It was an auspicious day-Mahashivratri where devotees worship Lord Shiva. Malhotra family was elated as they bought home their bundle of joy.”Om” said a loud voice cheerfully.”I declare the name of my grandson”announced the proud grandfather of the little boy who was welcomed to the world few hours ago.
Om had a very pleasant childhood. Seeing his parents and grandparents revering Lord Shivji, he too started praying with them. Whenever Om used to encounter any problem,his faith towards his God would go weak. As his school’s final result was near, he used to chant lots of shlokas and frequently visit the temple to pray for good results. Sometimes his prayers were answered and sometimes not.
Om had experienced 24 summers and 24 winters of his life.Yes!he will be turning 25 years next month, but he was not excited at all. He was experiencing series of challenges in his life with scoring low in his entrance exam. Om could see his future career in Architecture very blurred. On the other hand,his father had already given the last warning to him either to pursue the career of his choice or follow the family business of ration shop and take the family legacy forward. Sitting in the shop with fluffy stomach, selling dal, rice, flour was not his cup of tea. He dreamt big,wanting to go to USA for higher studies and if everything goes well, he will be proud green card holder.
To his resentment,all his dreams were thrashed when he got just passing percentage in his entrance exams. Om used to lock himself in the room and want to disconnect with the rest of the world. His grandfather advised him to do some hawan and pooja of Lord Shivji so that all his dreams can come true. Om left no stone unturned. Every Monday he started fasting. He offered many prayers to his God in order to please him. All his efforts were in vain as nothing was moving in the direction which he had hoped for. Om started to become very depressed. His family members were very worried for him. But still his father was adamant that Om should join him in his shop so that after few years they can get a suitable match for him and get him settled.
One night,as Om was coming back from the library,his motorbike stopped in the middle of the dark and silent road.As he was trying to fix up the bike, a loud voice called his name. He raised his head,and to his utter surprise he saw a tall figure with a snake around his neck,a damru on his trishul and black heavy hair falling on his shoulders standing in front of him. Om could feel a chill running down his spine. He couldn’t believe that Lord Shiva himself was standing infront of him. Baffled Om got so scared that he started perspiring. He also thought that today is his last day on the earth as Lord has come to take him along with himself either to Heaven or hell.
“Why are you so scared Om?”said Lord Shiva.”You and your family have been worshipping me for so many years and that makes me happy”‘.
Hearing this,a small smile appeared on Om’s face.He was assured that he can live long now. With little courage,Om said “Dear god!if you are pleased with our faith and prayers then why are you not fulfilling my wishes. I want to pass my exams with flying colors so that I can get my dream job in America”.
With Om’s innocent wish Lord started laughing.”My dear son,i am not hungry for food you offer me every week in the temple. I am not thirsty for the tonnes of milk you pour on mi idol with eventually get wasted, nor I want you to worship and chant the mantras just because your family says. All I want is your BELIEF in me.Life is not easy for anybody.Problems and challenges are meant to make you stronger.If every desire of yours get answered easily neither you will have faith in me nor will you have faith in yourself. Your repeated failed attempt to pass exam have make you study more harder to achieve your goals.
Amused Om said”Now I understood Lord.Thank You for making me realize the value of every problem and importance of belief.I have been praying to you mechanically as I was told by my family.But from today onwards,i will have full belief in you and will do my best to make myself and my family happy”.Just when Om finished speaking,Lord gave him blessings and vanished with a blink.Startled Om did not belief his eyes that he actually met Lord Shivji and he gave him the life’s best guidance to him.
Months passed,Om became more serious in his studies. Besides coming from the tutions, he slowly started to help his father in his work. Now he prayed with his full might and from the heart and his faith got deeper too.As a result,Om started passing all his exams with good ranks now.Within a year,he got a very good job in a reputed company.His joy had no bounds when he got the interview call from America,where he got selected and was offered a job with a very good salary package.
This all happened only because Om’s faith in his Lord was pure and sincere and it made him understood the meaning of “belief” it or not.