The following is a story. Sri Ramakrishna often shared stories and parables with his devotees. And the following is a story that my grandmother would often tell me. Later when I could read I would stare at the picture from this story. Such is the power of a story especially when it is introduced at an early age, somewhere it can plant a seed.

A long time ago there lived a devout widow with her son, in a little hut across a dense forest. She was poor and they lived in a little hut. The little boy would have to cross the dense forest everyday to go to school which was in the village. The little boy feared crossing the forest , it scared him. One day he came crying back, and told his mother he no longer wished to go to school as the forest was fearsome and he couldn’t walk across it alone. The poor mother was in a dilemma, she didn’t have any means to have someone accompany the little boy back and forth everyday. As the boy wept the mother’s heart  wept. 

She was a great follower of Krishna. So seeing her son weep she could only think if the Lord. And she blurted out “Why do you weep, don’t you know you have a dada (elder brother )who lives in the forest. Next time you are scared just call for him. The little boy seemed full of hope now. “But what is his name”? he asked. The mother blurted out, “Madhusudhan”.

The next day when the boy walked through the forest he was no longer fearful. As the trees grow larger and the forest grew darker, the little boy instead of crying started calling for his older brother. “Madhusudhan dada, Madhusudhan dada, where are you I am scared”.

Sure enough by the second call he saw a youthful boy older to him holding a flute in his hand walk out from the foliage .”Here I am”. The little boy full of glee ran and held his older brother’s hand.  Everyday Madhusudhan dada would come and walk his brother home from school and back. Sure enough as days passed, the mother noticed the little boy was no longer fearful . The boy would often talk about his older brother in the forest and the mother felt relieved her little story had helped kill the little boys fears.

Then one day the teacher at school announced there was going to be a feast the following day. Every child would have to bring some food to school for the feast. The little boy went home happy and asked his mother what could she send with him. But the mother was poor and she had nothing to give. The boy started crying and throwing a tantrum, the mother out of anger and frustration yelled and said “Why don’t you ask your older brother, I have nothing to send with you”.

Just like his mother had said the little boy on his way to school asked his older brother something he could take with him to the feast. His older brother took out a little pot of sweet curd. The boy was happy and ran to hand it over to his teacher. On seeing the little pot of curd the teacher and his friends laughed. The teacher even yelled at him, how could a small pot enough for one person be able to feed all the boys. The little boy sadly sat in a corner. But as the feast progressed the teacher thought it would be best to use the contents of the pot instead of wasting it even if it served a few boys. So he started serving the boys. As he did so, he suddenly noticed the pot wasn’t emptying out. The more he served, the more full it got. He called the little boy in wonder and asked him about it. The boy innocently told him his older brother had got it for him.

The master suspicious asked him to take him to this older brother. At the end of the school day the little boy stood with his master at the edge of the forest where his brother would walk him home from. However as he called for his brother today no one came. The teacher grew impatient and angry and threatened to beat him for lying. The little boy started crying he had no idea why his brother wasn’t coming and then suddenly there was a flash of lightning and the sky lit up and a heavenly voice thundered. “I have not forsaken you little brother I will always be with you, but your teacher’s heart is not pure as yours so I cannot show myself to him”.

We all have this big brother with us. We just need to call him with a pure heart.