Walking along a sea shore, I saw a little fish stuck on the sand flapping in utter bewilderment and pain. Tears came to my eyes. I tried to pick him up but he was so scared that he flapped and came out of my hands. I held him with both hands and threw him into the ocean. But then next wave came and left him in the sand again. Again, I threw him and again the ocean left him in the sand. I realized the power of the ocean was so great and the fish was so weak.
In this material world, we are like fish out of water. When the fish is pushed away onto the sand, there is nothing in his power that he can do to get back into the ocean, and even if he does, the waves will keep pushing him away. The only possible way for him to be saved is if someone picks him up and throws him into the ocean.
God is an ocean of kindness, compassion and love. His kingdom is a deep, bottomless, fathomless ocean of ecstatic mellows, a safe natural home of all the living entities. Saintly people come to the shore of ocean of material existence, personally pick each one of us and throw us into the ocean of union with God. But like that fish, our tendency is to resist, to escape mercy. And just as the waves would bring the fish back, the waves of the illusory energy keep pushing us to our own previous state of conditioned life. So many bad habits, so many reasons to forget God.
After some four attempts of throwing him into the ocean and see him pushed away, I picked him up, went deep into the ocean and threw him as hard as I could. When the next wave came, the fish remained in water.
– Radhanath Swami