The Man and the Goblin
Swami Shriyukteswarji used to tell a story about a holy man with a lot of power. A devotee came to him and insisted that the holy man give him a mantra so he can change his fortune. The holy man said to the devotee, “Work, be satisfied with what you get, and don’t run after this occult power.” This man insisted. The holy man finally agreed and said, “Okay, I will give you a Mantra to practice. You will soon get a goblin that will do everything you want, but handle him carefully.” The holy man gave him the mantra and explained how to chant.
One day the goblin appeared and said, “I am here to serve you but on one condition: you have to give me work. I am here to work, I don’t want to be lazy. I want to be engaged all the time. If not, I will kill you.”
The man asked the goblin for a big house, and the goblin built it in a moment.
The goblin said, “Give me work, or I will kill you.”
The man asked for furniture from different countries, and it was done in an instant.
The goblin said, “Give me work, otherwise I will kill you.”
Before long, the man ran out of ways to keep the goblin busy so he returned to the holy man and pleaded, “I am in trouble! This goblin needs work.’
The holy man said, “I warned you. Tell the goblin to dig a well, and inside the well there is to be seven rings to go down and seven rings to go up. Tell him to go down and climb up these seven rings over and over. Tell him to continue this until you give him new work.”
The mind is the goblin; it needs engagement. Unless it is used in productive work, it will cause problems. The well is the Chakras, where we go down and up, over and over.
Excerpt from a transcript of Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji speaking at the 2014 Sydney Residential Retreat.