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There was Shri Nathji’s famous parable of ‘daal men namak’- salt in the dish of lentils. It was a parable that applied to most people in the world, who complained of a single shortcoming while forgetting the numerous gifts bestowed upon them by God.
A rich person invited two guests for dinner. He laid out a sumptuous meal before them consisting of several tasty dishes. His cook had, however, forgotten to put salt in the daal, the dish of lentils.
Both the guests ate to their hearts content and left. Afterwards, when the people of the town asked them how they liked the food given by the rich host, this was what each of them had to say:
One of them said: Oh, what a pathetic meal it was! The daal contained no salt. Daal men namak naheen thhaa!”
He complained of one saltless dish, while not even bothering to mention the numerous other tasty dishes he had been given to eat.
The second guest said to the people:
Oh, what a wonderful meal it was! There were numerous dishes, each more delicious than the other.
This person praised everything he had been given to eat and did not even mention the lack of salt in the daal.
When word reached the host’s ears of what his guests were saying, he wrote a letter to each of them.
To the one who had praised his food, he wrote:
My Dear Honourable Guest, I must thank you for coming to my house and eating here. I am very happy that you enjoyed the meal. You were gracious enough to praise the meal despite the fact that there was no salt in the daal. Please be good enough to come to my house again, and, the next time, I assure you, there will be salt in the daal as well!
To the one who had complained of the saltless daal, he wrote:
My Most Honourable Guest. You are, indeed, most honourable–more than honourable– because despite my best efforts I could not please you. I am very sorry I called you to eat at my house and gave you daal without salt. But I shall not trouble you to come again in the future, as, in my home, unfortunately, no salt is usually put in the daal. Iss ghar men aksar daal men namak naheen parraa hotaa!
Shri Nathji had beautifully illustrated the importance of thanksgiving. More often than not, man forgets to thank God for the numerous good things He has given and complains of a single shortcoming. By doing so he does not please God. Instead he shuts the door of His Divine Grace on himself. In contrast, when man thanks God for all the blessings He has given him in life, and does not complain of any shortcoming, God, in all His generosity, gives him much more than before and even removes any shortcomings.