The mahut God

In a forest, there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day, he taught them to see God in all beings and knowing this, to bow low before them all.

Soon after, one of the disciples went out to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly, he heard an outcry, “Get out of the way! A mad elephant is on the loose!”

All but the disciple took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises.

The mahut of the elephant was shouting: “Run away! Run away!” But the disciple didn’t move. The .animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way.

Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.

With the help of some medicine, he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, “You knew the elephant was coming — why didn’t you run out of the way?”

“But,” he said, “Our teacher has taught us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn’t run away.”

At this, the teacher said: “Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay put there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn’t you trust the mahut’s words?”

–       Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhans