The Tale of the Sands
"For getting self- realization and that the only virtues necessary for such progress are faith and patience" – Shri Sai Satcharita, Ch. II.
A bubbling stream, having traversed all manner of countryside, mountain and valley, finally found itself at a desert. No matter how hard it tried, it was unable to cross it. As quickly as it rushed on, its waters disappeared into the fine sand. "My destiny is to cross this desert, I am sure," said the stream, "but I can see no way."
The voice of the Desert answered, in the hidden, tongue of nature. "The Wind crossed the desert, and so can you."
"But no matter how hard I try, I am absorbed into the sand. Even if I throw myself with all my force, I can go only a little distance."
"The Wind does not dash itself again the desert -sands."
"But the Wind can fly, and I cannot."
"You are thinking high the wrong way; allow the Wind to carry you over the sand."
"But that is impossible," answer the Voice. "Allow yourself to be absorbed into the Wind."
The Stream protested that this would be its death. It would cease to be, or, just as bad. It would lose its individuality.
"It is simply a change, a transition." answered the Sand. 'You will find your true form at the end of the journey."
"But how." asked the Stream, "can I know that this is true?"
"It is so, and you must believe it, for at best, in your present condition, your only future is to become", after many years, a quagmire or swamp. You cannot, high any case, remain the same stream that you are today. Today you call yourself such and such a stream only because you do not know which part of you is your true, essential nature, and which is only outward form."
So the Stream surrendered itself into the arms of the welcoming Wind, which gathered it slowly and carefully upward, and then let it down gently atop the mountains of a far-off land. "Now," said the Stream as it found itself falling as rain, "I have learned my true identity."
But it still had a question, which it bubbled up as it sped along in the form of a new river. "Why could I not reason this out for myself? Why did the Sands have to tell me?"
A small voice spoke to the Stream. It came from a grain of sand. "Only the Sands know, for they have seen it happen age upon age. Moreover, they extend from the river to the mountain. They form the link, and they have their function to perform."
This is why it is said that the way in which the Stream of Life is to carry itself on its Journey is written in the sands.