Indeed, what was dear to God was humility and repentance, and what was repugnant to Him was pride.
Shri Nathji often narrated this parable:
There was a mahatma who had been very renowned amongst the people for his sermons and piety. When he died, he discovered that he had gone to hell. He was shocked beyond measure and he cried out in despair: “O Lord! What kind of a justice is this! What sin had I committed in life to merit a place in Hell!”
The mahatma was brought before God by His devtaas–the angels.
God: “O Mahatma! Why are you finding fault with my justice!”
Mahatma: “O Lord! What shortcoming did you see in me to give me a place in hell? I had done nothing but sing Thy praises all my life!”
God: “Look back at your life and see whether you can spot any shortcoming!”
Mahatma: “O Lord, I do not recollect that there was any shortcoming in me!”
God: “Are you absolutely sure?”
Mahatma: “Yes, Lord, there was no shortcoming of any sort! Koyi kami naheen thhee!”
God: “No shortcoming of any kind? Koyi kami naheen thhee?”
Mahatma: “O Lord, I am a hundred per cent sure – there was no shortcoming of any kind! Koyi kami naheen thhee!”
God: “This is the shortcoming–that you are saying that there was no shortcoming! Yehi to kami thhee, jo too kaih rahaa hai ke koyi kami naheen thhee!”
The mahatma was taken aback. Unknown even to him, a ‘sooksham ahankaar’, a hidden pride, had taken possession of him. He had started looking upon himself as righteous and elevated, and upon other persons as sinners, lesser beings not worthy of salvation. He had desired that multitudes come to him and touch his feet and worship him and praise him.
Instead of transferring all worship to God alone, he had transferred the worship to his own self. He was full of desires even though he claimed to have renounced the world. He desired that he have a large number of followers, a large number of ashrams and buildings that would carry his name. He was capitalising on the name of God, telling others to renounce the world while running after name, fame and wealth himself. His pride had made him fall in the eyes of God.
Shri Nathji had often said:
“Jis mahatma ke dil men ek bhee shishya banaane ki ichhaa baaki raih jaati hai, vo mahatma Bhagwan ki nazaron men gir jaataa hai! A holy man who has a desire left in him to make even one follower, falls in the eyes of God!”
Shri Nathji had also said: “Man must not have pride in himself no matter how great he may become. Pride is the enemy of God. Abhimaan Bhagwan kaa shatru hai!
“God loves humility. Look at the mountain peaks. Being so high they rest upon the lowest of lands. Look at the ocean, it is the largest and yet the humblest of all. It rests at the lowest levels. And it is rewarded for its humility. All the streams and rivers in the world flow down into it. The sun is so high up but the rays of its light fall even upon the particles of dust upon the earth.”