He was a singer of God’s name. As he sang, he filled the hall with the rich melody of his voice: and he thrilled the hearts of his listeners with the richer music of his dedicated life.
With outstretched arms, he sang, again and again:
The birds do not sow
Nor do they reap:
And they save not
For the morrow.
Yet each day
They eat and drink
To their fill,
And lift up their hearts
In gratitude to Him who is
The giver of all that is!
O ye that would tread the pilgrim-path!
Cast all thy cares upon the Lord!
Chant His Name,
By day and night:
And fill the Earth
With the fragrance of Heaven!
He, the Lord of Love,
Becometh, in love,
A server and a burden-bearer
Of His devotees
And their disciples!
He never asks anything of anyone
More than once he came to our satsang [fellowship meetings] and did kirtan [singing of God’s Name]. We listened to him with rapt attention: we joined in his singing: and the eyes of many glistened with unbidden tears.
On one such occasion, as the kirtan came to a close, an elderly gentleman who sat near me asked, “How does he manage to live? He never asks for anything of anyone!”
And I said to him, “Does a prince need to beg of anyone? His Father, the King, gives him all he needs—and more!”
My elderly friend did not grasp the meaning of my words. He smiled a bland smile.
My thoughts were elsewhere. I recalled how, on more than one occasion, Sri Ramkrishna Parmanhans, speaking to his disciples, said: “The man of faith is like a python. He moves not in search of food: his food comes to him.”
God makes provisions for the unborn too
And the Saint related a parable of deep significance. A young ascetic, who has lived apart from men since his childhood, goes out to beg every day. One day, he is given food by a young girl. The ascetic sees her breasts and not knowing what they are, mistakes them for tumours.
“Do they pain you, my sister?” he asks the girl.
The girl begins to blush. Her mother, who happens to be present, explains to the ascetic “In due course, this young girl will become a mother. And God has given her these breasts that she may, in the fullness of time, be able to give milk to children who may be born to her.”
In sheer wonderment, the ascetic exclaims, “God has already made provision for those that are yet to be born! Surely, He must have provided for me, too! I do not need to beg!” And he gives up begging.
According to an eastern tradition, there came to Jesus a few of his countrymen, saying, “You ask us to sell all and give to the poor. Then tell us, who will give us our daily food?”
Pointing to some ants crawling on the ground, Jesus said, “Who gives food to the ants?”
“They need so little!” was the answer.
“Then look at yon birds,” said Jesus. “Who gives food to the birds?”
“They have wings with which to fly and pluck fruits from trees!”
“And what about the wild beasts?” Jesus asked. “See how fat they are! They, too, get their daily food.”
Faith will take you through
This conviction will not come by reading books or listening to lectures. It is not a matter of rationalisation or argumentation. It will not come by intellectual analysis or reasoning of the mind. It will come by faith. And faith belongs to him who has learnt to love. In love we renounce our little ‘ego’ and so rise above the cares and worries of earthly existence. In love, we know that we belong to Him who takes care of us as a mother takes care of her only child.