THE SAINT AND THIEF
There was saint who lived on the outskirt of particular village and people will flock to him for his darshan. The saint lived in a room which housed a statue of a deity whom he worshipped wholeheartedly. People will came to take his darshan would sit with the saint and sing devotional songs along with him. The saint would encourage all who came to him to remember God every moment of their life while continuing their normal duties. And easiest way to do this was singing devotional songs or humming a tune in remembrance of the Lord. This way remembrance becomes interesting. After he would finish his song and discourse, as people departed, the saint would bless everyone by saying, “Carry on doing it my child, do it more and more, for it will lead you to God one day.
This was daily routine of the saint. One day a thief happened to be in group of the villagers sitting with the saint. He noticed the golden ornaments with which the deity was adorned and decided to steal them. When everyone was gone and the saint has retired to his room, the thief, who had hidden himself, came out and removed all the ornaments and put them in a bag. As he was about to leave, he heard the saint blessing him, “Carry on doing it my child, do it more and more, for it will one day lead you to God.”
The thief was surprised to find the saint standing next to deity. He was even more baffled by saint’s blessing. He asked the saint, “O holy one, I do not understand why you are blessing me to continue stealing.” The saint smiled compassionately and said,” I know my child that you are a thief and you have stolen the golden ornaments of the deity. The reason why I blessed you to carry on stealing is very simple. Unless you do it to such an extent that you really get fed up in your ways, you will not turn to God. So continue doing it till you are totally fed up and then you will naturally give all this up and seek God. That is why I blessed you my child.”
The thief realised the wisdom of the saint’s words and asked the saint for forgiveness, promising never to steal again.”
Often indulgence in wrong habit by taking it to extreme limit makes a person feel fed up and eventually helps him to give it up.