ONCE, three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly appeared before them. "Brothers," one of them exclaimed, "we are lost!" "Why should you say that?" said the second friend, "Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God." The third friend said: "No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree."

The friend who said 'We are lost!' did not know that there is a God who is our Protector. The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn't want to trouble God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God. It is the very nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his is to keep his Beloved from even being pricked in the foot by a thorn. (80)