Baba said, “God is the sole Proprietor, nobody else is our Protector. His method of work is extra-ordinary, invaluable, and inscrutable. His will will be done and He will show us the way, and satisfy our heart’s desires” in Sri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. XVIII, XIX.

A Rabbi was delivering lectures on the Torah, the sacred Hebrew scripture, to a few young Jewish students.

One day, in the course of their studies, they came across a line which said, “The truly evolved person is even he, who continues to smile to the midst of the greatest difficulties.”

The young students had a problem in accepting this statement at its face value.

“If we are truly in difficulty, how is it possible for us to smile under such conditions?” they asked the Rabbi.

The Rabbi took off his spectacles and looked at his young students thoughtfully.

“To be perfectly honest with you,” he said, “I myself cannot answer that question. The truth is that I, too, cannot smile when I am in the midst of difficulties. At such moments, I seem to forget how to smile.”

Silence prevailed in the class, as the teacher and the students pondered over the issue.

The Rabbi continued after a pause, “However, I believe there is someone who can give you the answer.”

He proceeded to tell his students of an old man who lived in their city, not far from the synagogue. He had been an abandoned child – an orphan. When he grew up, he had lost both his legs in an accident. His life had been a series of struggles, a saga of pain and suffering. And yet,” concluded the Rabbi, “he always wears a lovely smile! He is a wonderful human being. You must go to him and ask him to answer your question.”

The students were amazed to hear this brave man. In a group, they went and knocked at his door. The door was opened by the man himself – moving briskly on a wheel chair. He welcomed the young students cordially, and asked them the purpose of their visit.

“Sir, it’d this text we are discussing in the class,” said one of them hesitantly. “It’s all about how one must continue to smile amidst the greatest difficulties in life. The Rabbi told us that you were the best person to talk to.”

“Tell this please, sir,” added another. “How do you continue to smile amidst so much pain and suffering?”

“I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong address!” replied the old man, with genuine surprise. “I am 73 years old, and in all these years I have never had to face any difficulty! The Lord has always been good to me, and protected me in His mercy. How can I teach you how to smile in the midst of difficulties?”

This was a man who lived in close proximity with God!



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