The disadvantages of desire-fulfilment

Once there was a great singer who had been performing in public for many years. Unfortunately, all of a sudden he lost his hearing. At first he felt miserable, because he thought he would no longer be able to continue his profession, but he soon found, to his surprise, that he could still maintain the same high standard when performing.

The singer prayed and prayed to get his hearing back. One night, after quite a few years, a luminous being appeared to him. The being was able to speak without using words. It said, “Do you want to regain your hearing?”

The singer said, “Oh, yes! For the last ten years I have not been able to hear at all, but before that I could hear perfectly. When I was able to hear, some members of the audience would criticise my singing and some would appreciate it. On the whole, it seemed to me that more people appreciated me than criticised me. Right now, although I cannot hear their opinions, I feel that my audience is much more critical. How I wish I could have my hearing back!”

The luminous being said, “If you want to get back your hearing, I have the power to restore it to you, but I cannot promise that people will appreciate you more.” The luminous being blessed the singer, and right then and there he got back his hearing.

Early the next morning, the singer was rudely awakened by the sound of loud voices. His wife and their two sons were having a serious altercation. The poor singer found that his morning peace was completely shattered. That very evening he was supposed to give a most important performance. For the rest of the day he practised, and then he went to give his concert. During the performance everything seemed to be normal, but at the end there was no applause. Not even one person clapped!

The singer was extremely puzzled. He said to himself, “What is this? When I was deaf I could not hear the applause, but I could see that people were clapping. Now I can hear, but I am experiencing the same silence!”

The audience did not know that the famous singer was no longer deaf, and they were all wondering why his singing had changed overnight. They said to each other, “My God! He has lost his singing capacity completely. What a wonderful singer he was in the past! Recently also he sang well, but tonight’s performance was simply abominable!” The audience members were so sad and disappointed that they did not clap at all for the singer.

Unavoidably, the singer heard the complaints of his listeners, and he went home that night completely downhearted. He said to his wife and children, “Now I have come to realise that when I lost my hearing, it was a great blessing. I have had my hearing back for only one day, and already I am deeply regretting it. Early in the morning I was forced to listen to the sound of my own family quarrelling and fighting. And this evening’s performance went so badly that the entire audience remained silent after my performance.”

For a few moments the singer remained silent. Then he continued, “O God, everything that You do for us is for our own good. I have learned my lesson. Now please take my hearing back! I do not want to hear anymore. One day is enough! I do not want to hear unkind and undivine things about others and I do not want to hear negative things about myself. When I was deaf, I was happy in my own world. I do not want to hear anything! O Lord, do come and take my hearing back!”

But, alas, God did not come to his rescue. The poor singer was compelled to listen to constant criticism. Ultimately he was forced to abandon his singing career because everybody said that he had lost all his capacity.

When this singer started his journey, it was full of promise. Even after he had lost his hearing, his achievement was not adversely affected. On the contrary, it became more and more glorious. Then, when the singer got back his hearing at a ripe old age, he became utterly miserable. His forward march took an about-face. Why? It was all because of his desire-prayers. For years and years he prayed to God to give him back his hearing, and eventually God fulfilled his desire. When God fulfils our desires after our repeated requests, sometimes it is to our greatest disadvantage!