Have Patience

Disciple says, “Gurudev, please help me. I do a lot for everyone, but no one appreciates it. I am always criticized even though I strive for their wellbeing. I don’t feel like doing anything for anyone because it is worthless.”

Gurudev says, “My dear child, every action bears fruit. It may take some time, a few days or even a few years. You tell me if you plant a seed today, will it grow into a tree overnight? It won’t. If a simple thing as growing a tree takes time, here we are talking about efforts taken by human beings.”

Disciple says, “But Gurudev, we don’t know if our actions will bear the desirable fruit. I feel that if there is no guarantee that my actions will give me a good result, why should I even waste my time doing good deeds?”

Gurudev says, “O my dear child, listen –

Farmer: discerning mind
Farming: impressions of the mind/intellect
Sowing seed: to work
Watering: using the discerning mind
Fruit of a good crop: fruit of the action

Now you must have understood, On the onset of rains, the farmer begins sowing seeds on his farm. Once he is done, he must wait patiently. In the meantime, he continues his work of watering the plants, weeding, spraying insecticides and fertilizers and protecting the crops from birds, and other animals. He takes utmost care of his crops knowing fully well that if he does not do so, all his efforts will be futile. So is with our every action.”

Disciple says, “How is that Gurudev?”

Gurudev says, “We should take utmost care, so the efforts we put in don’t go to waste. Opponents, in the form of circumstances or even people who create a hindrance, should be kept away or completely avoided. The most important thing, however, is patience. Remember what the saints have taught you. Haste makes waste, they say.”

Disciple says, “Gurudev, please tell me exactly what I should do.”

Gurudev says, “Hang on. I will tell you a story so you will have a better understanding. Rishi Gautama had many disciples. One day, he decided to put them to a test. He gave each of the disciples a brand-new bamboo basket and asked them to fill it with water and bring it back.”

Disciple says, “Really? But this is a very difficult task. Please tell me what happened next.”

Gurudev says, “Yes, yes, I am. Each one of them put the basket in water but it began floating.”

Disciple says, “It is obvious.”

Gurudev says, “Then the disciples pushed the basket into the water. Now the basket started filling up with water. But when they tried to pull it out, all the water went right through. The disciples returned to Rishi Gautama and said sternly, ‘Is a basket ever used to carry water?’”

Disciple says, “They were right, but what did the rishi say?”

Gurudev says, “The rishi was silent for a while. Then he asked, ‘Where is Balaaki? He hasn’t come yet.’ All the disciples laughed and answered, ‘Balaaki is stupid. He is sitting with his basket submerged in water waiting for it to fill up’.”

Disciple says, “Then? Did he succeed?”

Gurudev says, “Upon hearing his disciples ridiculing Balaaki, rishi Gautama was pleased. Balaaki came back. He was carrying his basket and it was filled with water.”

Disciple says, “What? The basket was filled with water! How is that even possible?”

Gurudev says, “O my child, have patience. Balaaki had kept his basket submerged in water for a reason. Prolonged contact with water allowed the bamboo sticks to swell up sealing all the gaps in the basket. It now could hold the water in.”

Disciple says, “Balaaki is quite intelligent. What happened next?”

Gurudev says, “O my child, rishi Gautama applauded Balaaki for his wit. He turned to the rest of the disciples and said, ‘Do you understand that Balaaki’s patience was rewarded.’ Do you understand what I wanted to say?”

Disciple says, “Yes Gurudev!”

Gurudev says, “Then let’s begin our meditation practice. Close your eyes, sit comfortably and watch what happens. Continue your practice each day, you will be rewarded.”