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Posted on: Oct 25, 2016
The Little Black Dot
A small-town chamber of commerce once invited a speaker to address the gathering at its annual dinner. The community's economy was bad, people felt discouraged, and they wanted the motivational speaker to boost their morale. During her presentation, the lady took a large sheet of white paper and made a small black dot at the centre with a marking pen. She held up the paper before the group and asked, “What do you see?” One person instantly said, “I see a black dot.”
She said, “Okay. What else do you see?” Others joined in agreement, “A black dot.” She further asked, “Don't you see anything besides the dot?” A resounding “No!” came from the audience. She continued, “What about the sheet of paper? I am sure you have all seen it but you have chosen to overlook it.”
“Similarly, in life, we too tend to overlook and take for granted many wonderful things that we have or that happen around us. We instead focus our attention and energy on small, dot-like failures and disappointments. The so-called ‘problems’ that we have are usually like the black dot on the paper. They are small and insignificant — if only we can broaden our outlook and look at the bigger picture.”
It would be pertinent at this point to recall what Bhagawan Baba once revealed to a group of devotees. He said, “If your mind is meditating on Me, I will protect you from all difficulties. I have given three quarters of happiness and only one quarter of difficulties to human beings. People cannot bear even that and presume it to be a mighty mountain.”
“When they are hungry, they eat hurriedly. After filling their stomachs, if they find even one stone in the last morsel, they complain that the entire food was filled with stones. I keep giving small difficulties every now and then so that the minds of people are turned towards God. Without understanding this, people blame God.”
Let us ruminate upon how Bhagawan taught this profound life lesson to an ardent devotee couple who had been closely associated with Bhagawan and various Sai activities since the late 1960s. They had five sons and a daughter who was mentally challenged and sometimes turned quite violent. However she would calm down whenever she was taken to Bhagawan.
It was quite a task for the couple to manage this daughter. At one point of time, they felt they could not manage her and the husband went to Bhagawan and prayed, “Swami, we are at the end of our patience. She is becoming intolerably violent and we are not able to manage her at all. When she is violent, she hurts herself and all of us at home. Please take her and put an end to all this.”
Without giving any direct answer, Bhagawan went on asking the devotee a few questions such as, “Where do you work? What is your salary? How many children do you have? What is each child doing? How is your relationship with your parents, wife, and children?” The devotee answered the questions listlessly to start with but when it came to his sons, parents, and wife, he answered with a beaming face and tone, expressive of his happiness.
Bhagawan then asked him, “When I have blessed you with so many good things in life, good parents, good wife, good sons, good job, money and comforts, can't you put up with this one difficulty? If this child is born in a poor man's house, will he be able to manage? Daily, you get a garland and place on My photo. Stop that. Instead, attend to your daughter with love and compassion. To Me, that is true worship.”
This instantly opened the eyes of the devotee. From that day onwards the entire family began regarding the daughter as Bhagawan Himself and took care of her very lovingly.
Let us not be among those who focus attention and energy on dot-like problems. Instead, let us remember Bhagawan at all times and offer gratitude for even the little blessings in life. When we do so, He will fill us with the strength to tackle the not-so-pleasant situations too.
- Radio Sai Team
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