The devotee barber, Sena

There once lived a barber named Sena. Sena was devoted to Lord Vishnu and would chant The Lord’s Name day and night. He was also the king’s barber.

One morning, after taking a shower he was performing ritualistic worship (puja) as usual. Suddenly, a messenger came to his house asking him to come to the palace immediately to shave the king. As Sena was busy with his worship, his wife told the messenger that he was not at home.

The king kept sending the messenger to Sena’s house to see if Sena had returned. Every time, Sena’s wife would give the same reply. Now Sena had a wicked neighbour who finally told the king’s messenger that Sena’s wife was lying. On hearing this, the king became very angry and ordered his soldiers to go and throw Sena into the river.

Seeing this, Vishnu immediately went to His devotee’s rescue! He disguised Himself as Sena and appeared at the palace to shave the king. As soon as the king saw his favourite barber, Sena, his anger disappeared and he told the soldiers to forget about throwing Sena into the river. Instead he asked ‘Sena’ to shave him.

While he was being shaved, the king would look down and see the reflection of Vishnu in his shaving bowl. But when the amazed king would look up, he would see his barber ‘Sena’! When the shave was done, the king was very pleased with the divine Form he had seen, so he gifted Vishnu, disguised as Sena, with a bag of gold coins. Vishnu, in Sena’s disguise, left the gold coins at Sena’s home and disappeared.

That evening, the king called Sena to the palace for another shave. When Sena reached the palace, the king requested that Sena show him the same divine form of Vishnu that he had seen during the shave that morning. At first, poor Sena could not understand what the king was talking about. But within a few moments he realized that Vishnu had rescued him in the morning, so he prayed to Vishnu to show the king the same divine form, again. The king was enchanted to see the divine form of Vishnu again and started chanting Vishnu’s name! Sena was happy to see that the king had started worshipping Vishnu too.

When Sena reached home that night, he came to know about the gold coins left by Vishnu. He felt immensely grateful for God’s immense grace. Sena offered the gold to some Sages and once again immersed himself in chanting!

Moral: This story tells us how God not only rescues His devotees but also blesses them with everything. It also shows that a real devotee like the barber Sena, who has experienced the joy of being close to God, knows that nothing in this world can compare with being close to God and so does spiritual practice day and night. We too, can experience God’s blessings and protection, just like Sena did, by doing spiritual practice like him.

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