This is beautiful little story about ‘God’ narrated by Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa who narrated this parable indicating, “But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account.”
The Story about humility
In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples.
One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: ‘Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!’ All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: ‘Run away! Run away!’ But the disciple didn’t move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, ‘You knew the elephant was coming – why didn’t you leave the place?’ ‘But’, he said, ‘our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn’t run away.’ At this the teacher said: ‘Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn’t you trust the mahut’s words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.’
The above story depicts the way we rationalize our every action even if it is illogical. Look at the pupil, who remained adamant in his humility. He was demonstrating how submissive he had become before God. It appears that those who worship any image of God hardly ever leave anything on God. They simply have to take care of every thing by worrying about everything during and after the prayers to God. The God is an armour in their war with world and they regularly keep it shining, everyday or every week, as may be the habit.