Black Coal!

“The company of the good and the godly will slowly and surely chasten and cleanse persons prone to stray away from the straight path towards self-realization.” (BHAGWAN BABA)

The ancients tell of a village headman called Dhanadeya. One day he received an invite from the King to attend a congregation at the Palace. This made him swell up with pride at the sheer honour conferred upon him. He got a new set of clothes made for the occasion. The outfit was fashioned out of pure silk and was white in colour.

So on that day, Dhanadeya donned his white silken finery; completed the effects with golden embroidered shoes and a generous splash of perfume. He preened himself at the mirror and started his journey, ever careful not to let anything stain his spotless white attire. Much as he was careful, but somehow he brushed against a cart carrying black coal and the side of his Kurta got stained with soot. That upset him a lot, but there was nothing he could do about it and the congregation was about to begin.

So Dhanadeya attended the congregation wearing the stained white kurta. During the talks with the King and his courtiers, he forgot the black stain and had a good and fruitful discussion. The meeting got over and he started back home. It was then that he noticed the black stain and his anger flared. He vowed to cleanse all the coals of their blackness so that they couldn’t blacken anyone’s clothes ever again.

He ordered all the coal in his village to be collected and brought to the bank of the stream that flowed there. Nearly 100 tons of coal was collected and obviously about 50 tons of soap was arranged to wash the blackness off the coal. 10 servants were started on the job, early next morning. The more they scrubbed, the more the blackness flowed out till the stream turned virtually black. Needless to say the black colour could not be washed off the coal.

A wise man passing by, saw the whole drama and offered to help cleanse the coal and make it white. Dhanadeya, who was at his wit’s end, by the washing activity, agreed to take help from the wise man.

The man quickly spread out all the coal on the ground and let it dry. After the coal dried up, the man set the coal on fire. It burned all night. The next morning white ash was left behind! Dhanadeya understood that it was only fire that could do the job of getting the coal rid of its black colour. Water couldn’t do it.

In this world we are like coals. We need to burn our desires and vices to connect with God, and get the dirt off our souls. No amount of worldly pleasure can give the bliss that the experience of Namasmarana or connecting with God can give!