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A True Devotee

Once upon a time, there lived a king who was very rich and powerful. He was a devotee of the Deity Shiva. Every year, he performed a grand ritual for the worship of Deity Shiva at a special temple he had built. Priests from all parts of the country would come to his kingdom and participate in this ritual and the festivities that followed. During this event, the king would distribute lavish gifts to all the attendees, and free food and clothing to the poor. Thus, the king would spend an enormous amount of wealth in the worship of Deity Shiva.
The king felt smug in the conviction that he was the greatest devotee of Deity Shiva, considering the wealth and effort he spent on His worship. After one such lavish ritual the king retired to his palace happy and content in the belief that he had done a great service unto the God. Engrossed in the thoughts of his own greatness, the king soon fell asleep. As he slept, he dreamt that Deity Shiva appeared to him and said, "O king, you are not a true devotee. You are proud of yourself. If you want to meet my true devotee, go to the edge of the forest and visit the poor wood-cutter." The king woke up distressed and thought to himself, "A mere woodcutter? How can a woodcutter be a greater devotee than a mighty king like myself?"
The next morning, the king set out into the nearby forest to find the woodcutter. As he reached the outskirts of the forest, he saw a little hut and a woodcutter setting out for the forest to cut some wood. The king stopped him and said, "I have heard that you are a great devotee of Deity Shiva. Please tell me how you worship Him." Folding his palms humbly, the woodcutter replied, "I am but a poor woodcutter who earns a mere two coins a day. Out of this I spend half for my food, a fourth for charity, and save the rest. I chant His Name at all times throughout the day, and every Monday, I offer a simple meal of broken rice to Deity Shiva. I know nothing other than Him." On hearing the woodcutter's simple and humble form of worship, the king was moved. His heart was purified by meeting the God's true devotee. He returned to the palace chanting the God's Name, a more humble man.

Moral of the story: We must serve God with humility and offer Him whatever we can as per our capacity. Chanting the name of God all the time means remembering God all the time. One does not need lot of wealth to please God because God is pleased with our sincere and simple prayers.

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