The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ancient texts => Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members => Topic started by: silentgreen on December 21, 2010, 11:30:59 AM

Title: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 21, 2010, 11:30:59 AM
Kapila Muni

The first teacher of any evolved creature is his mother. So, if ever a mother accepts her own son as her teacher, then that son has to be really great. Although such a thing rarely happens, particularly in the field of spirituality, yet it does happen, and Kapila, the son of Devahuti, is a luminous example of this. His mother became his first disciple, and in later times he came to be known as the Father of Philosophy. His simple life, coupled with his erudition in Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, and Bhakti schools of thoughts, makes him the greatest among sages.

Unlike many other sages of Vedic times, Kapila is more historical and human. Even Acharya Shankara accepts his identity and greatness as the teacher of Samkhya philosophy. Various legends, traditions and writings show the impact of the sage on the Indian psyche.

An Extraordinary Son
Kapila's fahter was the great sage Kardama, and the mother was Devahuti. The legend is that Devahuti, although a divine personality, was too infatuated with the trappings of the world. Out of sheer passion to enjoy life, she requested her sage husband to make it possible for her to do so in a spectacular fashion. The sage obliged. Devahuti was now able to experience such enjoyments as were not possible even for the gods to enjoy. However, soon after, Kardama left everything, including his weeping wife, and went to perform tapasya, after their son, Kapila was born. This giving up was in accordance with an earlier agreement between the couple.

Kapila is believed to be a born Siddha, a man who has attained perfection. He was a spiritual prodigy from his early childhood, and he soon took to performing unwavering tapasya. The hard spiritual labour bore fruits, and Kapila attained the Highest state of being even while quite young. He was now ready to engage himself in the welfare of humanity by meditating on the Universal Self, and also by teaching, instructing and guiding the spiritual seekers. The divine providence was such that his own mother, Devahuti, became his first disciple. She had been disillusioned with worldly enjoyment after the departure of her husband. This experience had made her long for eternal peace and joy that comes only to the spiritually illumined and liberated. With this foremost desire in her mind, she approached her own son to instruct her in the ways of God. Kapila the son, agreed to be Kapila, the teacher to her mother. The son-mother soon turned to be guru-shishya.

Kapila then taught her mother the Samkhya system of philosophy (which latter became Jnana Yoga), the Yoga system of sadhana, and the Bhakti way of spiritual realisation. These three vital aspects of Hindu spiritual tradition were first propounded and explained in detail by sage Kapila only. The latter philosophers, saints and poets developed these ideas into fully grown systems, which continue to play essential role in the Hindu system of thought even today.

While preaching his mother about the importance of devotion to the Lord, Kapila said,
The glory of the Lord is always worth singing; for His glories enhance the glories of His devotees. One should therefore meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead and upon His devotees. One should meditate on the eternal form of the Lord until the mind becomes fixed.

Devahuti felt so illumined and blessed by the instructions, of her own son that she prayed to him,
I believe, my Lord, that You are Lord Vishnu Himself under the name of Kapila, and You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Brahman! The saints and sages, being freed from all the disturbances of the senses and mind, meditate upon You, for by Your mercy only can one become free from the clutches of the three modes of material nature. At the time of dissolution, all the Vedas are sustained in You only.

As instructed by her son, Devahuti began to practice bhakti yoga and soon became detached from her delightfully attractive home, and even from her own body. With her mind always fixed on God, she soon became liberated from material bondages, attained samadhi, and finally became one with the Supreme.

Kapila is accepted as one of the twenty-four incarnations of Lord Vishnu in Bhagavata Purana.
Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita: "among siddhas (perfected beings), I am the sage Kapila"

--- from Vedanta Kesari
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 09:42:43 AM
Vivekachudamani, the celebrated text on introspective thinking, says that five types of creatures get killed because of their attachment to a particular object of enjoyment:

1. Deer are attached to sound. Hence the hunter plays sweet notes of music on a flute; the deer come attracted to the source of music, and get trapped. Once a monk saw that a hunter was chasing a deer which ran faster than the hunter. Then keeping its bow and arrow down, the hunter took out a flute and began to play it. Mesmerized by the sound of flute, the deer turned back and came running to the hunter. Then the hunter kept the flute down and killed the deer. Sound killed the deer!

