January 2014 by Megha Bajaj A teaching story gives Megha Bajaj the touchstone she needs to guide her actions towards peace and happiness Megha is, above all, a seeker. These days she is attempting to find herself in the role of a teacher through the online writing course designed by her. You can know more about her on www.wonderofwords.org Each time that my guru shares this story, something within me quietens. A master and his disciple return home after a long penance only to find that the roof of their house is broken. The disciple is immediately disturbed, and says, “After such penance, couldn’t God have at least kept our roof intact – so we could get a good night’s sleep?” The Master simply smiles, and says, “Lord, your ways are your ways. You knew that during our penance we used to sleep under open skies, and you wanted us to continue seeing the stars. Lord, your ways are your ways.” The disgruntled disciple lays the bed for both of them, and soon they fall asleep. However, in the middle of the night, it suddenly begins to rain heavily. The disciple shouts in anger, “After all these days of penance, we have no roof and now it is raining!” He looks around to see that the Master is no longer in his bed. As he walks out, he sees the Master dancing in the rains with his hands raised above. Shocked, he asks the Master, “What are you doing?” The Master replies with a smile, “Lord, your ways are your ways. You knew that our penance had made us dirty and dusty, so you sent heavenly showers to clean us. Thank you, Lord. Your ways are your ways!” Not able to stand it anymore, the disciple asks the Master, “How can you go on saying, ‘Lord, your ways are your ways?’” The Master smiles gently, and says, “To be honest with you – I don’t even know if there is a Lord. However, all I know is that your reaction to the situation is making you angry and upset, whereas my response is making me happy and peaceful. So, my way must be the right way.” With that, he lifts his hands once again, and sways in the rains, singing, “Lord, your ways are your ways!” For a while, the disciple just stares at him. Gradually, he smiles, lifts his hands, and says, “Lord, your ways are your ways,” and begins to dance with his Master. This story has given a direction to my life. Whenever I am in a dilemma, whether to do something or not, I ask myself, Will it give me peace and happiness? If the answer is no, I immediately know that it is the wrong way. If the answer is yes, I know it is the right way. Sometimes in relationships, we go through certain emotions, and we wonder if we should express them or not. Earlier, I would always hold back, thinking it would harm the relationship. However, after hearing this story, I’ve realised that suppression can never leave one feeling happy and peaceful. If I talk, the other may or may not understand, but at least there is a chance that both of us will be happier and more peaceful after the expression, than before it. And in this faith, I have started becoming much more expressive. Professionally too, sometimes there are projects which are highly lucrative, but may not necessarily give peace and happiness. I have started steering away from these, as I know, really know, that the right way is one which will make me happy and peaceful. Taking care of my health, gifting myself some quality ‘me’ time, investing in reading good books, meeting progressive people, and listening to great music – all of these, I know, are right for me because they leave me feeling happy and peaceful. Whenever confused, I simply re-live the story in my mind and it gently takes me towards the right way.
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