The day you feel that you are incapable, the doors of liberation open for you.
When Nanak reached the age of twelve, he was about to be initiated into the Hindu religion and receive the sacred thread.
It was an important ceremony. Many people were invited and a band was arranged. When the priest had finished his incantations and was about to place the sacred thread on him,
Nanak said, “Wait! What will happen by wearing this thread?”
The pundit said, “You will become a dwija,” which is a member of the Hindu faith, literally a twice- born.
Nanak asked, “Will the old really die and the new be born? If that is so, I am ready.” The pundit was concerned because he knew to the contrary, that nothing would happen, that it was only an empty ceremony. Nanak asked, “What if this thread were to break?”
“You can always buy a new one from the market and throw away the old,” said the pundit.
“Then let this one go now,” said Nanak. “Anything that breaks by itself and is sold in the marketplace for a trifling amount, how can it help me to find God? How can man’s creation help to find God? For man’s performances are always petty and inferior.”
His father, Kalu Mehta, was convinced the boy was a total good-for-nothing. He had done his best to bring him round to doing something, but had failed. When there was no other way, there was a last resort that came in handy in the villages – he was sent to graze the cattle. Nanak went quite happily to the pasture and was soon lost in meditation while the cattle destroyed the adjacent fields.
The next day he had to be removed from this, too. His father was now doubly convinced that the boy could do nothing and would amount to nothing.
Now it is an interesting fact that those people who have done the most for the world are denied this world completely; those who are the just claimants of the other world are almost unable to do anything in this world.
It is not that they are not capable, but their whole quality of being and doing is different. They become only a means, a medium through which many things can happen.
What would Nanak have attained by grazing cattle? Many people do. What would Nanak have attained by running a shop well? Many do, and yet the world remains as before. This person has removed himself from the world of action and is drowned in the world of glory.
Glory means: “Thou art the doer. What can I perform?” No sooner do you begin to feel your worthlessness, expressed as, “What can I do?” than your ego begins to fall away, drop by drop.
The day you feel this in totality – that you are unqualified, incapable, nothing happens because of you, you are helpless – the doors of liberation open for you.
The True Name , Vol 01
Solving the Riddle