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Shri Babaji Maharaj was fond of the parable about the army officer and his wife aboard a ship, and often narrated it before people, for it disclosed a vital principle of spiritual life and made a man fearless.
An army officer and his wife were aboard a ship when the ship was hit by a violent storm. There was panic amongst the passengers on the ship. The wife of the army officer started crying loudly with fear. Her husband tried very hard to quieten her, but could not succeed. As she persisted in being hysterical, the army officer became vexed beyond measure and told her to be quiet or else he would kill her. Since the woman did not stop crying, the army officer took out his sword and brandished it in the air. He advanced threateningly towards her. When the woman saw her husband come towards her with the sword in his hand, she suddenly burst out into laughter. The army officer was surprised and asked her what had made her laugh.
Wife:   I am laughing at the sword you are brandishing at me.
Officer:            It can kill you.
Wife:   No, the sword cannot kill me. It is lifeless.
Officer:            But the sword is in my hand, and I can use it!
Wife:   That is why I am laughing. The sword is in your hand but you cannot kill me.
Officer:            Why not?
Wife:   Because you love me! And you cannot even think of harming me.
Officer:            Yes, you are right. I cannot harm you because I love you.
Wife:   And even if you did, I would consider myself blessed to die at your hands.
Officer:            Then use the same logic for the storm and quell your fears. The storm by itself is lifeless, like the sword, and cannot harm us. It is controlled by the forces of Nature, and the forces of Nature are controlled by the orders of God. In other words the storm is in the hands of God. And since He loves us why would He wish to harm us? On the other hand if He has sent the storm to take us, then we must welcome it, and surrender ourselves before His Will. How blessed we shall be to die at His hands!
The wife of the army officer understood. She stopped crying and bowed her head before the Will of God.
Mussavvar khench laa tasveer vo jis men dikhaayi ho,
Udhar talvaar khenchi ho idhar gardan jhukaayi ho
O artist make thou a picture in which is shown,
A sword upraised on one side, and a head bowed on the other.
Shri Babaji Maharaj always said: The troubles you are facing have either come of their own accord or they have been sent by God. If they have come of their own free will then they cannot harm you in any way because your Saviour is more powerful than they. If, however the troubles have come in accordance with the Will of God then you must bow your head before them with joy! Thus, in either case, there is no cause for fear!
The troubles that God sends on you are like the bitter quinine that breaks a fever, or like the friendly knife of a surgeon who is cutting away a disease. Sorrows and sufferings are meant to increase the strength of the soul and are a blessing in disguise.
Gussaa teraa davaa hai, raihmat teri gizaa hai
Shaanen hain jitnee teri jaane jahaaniyaan hain
Thy anger is our medicine and Thy mercy our nourishment,
All Thy glories are for the upliftment of the soul.