Adapted from a talk by Shri Swaminathan:
One day the five fingers of a hand got into a squabble on who was the best among them.
The thumb went in first though he was the smallest; ‘Whenever a man achieves success in his endeavors, he shows me up. Hence I’m the best.’
The pointer demurred: ‘My dear brother, do you realize you play no actual part in the man’s success whereas I actually go out and help. Whenever he goes to a new place and inquires (with someone), it’s me pointing to him where the temple is, where anna-dhaanam (free food distribution) is done….’
It was the middle finger’s turn: ‘Frankly I don’t understand what you guys are talking about. Everyone knows I’m the largest of us five. That settles it.’
‘Not so fast, brother,’ said the ring finger, ‘If he did not think of me as the best why would he slip his expensive and beautiful gold/diamond ring on me?’
.The little finger was sad – he had nothing to talk about himself. He was small in size and in utility too. For, people had little use for the little finger. He cried and cried and finally decided to take divine help. So he went to a nearby temple and prayed and pleaded for help.
Moved by his despair, the deity said to him: ‘Go back to your brothers and tell them this – it should silence your brothers: When the faithful comes in and prays to me with his hands folded (in a namaste), you stand closest to me, more than any of your siblings. It’s the same when you’re welcoming a guest at your place or greeting a stranger.’
Source: Images from rvcj.com and yoga-life.ch