This is a story straight from Swami Sivananda, about his sometimes unconventional methods of teaching. As the story goes…
Once when a disciple staying with Swamiji in Swarg Ashram adopted an attitude of rebellion and refused to copy an article to be sent to a journal. Swamiji silently slipped out of the disciple’s kutir. Then, after a day or two when the young man had obviously cooled down a bit, Swamiji approached him again. After telling him a significant Tamil proverb which says: “However much a pregnant woman may cry, she alone will have to deliver the baby”, he narrated the following story of a kowpeen both to humour him and to instruct him:
Once a kowpeen (underwear) became disgusted with the duty allotted to it, and so flew away from the clothesline. It fell at some distance, and was greeted by a man who was then in need of some underwear. He promptly put it on and went away. Thus the underwear realized that there was no way out but to do one’s duty in a spirit of cheerful surrender.
Without a word, this disciple took the article and made a copy.