FAITH MATTERS IN DEVOTION – STORY
Narada Muni was once asked by a brahmana:
“Oh, you are going to meet the Lord? Will you please ask Him when I’m going to get my salvation?”
“All right,” Narada agreed. “I shall ask Him.”
As Narada proceeded, he met a cobbler who was sitting under a tree mending shoes, and the cobbler similarly asked Narada, “Oh, you are going to see God? Will you please inquire of Him when my salvation will come?”
When Narada Muni went to the Vaikuntha planets, he fulfilled their request and asked the Lord Narayana about the salvation of the brahmana and the cobbler.
Lord Narayana replied, “After leaving this body, the cobbler shall come here to me.”
“What about the brahmana?” Narada asked.
“He will have to remain there for a number of births. I do not know when he is coming.”
Narada Muni was astonished, and he finally said, “I can’t understand the mystery of this.”
“That you will see,” Lord Narayana said. “When they ask you what I am doing in My abode, tell them that I am threading the eye of a needle with an elephant.”
When Narada returned to earth and approached the brahmana, the brahmana said, “Oh, you have seen the Lord? What was He doing?”
“He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle,” Narada answered.
“I don’t believe such nonsense,” the brahmana replied.
Narada could immediately understand that the man had no faith and that he was simply a reader of books.
Narada then left and went on to the cobbler, who asked him, “Oh, you have seen the Lord? Tell me, what was He doing?”
“He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle,” Narada replied.
The cobbler began to weep, “Oh, my Lord is so wonderful, He can do anything.”
“Do you really believe that the Lord can push an elephant through the hole of a needle?” Narada asked.
“Why not?” the cobbler said, “Of course I believe it.”
“How is that?”
“You can see that I am sitting under this banyan tree,” the cobbler answered, “and you can see that so many fruits are falling daily, and in each seed there is a banyan tree like this one. If, within a small seed there can be a big tree like this, is it difficult to accept that the Lord is pushing an elephant through the eye of a needle?”
This is called faith. It is not a question of blindly believing. There is reason behind the belief. If Krishna can put a large tree within so many little seeds, is it so astounding that He is keeping all the planetary systems floating in space through His energy?
Although scientists may think that the planets are being held in space simply by nature alone, behind nature there is the Supreme Lord. Nature is acting under His guidance.
As Lord Krishna states:
“This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is being created and annihilated again and again.” (Bhagavad Gita. 9.10).