There were once two men living next door to each other in the same village. One of them believed in God and the other didn’t want to even hear of God. Even though they had different ideas about the world and where it came from, they were very good friends and used to enjoy being together. They even enjoyed arguing with one another!
Once, on a sunny autumn day, they were walking thorough the field together. The atheist pointed to a nearby garden, where huge golden pumpkins were growing. “Look!” he exclaimed, “at how big these pumpkins are and how weak is the pumpkin plant. The plant is trailing along the ground, and the pumpkins have to sit there because the plant is such a weakling. Why, it can’t even hold them up!”
“And”, he added, pointing to the distance, “Look at that majestic oak tree over there. It’s boughs and branches are so strong, and yet all it produces in tiny, tiny acorns”
“If there were a God, then surely he would be intelligent. He would have put the large pumpkins on the strong and sturdy oak tree; and the scrawny pumpkin plant would have no trouble holding up the small acorns. When nature is so foolish, how can you believe there is a God?”
The atheist’s religious friend tried to give reasons, but (as usual) the two could not agree. At lunchtime, they ate their packed lunches and lay down to rest beneath one of the trees. The atheist was feeling happy with himself – he had such good reasons for not believing in God! And his friend could not defeat him. He felt proud of himself.
He slept peacefully, but was woken by a tiny acorn bouncing off his nose. It stung a little. He rubbed his nose and, turning to his friend, he admitted “You know, maybe my idea is not so good after all!”
Note; some claim that this story is not Hindu in origin – and, certainly, it may have been passed down in other traditions. But those who follow the Sanatana Dharma are not so concerned where wisdom comes from. They are interested in that wisdom that is commonly latent in us all. Are religious people to be determined by the tradition they (claim to) follow or by their fruits?
Cross reference: for another story on acorns and creation, please see STO-113