When The Scales Stood Still

It was the sacred Janamashtami day, the birthday of Lord Krishna. A poor woman, whose husband had been paralysed, had promised her three little starving children a Janamashtami feast. She was a devotee of the Lord. She felt sure the Lord would send her enough and more to provide her children the promised feast. She entered a grocery store and asked for enough food for a feast for her children. When the owner asked how much she could afford, she answered, “My husband has been sick for many months. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.”

The man, a disbeliever, said sarcastically, “Write your prayer on a piece of paper and you can have its weight in groceries.”

Without hesitation, the woman took out of her pocket a folded note and handed it to him. “Here is my little prayer. I wrote it down during the night while I was watching over my ailing husband,” she said. On the small piece of paper were written the words, “Thou art my Refuge, Lord! Thou will provide all the things I need for tomorrow’s feast: and more so that I can share it with other poor children on the sacred day of Thy children on the sacred day of Thy birth!”

The man read those words, laughed and put the piece of paper on one side of his scales. “Now let us see how much food this is worth,” he said. To his deep astonishment and dismay, he found that nothing happened when he put a packet of flour on the other side. He was greatly upset when he added other things and still scales would not move. Finally, he said to the poor woman, “I do not understand what is happening today. But I will be true to my promise. Take from the shop whatever you need, for it appears that your little slip of paper weighs more than all the things my shop holds.”

The woman took only the things she needed for the feast. With tear touched eyes, she thanked the grocer and silently sang the praise of the Lord who provides for every need of His devotees.

The grocer later discovered that the scales were out of order. “But why at that very time?” he asked himself, again and again. And why had the woman written out the prayer before she came to this shop? His heart was converted and he, too, became a devotee of the Lord.