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The Fisherman who pretended to be a holy man
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Sri Ramakrishna needs no introduction to Indians. Through his renowned disciple, Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna's name was introduced to the west. He believed that the supreme power is one, call it Krishna, Christ or Allah. To convince himself of this he adopted Christianity and Islam successively and practiced each of them with great faith and devotion. According to him the experience of ecstasy of joy and closeness to the almighty is exactly the same, be it Hinduism, Christianity or Islam, or any other religion.
His teachings were as simple as his life and were often illustrated with stories. In the next few months I will narrate some of his popular stories to stir your heart. They are witty but full of wisdom.


One dark night a fisherman stole into a private garden with a pond full of fish. He was pleased to see that the house was dark. Thinking everyone was deep asleep, he decided to catch some of the fish in the pond. But the sound of the net dropping into the water woke up the master of the house. Did you hear that? the master said.Some one may be stealing our fish! The master ordered his servants to go out and check. The fisherman was in a fix. They are coming this way! He quickly hid his net under a bush and started to run. But there was no way to escape. As he was desperately looking for a place to hide, he suddenly saw a smoldering fire, perhaps left by a holy man. Fate could not have been kinder to me the relieved fisherman thought. He quickly pulled off his turban and smeared some ash on his arms and forehead and sat in front of the fire, pretending to be a holy man deep in meditation. The chasing servants came upon him and, thinking he was a holy man, decided to leave without disturbing him. What happened? the master of the house asked.Did you find the thief? No luck Sir,the servants replied,He escaped. But we found a holy man meditating in the garden. A holy man in my garden! said the master,I am so very fortunate. Take me to him. The servants took the master over to the place where the fisherman was pretending to meditate. As they came close the master told everyone to be quiet so as not to disturb the great saint. I have fooled them well, even the master of the house! thought the fisherman as he pretended to meditate.

The master of the house and his servants finally left. The fisherman decided to sit quietly for the rest of the night and to escape at dawn. At the crack of dawn he got up to leave but before he could escape he saw a young couple approaching with a newborn baby. Oh, holy one! We heard of you and have come to seek your blessings, they said. Please bless our child. May God bless you! said the fake holy man. As the couple left, the fisherman found a whole crowd of people had come to receive his blessings. They had in their hands offerings of all kinds, flowers, sweets, even silver plates! The fisherman was so touched by the respect and devotion the people showed him that he decided to prented no longer and truly become a man of God. He gave up thieving for good and spent the rest of his life in prayer and meditation. So the thief who began by pretending to be holy, truly became so

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