Many years ago there was a Gurukul in a forest in India. Bava was the favourite student of his teacher at the Gurukul Class. When he finished his education, he came to take leave of his teacher. The teacher blessed him and gave him a piece of paper on which he wrote the number 10. “Bava, my child,” he said, “I am very happy with you. You have my blessings. May you earn atleast Rs.10 every day, so that you can have a comfortable life, and have enough to feed many poor and hungry people.”
Sure enough, Bava was able to earn more than Rs. 10 everyday and also feed many hungry mouths. A sage came by his way and was also fed by Bava. Bava showed him the paper with ‘10’ written on it and told him about his Guru’s blessings. The sage was very pleased, so he added a Zero to the existing ‘10’, to make it ‘100’. He said. “Keep up the good work, son!”
Now, Bava suddenly got a better job and started earning more than Rs.100 daily. He continued to feed more and more poor people. One evening, another saint come by and as before, Bava showed him the paper and told his story. The saint was much impressed and added another 0 to it, making it ‘1000’. Life improved for Bava and his reputation as a great man spread far and wide. History repeated itself and another pious saint, came to add another 0 to make the number equal to ‘10000’. With the blessings of these great men, Bava become rich and wealthy. But, now his interest in feeding poor people started dwindling. He became very proud that he had risen so much and achieved such heights despite making such a humble beginning.
One day, he decided to go and meet his childhood Guru, to tell him what a great man he had become. Bava walked into the ashram (Gurukul school) and sat down near Guruji and said, “Guruji, you gave me a slip of paper with 10 written on it, but see, now it is 10000. I have earned so much money. I have a big bungalow and two cars. I feed so many people every day. I work……….” But, there was a streak of vanity in his tone. Guruji, said, “ Let me see the paper. Yes, I do remember I gave this to you.” So saying, Guruji, struck off the numeral 1 from the paper, making it only 0000.
Bava, came down to the earth, with a bang. He realized that due to the blessings that he had received, he had become a hero. Without these blessings and the grace of God, he was just a zero. So also, it is with us. With God we are a Hero, without him – A zero!