Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

20 sec reading: The meaning of true devotion

Author: Paulo Coelho

Yoga Ramakrishna illustrates with a parable the intensity of desire that we need to have.

The master took his disciple down to the lakeside.

“Today I am going to teach you the meaning of true devotion,” he said.

He asked the disciple to enter the lake with him, and placing his hands on young man’s head, he thrust him under the water.

The first minute passed.

In the middle of the second minute the young man was struggling with all his strength to free himself of the master’s hand and return to the surface.

At the end of the second minute the master released him.

With his heart beating fast and completely breathless, the young man stood up and shouted: “You tried to kill me!”

The master waited for him to calm down and then said: “I didn’t want to kill you, because if I did, you would no longer be here. I just wanted to know what you felt while you were under the water.”

“I felt I was dying! All that I wanted in life was to breathe some air!”

“That’s exactly it. True devotion only appears when we have just one desire and feel that we will die if we cannot realize that desire.”

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