Sai Baba from a Kodaikanal Discourse, 1997
In 1997, Swami gave discourses everyday in Kodaikanal. To make them more interesting to us, he often included small parables to get the meaning across. I wrote several down. Here is one that I found fascinating.
Four Wives and Four Ways
A rich man had four wives. The first wife was highly spiritual. The second wife was sick. The third wife read many good books. The fourth was a modern wife; she enjoyed fashionable sarees and jewellry.
The rich man went to America on business. There he was delayed. He wrote to his wives to explain, and asked each of them to send a fax and tell him what they wanted him to bring home.
The fourth wife, the modern woman, wanted the husband to bring her the latest fashionable sarees and jewellry. The third wife wanted books full of information and biographies of noble people. The second wife said, “Bring the latest medicines.” The first wife said, “I don’t want anything. It is enough that you return safely.”
The husband returned. He gave the latest sarees and jewels to the fourth wife. All books he gave to the third wife. To the second wife he presented the latest medicines, and then he stayed with the first wife. The three other wives were angry, and asked, “Why do you stay there? Why don’t you stay with us?”
It is difficult to live with one wife, and beyond measure with two wives. Three wives were responsible for Rama being sent into exile. Four wives are unbearable! All three wives started to fight with him.
Then he said, “I gave you what you wanted. You wanted the jewels and sarees; you wanted good books, and you wanted medicines, but first wife wanted me, and I am staying with her.”
God is the same. He acts in a similar way. If someone prays to God, “Oh God, I want wealth and comfort.” God may grant them. If some others pray to God for wisdom, certainly God will teach them wisdom. God also has constructed the Super Specialty Hospital for those who fall sick.
But to those who pray, “Oh God, I want you!” He will be very close to that one. These are the four ways of approaching God.
– Sai Baba