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The Three Hermits

The Law of Miracles

From: Chapter 30, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda

The great novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote a delightful story, The Three Hermits. His friend Nicholas Roerich has summarized the tale, as follows:

“On an island there lived three old hermits. They were so simple that the only prayer they used was: ‘We are three; Thou art Three; have mercy on us!’ Great miracles were manifested during this naive prayer.

“The local bishop came to hear about the three hermits and their inadmissible prayer, and decided to visit them in order to teach them the canonical invocations. He arrived on the island, told the hermits that their heavenly petition was undignified, and taught them many of the customary prayers. The bishop then left on a boat. He saw, following the ship, a radiant light. As it approached, he discerned the three hermits, who were holding hands and running upon the waves in an effort to overtake the vessel.

“‘We have forgotten the prayers you taught us,’ they cried as they reached the bishop, ‘and have hastened to ask you to repeat them.’ The awed bishop shook his head.

“‘Dear ones,’ he replied humbly, ‘continue to live with your old prayer!’”

Full story can be downloaded and printed out for story-time: