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The beggar at the temple

January 13, 2010 3 comments

He was not an ambitious person, he was happy with the little he got. He could have got anything he desired since, though he did not know it, he was God. He would sit outside a temple with a begging bowl in hand, the only thing he wanted was to sleep on a full stomach. Since his wish was God’s wish it would always get done. He would bless those who gave him food and his blessings would come true, then the blessed people would come back to the stone gods within the temple to express their gratitude. With God’s grace, scores of wishes were realised and the ‘gratitude’ kept on pouring in cash and kind and the temple and its priests became richer and richer.

The fame of the stone god who supposedly fulfilled all wishes grew far and wide. The true God was happy initially since more people meant more alms but then the crowd brought in more beggars and more competition for him. As he slept one night with the horde of ugly, diseased beggars who he hated very badly, he wished if the temple authorities would simply drive away these beggars. A few days later, God’s will was fulfilled. The temple authorities decided that the beggars were creating a nuisance to the people and decided to drive them away. As he was driven away from the temple which fed him, he looked to the stone god one last time and wished if only there had been no temple which made him dependent on alms, he would have worked and fed himself. He was old now and would get no work, the only wish that he had now was to take a long rest from all his worries.

A few days later, the temple was razed to the ground by the civic authorities since it was found to be illegal, the priests and the devotees could not stop the demolition since it seemed that some powerful authority wished the temple demolished. Little did the priests realise that the powerful authority who wished the demolition done had been driven out by them from his own temple and he was sleeping a peaceful sleep outside the temple gates, never to wake up again.

P.S. The idea of a God who does not know he is God comes from the rain God in “The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”

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Categories: Short stories