Once a certain student presented himself before his guru and said, “Guruji, please give me your guidance. I serve the Lord as well as I am able, but I am distracted by the difficulties of caring for my family. We have very little means, and there is often hunger and sickness.”
The guru replied, “Go and ask a loan of such and such a man–” Here he named a merchant who was a devotee of the guru. “With the money he gives you, go to the bazaar and buy clothes. Take the clothes into the countryside, to the small villages, and sell them.”
The student did as his guru suggested. With the money, he bought clothing, and carrying a large bundle on his back, began to walk out into the countryside. The load was heavy, and the sun was strong, but he persevered. In time, he came to a small gathering of houses, and thought, ‘Perhaps here I can sell these clothes.’
To his dismay, though, he discovered that the village had recently been attacked by thieves, who had taken not only all the valuables that the people had, down to the last copper coin, but even their clothes, so that when he approached, they hid, naked, in their huts.
Filled with compassion for their difficulties, the man gave the villagers his bundle of clothes, and returned to the ashram of his guru.
When the student told his guru what had happened, someone in the assembly asked, “Guruji, why did the Lord not accompany this man? Your student was only trying to feed his family, and now he has nothing, and a debt besides.”
“Where was the Lord?” the guru said. “The Lord was never absent. The Lord lent the money, the Lord carried the bundle, the Lord stole from the villagers, and the Lord, in His compassion, gave them again something to cover themselves with. Do you not know? It is all His dance.”