AS YOU GO FROM NEAR TO NEARER

A MUSSALMAN, while saying his prayers, shouted: "O Allah! O Allah!" Another person said to him: "You are calling on Allah. Thatís all right. But why are you shouting like that? Donít you know that He hears the sound of the anklets on the feet of an ant?"

When the mind is united with God, one sees him very near, in oneís own heart. But you must remember one thing. The more you realize this unity, the farther your mind is withdrawn from worldly things. There is the story of Vilwamangal in the Bhaktamala. He used to visit a prostitute. One night he was very late in going to her house. He had been detained at home by the Sraddha ceremony of his father and mother. In his hands he was carrying the food offered in the ceremony, to feed his mistress. His whole soul was so set upon the woman that he was not at all conscious of his movements.

He did not even know how he was walking. There was a Yogi seated on the path, meditating on God with his eyes closed. Vilwamangal stepped on him.

The yogi became angry, and cried out: "What? Are you blind? I have been thinking of God and you step on my body!" "I beg your pardon" said Vilwamangal, "but may I ask you something? I have been unconscious, thinking of a prostitute, and you are conscious of the outer world though thinking of God. What kind of meditation is that?" In the end Vilwamangal renounced the world and went away in order to worship God. He said to the prostitute: 'You are my Guru. You have taught me how one should yearn for God." He addressed the prostitute as his mother and gave her up. (113)