“You say that God knows and sees everywhere, but you also do something wrong with the belief that God is elsewhere at that time.” BHAGWAN BABA)
On the occasion of Shiv Rathri, a huge vessel was placed at the door of the temple for collection of milk. A small notice was placed alongside saying, “Anyone desiring to contribute milk for the Rudrabhishekham (Ceremonial bath of the Shiva lingam) may pour it into this vessel.”
From morning onwards, people started coming in, with their contributions. Each one would lift the lid of the vessel; empty out his pot; put the lid back and leave. During the course of the day, the head priest of the temple thought that he too should pour in at least one pitcher full of milk as his personal contribution to the Rudrabhishekam. As he was about to fill up his pitcher with milk, a thought crossed his mind. So many people were pouring milk into the vessel. If he poured in a pitcher full of water instead of milk, who would come to know? The water would mix with the milk and no one would notice anyways! So the head priest filled up a pitcher of water and slyly went up to the designated vessel and putting on a holier than thou face, nattily poured the water into the vessel and covered it again.
A few hours later, it was time for the Rudrabhishekham to begin and the large vessel was brought to the place of the Pooja and placed near the Shiva Lingam. Amidst chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya! Om Namah Shivaya! Shivoham! Shivoham!” the head priest removed the lid from the vessel and filled a small bowl from it to start the Abhishekham. But what was that? The bowl didn’t have milk in it, it contained water! How could that be so? Everyone had been pouring milk into it since morning! The priest looked around uneasily. The thief in him pricked his conscience. Was this an act of God? Had He turned all the milk into water, to expose the head priest in full public view? As he looked around sheepishly, he realized that guilt and shame was writ large on the faces of all present. Then it dawned on him. Each person had had the same thought. Each one of them had poured water instead of milk, thinking that the others were contributing milk so his act would go unnoticed.
This is the state of the society today. By and large, most people, whatever positions they may be in, are corrupt. Each one thinks of fleecing the system, thinking that no one would know. But eventually the truth does come out. The only person you end up deceiving, is yourself!
You may deceive some people, all the time. And you can deceive all the people, some time. But you cannot deceive all the people, all the time! Most importantly, you cannot deceive God. Remember, each one of us is answerable to the God within us. Each one of us is answerable first of all to our own conscience and later on, to anyone else.