In the Upanishads
we often come across Rishis who are in search of truth, worshipping
different gods, thinking them to be the highest ones. Some of them often
by mistake sought the form rather than the spirit. But they were
brought to reason by some incident or by someone's advice. Here
is a lesson taught by a brahmachari (celibate student) to two Rishis.
He says, "You are worshipping the wind-god but you are ignoring the same
god who pervades me also."

Once there lived two Rishis known as Shaunaka and Abhipratari. They were the
worshippers of Vayu or the wind god. On a certain day at noon they were
about to begin their lunch when there was a knock at the door. A young
brahmachari (celibate student) who was hungry was at the door begging
for alms."No
boy, not at this hour" was the reply. The boy was not a stranger to
such treatment. But he was not a little surprised when he faced such
disappointment at the Ashrama of a Rishi. So he decided to cross swords and stuck on.He addressed the owner once more. "Respected sir, may I know which god you worship?"One of the Rishis said, "You seem to be very impertinent. Well, my deity is Vayu, the wind god. He is also called Prana.""Then
you must be knowing that the world takes shape in Prana and merges in
it at the end. You must also be knowing that Prana pervades all that is
visible and invisible," said the brahmachari."The Rishi said, "Why not? We do know it. You are telling us nothing new.""For whom, sirs, have you cooked this food? May I know?" was the next question."Of course, for the deity that we worship. For whom else can it be?" came the ready reply."If
Prana pervades the universe, he pervades me also who am but a part of
the universe. It is he who pulsates in this hungry body that is standing
before you begging for a few morsels!"

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"Yes, what you speak is the truth.""Then,
dear Rishi, in denying food to me you deny food to the Prana in me.
Thus you are denying food to the deity for whom you have prepared it!"
said the boy pointedly.The

Rishis felt ashamed, and then respectfully invited the brahmachari for
meals. Then they served him with food along with themselves. They
realized that they were obsessed with the form while it was the spirit
that really mattered.