2. A moth goes after a flame, attracted by its rupa (colour and form). It does not see the burning nature of fire. It comes near the fire, touches it, and once its wings are burnt, it falls down. Moths rush to fire, without knowing that they are going to die, because they are fascinated by rupa.

3. The elephant has the wickness for the sense of touch. A bull-elephant gets excited when it sees a cow elephant. It rushes towards her, not seeing the trap of covered trench between him and her. He steps on it, falls into the trench and becomes imprisoned for life. Even though a mighty animal, an elephant loses its freedom forever, because of its weakness for touch.

4. Similarly, the fish goes after the bait and gets hooked. The fish looks at the bait as a piece of food. It goes to bite it and ends up losing its life.

5. So is the case with the bee. A bee, while enjoying the fragrance of lotus, gets inside it and remains inside it even after sunset and gets trapped in it when the petals close. And then it gets crushed to death by wild animals which happen to trample upon the flowers at night.

Each of these creatures meets its end due to its weakness to a particular sense; and then what to talk of the fate of human beings who have weakness for all the five senses! If this fact is seen and seriously meditated upon, we develop detachment towards sense objects.

--- from Vedanta Kesari
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 22, 2010, 11:53:45 AM



Dear silengreen,

There is a brief conversation about Sankhya Yoga between Sri
Bhagavan and others on 6th April 1937  [Talks No. 385]:

Devotee:  Is Vaikunta in Paramapada, i.e in the transcendent
Self?

Bhagavan:  Where is Paramapada or Vaikunta unless in you?

Devotee:  Vaikunta etc., appear involuntarily.

Bhagavan:  Does this world appear voluntarily?

The questioner returned no answer.

Bhagavan:  The self-evident 'I' ignoring the Self, goes about seeking to know the non-Self.  How absurd!

Devotee:  This is Sankhya Yoga.  Being the culmination of all kinds
of other yogas, how can it be understood to start with?  Is not
bhakti antecedent to it?

Bhagavan:  Has not Sri Krishna started the Bhagavad Gita with
Sankhya?

Devotee:  Yes.  I understood now.

*

Devotee:  In Sri Ramakrishna's Life it is said that an idol, Ramlal
was animate.  Is it true?

Bhagavan:  Can you account for the animation of this body?  Is
the movement of the idol more mysterious than the movement
of this body?

Devotee:  But, metal does not move itself.

Bhagavan:  Is not the body a corpse?  You will probably consider
it a mystery if the corpse moves.  Is that so?

*



Arunachala Siva.
 
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 01:24:41 PM
The essence of Shankhya philosphy is that Atman is different from body etc. In one of the Puranas, it is shown that sage Vashistha bringing a fresh dead body to Kapila Muni to demonstrate Shankhya philosophy for the good of the world. Kapila Muni, who was revered as an incarnation of Vishnu, invokes all the Gods to take their respective places within the body. Finally, Kapila Muni invokes Lord Vishnu to enter the body as Chaitanya Shakti. When Lord Vishnu sent a part of Him as Chaitanya Shakti, the body revived. Then people came to know that bodies by themselves are not animate. It is the Chaitanya Shakti which makes them animate.

From the point of view of the highest, there is no miracle about anything.
There is no miracle about an inanimate thing moving, because the Shakti of Brahman itself moves the bodies of living beings. There is no miracle about abiding in Self either, because the Brahman abides in the Self naturally at all times. Since Shakti knows everything, from Her perspective there is no miracle in incidents which to us appears to be against the natural laws. We often associate lot of miracles with saints, but from the point of view of Brahman and Shakti, these miracles are not miracles at all.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 22, 2010, 02:27:53 PM



