On devotion - A beautiful story about Lord Rama and the monkeys
When Sri Rama was building the bridge to Sri Lanka, a lot of monkeys were helping him build it. So the monkeys were picking up stones, writing Sri Rama on the back of the stones and putting it in the water. When they put the stones in the water, they would float.
Again, this has a spiritual significance. When the name of the Lord is with you, you will float through the ocean of misery; you won’t sink in the world of misery.
All the monkeys were writing Sri Rama, and all their stones were floating. When Sri Rama saw this, he was so surprised. He thought, ‘What? These stones are floating!’ He wanted to try it himself. So he took a stone, wrote Sri Rama and put it in the water. The stone sank! Sri Rama was surprised.
One monkey was sitting somewhere and watching. Sri Rama went where he thought nobody was watching (whenever we think nobody is watching, there is somebody who is watching). So, one monkey who was watching, he started laughing. Sri Rama was a little embarrassed. The laughing monkey said to Sri Rama, ‘Those who you throw away from your hands, how they will float? They will only sink!’
This is to say that the devotees are so much more powerful than the Lord himself; devotees can do so much more than the Lord himself. This is the lesson from the story.
While this was happening, a little squirrel was also moving around. It was taking little pebbles, and putting them in the water. Some laughed at the little squirrel, saying, ‘How can a squirrel be a contributor?’
The squirrel said, ‘I am contributing for my own joy. I am also a part of this huge thing that Sri Rama is doing, and I am so proud of it.’
Even today in India, we call it the ‘Squirrel’s Contribution’; it is a sign of humility. Even when we do a little bit, it doesn’t make a big significance, but being part of something big, saying, ‘I have also done something’, gives that inner satisfaction.
So, the squirrel also started contributing by throwing little stones in the water.
The lesson from this story is that devotees are more powerful than Rama himself.