Don’t be narrow-minded – be affectionate and amiable

Acharya Vinoba Bhave was making a journey by train. While the train was passing over a river bridge, a passenger sitting beside him took a 5 paise coin from his pocket and threw into the River with deep bhava and affection while uttering ‘Gangey… Hara….’ It was seen by another person of westernised mind, proud of being educated and civilized, who was sitting beside. He was annoyed at this and said, “India is already a poor country and if the foolish devotees like you uselessly throw the wealth in a flowing river, then what else could be the fate of India except a calamitous stat?”

Vinobaji was sitting between them. Being a Saint he had a neutral view. He realised that this man was in need of satsang. This man is highly educated and has crammed a lot of books but he does not know the art of unlocking the treasure of the heart. Just as sage Jadabharata graciously instructed King Rahugana, in a similar way Vinobaji gracefully said to that gentleman: “Oh dear! You started lecturing when this man threw 5 paise into the river, but don’t you think the expenses you incur for a necktie, suit and boot that are unnecessary in this country as a waste of money? Don’t many people like you unnecessarily spend millions of rupees on powder puff (cosmetics), and luxury? You remain narrow-minded in spite of incurring all these expenses, whereas he believes the flowing river as a form of God, and beholds the light of God in the Sun god. This river is supporting the lives of millions of creatures and human beings. This is a priceless gift of God, on beholding this, he got the remembrance of the Universal Being of God. By offering obeisance to Sun, he contemplated: “The Sun (the illuminator) of the sun is the Self. May His light (Knowledge) get revealed in my heart.” And then he offered 5 paise to the river to get his heart purified and sanctified so much! How sublime did his emotions become! He developed both the inclination of renunciation and that of love in his heart.

The way you spend your earnings inclines your mind to hedonism and luxury. Even then, people like you insult such devotees by labelling their faith as superstition, but to call them superstitious is also a superstition. How much money you spend in biri, cigarettes and alcohol by putting your faith in them! In your opinion water of a flowing river is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, whereas in the opinion of this devotee, it is divine grace, flowing in the form of a river which sustains the lives of many. Such devotees appear outwardly simpleton, but do you have that much inner peace and love as they have? By offering 5 paise to the river he aroused the memory of the Universal Being in his mind, ‘O Sarveshwar! The Lord of all! You are present also in the river; you are present also in the Sun god! You are omnipresent, Oh God, your Lila (divine sports) is Infinite, O my God!” With such sublime spiritual emotions he filled his heart with love and sweetness, whereas you have narrowed your heart by labelling his faith as superstition. Tell me, who is at loss and who gained the real profit? He only gained the real profit.”

You will gain the real profit only if you too will keep filling your heart with the Love for the Lord of heart and sweetness at every opportunity in your life. The earned rupees of this world are of no value in reality because ‘even millionaires and billionaires left this world empty handed.’ If you utilise this wealth and money in service and pious acts, then that wealth will definitely give you the fruit of real profit. It will kindle love for God and bliss in your heart.