Dear silentgreen,

Yes.  It is the Shakti within a Jnani that causes miracles.  Jnani
never owns them up.  In the Presence of Sri Bhagavan, many such
miracles did happen.  I had posted a serial posts on the miracles
in the Presence of Sri Bhagavan.  But He always used to mention
that Arunachala did all that.  Food prepared for only about 10
people one day, lasted to serve about 30 people.  This reminds
of Jesus Christ feeding with two loaves of bread and a couple of
fish to a large crowd at the Mount of Sian.   Similarly, when He
was suffering from constipation, and when the attendants did not bring Kadukkai [ a nut, a herbal remedy], in spite of reminders,
one villager brought a sackful of such nuts.  Again, once when
a lame villager who used to walk with crutches, got disillusioned
with life, [his daughter in law was also ill-treating him badly],
decided to do pradakshina of the Hill and then commit suicide,
Sri Bhagavan, in the guise of a middle aged man, came in front,
and pulled his crutches and threw them away.  The old man fell down and when he woke up, lo and behold, the old man's disability
had disappeared and he could get up and walk normally.  When
the devotees ascribed this to Sri Bhagavan, He simply smiled
and said:  "No, No, It is Arunachala's miracle."  He also saved
one young boy Ramana, who got drowned in the Ayyankulam Tank,
where one man swiftly jumped in and saved the boy.  When young
boy Ramana came to the Hall, next day, Sri Bhagavan smiled
at him and asked the boy:  "Was the Ayyankulam water very chill?"

Miracles do happen in Sri Bhagavan's Presence even today.  But
Sri Bhagavan never owned them up.  Last year, around this time
on 1st Jan. 2010, Smt Kanakammal fell down to prostrate in
Samadhi Hall and never got up. She got liberated there and then.

One lady who is always in the Asramam observed:  Sir, This is to
re-affirm His Presence, for the benefit of all of us. 



Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 03:02:11 PM
Dear Subramanian.R,

you are right. All miracles are miracles of Shakti only. A Jnani never owns up a miracle because he knows that miracles are due to Shakti's play. An ignorant person who gets some siddhi owns up thinking that it is his own miracle. But irrespective of whether one owns up a miracle or not, the fact remains that Shakti operates and is responsible for all the miracles.

When a person moves hands and feet we do not say it is a miracle because we got used to it. But when in Sri Ramakrishna's presence a metal idol started swimming we call it a miracle since we are not used to all the varied ways of Shakti. Within some Shakti manifests less, within some Shakti manifests more.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 03:07:52 PM
Purandara-dasa (1480-1564)

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT1XvQ0_eQ56ZD6hJok_Ts6einA6_SdxSIdhE0mxk054IV4xLO6Lg)

The name of Purandara-dasa (1480–1564) stands at the top of the Haridasa tradition. He brought about significant changes in the fields of literature and music and became a source of inspiration for future composers. He is even regarded as the "father of the Carnatic or South Indian form of music".

Since no authentic material on his early life is available, it becomes inevitable that we depend upon legend to reconstruct his life. His former name was Srinivasa Nayaka. Though very rich, he was a miser to the core. His wife was a sincere devotee of God. It is said that Bhagavan Narayana wanted to test Srinivasa Nayaka and came to him in the guise of a poor brahmana seeking financial help for the sacred thread ceremony of his son. Srinivasa Nayaka refused him outright. The brahmana then went to his wife and narrated his plight. Filled with compassion, his wife gave away her nose-ring. The brahmana took it to Srinivasa Nayaka and asked for some money in return. The sight of the familiar jewel shocked Nayaka. Without asking about its source, he told the brahmana to come the next day and rushed home to verify the source of the nose-ring. Fearing harsh punishment, the wife decided to end her life by consuming poison. However, she miraculously found the nose-ring in the cup of poison and handed it to her husband. Through further enquiry Nayaka came to the conclusion that it was the Lord himself who had come to him. This brought about a great transformation in him. He relinquished all his riches, went to Vijayanagara with his wife and children, took dasa-diksha, initiation into the path of the dasas, and was given the name Purandaradasa by Vyasa-raya.

He emotionally acknowledged the part played by his wife in his transformation: "Whatever happened, happened for good. It paved the way for the service of the Lord. [Called] to hold the dandige [a stringed instrument] in my hand I used to hang my head in shame. May the likes of my wife increase! She succeeded in making me hold the dandige."

