Once Shivaji was separated from his army and reached a place where he could see no sign of human habitation nearby. It was becoming dark. At last he saw the dim light of a lamp at a distance. He proceeded in that direction and reached a hut. The inmate, an old woman, welcomed him and took him inside the hut. Shivaji was not only tired but hungry too. The lady understood the situation. She gave him water to clean his mouth and hands, and spread a mate for sitting. Shivaji relaxed and soon the old woman brought a plate of hot, fresh, boiled Kodi (grain eaten by people) and placed it before him.
Since Shivaji was very hungry he started picking up a big handful of Kodi from the middle of the plate. As it was very hot, he wrung his hand with a jerk.
The old woman saw this and remarked, ?Your temperament is like that of Shivaji.? When he inquired why she compared him with Shivaji, she explained thus: ?Just as Shivaji leaving aside small forts is making haste to capture big ones, you instead of taking the cold food in the corners of the plate, have burnt your fingers by picking up a big handful from the centre, which is hot. My boy! Haste spoils any kind of work. To obtain success, one should take small strides and advance with caution and courage. By taking up hasty big steps even at the start, nothing remarkable is achieved.?
Shivaji fully grasped the advise of the old woman, and translated it into action. From that day onwards Shivaji started capturing and consolidating small forts and made a glorious place in the Indian history.
Whether it is worldly pursuits or spiritual endeavours, one should avoid haste and proceed onwards with courage and fixity of purpose which will surely lead to success. If, instead of this, one makes long jumps and haste to realise the goal of life, one would fail invariably in his efforts and would become an object of mockery to one and all.