SINGLE-MINDEDNESS IS ANOTHER NAME FOR DEVOTION

A MAN was angling in a lake all by himself. After a long while the float began to move. Now and then its tip touched the water. The angler was holding the rod tight in his hands, ready to pull it up, when a passer-by stopped and said, "Sir, can you tell me where Mr. Bannerji lives?' There was no reply from the angler, who was just on the point of pulling up the rod. Again and again the stranger said to him in a loud voice, "Sir, can you tell me where Mr, Bannerji lives?" But the angler was unconscious of everything around him. His hands were trembling; his eyes were on the float. The stranger was annoyed and went on. When he had gone quite a way, the angler's float sank under water and with one pull of the rod he landed the fish. He wiped the sweat from his face with his towel and shouted after the stranger. "Hey!" he said, "Come here! Listen!" But the man would not turn his face. After much shouting, however, he came back and said to the angler, "Why are you shouting at me?" "What did you ask me about?" said the angler. The stranger said, "I repeated the question so many times, and now you are asking me to repeat it once more!" The angler replied, "At that time my float was about to sink: so I didn't hear a word of what you said."

A man can achieve such single-mindedness in meditation that he will see nothing, hear nothing. He will not be conscious even of touch. A snake may crawl over his body, but he will not know it. Neither of them will be aware of the other. (93)