The missing keysThere was once a spiritual Master who had a very high realisation but, in his day-to-day life, he was somewhat forgetful or what you might call divinely absent-minded.
One day the Master misplaced the keys to his room. He said to his disciple, "Vasant, have you seen my keys?"
"No, Master," the disciple answered, "but I will see if I can find them for you."
"Yes, dearest child, please look. And take Renu to help you. I will be really grateful to you, good boy, if you can find my keys."
Renu and Vasant looked high and low for the Master's keys while the Master waited outside his locked bedroom door.
"Oh, Renu," Vasant finally said, "Poor Master is suffering so much waiting for his keys. I sincerely hope we find them soon."
"Yes, Vasant, I feel very sad that Master can't get into his room. Let's look harder. They must be here somewhere."
Renu ran upstairs to his Master and said, "Please tell me, Master, did you go outside of the house today? Did you take your keys with you anywhere?"
"No, I have been here all day." Then, he paused. "Oh yes, yes, I did go out. I went for a walk this afternoon. Perhaps the keys are in the pocket of my coat. Please go and look in my pockets."
Sure enough, the keys were there and Renu ran and gave them to his Master. Since the Master had wasted half an hour in searching for his keys, now he would be late for the meditation he had to conduct that evening in the city, which was a few miles away from his ashram.
After changing his clothes, the Master got into his car, and Renu drove him to the meditation hall. After a few minutes on the highway, Renu asked, "Master, you have infinite occult and spiritual powers. How is it that you can't use them to find something when it is lost? And couldn't you have just entered the room without having bothered to open the door at all?"
"Yes, my child, that is true, but I pretend. If I lose my keys and my room is locked, I act like a beggar and you people go and look for my keys so that I can get into my room. I can enter without the keys; I have the capacity to go inside with my gross physical, but I don't break the cosmic law. I can do it but I don't; it is forbidden. It is like a promise. When you promise your dearest one that you will not do a particular thing, then you never do it. The Supreme and I are one, but He has asked me not to use my occult power on this type of thing. How many hundreds of times have I forgotten to take my keys with me when I go somewhere and then we are in such difficulty until you find the keys or find a way to open the door."
"But, Master, so often you are unnecessarily delayed and inconvenienced by this sort of thing."
"Yes, my dearest child, I can easily avoid these things, but I don't. Sometimes when I lose or misplace things, I inwardly laugh and laugh because I know that if I wanted to, I could easily discover where they are. That capacity I had at the age of fourteen. But just because I have promised the Supreme that I won't do it, I don't. He plays with me and, like a puppet, I do what He wants me to! Sometimes I misplace something and eventually have to come to the conclusion that it is lost for good. Then I have to buy something else to replace it."
"Master, do you remember when we looked for your wristwatch? For hours and hours we searched for it; then you found it. Did you finally remember where it was or did you eventually use occult power?"
"It is not that I recollected where it was; far from it. In that case I just used occult power and I got it. After we had wasted four hours, it was the Will of the Supreme that I use my occult power and just get it."
"Oh, Master, if you used your occult power all the time then you would become really famous for your miracles. Your mission would expand overnight and you wouldn't have to work so hard to manifest the Supreme."
"Yes, I would become a miracle-monger and then your aspiration would really descend! To constantly show miracles without a divine purpose is wrong, and to watch miracles just out of curiosity is equally wrong. The divine in you does not want you to see miracles only to satisfy your curiosity. The divine in you wants you to sincerely aspire and play the role that the Supreme has chosen for you in His divine Manifestation. We are here not to show off our capacities to others, but to do as the Supreme commands, since He is the source of our capacities."