About 300 years ago, a great Saint named Tukaram lived in Maharashtra, India. He was a poor shopkeeper who spent his time chanting and singing devotional songs in the praise of God. His divine behavior alone inspired the people around him to turn to God and start chanting. However, Saint Tukaram’s wife rarely appreciated His greatness and was always angry with Him for not bringing home enough money.
One year, the region was affected by a drought. Many people were starving. One day, Saint Tukaram decided to harvest the sugarcane from his small farm, to help the situation at home. On His way home with a bullock-cart full of sugarcane, Saint Tukaram saw a poor beggar on the roadside. He was moved by the beggar’s plight and gave him some of the sugarcane. This did not stop with the beggar. Due to the severe drought, many people were left starving. On His way home, Tukaram generously gave sugarcane to any starving person He saw. Soon, He had given away all of it except for one stalk.
When Saint Tukaram reached home, his wife was shocked to see this harvest, of a single stalk of sugarcane! Furiously, she questioned Tukaram about it and as usual, He simply and truthfully told her what had happened. She got so furious on hearing what he had done that she violently snatched the sugarcane from Tukaram’s hand. As she did, the stalk broke into two pieces.
Saint Tukaram was calm as usual. When the sugarcane stalk broke into two pieces, he smiled and said “God is great. There are now two pieces – one each for the two of us. No one needs to starve!”
Saint Tukaram’s wife was taken aback by this response. She immediately felt ashamed for having yelled at her Saintly husband who always faced her anger with loving calmness. Apologising, she fell at the Saint’s Feet.
Moral: The story above shows us the love that Saints have for everyone – be it a hungry person or an angry wife. By following their teachings of doing daily spiritual practice, we too can develop a loving nature and feel closeness to God.