The marriage of courage and fearOnce the King asked the minister to bring him the bravest person and the most cowardly person he could find. The following day the minister brought only one person to the King. The King became angry. “How is it that you have brought only one person?” he shouted. “I wanted to see two different persons with two different characters.”
“Please don’t be angry, your Majesty,” said the minister. “You wanted to see both cowardice and bravery. If I can show you both these qualities in one person, will you not be satisfied?”
“Certainly I will,” replied the King. “But it is impossible for someone to be at once the bravest and the most cowardly person.”
“No, it is not,” said the minister, “and I will prove it to you.” With that, he presented to the King a young and beautiful woman.
“I will tell you in what way she is very brave, and in what way she is very timid. This girl will walk miles through the pouring rain on a deserted road at midnight in order to visit her boyfriend. At that time of night no man would dare go where she goes alone without a thought for her own safety. But when this girl is at home with her husband, if a tiny mouse makes a noise or a little cockroach crawls by, she will be frightened to death. She will stand on a chair and scream until someone chases it away. So you can see that she is at once the bravest and the most cowardly person.”
The King was satisfied with his minister’s choice.
It was the girl’s necessity to go to visit her boyfriend. Necessity will make even the weakest person strong. But when there is no necessity, immediately one becomes weak. You know that in competition Mangal throws the javelin very far. But if his wife asks him to take out the garbage, he has no strength. If she asks him to bring her a piece of bread from the kitchen, he can’t bring it. He is tired, he is exhausted. Strength comes only with the feeling of necessity.
In the spiritual life, where do we get strength? It comes from faith. If you have faith in me, in your spiritual Master, immediately you become the strongest man. If you have faith in me, then you can do anything I ask you. With a strong faith you can climb the Himalayas. But when you don’t have faith, you are helpless. Without faith, even if you see an ant, you will be afraid. The ant will not necessarily bite you, but just because you know that it can bite, you are half dead with fear.
Look at the strength of faith. In India it happened that a child heard many times from his mother that tigers kill people and devour them. Then, when he saw a picture of a tiger on the wall, he immediately fainted. He had great faith in his mother, and she had instilled fear in him. If a spiritual child can have faith in his spiritual Mother and Father, he will make the fastest progress. If you are told that you will realise God if you pray to a picture of Krishna, and if you have tremendous faith and pray to a picture of Krishna, you will realise God.
Faith can work either in a positive or in a negative way. But if you have no faith either in a positive or a negative way, then you will be the weakest person on earth.