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HUMAN EFFORT DRAWS DIVINE HELP

A Saint was talking to some villagers about God and His Grace. “God is Kindness. God is Love. God is strength and power,” the Saint was telling them. “Whenever you are in trouble and your strength fails, pray to God. He will certainly help you.” Among the listeners was Ramcharan, a cartman, who was a great devotee of Hanuman. He felt very happy when he heard that God helps His devotees.

One rainy day, Ramcharan was driving his bullock-cart filled with rice-bags. He had gone only a short distance when both the wheels of the cart got stuck in mud. Ramcharan remembered the Saint’s words. With folded hands and closed eyes, he began to pray, “Oh Hanumanji, please come and push my cart out of the slush.” He prayed again and again but no God appeared before him. Being disappointed, he not only became angry with Hanuman but also abused Him.

Then his anger turned on to the saint. He rushed to the temple where the saint was staying and said, “Maharaj, you have fooled us all. God never helps man. My cart is stuck in mud. I prayed to God ten times for help, but all in vain.” Then, he explained angrily all that had happened.

The Saint patiently heard Ramcharan. Then, patting his back with sympathy and love, he said, “My son I do see how much you are disappointed. But didn’t I tell you that God comes to your help only after you have tried all your strength? If you stand near a well and say, “Oh well, I am thirsty, please give me some water, what will you get? Nothing. You have to lower down a pot into the well and pull it up. Then only will you get water from the well. So too with God. Use all the strength He has given you and then pray for help.”

Ramcharan ran back to his cart. He put his own shoulder to one of the wheels and urged the bullocks to pull the cart while he too pushed the wheel with all his strength. At that very time, Ramcharan felt that someone else was pushing the other wheel of the cart with still greater strength. “Who is pushing that wheel?” wondered Ramcharan. “It must be Hanumanji to whom I prayed,” he said as he gave to the wheel another push. Immediately both the wheels came out of the mud and the bullocks started running joyfully, drawing the cart. As the bells around the bullocks’ necks jingled, Ramcharan began to sing a prayer, expressing his gratitude to God Hanuman.

Thereafter, Ramcharan would always tell his friends whenever they were in trouble, “Use your intelligence and strength before you pray for God’s help. Surely, God will come and do the needful for you. God always helps those who help themselves.”

QUESTIONS:

  1. Why did God not come to Ramcharan’s help when he first prayed for help?
  2. When did God help him?
  3. When do you need God’s help? What would you do to get it?
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