About Hinduism -
Hinduism origin, Hinduism history,
Hinduism beliefs & Hinduism facts

690 articles published

Article Categories

Practice what you preach

Saints teach us only what they themselves have practiced. That is why their advice has the power to do us good.

The great Guru Ramakrushna Paramhansa  had a poor woman among His disciples. One day, she came to Him with her son and said, Gurudēv, my son wants to eat sweets every day. This habit is spoiling his teeth, and I also cannot afford to buy them for him everyday. My advice, warning and even beating have all been in vain. Please give him some advice and also bless him so that he stops the bad habit.”

Shrī Ramakrushna looked at the boy, but instead of talking to him, asked the woman to bring him back after two weeks.

The woman brought the boy to Him again after two weeks. As both sat down, Shri Ramakrushna kindly looked at the boy and said, “My dear son, is it true that you trouble your mother for sweets every day?” The boy hung his head and said, “Yes, Sir,” and became silent. “You are an intelligent boy. You know that those sweets are spoiling your teeth. Your mother, too, is worried about you. If she spends money on sweets everyday, how can she buy new books and good clothes for you? Don’t you think you are making a mistake?”

Shri Ramakrushna’s words touched the boy’s heart. He looked at  Shri Ramakrushna and said, “Yes, Sir” and became silent again. “Then, will you stop asking for sweets from today?” asked Shri Ramakrushna in an appealing tone. The boy smiled this time and said, “Yes, Sir, I will stop troubling my mother for sweets from today and stop eating them everyday.”

Shri Ramakrushna, pleased with the boy’s reply, lovingly drew him close and said: “My son, you are a nice boy. You understand what is good and what is bad for you. You will surely grow up to be a happy man.” As the boy bowed down in namaskār,  Shri Ramakrushna blessed him and turned to the other devotees.

After the boy went out into the garden, his grateful mother asked  Shri Ramakrushna, Gurudev, why did you make us wait for two weeks to give these few words of advice?”  Shri Ramakrushna smiled and said, “You see, when you came two weeks ago, I, too, was in the habit of eating sweets brought by devotees. How could I ask your son not to do something which I myself was doing almost everyday? So, from that day I stopped eating sweets. That gave me enough strength and power to advise your son to do what I myself have done. Only when we preach what we practice, are our words full of sincerity and appeal to the listener.”

All the devotees in the room felt that they, too, had learnt a great lesson from  Shri Ramakrushna.

Moral: As this story shows, the most effective way to tell others about how to be a good Hindu, or do spiritual practice, is by practicing it ourselves. Otherwise, we may find that others do not take such advice seriously.

Copyright © 2009 Forum for Hindu Awakening All Rights Reserved.

No part of this website may be reproduced in any form.
No picture or text may be duplicated or copied without the express
written permission of the editor of the Forum for Hindu Awakening.

Did this article help you?