Mandira was a pretty little girl with lovely doe like eyes and hair that framed her hair exquisitely with a thousand ringlets. Mandira belonged to a poor family where it was barely possible to get two square meals in a day. Mandira played with her rag dolls and old tins, empty cans, old lipstick cases, tattered ribbons and broken bangles. She loved to imagine herself to be a Princess dressed in royal finery and precious jewels. One day her mother, who worked for a rich family, brought home a packet of hand-me-down clothes. There was a beautiful pink satin gown trimmed with silver beads, pearls and ribbons. There was a lovely crown to match! Mandira was ecstatic. She wore the gown and placed the crown on her dancing curls. Her eyes shone like diamonds.
Just then there was a knock at the door. An old woman, known to have magical powers stood in the doorway. She smiled kindly at Mandira as Mandira led her in. The old lady said, “Mandira you look like a princess!” The little girl blushed and said, “I wish I could have a real crown; one made of gold and real diamonds!” The old lady touched the crown affectionately and said some magic words with closed eyes. Then she smiled at Mandira and said, “My dearest child, I have changed your crown to one of Gold and diamonds. You may wear it whenever you like and wherever you go. But there is a condition attached to it.” Mandira asked, “What is that?”
The lady said, “Whenever you remove the crown, do so with eyes closed and place it in its box. If you ever set your eyes on the crown, it shall turn back to its old state again. You must never see the crown.” Mandira agreed happily and the old magic lady went away.
The little girl wore her gold crown everywhere. She practiced walking nicely; as stately as a princess! She even worked harder at her school work. She gave up her childish pranks and soon she started shaping up as a graceful and lovely young girl. She loved wearing her crown and did everything to be like a princess, so that the beautiful crown suited her personality.
Years passed. Mandira was now a pretty young lady. Poise and grace was a part of her personality. She carried herself as gracefully as a swan. One day the son of the rich landlord spotted her as she fed the pigeons near the temple. He fell in love with her at first sight.
He proposed to her and soon they were to be married. On the eve of the wedding he sent her a gift, wrapped in gold paper. She un-wrapped it and found herself staring at her own reflection in a beautiful gold edged mirror.
She caught sight of the crown on her head but what was that? The gold crown had turned into a worn out plastic one, in fact it was exactly like the one the old magic woman had touched and turned into a golden one! Oh Lord! What have I done! I was not supposed to see the crown ever. As the magic woman had promised, the gold crown is no more a gold crown because I saw it! Mandira shed tears of misery.
Then it dawned on her; there had never been a gold crown. It had always been a plastic one. The magic woman had given her a fantasy and shown her a dream. She had taught her to think like a princess. She had shown her how to behave like a princess. It was all in the mind. It was all a matter of attitude. Sure, you become what you think you are, in your mind’s eye. The wise say: As you think; so you become.
Baba says, “You can either make a picture into God or make God into a picture.” Yad Bhavam, Tadh Bhavathi. (As you think, so you become).