The great disguise
The great king Shivaji lived in 17th century India. Ever since his childhood, he was very devoted to God. He chanted God's Name, listened to his mother Jijamata and followed his Guru, Samartha Ramdas Swami's guidance, in everything - be it fighting skills, leading an army or looking after his subjects. With his spiritual upbringing, Shivaji was a Righteous king. Though young, he went on to become a great king who looked after his subjects well and protected them from the large armies of the oppressive Mughals (invaders from Afghanistan).
Times were tough with the enemy forces being very strong. Shivaji and his small army of trusted men had defeated the huge enemy armies many times, thus he was watched continually by the enemy's secret force. They were ready to kill him at the first opportunity.
Now Shivaji Maharaj (king) had heard about Saint Tukaram's enchanting satsangs (spiritual meetings), where the Saint taught people about chanting and the singing of hymns. Shivaji Maharaj wanted to attend the satsang at least once, to experience the joy of chanting with the Saint. So one day, disguised as an ordinary person, Shivaji Maharaj went to Saint Tukaram's satsang. He sat in the front row. Though he was disguised, the Saint with His divine vision knew at once that it was Shivaji Maharaj. Immediately, He prayed to The Lord for Shivaji Maharaj's safety.
Soon, the satsang started. Saint Tukaram stood up in joy and started singing and dancing. The attendees too, stood up to accompany him in the chanting. Shivaji was immersed in the chanting and was so full of joy that he forgot himself. When the chanting was in full swing and no one was aware of anything but God's Name, the enemies, who were watching, made their move. They thought that this was the best time to catch Shivaji. They too, disguised themselves, entered the satsang and started looking for Shivaji in the huge crowd.
Lo! A miracle happened. Saint Tukaram's prayer was answered. To the enemies searching for Shivaji, every single person that was gathered there, looked exactly like Shivaji! Who among them was the real Shivaji? For hours the enemies searched, but in vain. Frustrated, they left the satsang. Shivaji Maharaj mentally bowed down to Saint Tukaram, as the Saint looked on with a smile.
Moral: Dear children, this story shows how the Saints and God protect Righteous seekers, like Shivaji Maharaj, who love God intensely and do daily spiritual practice. We too, can become great like Shivaji Maharaj and experience the grace bestowed by Saints and God by starting the spiritual practice of chanting (repeating God name) today itself. We should chant as much as possible throughout the day and practice Godly qualities like obedience, courage and love in all our activities.
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