A child's God2

Gulu had completed his fourth year and stepped into his fifth. He had been introduced to the alphabet. Gulu's father said, "Well, Gulu, I shall now put you in the primary school of the schoolmaster Aghore."

Gulu's joy knew no bounds. Now he would go to school with a satchel under his arm.

Gulu was very intelligent, and he was very fond of stories. He often teased his grandmother to tell him stories. She told him the story of Prahlad and he listened to her words with wonder and implicit faith. The whole story filled his mind. Gulu said, "How cruel is the father of Prahlad, Grandmother! What tortures he has inflicted on Prahlad! But nobody can slay him who has God for his helper."

One day it occurred to Gulu to find God. "As God is worshipped with flowers, He must be hiding in the roses in the garden," Gulu reflected. "Once I am able to discover God, I will so befriend Him that He will not be able to desert me anymore."

Gulu spent the day in the garden, shaking the plants in his search for God. But he met Him nowhere. At last he returned home disappointed.

Gulu asked his mother, "I search for God so much. Why do I not find Him, Mother?"

"Gulu, God is fond of playing. So He plays hide-and-seek with us. He is an expert player. He hides Himself in such a way that even the great saints and sages fail to find Him."

"Who then can discover Him, Mother?"

"Nobody can find Him unless He reveals Himself. Still He stays with each and every one and protects all as He did Prahlad. He hides Himself in your heart, too."

"In the core of my heart! Believe me, Mother, when I search for Him in the garden it seems someone responds from within my heart."

"It is this indweller who is God. Adore Him. Learn to love Him as you love me. He is there not only in your heart but in all hearts. Learn to love all, then He will surely reveal Himself to you."

Gulu's mind was set at rest by the words of his mother. He cherished the hope that someday God would come to him.

One day, Gulu and his mother visited his maternal uncle's house. The three of them returned home on the eve of the Pujas. The train was packed with passengers and there was not enough room. Gulu was not concerned about that. He hung out of the window to gaze at the scenery. His uncle said, "Don't bend forward like that. You may fall out, Gulu."

"How can I fall? I am holding onto the door."

Suddenly the door somehow opened out. Unable to check himself, Gulu fell outside. People inside the compartment raised cries of horror and lamentation. Gulu's mother, under the spell of despair, was about to jump from the train, but someone held her back.

It was night time. Nothing was visible in the dark. The train was running at top speed. Owing to the excitement, no one thought of pulling the chain to stop the train. Alerted by the confused noise, the passengers in the next compartment pulled the chain. The motion of the train was immediately arrested.

The train went backward. Nobody hoped to see Gulu alive. After some distance had been covered a figure became visible on a bridge. Gulu's mother cried out, "Look, my Gulu is there!"

The train stopped. Gulu's mother rushed up to him and took him in her arms. "Did you get hurt, Gulu?" she cried.

"How can I be hurt, Mother? The moment I fell down, my uncle jumped and took me in his arms."

In a surprised voice the mother said, "Your uncle did not come down. He was there inside."

"Don't tell a lie, Mother! All this time my uncle held me on his lap. As you all drew near he put me down and went that way. You can look for him."

A thrill passed through the whole body of Gulu's mother. She said, "Gulu, God saved you in the form of your uncle." At the words of his mother, Gulu was beside himself with wonder.

So God is bound to come to you when you are in real difficulty if you pray to Him every day. If you pray to God every day, then you will see God's most beautiful Form. When you see God face to face, you will be surprised because He is infinitely more beautiful than you can imagine.

To pray to God, you don't have to ask your parents for anything. In order to buy shirts or shoes or anything else, you need money. But in order to see God, you don't need money; you only need prayer. Prayer is so easy. It is like drinking water. Just pray and you will get Him. When you get Him, you will get everything you need.

CHD 94. By Mridu Bhashini Devi. Translated from the original Bengali by Sri Chinmoy