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Story Of Two Gardeners By Swami Vivekananda - Explains True Devotion

Swami Vivekananda explains about true devotion through the story of two gardeners:

A rich man had a garden and two gardeners. One of these gardeners was very lazy and did not work; but when the owner came to the garden, the lazy man would get up and fold his arms and say, ‘How beautiful is the face of my master’, and dance before him.

The other gardener would not talk much, but would work hard, and produce all sorts of fruits and vegetables which he would carry on his head to his master who lived a long way off. Of these two gardeners, which would be the more beloved of his master?

Shiva is that master, and this world is His garden, and there are two sorts of gardeners here; the one who is lazy, hypocritical, and does nothing, only talking about Shiva’s beautiful eyes and nose and other features; and the other, who is taking care of Shiva’s children, all those that are poor and weak, all animals, and all His creation. Which of these would be the more beloved of Shiva? Certainly he that serves His children.

Source - Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3, p. 142

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