A learned guru gave a sat sang (discourse) every Sunday. Many people came regularly to listen; some were deeply devoted. One such person was a man named Ramayya.
One day after the discourse Ramayya went up to the guru and said, “Guruji, I try very hard to change my daily behavior, but always fail. Your lectures inspire me and I resolve to improve myself; but as soon as I face difficult situation anger bursts and the worst in me comes out. It might help me if you give me a solid object like a Talisman as a reminder for such times.”
The guru listened patiently and promised to give a Talisman on the following Sunday. So Ramayya received a small packet, took it home and placed it next to the god’s image in his little puja room (home temple).
A few weeks passed. The Talisman seemed not to have made any change in Ramayya’s behavior. Unable to resist his curiosity he one day opened the package to look. It had three things: a ball of cotton, a sewing needle, and a lamp. Ramayya was puzzled; ‘what do these 3 ordinary things signify? Why has the guru given them to me? He should know that every household has these things.’
On his next visit to the sat sang he asked the guru to explain. The guru said, “With cotton we make cloth, and cloth covers our shame. Cloth teaches us never to probe people’s flaws. If by chance you hear something, do not go round telling everyone. Like cloth, cover it, so that no one else will know. Second, the needle is used to join what has been torn apart; you too must always do that. When you see people turned enemies by small or big discords, do what you can to resolve them and restore peace and friendliness. Third, light dispels darkness; but only when it is lit. All of us are born with a divine light; we must remember always to keep it burning. If you do so you will not only overcome your own anger and violence, but spread love, kindness and truth wherever you go.”
The guru further said, “The overall idea of the Talisman is that you fix the 3 messages in your mind. After some time they will change your behavior and also, like a magnet, draw more good traits to themselves. Now shut the box, place it where it was and totally relax. The Talisman will work.”
March 26, 2005