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Shri Nathji told this very illustrative parable about a king and a farmer, both of whom had decided to renounce the world and seek God. They left their homes and went into a forest to practice their respective austerities-tapasyaa.
Even as the days progressed in the jungle, they discovered that they were intensely hungry. They had never fasted for so many days before in their lives. Soon they were dying of hunger.
It was a classic example of the saying: “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” They discovered that they could no longer practise their austerities, and they began calling out to God to give them food.
God heard their prayers and a miracle occurred. Both, the king as well as the farmer, found food appear before them miraculously.
However, the difference lay in the type of food that they were given. While a sumptuous feast was laid out for the king with all manner of foods and delicacies, the farmer was given a skimpy meal consisting of salted roti and onions.
When the farmer pointed this out to God, God said:
“Each of you has got what you were accustomed to in life, and what you had renounced. The king had renounced his sumptuous food and that was now given to him, while you had renounced only onions and roti and that was now given to you!”
Thus it is that man is rewarded by God in accordance with what he has renounced for His sake. Those who renounce but little, receive but little, and those who renounce a lot get a lot in return. Shri Nathji had always said:
“Attempt great things for God, then expect great things from God!”