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The Pin

The village was celebrating a great religious festival and everybody had come to worship at the little temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. One devoted woman had been waiting patiently all day for a chance to offer flowers and           worship, but the flow of people into the temple had been ceaseless. Finally, at the end of the day her moment came. So absorbed was she in her devotion that she did not notice the priest who had come to lock the temple for the night.  Believing the temple empty, he bolted the heavy door from the outside and went away.

There was the poor woman, unable to leave.  Being of positive mind and thought, she rather welcomed the opportunity to worship all night.  What could be more pleasant?  So, all would have been well if it had not been for the fact that sometime during the night ‘nature called’ and the temple had no toilet facilities.  Finally, when she could no longer control her bodily functions, a miracle happened: by the immeasurable grace of Shiva, it turned into GOLD.

Morning came, the doors were opened and within minutes news of the wondrous happening of the night had spread through the entire village.  Human nature now exerted itself; greed took over.  Every villager started doing the same thing – being the last one in the temple at night.  Consequently the whole village became very rich, all except one man, a Brahmin and great devotee of God.

One day his wife asked him: “Why don’t you go too?  We live in great poverty although we work from morning till night.” 

“No, he replied, “this is not our path to acquire riches by the wrong means, and to abuse the Lord’s bounty can only result in tragedy.  The way this wealth has been earned, it will be lost one day, just wait and see.”

The more he contemplated on the recent events, the more he became convinced that he and his family should leave this village which had become so sinful.  Their few belongings were quickly packed and they hurried on their way.  “You will see, he said, “it won’t be long before the disaster will strike.”

Soon the village boundary was reached and they stopped to see what would happen - nothing happened!  The husband pondered for a while and finally concluded that they must have left something behind.  He went back into the village to take another look at the little cottage which had been their home.  Shortly he returned with a pin, a pin his wife had used for her sewing work.  As he crossed the boundary with the pin, fire sprang up within the village, spreading so rapidly that it was not long before the whole village was reduced to a heap of smoldering ashes.  Mother Earth had cleansed the place where the Lord’s Grace had been so blatantly abused by her most effective means of purification:  FIRE.

 This little story not only warns against the misuse of Divine Grace but it also demonstrates how the virtue and merit of one individual can offset the debts of many.  However, as soon as this stabilizing factor is withdrawn, the catastrophe can take place. 

By that token one may wonder what it is that still ‘holds’ this planet with its ever increasing negativities.  The fact is that there are some Beings who have no debts, no karma of their own, and who, by virtue of their own purity and compassion, can and do take on the load of others, thus creating neutrality and balance.

Contemplation on such a sacrifice should bring about an awareness of the responsibility that each and every one of us bears: to support humankind by consciously adding one’s individual positivity to that of the Divine.

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