The Search for God

The Search for God

Once a holy man went into the forest in search of God. There under a mighty tree towering into the sapphire sky, he sat down with folded legs and closed his eyes. The Lord’s name was ever on his lips, in sunshine and in rain. Night and day, hour after hour, he prayed for an answer, yearning with all his soul for a meeting with the Lord.

One morning, when the east was glowing like a fire on the horizon, a sparrow flew down from the tree and sat before him singing, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

The man opened his eyes and frowned at the little bird who had disturbed him. “How dare you wake me up from my devotions with your silly song? Begone, lest I strangle you!” He glared and waved at the sparrow. At that, the little bird shuddered and flew away.

One afternoon, when silence suffused the forest, a butterfly fluttering by the flowers decided to stop and talk to him.

“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” said the butterfly, as she hovered before him.

The man opened his eyes and fumed with rage on seeing the butterfly. “You good for nothing! What do you know of my quest? Begone, lest I clip your wings!” At that, the butterfly trembled and hurried away.

One night, after years of meditation, the holy man died. On his death bed, his face bore all the gloom of starless skies and all the anger of stormy clouds at God’s interminable silence. After death, like everybody else, he stood before the gates of Heaven. The sparrow and the butterfly were there to welcome him, singing like before, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

Hearing that the holy man was vexed and decided he was at the wrong gate and scurried away. By and by, he came across a few men and women who were busy pelting stones.

“Why are you hurling stones into empty air?” he asked.

“To keep the sparrow and the butterfly away,” they answered in chorus.

“Really? Good! They tried to keep me away from God not only on Earth but in Heaven too!”

“Come, we’ll take you to the Master,” said one among them, extending his hand.

So the holy man came to a bright chamber that appeared like a banquet hall. Countless cauldrons bubbled everywhere and curious odors wafted in the furious breeze that rushed through the lofty windows.

He knelt before the Master who wallowed on the grand throne of his aerial kingdom and said, “O God, why did you take so long to reveal yourself?”

At that, the Master thundered, “You scum of a man! How dare you mention God before me? Cast this vermin into the fiery pit! Raise the heat! Let this trash burn forever in Hell!”

And the Devil laughed as the holy man was hurled headlong into the red-hot gulf. And He peered intently into the blazing inferno keeping eternal watch over His dominion.


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