By Sacinandana Swami
A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men aboard were able to swim to a nearby small, deserted island.
The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they both prayed for was food. The next morning the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land and was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor, a woman, swam to his side of the island. On the other side of the island, nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, and more food. The next day, like magic, all these requests were fulfilled. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?” “My blessings are mine alone since I was the one who prayed for them,” the man answered. “My companions prayers were all unanswered, so he does not deserve anything.”
“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”
“Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “what did he pray for that I now owe him for my success.”
“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”
For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone but those of another praying for us.