A TTE (Traveling Ticket Examiner) in a train found an old worn out wallet in a compartment which was full of people. He looked inside the wallet to find the name of its owner. There was no hint. All that the TTE could find there was some money and a beautiful picture of Lord Sri Krishna. He showed to the crowd and asked, “Who does this wallet belong to?”
An old man in the train said, “That’s my wallet, kindly return it it to me.”
The ticket collector said, “You’ll have to give some proof to claim that it is yours. Only then legally I can return it back to you.”
The old man gave a toothless smile and said. “It has a picture of Lord Sri Krishna in it. That is the proof.“
The ticket collector said, ‘That is no proof; anyone can have a picture of Lord Sri Krishna in their wallet.What is special or great about that? Why is your own picture not there in it?’
The old man took a deep breath and said, “Let me explain to you why my picture is not there in it. My father gave this wallet to me when I was studying in school. I used to get a small sum as pocket money from my parents, then. I used to keep a picture of my parents in it.
When I was an adolescent in teens, I was greatly attached to my good looks. I replaced my parent’s picture with my own. I loved to see my own face and my thick black hair. Some years later, I got married.
My wife was very beautiful and I loved her very much. I replaced my own picture in this wallet with a picture of her. I used to spend hours gazing at her pretty face.
When my first child was born, my life moved to new interesting chapter. I shortened my working hours, to play with my baby. I went late to work and returned home early too. Obviously, my baby’s picture occupied the prized position in my wallet replacing wife’s.”
At this point of narration, The old man’s eyes brimmed with tears as he continued further.
“My parents died many years ago. Few years ago my wife too left her mortal coil. My son, my only son is too busy with his (family) wife and child. He has no time to worry about me or to look after me. All that I had ever held close to my heart is far, far away from my reach now.
Now, I have put this picture of Lord Sri Krishna in my wallet because It is only now I have fully realized that He is the only and eternal companion. He will never leave me. I wish, I had realized this long time ago.
If only I had loved Lord Sri Krishna. all these years, in my life with the same intensity of attachment as I loved my family, I would not have been so lonely today!
The ticket collector quietly returned the wallet to the old man.
When the train stopped at the next station, the ticket collector went to the book stall at the platform and asked the salesman, “Please give me a small picture of Lord Sri Krishna.” I need one to put in my wallet.’
From the above story we understand that except the Lord no one can be our eternal companion.
As mentioned in the Katha Upaniṣhad the Lord can be known only by those whom He favors, and not by anyone else and special favors are bestowed by the Lord upon His pure devotees only.
One should therefore practice selfless devotional service, hearing and chanting the holy name, qualities, form, pastimes, entourage, attributes of the Lord, along with other pure devotees through Satsangh and this practice will help one awaken God consciousness in proportion to one’s sincere practice of devotion. One who desires material benefit by such devotional actions can never depend on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although He (the Lord) sits in everyone’s heart. Nor does the Lord give any direction to persons who worship Him for material gain. Such materialistic devotees may be blessed by the Lord with material benefits, but they cannot reach the stage of the Uttama-Bhaktha or a first-class human being who has understood that Lord is the only eternal companion.