Keep your axe sharp

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job to a timber merchant,and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Carry on that way!”.

Very motivated with the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could bring only 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but could bring 10 trees only. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought.

He went to the boss and apologized,saying that he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked. “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut more trees for you.

This traditional story teaches us a lesson in Hinduism. Keeping our axe sharp means maintaining the basics; purity, truthfulness (satyam) and non-harm (ahimsa) together with regular devotion (bhakti). Sometimes we can get carried away with learning new things and forget the basics.  Spiritual knowledge without the backing of a pure heart and devotion to God will not get us anywhere, we need to keep our axes sharp.

Aum Namah Shivaya

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