Who is stronger?

There was once a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, a spiritual singer and poet named Surdas. Surdas was blind from infancy. He had six brothers who all died while fighting in a battle against the Muslims. Although Surdas was totally blind, he went in search of his brothers’ bodies. While searching, he fell into a well that had no water in it.

For six days Surdas was trapped inside the well. During this time he repeated the name of Krishna, the Avatar of Lord Vishnu, over and over again. At the end of six days Lord Vishnu himself appeared and with his occult power lifted Surdas out of the well. Lord Vishnu also granted Surdas vision so that he would be able to see everything in a normal way.

For a few days Surdas was extremely happy. Then he began to feel miserable because he saw that the world is full of ugliness and that people are always quarrelling and fighting with each other. Finally he said to Lord Vishnu, “O Lord Vishnu, I don’t want to see these things anymore. Please take away my vision again. When I didn’t see human ignorance so vividly, I was very happy and peaceful. Please make me blind so that I can be happy again.” Lord Vishnu granted his prayer, and once again Surdas became blind.

Surdas used to compose most soulful songs. Since he had many good friends and relatives, there was always someone who was kind enough to write down the words and music for him. One day when he was greatly inspired, he began calling out for one of his stenographers, but no one was available.

Suddenly Surdas felt the presence of someone and said, “Please tell me who you are. Announce your name.” But the person wouldn’t answer. Since Surdas very strongly felt somebody’s presence, he tried to grab the person, but immediately the person vanished from his grasp.

Surdas said, “I know, my Lord, it is You who have come to me. You have the power to snatch Yourself away from my grasp on the physical plane. So in this way You are physically stronger than I am. But let me see if You are spiritually stronger than my heart. Let me see if even for a fleeting second You can disappear from Your devotee’s heart. This is my challenge. I am sure that spiritually You cannot withdraw from me, because of the heart of love and devotion that You have given me. You will not be able to leave my heart even for a fleeting second.”

Surdas was right. Lord Vishnu could never escape from the loving heart of his devotee.