Story of Pretty Hands
By working hard and sincerely, we can earn money righteously. For this, we have to bring all the tips of the fingers together and with their cooperation, we do good work and earn money. Hence, we say Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, resides on the tip of the fingers, who inspires us to do good deeds and earn money righteously.
To earn knowledge, we have to hold the book in our palm and read or write with the help of the palm. Hence we say that Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge, Wisdom or learning, resides in the centre of the palm that helps us to hold the book in our hand and study with full concentration and acquire knowledge. The movement of the base of the palm is very helpful to us in protecting ourselves from the attack of other people, animal or creatures like snakes etc. Hence we say Lord Govinda or Lord Vishnu who protects and fosters the world resides in the joint of the palm and help us to protect ourselves from others attack and also inspires, sustains and guides us in all our righteous undertakings and endeavors.
Once God sent His angel in search of the prettiest hands. He said, ‘Go and bring to me a man from the earth, who has the prettiest hands!’ The angel came upon the earth at midnight thinking that all the people would be at rest, and work would become easy as the angel can observe their hands from a very close distance.
The angel first came to the palace thinking that hands of the queen would be the prettiest as it would be well decorated with jewels and nourished by ointments. But when the angel entered the queen’s chamber, there was an unpleasant smell in the air. It was the smell of the bad actions done by the queen. Her hands had done many cruel things. Same was the case with the king. The angel then visited the house of nobles, knights and the merchants thinking that their hands may have performed good deeds and thus would have acquired beauty. But the angel was disappointed. Then the angel turned towards the monastery quite happy at least one of the monks may have pretty hands. But alas! There too he was disappointed. Under the priesthood he saw their hands had committed many sins. They were also full of ego. The angel was very sad. With a very heavy heart, the angel came to the open fields and sat under a tree. The angel thought how to face the Lord without having completed the task allotted to him! and suddenly there was a lovely fragrance which drifted towards the angel from somewhere.
When the angel looked around there were no flower, trees nor any fragrant plants! The angel searched all around in the dark. The angel saw a farmer sleeping on the ground in the open fields. The angel bent near him and saw the palms of the farmer. Though rough and brown yet they were shining with a glow! The farmer was fast asleep and from his palms wafted a lovely fragrance and the atmosphere was cool and pleasant.
The angel carried the farmer to God but was quite puzzled. The angel asked God how the farmer could have prettier hands than the king and the queen. God was pleased that the angel had made the right choice. He explained to the angel that the farmer was thankful to God for giving him two strong hands to work with. He also knew that his hands were merely tools and that he had to use this tool given to him by God for His purpose.
Therefore the farmer used his hands to gain knowledge and to give that knowledge to others. He used them to toil in the fields and to grow corn and thus became prosperous. He also used them to give away corn to the needy, he healed others wounds with his hands. He was never proud of his achievements but always folded his palms before the Lord. Thus, the farmer acquired knowledge, wealth and prosperity through his own efforts and now with those noble deeds, he had reached the Lord and had merged with Him. Thus the farmer had attained Godhood.
[Illustrations by Dhanusri, Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas Student]
[Source: Gurus Handbook – Group I First Year]