The Indian Thief—A Story About the Power of Intention


Back in ancient India there was a thief. He had been a thief his entire life, born to a family who had been thieves for generations. All he knew was how to take. On this particular day, he goes into a village and begins to do his job, but he is quickly discovered by the villagers who chase him out with sticks and stones. He runs into the jungle where the thick undergrowth tears and pulls at his clothing until pretty soon he’s running naked through the jungle.

When he finally outruns the villagers, he is far away from civilization. Night falls and he drops to the ground naked and exhausted and falls asleep. A group of spiritual seekers from another village heard that this jungle has some very powerful spiritual leaders. As they are moving through the jungle, they happen upon the sleeping thief. They quietly put down their bags of gold and sit respectfully, waiting for the man they think is a guru to wake up.

After a couple of days, he finally wakes up and when he sees the villagers sitting there, he thinks he’s done for. The first words out of his mouth are, “You found me!” and they respond, ‘Thank God, we have been searching and searching for you.” He says: “I know.” Now they are convinced he is their guru, because he knows they have been searching for him.

He relaxes as he realizes they think he’s a guru. They tell him that they have brought all of their earthly wealth and ask him for a meditation in exchange. He looks around at all the bags of gold and he thinks, “Hmmm, a meditation.” For his entire life this man has only known how to take, so he says, “Okay, here is what you do. Heaven is up there and you're down here. You want God, you got to take God. You just reach up and grab and pull, reach up and grab and pull, reach up and grab and pull, and don't stop until God appears.”

He then grabs the gold and sets off into the jungle. To keep them from following him, he warns them not to move until God himself appears. So they sit in one-pointed devotion, reaching for God as they meditate on him. Pretty soon things start to become disrupted in heaven. The angels begin to chat amongst themselves, and the first level of heavenly spirits begins to talk to the second level, and the third.

Finally, the news gets all the way up to some of the lesser gods and they say, “We have to do something about this because if it disturbs the Almighty, we're going to lose our jobs.” So they descend to earth and ask the villagers what is going on. But the villagers just keep on, saying, “You’re not God; get out of here,” until all the lesser gods realize that they have to check with the boss. So they go to God and say, “You know that little planet? That planet . . . earth? Some people are in a jungle there and they're doing a meditation so powerful that it's going to bring heaven down to earth. We're all going to get sucked down there unless you appear.” So God says, “Okay, let's see what they want,” and he appears before them. The villagers stop and stare at God, and they realize that the guru they found was perfect and this meditation was perfect.

But what was really perfect ? Their trust. That is the purpose of the story. Whenever you commit and trust your commitment, it isn't the style, the technique, the way or who you learned it from that is important. Trust and commitment walk hand in hand. That is how we override the old programming.