Never Declare to the World How Unkind God
She said: “O God Almighty! You may give happiness to those who ask for it; but give me continuous suffering always. Let me never forget your name. O God, this is my only request. If you want to grant me anything, give me only this, so that I may never forget your name. It will be like an ornament around my neck”. – Shri Sai Samartha Satcharita, Ch. 23, Ovi 111, 112.
It was a hot summer’s eve. Rabia sat outside her cottage on a torn mattress. She had not sufficient food during the day. But what did that matter to a lover of God like Rabia? Hunger and thirst, poverty and pain, suffering and disgrace are a bridge over which the Beloved walks to meet and greet those who love Him dearer than life itself. As Rabia sat there, she was lost in contemplation of the One without a second.
A young man passed by the roadside. Seeing the Saint of God sitting outside her cottage, he went up to her and bowing down, sought her blessings.
The young man had a strong, healthy body. As he bent low, Rabia saw that his head was held in a bandage.
“Why this bandage?” she asked.
“It has been an intolerably hot day, today. O Saint of God!” the youth answered. “And my head began to ache: so I have tied a wet cloth round my head.”
Rabia smiled a bad smile.
“What is your age?” she asked the young man.
“I have just completed my thirtieth year,” he answered.
“And do you often fall ill?” she asked.
“O, no!” the young man said. “By your blessings, I always keep well. This is the first time I have had an attack of headache; it is very slight and will soon pass away.”
There were tears in the eyes of Rabia as she said to the young man, “For thirty years, God kept you in the best of health, and you did not show it by a single sign. Today, when you are troubled by a slight headache, you go about with this bandage as though to declare to the world how unkind God has been to you! Remove the bandage, friend, lest people ask you the reason thereof and wrongly accuse my Beloved of harshness.