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The Wise Man and the Bowl of Milk

A rich man wants to really experience this God thing that everyone is always talking about....

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     There once lived a man who was quite rich. He was a very, very wealthy man. This man used to pray a lot. Everyday he used to pray, in the morning, at mealtimes, and even at night he used to pray. But one day, a thought came into his mind, and he said, “You know I pray to God, I always think about God, but where is God? Where does He live?” So he sent out a message to all the people that “If anybody can tell me where God is, I will give them a hundred gold coins.” Well, the news got out that the rich man was going to offer a hundred gold coins to anybody who could tell him where God was. Everybody wanted to try and tell him

 

     They would tell him, “Oh, I can tell you where God is. God is in the mountains. God is in the sky. God is in the Heavens. God is in the Sea. God is in far away countries.” But this wasn’t quite what he was looking for. Then this one man came up to him. He was a very quiet man, a very wise man. Everybody knew him as just a quiet and very calm and very humble person. He said, “Sir, I know where God is.” The wealthy man said, “Really? Please tell me! Where is God?” The wise man said, “I just need you to bring me a bowl of milk.

 

     The wealthy man didn’t understand how that would help but it seemed easy enough. After the milk arrived the wise man said, “I want you to put your hand in the bowl of milk.” So he put his hand in the milk. Then the wise man asked him, “What is in the milk?” “There’s nothing in the milk, it’s just a bowl of milk.” So he asked him again, “Are you quite sure, there is just milk in there?” “No,” said the rich man, “there’s nothing in the milk. It’s just a bowl of milk.” So the wise man said, “Okay. I want you to stir the milk with your hand.

 

        So he stirred the milk, and he stirred it, and he stirred it, and he stirred it. He stirred it for such a long time he had to take a rest. After he rested, he started to stir it again. He stirred it, and stirred it. Wow, would you believe it? From the same bowl of milk, there was cream. Then there was butter. These things came from the milk

 

     The rich man looked at the wise man and said, “I don’t understand. What’s the point you’re trying to make? I asked you to tell me where is God, and you just got a bowl of milk and made me stir it. Yeah, I can see the cream came out, and then turned into butter. But where is God?”, The wise man said, “Sir, God isn’t far away. God is inside you. And what we have to do sometimes is churn ourselves, our mind, our heart, our feelings, our souls. We’ve just got to chant the Naam, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru. That chanting is like the churning, it’s like the churning of the milk. Slowly within time, we’ll see that God is inside us. Just like the butter is inside the milk, God is inside of us.

 

        Well the rich man, when he thought about it, well he fell to his knees and he bowed to the wise man. He said, “Tell me, who’has taught you all these things?” The wise man got a twinkle in his eyes. He said, “Well Sir, we are students of Guru Nanak, and Guru Nanak taught us these things. He tells us that God isn’t far away. God isn’t just in the skies or in the Heavens, but God is inside of us.

 

     You are like the bowl of milk and what can you use to churn the milk inside you? We all have what we call Seva. Seva is helping others, helping the needy, putting others before yourself. And we have the Seva as the stirring stick. We also have Simran... chanting God’s Name. When we put them together, we find God.

 

Read the Full Story:

The Story of the Wiseman and the Bowl of Milk

Hello children. I'd like to tell you a couple of stories. Stories that my mom told me when I was a small boy, and I remember I used to go to my mom and say, "Mom, mom, please tell me a story. Please tell me a story!" My Mom was always busy with her Mom things, you know, the washing, the cooking, the cleaning, looking after the family and that sort of thing. And the memories I have of Mom is that she always made time for me and told me stories. And the stories that she used to tell me were stories with some meanings and feelings, and something that I could learn from. I remember one day when I went to her and I said, "Mom will you tell me a story? Tell me a story about God, cause everybody talks about God. Where is God? Where is God? And people pray to God, people talk to God." And she looked at me and she smiled. I said, "Mom do you know where God is? Do you know where God is?" She looked at me and she smiled again. She said, "You know, I heard this story when I was a small child.", and her mom told it to her. She said:

In this village lived a man and he was quite rich, a very wealthy man, and he used to pray a lot. Everyday he used to pray, in the morning, at mealtime, and even at night he used to pray. But one day, a thought came into his mind, and he said, "You know I pray to God, I always think about God, but where is God? Where is He?" So he sent out a message to all the people that "If anybody could tell me where God is, I will give them a hundred gold coins." Well, when the news got out, that the rich man was going to offer a hundred gold coins to anybody who could tell him where God was, everybody came forward.
"Oh I can tell you where God is. God is in the mountains. God is in the sky. God is in the Heavens. God is in the Sea. God's in far away countries."
It wasn't quite what he was looking for, but then this one chap came up, a very quiet man, a very wise man. Everybody knew him as just a quiet and very calm and very humble person. He said, "Sir, I know where God is.
"Really? You can tell me where God is?
"Yeah, I can tell you where God is."
"If you can tell me, I'm willing to give you a hundred gold coins."
"What I want from you first of all is a bowl of milk."
"Well that's easy. I can bring you a bowl of milk."
So he arranged for the bowl of milk.
"I want you to put your hand in the bowl of milk."
So he did, and he put his hand in. And the Wiseman asked him, "What's in the milk?"
"There's nothing. There's nothing in the milk, it's just a bowl of milk."
So he asked him again, "Try again. Do you find anything in the milk?"
"No, trust me, there's nothing in the milk. It's just a one bowl of milk."
So he asked him for the third time, "Try once more. Do you find anything in the milk?"
"No, it's just one bowl of milk."
"So." said the Wiseman, "Okay. I want you to stir the milk."
"Fine."
So he stirred the milk, and he stirred it, and he stirred it, and he stirred it, and he stirred it, and stirred it, and stirred it, and stirred, and stirred it, and stirred it, and stirred it, and stirred it. Wow, would you believe it? From the same bowl of milk, there was cream. There was butter. There was cheese. There was yogurt. All kinds of things came from the milk. And the rich man looked at the Wiseman. He said, "I don't understand. What's the point you're trying to make? I asked you to tell me where is God, and all you've done is just got a bowl of milk and you've stirred it. Yeah, I can see this butter here. I can see there's cheese here. I can see all these creams and things. But where is God?"
"Sir, God isn't far away. God is inside you. And what we have to do sometimes is churn ourselves, our mind, our heart, our feelings, our souls. We've just got to chant the Name, Vaheguru Vaheguru Vaheguru Vaheguru Vaheguru Vaheguru Vaheguru. That chanting is like the churning, it's like the churning of the milk. And slowly within time, we'll see that God comes from within us. God is inside us. Just like the butter is inside the milk, God is inside us."
Well the rich man, when he thought about it, well he fell to his knees and he bowed to the Wiseman. He said, "Tell me, who's told you all these things?"
"Well Sir, I've followed Guru Nanak, and Guru Nanak tells us these things. He tells us that God isn't far away. God isn't in the skys or in the Heavens, but God is inside us. You're like the bowl of milk, and to churn, we don't have a stake or a ladle to churn the milk and turn the milk, to stir the milk. But we have what we call Seva. Seva is helping others, helping the needy, putting others before yourself. And if you have the Seva as the stirring stake, we have the Seva and the Simran. When we put them together, we find God."

Storyteller:  Roop Singh
Age ranges:  1 - 6, 7 - 12