Ask And You Shall Be Given
Ask And You Shall Be Given7 mins 281 7 mins 281
We all dream during sleep, and also when awake. We have night dreams and daydreams. Life is actually a series of dreams. This is the story of a dream that I had and which actually came true. No, not a dream in my sleep, but a wish that crept into my mind without my conscious knowledge and took over my conscious senses completely.
It is definitely not a sin to wish for something to happen in your life. We all do wish to be happy, healthy, successful and so many other things. It was when I was touching my fifties that it struck me that I had to reach the pinnacle of my professional career before I retire. I had been thus far moderately successful and was happy for my achievements. Actually, there was no need for me to worry about my professional career; but there it was one fine day. The thought entered my mind, as I said, without my wanting it to surface. Once it was there in my conscious mind, I had no option but to begin thinking about it. Thoughts of becoming the CEO of my company buzzed in my mind like flies all the time. I would try to swat them away but they always returned with more force and noise. I just could not get rid of the thought. I then began liking the idea and then fell in love with it. It had become my dream.
The apparent reason for this thought that became my dream was clear to me. My organization was undergoing a change, an acquisition by another company, and it was certain that there would be changes. Some could be fired, while some could be promoted. There was a strong rumour that the present CEO would go and be replaced by a new one.
I could hardly control my dream to become the new CEO, but it was also true that there was nothing I could do to become the new CEO. My track record and my capabilities were well documented and known to our directors, but will that be considered?
When you cannot control something, it worries you more and forces you to find solutions. I was doing all the smart things, networking with my directors, keeping myself alert for opportunities to stake my claim and yet I worried this might not be enough.
It was then that I remembered God. It was silly of me to have forgotten him all the time. I remembered that when nothing in your life is within your control then one always has the option to turn to the unknown, unseen Almighty. But here too there was a problem. Which God should I turn to? We Hindus have no dearth of options when it comes to the divine, and our beliefs have it that some of the Gods have more powers to fulfil our wishes or resolve our problems than others. Selection of the right divine force for the right resolution is therefore essential.
As luck would have it I was staying in Prabhadevi those days. In fact, our apartment was located right opposite the Siddhi Vinayak temple. Those who are familiar with Mumbai will know how potent a force the Lord of that temple is. The high and mighty walk to the temple, barefoot, to pray and submit their appeals. Here I was, by fate or chance, living in such close proximity to that force!
Post-haste, I decided to take my worrisome wish or dream to the Lord. I used to take my morning walks regularly and pass the temple every single day. Now, I made it a point to first stop at the temple and pay my respects to Ganesha. After a week or so of regular praying, another thought was put in my mind. I strongly believe that this was done by Ganesha himself. No jokes.
It was a very strange thought. It occurred to me that everyone in the universe prays for something to the divine, literally begging to make things right for them. While some are blessing with solutions, most are not. Why? Why should Lord Ganesha consider my selfish request and grant me my wish? I was not even telling Him clearly what I want. I was just praying to Him to do whatever is right for me. Did I know what is right or wrong for me? How could the Lord know what I thought is right for me and why? I had not told him that in any detail. I felt that my present routine praying to the Lord could actually end in disappointment for me.
This new thought bothered me and I began to wonder how I can convince Him about my request. Now you readers have to read this part of the story carefully and understand clearly what I am saying to you. It is a very important point and truth.
All of us, as I said earlier, pray and wish for many of our dreams to come true. We, in fact, invest a lot of time and effort to our prayers, to ensure that the divine force hears us and favours us with its blessing. This new thought in me was telling me that I was wasting my time and not doing what I should do.
This voice in me was telling me that Gods do not listen to prayers that are confused, lengthy and ambiguous. This is because we do not understand our own relation to God. The voice was telling me that Gods are happiest when you are informal with them. Milk, honey, flowers, sweets and fruits hardly please them. They do not want to listen to your confused ramblings or allured by the songs and hymns you sing in their praise. They want you to treat them as your friend, not an alien super-power. So, if at all you want something from God, be direct and phrase your request briefly and clearly. Do not add emotions and sentiments to your prayer. Do not confuse yourself that God likes this and does not like that.
This was something I could not digest. But more I thought about it, the better I felt. Why was I having so much confusion about God? After all, we created them because we could not find them within us. Is it not true that the real God is the one within? And if I am confused about what I want, it means I am confusing God.
I hurried to the temple with my new realisation. There was a huge crowd that day, and serpentine lines had formed for darshan. I did not have the time to spend hours to wait for my turn. I decided to stand right on the road, facing the temple and talk to Lord Ganesha.
In a matter of fact tone, I told the Lord that I wished to become a CEO which I felt I deserved. I told him that it was now his job to make it happen. In a matter of a few minutes, I had firmly made my request to the Lord.
Well, you want to know what happened to my dream. Did it come true? Did Lord Ganesha understand and grant my prayer to Him? Yes, he did, and I became a CEO. It so happened that the company that acquired my company decided to bring in their own man as the CEO. However, they called me and asked me to take charge of another company, a small one, which they said had immense potential to become the market leader. They thought I was the right person to take up the challenge and grow this smaller company.
My dream, after all, came true. I became the CEO. What if it was not the company I wanted? I had never told Ganesha that I wanted to be the CEO of a particular company. He listened to my request and was pleased to grant me his blessings. I was happy that I had learnt a very valuable lesson about how to dream and how to convey your request to the divine.