Purandara-dasa’s contribution to the Haridasa literature is immeasurable. He gave a new dimension to devaranamas as a form of literary expression. Through his mastery over language and poetic diction, and by way of his unique presentations, he has been a household name in Karnataka for centuries now. Purandara-dasa's compositions are thematically multidimensional. We have songs praising the glories of the Lord. In others we find dialogues between the devotee and the Lord, wherein the trials, tribulations, joys, and sorrows of the inner life of an aspirant are vividly expressed. A major portion of his compositions recreate episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavata. Those dealing with Krishna, Yashoda, and the gopis of Vrindaban have varied dramatic narrations. His compositions with a social message are also many in number.

Purandara-dasa is known for his deft use of words. Here is an example of his effortless use of simile:
When I meditate on you, O Lord, what harm can others do to me?
What can they achieve by their jealousy when I am surrounded by your boundless
mercy and when I repeat your name constantly?
Do ants lay siege to fire?
Will the dust that a scampering horse throws up envelop the sun?
Is there anything that can go against one who has patience?
Will the mountain tremble when the wind blows?
If a thief tries to break open and seize the money which he sees in a mirror,
can he get hold of it?


In another song he equates the Lord’s name with sugar candy;
and this is how he urges people to get a taste of it:
O buy sugar candy, my candy so good!
For those who have tasted say naught is so sweet
As the honey-like name of the godlike [sic] Visnu.
My stock is not packed on the backs of strong kine;
Nor pressed into bags strongly fastened with twine.
Wherever it goes it no taxes doth pay;
But still is most sweet, and brings profit, I say.
It wastes not with time; never gives a bad smell;
You’ve nothing to pay, though you take it right well;
White ants cannot eat the fine sugar with me;
The city resounds as its virtue men see.
From market to market ’tis needless to run;
The shops know it not, the bazaar can have none.
My candy, you see, is the name of Visnu,
So sweet to the tongue that gives praise as is due.


--- from Prabuddha Bharata
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 22, 2010, 04:10:00 PM



Dear silentgreen,

Sri Puranadaradasa and other saints of Maha Bhakta Vijayam stories
pray to Panduranga Vittal of Pandaripuram.  One of Jnaneswar's
siblings, a girl, Muktabai, is said to be avatara of Sakti.  She is just six years old in the story. 

Panduranga is an advaitic swarupam.  He does not display conch
shell and disc.  He is keeping his two hands safely on his waist,
so that devotees would not thrust either a conchshell and disc
or trident and hand drum.  His head is having a head gear.  His
idol is said to have a Siva Linga on the crown.  The saints of
Maha Bhakta Vijayam stories though they sang in praise of Hari,
they did not condemn Siva.  This was explained by one discourser,
who covered all the stories in a serial telecast in Sri Sankara TV.

Jnanandagiri Swamigal of Tapovanam was a Vittala Bhakta and
followers of Harinama bhajans and devaranamas.  But he is
adorning Vibhuti on his forehead.  The followers are neither Madhvas nor Vaishnavas.  They can at best be called as Panduranga- advaitis,  like Vallabhacharya is called Krishna-
advaiti, and Saint Manikkavachagar is called Siva-advaiti.
The philosophy of non dualism is important for us and not the
personal gods.

Thank you for the nice post.



Arunachala Siva.     
   
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 04:35:28 PM
There is no harm in worshipping god with form if the devotion is pure and non-dogmatic.

Sri Krishna said in the Gita:
In whichever form any worshipper wishes to worship with faith, to that form I render his faith steady.

Even a few drops of water, or a fruit, flower, or leaf, if offered with devotion, He accepts from a devotee whose heart is pure.

Devotees of Bhagavan Ramana, considering Ramana as god is worshipping his picture with incense and praying to him. This is also worshipping a form only. But in this worship is also present the worship of formless.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 23, 2010, 09:47:25 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Yes.  Sri Bhagavan Himself did not disapprove form worship.
From form worship, one should go to formless worship.  In
Sri Ramana Stuti Panchakam, [five songs], Sri Bhagavan praises
only as form, Guru, light, nectarine ocean, Red Hill, Wondrous
picture, Master, Lover, etc., etc.,

Only in Verse 2 of Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, He brings in the
formeless, nameless Brahman.

