There was a king who laid out a beautiful bazaar for his subjects. The bazaar contained numerous shops in which a large number of expensive and attractive things were placed. The king thereafter made an announcement to his subjects: You are free to pick and choose from the things placed in the shops. You can place your hand on any one thing and it shall become yours. But having placed your hand on any one thing you shall not be allowed to select anything else.
Immediately afterwards crowds thronged at the bazaar, each person running wildly to the shops and selecting whatever held his or her fancy.
There was a woman who was watching the scene. She saw the beautiful jewellery, the expensive silk sarees, and numerous beautiful things, each more expensive than the other, and her heart yearned for all of them. No sooner would she extend her hand to select any one of them when she would see something even more beautiful and would instead go towards it. In her heart of hearts she wished she could possess them all. And it was in that state of uncertainty that she reached the end of the bazaar.
At the end of the bazaar a man sat on a chair lost in thought and looking very sad. The woman went up to him and said: What are you doing sitting on a chair! Why don’t you go and select something for yourself from the bazaar! The king has allowed everyone to come to the bazaar!
I am the king, said the man.
The king! said the astonished woman, then why are you looking so sad?
Today I have found out that the subjects of my kingdom love only the things I can give them and they have no love for me!
The woman thought for a while and then said: What is the condition that you have laid out in the bazaar?
The king said: Place your hand on any one thing and it shall be yours.
On a sudden impulse the woman placed her hand on the back of the king.
What are you doing! said the startled king.
I have placed my hand on you, and you now belong to me! said the woman.
What good will that do? Why don’t you select something from the bazaar? said the king.
To whom does this bazaar belong? asked the woman.
To me, said the king.
And to whom do you belong now? said the woman.
To you! said the king.
The bazaar belongs to you and you belong to me – therefore the entire bazaar is now mine! said the woman.
This is the secret of success. If we establish a relationship with the Creator of the world, the world belongs to us. If a person walks towards the sun, his shadow follows him. In a like manner when one walks towards God, worldly prosperity follows him. It was thus that Shri Babaji Maharaj explained a great spiritual truth with a simple and touching parable. And there was Shri Nathji’s Urdu Verse:
Tujh se maangoon tujhee ko to sabhee kuchh mil jaaye
Sau savaalon se fakat ek savaal achhaa hai
If I ask of Thee but Thyself, I gain everything thereby,
One question is better than a hundred asked!