There was a robber who instructed his son that he should never attend satsang, and if he happens to find himself in a place of satsang, he should close his ears.
SATSANG AND THE THIEF
This story is an excerpt from a satsang given by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, father of Guru Maharaj Ji,on August 7, 1952 in Gandhi Ground, Delhi.
People do not appreciate the importance of satsang nowadays. Satsang is the greatest pilgrimage. The nature of a man is changed from a heron's nature to a swan's nature by attending satsang. For instance, if you put water mixed with milk before a heron, either it will drink the whole, or it will leave it untouched; but a swan will drink the milk only and leave the water. So a man, having acquired a nature similar to a swan, will retain the essence and leave useless things.
The world is made up of matter and spirit, virtues and vices. But saints, similar to the swan, retain the essence, the milk, and reject the useless objects which lead to deterioration. There is happiness and miseries, virtues and sins, high and low in this world, but saints take virtues only.
The glory of satsang is endless, how much can I speak? Satsang can never be exhausted. You should listen to satsang very attentively. Saints listen to the characteristics of God and give up liberation.
Even if one listens to satsang by mistake, he will get a great benefit thereby. For instance, there was a robber who instructed his son that he should never attend satsang, and if he happens to find himself in a place of satsang, he should close his ears by putting his fingers in them. Once, the son was going to steal something. He happened to pass through a satsang. He heard that gods have three characteristics: their eyes do not blink, a garland around their neck never fades, and they do not have shadows. As soon as he listened to this, he remembered his father's instructions, closed his ears, and ran away.
He stole the precious necklace of the queen that day, and hid it in the forest. He himself fell asleep. The next morning the queen noticed that her necklace was missing. She told the king that if thieves dare to steal from the palace, what will the fate of the public be? And she insisted upon finding the culprit. She cursed the king, and told him that she did not want to remain a queen in such a kingdom. She gave up taking food. The king strictly ordered his staff to find the lost necklace.
The officials searched everywhere, but they could not find it. So they found the robber's son sleeping in the forest. They brought him to the king, and said, "He looks to be the thief. It seems that he has stolen the necklace." The son was given a severe beating. His body started bleeding. The queen witnessed the scene. She was wise. She thought, "If he is not the culprit, and dies of injuries, it will amount to sin for us." So, she told the king to put him in prison.
While the boy was in prison, he started remembering the goddess Shakti. Everybody remembers his diety in the time of distress. The boy was in great trouble, so he was devotedly remembering his diety. On the other hand, the queen remembered that thieves
worship Shakti, so she disguised herself as Shakti, and went to the prison. Seeing her, the boy immediately prostrated before her and said, "You are very kind to me in such distress. I feel secure now." She told him, "As you remembered me in distress, I have come. But please tell me, where have you kept the necklace?"
Listening to this, the boy remembered what he had heard in satsang. Then he noticed that the queen had a shadow, her eyes were blinking, and the garland around her neck was faded. "So," he thought, "she is a spy." Like the C.I.A., nowadays. He thought it over for a moment, and then spoke in the earlier tone, "0 Goddess! You are omnipresent. You know everything, so please let me know where I have kept this necklace? When I have not stolen it, how can I tell its whereabouts?" She asked him again and again, in different ways, but all in vain.
She returned at last, and told the king that she had a dream in which a goddess told her that the boy was innocent. "He should be released, otherwise your kingdom will be ruined." The next day, the king arranged for the boy's treatment. As soon as he recovered, the king gave him a lot of money, and sent him away with respect.
See the glory of satsang, how much it is. The boy's life was saved, and he got a handsome amount of money by listening to satsang, even by mistake.