Here is a coconut palm tree. (Baba raised his arm in an upright position). And up here (touching his wrist) are the coconuts. This tree has a shadow that extends for a distance on the ground.
Now, a man who wishes to secure the coconuts climbs up the coconut tree. At the very time he is climbing the tree, his shadow may be seen climbing the shadow tree.
And, when he plucks the coconuts, his shadow may be seen plucking the shadow coconuts. The man who climbs the real tree secures the real coconuts and, at the same time, his shadow self climbs the shadow tree and plucks the shadow coconuts.
But if the man does not relish the task of climbing the real tree, and instead limits his action to the climbing of the shadow tree, he will not get satisfaction from the shadow coconuts.
The shadow tree represents the world, and the shadow coconuts represent worldly prosperity.
The real tree represents spiritual life, and the real coconuts represent the fulfillment of life. Thus, the person who devotes his life and energy to spiritual values will automatically get worldly benefits.
There is much said about Swami being omnipresent and omnipotent! People start to think they need do nothing, that Swami will do everything! Then they do not bother to do even their daily duty.
In spiritual life, the relationship between you and Swami is heart to heart. But in worldly life, Swami has given you work to do.
This requires work in the world, activity in the world. You are required to do your duty to the very limit of the task.
PS: This is taken from the famous book 'Conversations with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba' by John.S.Hislop.
Imagine you are sitting before the Lord. Do not try to immediately understand what He says. Go about it slowly and ponder over it. As Swami says, language is only a limited means to communicate about GOD. As you keep turning his words in your mind, with a prayer in your heart, He will surely give you the understanding in time.
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