“Where is God?” asked the disciple.
“Everywhere, in everyone and everything,” said his Guru.
Later, as the disciple was going home, he saw an elephant charging towards him.
“Get out of the way, get out of the way,” shouted the mahout (elephant-handler). “The elephant has gone mad!”
But the disciple thought: “God is everywhere. He is in the elephant and he is in me. Would God attack God? No, therefore the elephant will not attack me.”
He stood where he was. The elephant picked him up with his trunk and flung him aside. Fortunately, he landed in a haystack and was not too badly hurt. But he was terribly shaken and confused.
When the Guru and the other disciples came to help him and take him home, he said, “You said God is in everything, but see what the elephant did to me!”
“It is true that God is in everything,” said his Guru. “He is in the elephant, but he is also in the mahout who kept telling you to get out of the way. Why didn’t you listen to him?”
A Bengali folktale recollected by Sri Ramakrishna Paramhans