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Deity Shiva and the old man

One day, Deity Shiva appeared to Saint Nāmdev in a dream and said, "You are a good devotee of mine but you still have to learn something before you can be with me all the time. Visit the temple and meet another one of my devotees. His name is Vithobā. After that, tell me what you have learned from Him." Then Deity Shiva disappeared. Namdev woke up in the morning and as per Deity Shiva's guidance, He set out to visit the temple.

When Namdev got to the temple, He inquired about the devotee Vithoba. While He was waiting, Namdev saw an old man, sitting with his feet on the statue of Deity Shiva. Namdev could not believe that a man could disrespect Deity Shiva like that. Just then the temple priest introduced Namdev to the old man, saying that the old man was Vithoba.

Namdev was quite confused! What could He learn from someone who was so disrespectful towards God! Just then Vithoba said, 'O Namdev, I am so old that it is difficult to even move my limbs. Please move my feet to a place where there is no God." Namdev began to move the old man's legs here and there, but wherever he put the old man's legs, Deity Shiva appeared!

Repentant, Namdev fell to the feet of the devotee Vithoba and begged for his forgiveness. Thus, Saint Namdev learned from the devotee Vithoba that God or Deity Shiva is present everywhere in this Universe, in all living and non-living things. With this learning He soon experienced God's presence everywhere and remained with God wherever He went.

Moral: This story reminds us that God's presence is in everything. The God Principle is present in the people around us, animals, birds, wind, fire and even our schoolbooks, pencils, toys and so on. Hence, to experience God's joyful presence, we should treat everyone and everything around us with respect. Also, we can pray to all the things we use, before starting an activity. For example, if we are about to eat, we can pray to the God Principle in the food, Deity Annapūrnā, to make us strong and to be able to remember God (chant) with every bite.

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