Raghu was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He along with his family worshiped an idol of Lord Shiva. His dearest wish was to have darshan (divine vision) of the Lord. After many years of ritualistic prayer, one day Raghu was very annoyed and said, “Oh Shiva! For years, we prayed to you to grant us darshan, but you have not obliged us, so we will not worship you any more. From today, we shall worship only Lord Krishna.” So saying, the family started chanting the name of Sri Krishna.
Raghu picked up a piece of cloth and tied it around the eyes of the idol of Lord Shiva saying, “Do not look at us now, we do not want to have anything to do with you, you have failed us all these years.”
Raghu’s daughter got up to light the Agarbatti (incense stick); Rahgu said. “We do not want Shiva to inhale the fragrance of the Agarbatti, stuff some cotton wool into his nose,” so, the daughter stuffed some cotton into the nostrils of the idol.
When they started singing bhajans, Raghu exclaimed, “Shiva! we cannot allow you to listen to our sweet music. Son put some cotton into his ears!” Upon hearing this, Raghus son inserted some cotton wool into the ears of the idol. Later when they offered Prasad (sweets as an offering), Raghu told his wife. “Tie his mouth, he must not partake of the sweets.” Obediently, his wife, tied a strip of cloth across the lips of the idol.
At that moment, there was a flash of lighting and the resonance of OM could be heard. Lo and behold! Lord Shiva appeared in person and said, “My children, today is the first time that you felt I am actually here, listening to you, watching you, eating what you offer…. Today is the first time you felt that I am not just an idol. Today you reached out to me from you heart, even if you reached out in anger. Whenever my devotees remember me and feel that I am with them and around them, I am actually there. All forms of God are the same, you can worship any one you like. If you take just one step towards me, I take a hundred towards you. But, that one step which you take should be from your heart, mind and soul.”