Shri Nathji would narrate the parable below which he had heard Shri Babaji Maharaj relate.
A child fell. His mother was in the kitchen. The child tried to get up with his own efforts. He leaned against a table, but it slid away. He caught the back of a chair, but it toppled. He clutched at the curtains, which tore and fell to the ground. When all his efforts had failed, he cried out loudly to his mother in a tearful voice: Mother!
The mother was boiling milk in the kitchen. The moment she heard the cry of her child, she left the milk to boil over and came running to her child. She lifted him from the ground and clasped him to herself. The child said amidst tears:
A fine mother you are! I fell a long time ago but you came only just now.
The mother looked at the things in the room:
The table–what happened to it?
I had tried to hold on to it.
And the chair, how did it fall?
I had grabbed it to raise myself.
And the curtain?
I had grasped at it.
The mother said to the child:
Son, when you were making your own efforts to get up, I was doing my own work. But when all your efforts failed, and you called out to me, how long did I take in coming? I came running at once!
The next day, the child thought of playing games with his mother. He deliberately called out to her in a loud voice. But the mother did not respond. He called out again and again, but the mother did not come. Annoyed, he went to the kitchen and found his mother cooking daal–lentils!
Mother, said the child, you don’t love me anymore! Yesterday, when I called out to you, you left the milk to boil over and came running. Today I called you several times but you wouldn’t leave this daal to come to me.
The mother said:
Son, did you fall today?
Yes, the child lied.
Did you fall yesterday as well?
Yes, said the child.
Then how is it that you came over to the kitchen today and couldn’t do so yesterday?
The child was caught lying, and felt ashamed of himself.
The mother said:
When you genuinely need me and cry out to me, I leave everything and come running. But when you only pretend, then I, too, busy myself making daal in the kitchen!
In a like manner when we call out to God, in all earnestness, with a trembling heart, and a feeling of helplessness within, with tears in our eyes and a cry on our lips, He comes running instantly and lifts us up to Himself.
However when our cries are not genuine, when our prayers lack sincerity, when we call out to God just for the sake of calling out to Him, then He, too, remains silent.