One day a girl was going to meet her boyfriend. She was deeply engrossed in remembering him. In the lane through which she was passing a Muslim had spread his mat and was repeating his prayers. Muslims pray five times a day, anywhere and everywhere, even in the middle of the road. They are very strict about their prayer time. So he had spread his mat and was saying his prayers. The girl was so much engrossed in thoughts of her lover that she walked right over the mat and kept going. The man jumped up from his prayers and called out to her, “Arrogant, shameless, uncivilized,” but the girl did not respond and kept walking. He became furious and followed her calling, “Hey!” Again she did not respond. Then he ran ahead of her, blocking her way and shouted, “Why did you walk over my mat?” The girl was taken aback and asked, “What mat? What do you mean?” the man said, “I was praying and you walked right over my mat, you unholy wretch!” The girl paused for a moment and then gave a very revealing reply. “I was so engrossed in thoughts of my lover that I did not see you or your mat. How could you have seen me walk over your mat if you were praying to God?”
The object one selects for concentration should be like the beloved of the girl, not the beloved of the man.
Sure Ways to Self-Realization
by Swami Satyananda Saraswati