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Story – God Does Exist But People Do Not Search Properly

Swami Sudarshanananda narrates an interesting story of barber and his client. The story explains that people are not able to see god because they do not search properly.

A man went to a barber to have a haircut. While the barber went about with his work, he picked up a conversation with barber. They discussed many things and, in due course, about God. The barber said that he did not believe in the existence of God. The client asked why and the barber replied that if God existed then why there were so many sick people, why there were abandoned children and other evils in life. The man did not react to the statement because he wanted to avoid an argument. The barber finished his job and the man went out of the shop.

As he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long hair and an untidy beard. Then the client again entered the barbershop and he said to the barber that there did not exist any barber in the town. The barber reacted and said, ‘How do you say that? I am here and I am a barber.’

‘No!’ the client exclaimed. ‘They don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with long hair and beard like that man in the street.’

‘Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to us.’

The client replied, ‘That’s exactly the point. God does exist. What happens is people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him.

That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.’

The moral of the story is that while light is present everywhere, it is not perceived always. Whether an owl accepts the presence of light or not, the light is present. Likewise, God always exists whether one is able to perceive Him or not. He is ever shining in the ‘three periods of time.’ He exists before we begin to search for Him. He is closer to us than our breath and nearer to us than our hands and feet. Sri Ramakrishna says that during the day we cannot see stars but that does not mean that there are no stars. Similarly, we might not be able to see God in our ignorance, He exists.

As Swami Vivekananda said, God is still, established upon His own majestic changeless Self. You and I try to be one with Him, but plant ourselves upon nature, upon the trifles of daily life, on money, on fame, on human love, and all these changing forms in nature which make for bondage. When nature shines, upon what depends the shining? Upon God and not upon the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars. Wherever anything shines, whether it is the light in the sun or in our own consciousness, it is He. He shining, all shines after Him.

Source - Vedanta Kesari July 2015 page 29