The merchant who never found God
Once a Saint invited a shopkeeper, whom he had recently met, to come and join Him in His daily satsang (spiritual meeting). "Alas, Master! If only I could get the time to have Your satsang every evening, I gladly would", the man replied. "But I am a humble shopkeeper and have no one to look after the shop while I am away!" The Saint listened silently and nodded.
As time passed by, the shopkeeper's business grew and flourished. Soon, he had a big store with many people working under him.
One day, when the Saint ran into the man, He again invited him, "Now that you have so many assistants to look after your flourishing business, why don't you come to the satsang?" The shopkeeper replied, "Master, You know how the world is. How can I entrust the responsibility of such a big store to my assistants?" However, feeling somewhat guilty, he hastened to add, "In a few years' time, my eldest son will be old enough to take charge of my business and then I shall be free to devote all my evenings to the recitation of the Name of the Lord in Your holy company."
"So be it," said the Saint, as He took the man's leave.
Years rolled by and the man's eldest son began running his father's business successfully. Once again, the Saint invited the man for satsang. "Oh Master, I do wish I could come and join You," the man replied. "But business has expanded so much that it takes up all my time and effort. My younger son has joined us in running the business and I am now training him to take up new responsibilities. In a few years time, I shall be done with the training and free to have Your satsang. How I look forward to that blessed day, when I shall leave my worldly cares behind and sit at Your holy feet, singing the Name of God!"
That 'blessed day' never came, as the man grew old taking up one worldly activity or the other and finally, died. Throughout his life, he had not managed to find time to attend a satsang even once!
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