"Inquiring within 'Who is the seer?' I saw the seer disappearing
and That alone which stands for ever.  No thought arose to say
"I saw'.  How then could be the thought arise to say "I did not
see?"  Who has the power to explain all this in words, when
You [as Sri Dakshinamurty] this of yore in Silence only?  And in
order to reveal by Silence, Your state transcendent, now You stand here, a Hill resplendent soaring to the sky."



Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: silentgreen on December 23, 2010, 11:27:39 AM
Kanaka-dasa

In the Haridasa literary tradition, Kanaka-dasa (1509–1607) is a name which stands on a par with that of Purandara-dasa, his contemporary. Kanaka-dasa was born in a village called Bada in northern Karnataka. It is said that he was brought up in a family of shepherds and later became an army chief. It is contended that he renounced worldly life in response to a divine call during a battle and became a Haridasa.

He built a temple for Adikeshava, his chosen deity, at Kaginele. Later he went to Vijayanagara and took initiation from Vyasa-raya. Though he had the support and encouragement of Vyasa-raya, who recognised his inner mettle, he had to face many challenges from some narrow-minded brahmana pandits of the math. This fact was even recorded by Purandaradasa in one of his compositions.

Kanaka-dasa strongly criticized the practice of judging a person on caste basis:
They talk of kula, times without number.
Pray tell me what is the kula of men who have felt real bliss?
When a lotus is born in mire, do they not bring and offer it to the Almighty?
Do not the gods of the earth drink milk, which comes from the flesh of the cow?
Do they not besmear their bodies with deer musk?
What is the caste of god Narayana and of Siva?
What is the caste of the Atman and the Jiva?
Why talk of kula when God has blessed you?


This 'caste dialogue' found expression in one of his remarkable poetical works, 'Rama Dhanya Charite', the story of the cereal ragi. This is the gist of the story:
Once there arose a quarrel between rice, consumed by the people of higher castes, and ragi, commonly used by the lower castes, regarding their superiority as cereal. Unable to resolve the issue, they approached Sri Rama, king of Ayodhya. Rama listened to both of them and, reserving his judgment, ordered that they be placed in the granary for some time. After the stipulated period both were called back. By then the rice had turned stale, while the ragi was still in good condition.
On the basis of this test Rama declared the supremacy of ragi and called it raghava dhanya or rama dhanya after his own name. Popular etymology has it that raghava dhanya later became 'ragi'.

The allegorical way in which Kanakadasa portrayed caste has given this poem a unique place in the history of Kannada literature and it is considered one of the major sources for socio-cultural studies on medieval Karnataka.

It is said that Vyasa-raya used to create some situations now and then to show the real worth of Kanaka-dasa to his other disciples. Once on an Ekadashi day, when fasting is observed as a religious practice, he called together all his disciples and gave them each a banana, with the instruction that nobody must see them eating it. The disciples hid themselves in different places of their choice and consumed their fruits. Kanaka-dasa, however, brought his fruit back. On being questioned by the guru, he replied: 'When the all-pervading Lord is observing everything in this universe, can one really get a place where nobody is watching?'

On another occasion, in an assembly, Vyasa-raya posed an interesting question to Kanakadasa:
'Who among the people of this assembly will go to Vaikuntha (the abode of Bhagavan)?'
Pointing his finger at every person, he asked Kanaka, 'Will he go to Vaikuntha?'
In each case Kanaka answered in the negative.
Even when Vyasa-raya asked, 'Will I go?', the reply was the same.
This was too much for the pandits and they began to fume. Finally, the guru asked Kanaka, 'Will you go to Vaikuntha?'
Kanaka replied calmly in his characteristically ambiguous way, 'If I go, I go. …'

The pandits thought this to be a self-assertive reply and a big uproar ensued. Finally, at the guru’s bidding, Kanaka explained what the statement meant:
"If the 'I' - the ego - is destroyed, then will I go to Vaikuntha."

--- from Prabuddha Bharata
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 23, 2010, 01:13:24 PM



Dear silentgreen,

If I go, I will go.

These words of Kanakadasa, reminds me a story in Sri Bhagavan's
life. Once there was a devotee, who had seen Him in very early
years in Virupaksha Cave.  He developed a lot of respect, awe
and devotion for Him.  He prostrated before Him and then went
his way.

