraging each other in the path of Sadhana, until they realised the limitless Glory of God of which they were themselves minute expressions.

(From Sanatha Sarathi, December 1965)