I often recall childhood stories when I am preparing to teach online to my international students. These stories explain profound truths in a very simple way. One such story is a lesson on “faith”. This story was written by a famous author named Sudarshan. The name of the story was “Haar Ki Jeet “ (हार की जीत) (Victory in Defeat). Let me give you a summary of the story.
Baba Bharthi is a monk who lives in a village temple serving the temple and the people in the village. His only worldly possession is his beautiful horse Sultan a majestic animal. The horse is famous in the neighbouring areas and one day the beautiful animal is noticed by Khadga Singh, the infamous outlaw. He sets his mind on acquiring this majestic horse, but no matter how much he offers to pay, Baba Bharti refuses to sell. He threatens the Baba with dire consequences and leaves.
A few months later, as the Baba is out riding on his beloved Sultan, he notices a disabled man on the road who seems to have a lot of trouble walking. He begs Baba for a ride into the village. Moved by the man’s plight Baba helps him onto the horse. As soon as he is firmly up on the horse, the disabled man pushes the Baba away. It turns out that the disabled man is none other than Khadga Singh in disguise. He tells the Baba that since he is in possession of the horse it belongs to him, and warns him not to come looking for him.
Baba tells him he can keep the horse but has one request, that Khadga Singh tells nobody how he tricked him.. Kharag Singh was very intrigued and surprised, he can’t imagine why Baba Bharti would make such a request. He tried to comprehend, but could not think of any logical reason… so he asked “Baba, why such a strange request? What purpose will it serve for you? “. Baba Bharti looked straight in the eye and said: “My son… If you tell about this incident, no one will ever help a person in need … they will lose faith and never trust the weaker person…”. After saying this, Baba Bharti slowly went away but his words echoed in Kharag Singh’s ears. He thought about them a lot and felt very sorry. In the dead of night, he brought Sultan back to the temple and tied him up in his stable. He had tears in his eyes, tears of repentance and guilt. He left before anyone could see him.
The next morning Baba Bharti rose at dawn, and with a heavy heart made his way to his horse’s stable. Sultan recognized his master’s footsteps and started whinnying. Baba Bharti could not believe his ears; he ran towards the stable and saw Sultan… Baba was overjoyed! He embraced Sultan and started crying. “My Sultan is back … Now no one will lose faith and distrust the poor and people in need”.
This story reminds me of what to have faith really means. Baba Bharti had so much love for his beautiful horse, it looked like he meant everything to him. But in truth, this Baba loved God more. When his horse was stolen, he was sad, of course, but he left it to God. He didn’t let his mind get in the way. He didn’t say: “Oh God, I have so much faith in You, how could You let this happen to me?”. He didn’t say: “Oh God, please return my beautiful Sultan to me”. His first thought was for unfortunate people who might not get help because people might think they were being tricked like he was. To have faith is a letting go. Baba Bharti let go and what happened? The man who stole the horse was brought to tears when he realised the goodness in Baba Bharti’s actions. His soul was touched, and he returned the horse. True faith is true connection with the Supreme, where we ask for nothing, except to be in relationship with Him, and in this way our destiny will be fulfilled. When I tell my students to trust, believe and surrender this is what it is to have faith.