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Shri Nathji used to tell the story of the piece of wood and the sculptor:
A piece of wood saw beautiful wooden statuettes and figures in the sculptor’s shop. It looked at its own irregular shape and desired intensely to become like the carved wooden statuettes. It met the sculptor and pleaded with him to sculpt it into a beautiful shape.
The sculptor warned:
“It will be painful. Do not be angry with me later. I cannot leave you half-way, for that would bring disgrace upon me. So do not try to run away when the pain becomes intense!
The piece of wood agreed. But the moment the knife of the sculptor began tearing pieces off it, it screamed in agony and cursed the sculptor. It began to doubt his skill. Surely the process did not have to be that painful. It cried out to the sculptor to stop. But he continued mercilessly.
After what appeared to be ages, the sculptor stopped. He placed a mirror before the piece of wood. It was breathless with amazement! The reflection showed a beautiful wooden figure!
The piece of wood could hardly believe that the image shown in the mirror was its own face. When it saw the beauty with which the sculptor had endowed it, it thanked him for his labour and the amount of carving he had done, and thought of the suffering as a blessing in disguise.
God was the Sculptor, and man his piece of art. Suffering was the knife that moulded the soul of man to a state of supreme beauty. Whatever means the Divine Sculptor employed were for the betterment of man.
Shri Nathji’s parable had illustrated this beautifully.