There once was a very honest shopkeeper whose day to day business was to provide goods to the local people . He would open open his shop at 8:00 a.m. after having his breakfast and at 1:00 p.m. he would go for lunch. In the evening at 8:30 p.m. he closed his shop to complete his daily routine.
However, to get time for lunch was really difficult because he didn’t have anybody to help him at that time. Therefore, it was his daily practice that whichever customer was shopping at 1:00 p.m. would be asked to oversee the shop until the shopkeeper returned from lunch.
This system of having the new customer oversee the shop at lunchtime quickly became known to thieves of the area. One day, a group of four thieves planned to steal from his shop while he was gone for lunch. One of the thieves went at 1:00 p.m. to be the customer that would be asked to oversee the shop.
The thief, pretending to be a customer, went in at 1:00 p.m. and started purchasing several items. As planned, the shopkeeper asked the thief to sit on the shopkeeper chair for thirty minutes until the shopkeeper returned from lunch. The thief agreed and sat on the chair, and the shopkeeper left.
Then, the other three thieves quickly came in to steal as much as they could. They told the pretend customer to also help them steal everything, but something had changed within him and he no longer wanted to participate in the stealing with his fellow theives.
When he sat on the chair of the shopkeeper, he was transformed by the magic impression of the shopkeeper’s honesty. The thief was now converted to an honest person and his attitude of stealing was completely transformed. He knew deeply in his heart that if he was given responsibility for the shop, he should not perform any dishonest acts during that time.
His friends did not agree, and so they forcefully began stealing things. As the now honest man tried to stop them, they resisted and a fight started. Other customers noticed the disturbance and came to ask what was going on, and at the same time the shopkeeper returned and also asked to know why there was fighting in his shop. The now honest man explained the entire plan, including his experience of transformation and how that led to the fight.
The shopkeeper, now 60 years old, had been searching for an honest man who could take ownership of the shop and run it. The shopkeeper felt that he had found the right man, so after the other three thieves were arrested he gave the keys to the now honest man and departed for his journey into retired life.
BK Surat Singh Ayer has been on a path of spirituality for several decades, and in June 1985 he decided to devote his life to the Brahma Kumaries international Institution for the service of humanity. He has traveled to many countries to organize exhibitions, campaigns, rallies and fairs about different inner change topics. He has written spiritual stories, translated spiritual books, written spiritual songs, and recorded meditation audios.
He has received medals and other awards from His Majesty, then King Birendra Bir Birkam Shah Dev of Nepal, for his contributions in social services and moral uplifting of the people. He has had His majesty the Kings, Queens and other royal family members of Nepal present at his services.
BK Surat Singh Ayer has also met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sri-Sri 1008 Shankaracharya, Mahamandleshwars The Secretary General of United States, as well as Prime Ministers, Speakers of both the houses, Chief Justices and other Ministers of India and Nepal.
He continues to provide his services at Brahma Kumaries Shanti Sarovar, Academy for a Better World in Hyderabad, South India, and maintains his strong interest in meditation, studying spiritual knowledge, and sharing experiences of deep spirituality through correspondence and other means.