A renowned sage lived in the forest with his disciples.  One beautiful morning the disciples sat around the Guru as usual.  After the daily lessons were over one of the disciples asked a question:

“Adored Sir : Will you please explain to us whether a disciple has to work out his evolution himself or seek the grace of a Guru?  Is Guru an important factor for attainment of Realization?”

Guru was pleased to hear the question/He said : “Listen to me.  My dear boys : I will neither say yes nor no.  I will relate a story and you can draw your conclusions.”

            The disciples loved to hear stories related by the Guru to teach morals.  They sat up in earnestness.  Guru began:

            “Once a man had three silver coins.  He wanted to go to a city to invest his money in a small business.  He desired to become rich.  He slipped the coins into his pocket and set off on his journey.

            He reached a forest which he had to cross.  On his way, he felt hungry and thirsty.  He thought to break his long journey for a little while, have a quick snack and rest.

            Before he resumed his journey he checked his pocket to make certain that the coins were safe.  He found them missing.

            He grew worried.  These were the only possessions he had in the world.  The three silver coins meant a lot to him.  His whole future was based on them.  He decided to search for the coins.  He began searching in the tall thickly grown grass.

            A traveler happened to pass by.  He saw the man searching for something.  He enquired:

            My Dear fellow : What are you searching for? Did you lose something? The first man replied : Yes sir, I have lost my three silver coins in this forest.

            The traveler said : It is a thick forest.  Grass has grown long.  I doubt very much whether you will find the lost little pieces of coins.  Why waste your time?  Go ahead.  Forget the coins.

            The man continued his search.  Ignoring the advice.  He thought to himself : If I get my three coins back, I will buy nuts to sell.  That will fetch me ten coins.  I will again buy some gords for ten and sell them for thirty coins.  I would further invest my money in shipping and cargo and sell the goods in different countries on a profit.  Soon, I would become the wealthiest man of the country.

            He went on thinking and searching with doubled zeal.  He was sure to find them, so he never slackened his efforts.  He spent three days and three nights in the forest in this pursuit.  The coins never left his mind.

            Many fellow travelers passed that way and asked what he was doing.  When they learned that he was looking for three silver coins since several hours, they considered him a fanatic.  They offered their advice : Leave the pursuit.  Go and earn more instead of wasting your time in the forest looking for a little money which can be earned again. 

            Men laughed and joked and went away.  They were least bothered by the man’s pursuit.

            This man would not leave his efforts in spite of everything.  Every time he was ridiculed, he redoubled his zeal for the search.  He determined to find the coins again.

            His long, unwavering search came to an end when his eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of a shining object.  He ran towards the object and lifted it in his hand.  Lo : It was a divine diamond which fulfilled all the desires of the owner.  He was overjoyed to find the diamond.

            He now realized that had he listened to the advice of the travelers, he would have missed the diamond.  How lucky he was that he had lost the three coins in the forest and had decided to search for them.  Had he not spent hours and nights in the pursuit, he would not have found the divine gift.

            Mysterious are the ways divined by God to bring his devotees on the path of spiritual pursuit.  Mysterious are the ways God grants awards to his faithful devotees.

            My dear pupils : I now leave it to you to decide whether the three silver coins were really instrumental in finding the heavenly diamond.  Whether the man could have every found the diamond without those silver coins.”

            The pupils got the answer to their question.  They perfectly understood the role of a real Guru who is a powerful instrument in setting disciples on the right path.

            The man who possessed the three coins did not know what he was going to find out.  And disciples are also unaware of the divine award they will receive in serving, listening and following the Guru.

            This great Guru was sage Vashishtha and the blessed disciple who posed the question was Ram.

            Guru is the Light on the path which leads to the Divine Mansion of God.

                        God is in Guru.

                        All glories are his glory.

                        There is nothing without Him.

                        There is nothing outside Him.

                        The whole universe exists in the womb of God.

                        Glory be to the Guru.

                        Who shows the path.`

                        Let us bow down to God who resides in the Guru.

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