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The Sickman's Bed Is Inside

Once there was an old woman. She lived with her one and only son. One day, the son caught a serious illness. The old woman was very fond of her son and so prepared his bed inside the house to provide extra care, while she slept outside.

One night, a buffalo, which had run loose in the village, came to where the old woman was sleeping. The buffalo had an itch and began scratching its head against the leg of the bed. Its force rocked the bed and startled the old woman from her sleep. She saw the buffalo and was shocked.

She remembered hearing in the religious discourses that the Lord of Death comes on a buffalo to collect people at the time of their death. She thought very quickly, ''Since my son is very ill, it is certain that the Lord of Death has come to take him away, but by mistake, he seems to be pulling my bed.''

She at once spoke out, ''Look, I'm quite well. The sick man's bed is inside.'' This amply shows the selfishness of worldly relation- ships. One must rise above them and worship God.

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© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith