Four friends wanted to get out of the misery-go-round of life driven by the karmic wheel of cause and effect. They understood that solution could be found only with God. One of them attempted God-realisation through the path of karma, while the others through ‘jhnana’, yoga and ‘bhakti’.
But none could succeed. They left home searched for God. After many years, they met again and started exchanging their misery. Later, they took shelter in a deserted house. At midnight, the house caught fire. There was nobody to come for their rescue. The karmayogi suggested, “Let us try to get out of this place by all means.” As the fire was all around them, they could not escape. After all, success of efforts depends on various external factors.
The ‘Jhnani’ said, “Let us think that we are not these bodies. We are essentially souls which no fire can burn. We are only souls.” They tried but failed again. When the body was about to be burnt, the conceptual soul could not give any consolation. Moreover, their anxious minds could not concentrate on souls at all. The yogi instantly prescribed some breathing technique for withdrawal of mind from fire and concentration on soul. But fire was too near to enable them to ponder over anything but impending death by fire.
The ‘bhakta’ was all along silently praying to God for rescue. Now he openly suggested praying together to the Almighty. Finding no other way, they all started praying. At last God responded.
All of them were taken by surprise. They forgot about fire and said, “When we sought You for years with intense asceticism, You did not respond; how You have come now?” God replied, “You four idiots were searching for me fanatically in your own ways like one eyed deer. Now you have tried every possible way and finally surrendered to me. So I have come.”