One day a young boy of twelve or thirteen was attacked by fifteen mischievous, naughty boys and girls while he was walking home from school. The poor boy was all alone and quite helpless. How could he defend himself against so many naughty boys and girls? He thought of what his mother had often told him: “Whenever you are in difficulty or danger, pray to God.” He prayed to God for a second or two, but there was no help from God, and he was cruelly beaten,
He went home crying and crying. His mother consoled him and he said to her, “You told me that if I prayed to God, God would protect me. But God didn’t protect me. Look, I am black and blue, and my body is bleeding in so many places!”
His mother said, “My son, I told you to pray to God every day, but you do not. You do not pray every day early in the morning and in the evening. You only pray to God perhaps once a week, and sometimes you don’t even pray that often. Sometimes you meditate one day, and then for ten or fifteen days you don’t meditate.
“You have to pray to God every day for at least ten minutes early in the morning. Meditation and prayer are just like muscles. If you take exercise one day, and then for ten days you don’t take exercise, then you cannot become strong. If you take exercise every day you will become strong. Little by little you will become bigger and stronger. In the same way, if you pray to God every day, your inner muscles will become stronger, and God will protect you. God is bound to protect you if you pray to Him every day early in the morning and in the evening.
From that day on, the young boy started praying to God. He listened to what his mother had said, and he prayed to God every day. Early in the morning he prayed for ten minutes, and in the evening he prayed for five minutes. After doing this for six months he said to his mother, “Yes, prayer works. Nobody bothers me now. I come home every day, but nobody ever bothers me.”
His mother said, “Even if anybody does bother you, I tell you, you will be protected because you have been praying regularly every day, and God is pleased with you. God will protect you.”
Now, on that very day something happened. When the boy was going home from school, a very tall, big, stout man grabbed him roughly and wanted to strike him. The boy immediately thought, “Oh, God, my mother told me that if I pray to You every day You will protect me,” and he started repeating the Lord’s name very loudly. “God, God, God, God, save me, save me!”
The fellow who had caught him was a very big, strong man, and he laughed at the boy, saying, “What do you think you are doing by saying ‘God, God, God’? Do you think that you can get rid of me in that way? No, you can’t.”
All of a sudden a voice from inside the boy said to him, “Tell this man that even a ghost leaves when we repeat God’s name.” The boy quickly said what the inner voice had told him, and the man immediately let go of him and ran away.
Now, the previous night this man had had a dream in which he saw a ghost, and he had been badly frightened. Everyone is afraid of ghosts, even grown ups. Hearing the word “ghost” reminded the man of the ghost that he had seen the night before. When the boy said, “Even a ghost leaves when you repeat God’s name,” God made the hoodlum actually see this young boy as the ghost of his dream. God showed him the figure he had seen the previous night in the face of the little boy, so he ran away.
When the man left him, the boy ran home to tell the story to his mother. His mother said, “It is just as I told you. If you pray to God every day, God will save you. He will protect you.”
So you see that if you pray daily, God will protect you. This little boy had never thought of a ghost, but God told him what to say. If you pray, God will play divine tricks and He will help you when you are in danger. God will give you some message from within, or He will give the other person some message. If someone attacks you, immediately you will say something which you do not understand. When you say it, the other fellow will be scared to death, and he will leave you. Pray to God every day and when you are in difficulty God will tell you what to do.
from Gopal’s Eternal Brother
And Other Stories for Children
by Sri Chinmoy