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The most blessed of all

Once upon a time, a Christian Saint had come to Jerusalem. People from far and near came every day to see Him and to receive His blessings.

It so happened that in a village near Jerusalem, there lived a pious old woman. She was so weak and thin that even in her home, she could walk only a few steps and that too, only with the help of a stick. Ever since the Saint's arrival in Jerusalem, the old woman would daily see a line of men, women and children passing by her home on their way to Jerusalem. "Why don't I too go to Jerusalem and receive the Saint's blessings before I die?" she thought.

So, the old woman left home for Jerusalem the very next morning. At every step, she trembled and stumbled. But she dragged herself on, stick in hand and God’s Name in her heart. She had hardly gone a short distance when the heat of the sun made her feel tired, weak, helpless and giddy. With great difficulty, she managed to reach a big stone by the roadside, and sat on it, praying to God for help.

After a short while, she saw some youngsters passing by. "Won't you help me, dear children, and take me along with you to Jerusalem?" she appealed to them. Some of the youngsters were irritated by her, while some started teasing her and still some others said arrogantly, "Granny, we would rather carry you to your grave than take you with us to Jerusalem!" The youngsters then laughed loudly, mocked the old woman and went their way.

After some time, a lone young man came along that road. With hope, the old woman called out to him, "Son, will you kindly take me with you to Jerusalem?" The man came near and said kindly, "Don't you worry, Granny. You can sit on my shoulders, holding my head for support. I will gladly carry you to Jerusalem."

All reached the Holy place. They saw thousands of people surrounding the raised platform on which sat the great Saint. The youngsters, who had mocked the old lady, were not tall enough to see past the people around them and get a view of the Saint. So they decided to get on one another's shoulders to get a good view of the Holy man. One youngster, who was the first to climb on his friend's shoulders, got the shock of his life when he finally got a view of the platform! In place of the great Saint, he saw the wrinkled face of the old lady that he had mocked on the way. He rubbed his eyes over and over again, but he saw the same wrinkled face smiling at him. "I don't see the Saint!" he shouted. "In His place, I see the old granny we left behind on the road." Every one of the youngsters tried his or her luck at getting a view of the Saint and all had the same experience.

Stranger still, was the experience of the kind man, who had helped the old lady . He got a clear and full view of the Saint just as the Saint lifted His hand to bless the devotees. That was not all. For a while he also felt as if the Saint Himself was seated on his shoulders, blessing him. Throughout this time, this kind man felt the peace and joy of Heaven entering his heart. He was indeed, a blessed pilgrim, because he had not only made the effort to go to Jerusalem for the Saint's satsang, but also helped the old lady get it.

Moral: Just like the kind man, along with doing spiritual practice, we should take every opportunity to help others in their spiritual practice. This can be done in many ways. For example, we could help spiritually interested friends by telling them the importance of chanting, inviting them to the satsangs that we attend, giving them a ride to the satsang if they need a ride, explaining to them any points about spirituality that they may find difficult to understand, etc.

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