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Beating Up Darkness

In a village lived several koli patels. They were very foolish. They once thought to themselves, ''For many years now darkness at night time has slipped into our houses. Let's keep a strict guard today and make sure darkness doesn't creep in. One Patel picked up a stick, another a washing pin, another a pestle or dustpan to chase darkness out just in case it did manage to gain entry. And so at six o'clock in the evening the villagers finished dinner and sat ready on their cots outside their homes. They watched the sunset, carefully watching around them lest darkness sneaked into their homes.

Slowly the sun set. One man went into his home for a drink of water at 6.30 p.m. He raised the alarm, ''Get up! Get up! What are you watching outside for? Darkness has already sneaked in!''

All the Patels grabbed their sticks, washing pins and dustpans. They began to beat darkness in the house. In the darkness they broke many pots and pans. Many of the Patels themselves were hit on the head! They spent the whole night trying to chase darkness away. With the coming of morning the sun rose and darkness went away. The Patels stroked their moustaches with pride and happily said, ''We really did beat it away.''

They all became very sure of themselves. Beating darkness doesn't chase it away. The rising sun causes darkness to go. People decide for themselves what salvation is - as the Patels thought of darkness. Freedom from the cycle of births and deaths is true salvation. Without a sun-like true Guru our ignorance is never driven away. People suffer hardships in their worldly life and yet believe that they've made life easier! No matter how much you may improve your worldly life at the core it is rotten.

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