Once Sai Baba (a Saint from Shirdi, India), was playing with some coins by tossing them from one hand to the other, while testing them in various ways. He appeared to examine each coin individually. In this manner, he played with the coins for about half an hour without exchanging a word with His disciples, Damu and Nana, who were standing nearby.
Curious to know what Sai Baba was doing, Nana asked Him why He was scrutinising the coins over and over again. Baba replied, “Beta (dear son), it is true that I am repeating the same action and uttering the same words over and over again. Look at that mango tree in the yard. It is in full bloom, the leaves are hardly visible. If all the flowers in the tree were to become fruits, would the branches bear their weight? So, that does not happen, most of the flowers on the tree are swept away by the wind, many others drop off on their own accord, and only some of them become fruits. Squirrels, birds, or monkeys eat some of the fruits. Thus, over ninety percent of the flowers do not result in fruits that remain on the tree. Only ten percent or so of the fruits remain on the tree. Is it not so?” The disciples agreed that it was indeed so.
Sai Baba continued, “In the same manner, thousands of devotees are coming to me. Are they all maturing into good devotees? Many drop off half-way on the path. Some come for study. Many seek wealth while many others come in connection with success in their jobs, marriages, or other such personal desires. There is some defect or the other in each of them. No one comes for My sake. I have a precious thing in my coffers to offer them. But no one seeks it. It is for this reason that I am examining the coins. Among these coins there are some that are worn out, some that are debased, and some that are twisted and worthless. Just as I am examining the defects in these coins, I am also looking for the defects in the devotees who come to me. I am trying to find out if they can really comprehend My truth with their defects. They want Me, but all their desires are related to mundane objects. How can they attain Me with this attitude? How can you reach your destination if you get into a train that is going in some other direction than your destination? They want Me, but they don’t make efforts to realise Me. Among the many that come to Me, it is only one in a thousand who really makes the efforts to realise Me!”