(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Canberra, March 2011)
Once upon a time, Sanatana Goswami had a sparśa-maṇi. A sparśa-maṇi is a touchstone. Nowadays these stones are not often found, but we have heard about them. And when you touch metal with this stone, it turns to gold. Ooh, we wouldn’t mind a few stones like that, hmm?
Nowadays such stones are very rare, but Sanatana Goswami had such a stone. Whatever he touched with the stone, turned to gold. And what did Sanatan Goswami do? He threw it over his shoulder on the garbage heap, and then he sat down and began to chant the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra.
Everybody knew that Sanatana Goswami had such a stone. So one day a man came and said, “Sanatana Goswami, I have heard that you have in your possession a touchstone. Is it true? A stone that can turn metal to gold?”
Sanatana Goswami said, “Hmm..”
“Is it really true? You have this stone? Can I borrow it, please?”
“Oh, you can have it.”
“Really! Where is it? Where is it?”
“Oh, just look over there, in the garden – that stone is right there.”
So the man picked up the stone from the garden, took it and went home. Gold! Gold! Gold! Everything gold! Gold, gold, gold, gold, gold! It was great!
But then, at night, he was thinking;
Why did Sanatana Goswami throw this in the garbage? Why? What was it that made him throw it away? What secret does he know? He must have something better!
He went back and said, “Please tell me your secret. You have given me this stone but I know you have something better. Give me that.”
Sanatana Goswami said, “Alright, take your stone and throw it in the garden and sit down next to me.”
Then he gave him japa mala, and they started chanting the Holy Name.