There was this brahmachari boy who did not like the rigours of the gurukul. He decided he would obtain all the required knowledge by meditation. He chose a nice spot on the banks of the Ganga and began his quest.
A long time passed but he persevered. God felt compassionate toward this boy and came over. However, God incarnated Himself as an officer of the king. He located Himself close to the meditating boy and began throwing sand into the river. The boy came out of his trance due to the noise. He spoke to God, “Sir ! what are you hoping to achieve by this act of throwing sand into the river ; this act of yours does not appear very intelligent to me”. God replied , “Oh ! I am hoping to build a dam across the river for diverting the river water into a canal which I will subsequently build”. The boy said, “Sir ! with all due respect to your intelligence, this idea does not appear workable since the sand you are throwing into the river is being washed away by the strong current”.
Without answering him , God asked the boy why he was there and not in a gurukul, studying under the guidance of an able guru. The boy replied, “Sir ! I hope to circumvent that process by directly gaining the requisite knowledge from God Himself”.
God then told the boy, “Just as My act of throwing sand in the river is useless since dams are not built this way, so you shall also not achieve knowledge by this process of meditation. For gaining knowledge, one needs to study under the expert guidance of a guru.
Many organizations exist in our world which give some mantra to their followers and promise panaceas, that is, an answer or a cure for everything. These trusting followers soon realize that the promised bounties are not forthcoming. Disappointed, some of them look for another mantra but find no improvement in their situation.
Are the mantras ineffective ? No ! Then what is wrong ? Imagine an ant climbing a slippery wall. It climbs an inch with the greatest of difficulty but slips back due to exhaustion. Similarly, the chanting of mantras do help but one is not chanting them all day long. What about the behaviour in the rest of the time ? One needs to ensure that one’s behaviour in this period does not cause one to slip back.
It is not surprising, therefore, that scriptures say that realizing God is only possible from a mode of goodness which entails correct, moral and just behaviour at all times.