After several years, he came to see Sri Bhagavan again.  This
time, Sri Bhagavan was sitting on a sofa, with cushions, someone
was fanning Him.  There were incense sticks burning on a fire,
and there were fruits placed on a stool before Him, [as brought
by devotees.].  He somehow felt that Sri Bhagavan was now leading a cozy life with all comforts.  He told Sri Bhagavan: 
"Bhagavan!  You have been spoiled!"  Sri Bhagavan also replied
to him stating:  "Yes I have been spoiled!"  Satisfied with the answer, he prostrated and then went away.

The devotees were angry at the remarks of the visitor, and more
so, when Sri Bhagavan accepted it.  One devotee asked Him:
"Bhagavan!  He was saying that You have been spoiled. But
you also accept, what is this?"

Sri Bhagavan said:  "What is wrong?  He asked me, whether "I" [have] has been spoiled?  I answered, "Yes. I [have] has been spoiled!  Is it not a correct answer?"

It took a few minutes for the devotees to understand.  Sri
Bhagavan's ego has been spoiled or vanquished long ago.  How
does the exterior comforts do matter?  The sofa, cushions, incense sticks, fruits, do they spoil the egoless state of a Brahma Jnani?



Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 11:31:42 AM
Friends,
I wish to share the  Story of Nanda,The Pariah Saint.I had posted this in David's Blog .I find that Silentgreen has initiated some wonderful threads here and I feel it will be useful to revive these.
This is from the Excellent collection of independent articles of sri B R Rajam Iyer,who started the renowned journal 'Prabuddha Bharata' inspired by Swami Vivekananda.Rajam Iyer lived for just 26 years(1872-1898)on this terra firma.The collection of his articles were brought together as a Book-Rambles in Vedanta.

Nanda,the pariah saint:

Adhanur was a village in the south Arcot District of Tamil nadu.The parachery (the quarters of the pariahs,always remote from those of the other castes)of Adhanur ,was on the outskirts of the village.A number of small unventillated,single roomed,hovel-like huts with pumpkin creepers covering their tops and scattered too wildly to be classified into streets or rows,black earthenware generally kept outside the huts,broken mudwalls,heaps of rotting bones and other filthy matter abounding on every side,cocks and hens that chuckled and bode their time,dogs that barked all day long,half-naked women that barked oftener and louder and troops of dirty,sun-burnt and naked children playing or quarelling-such were the surroundings amidst which our great saint was ushered into the world.Our actions are mixed in character,partly good and partly bad and nanda,to whom it was given,by the goodness of his previous karma,to set an inspiring example to the world and grow into god,was destined,by the necessary counterpart of the same karma,to be born in the midst of a barbarous community:but the beauty of providence is such that our very punishments are blessings in disguise,and the apparently unfavourable conditions,under which Nanda was born,themselves proved to be,as we shall see,for his own good and indirectly for that of the world.
Even in his early boyhood,nanda was,as we may easily understand,unlike the other boys of the parachery:his very play consisted in making figures of god,in clay i.e. as he at that age wanted him to be-a stout,black man with bold whiskers,a huge lace turban,and high-heeled native shoes,and an axe or a scythe in his hand and at the same time very trustworthy,and kind and merciful to those that sought his protection.To make such clay gods,to sing and dance around them,to carry them along in procession,to organize an infant band of bhaktas and make festivals for his gods were his chief juvenile sports.The small circular gopuram(tower)of the saivite temple in the brahmin part of Adhanur had a strange fascination for his boyish imagination for there were beauty,grandeur and, as
he could not approach it,mystery enough to set them forth in relief.It was this love of the Grand,the beautiful and the mysterious that was remarkable in Nanda and chiefly contributed to his salvation.He would often wistfully gaze at that tower wondering at its shape,size and grandeur and busily form guesses about the treasure underneath concealed to his view,which it was meant to glorify.Often as the village god passed in procession with torchlight,music,drums and vedic chant,nanda followed by other pariah boys would run forth to obtain a view,however distant of the festival and return deeply impressed with the procession and its poetic associations.He had an inborn respect for all holy things-temples,festivals,Brahmins,and the Vedas,which his low birth tended greatly to develop.
As he grew into manhood,his imaginative fervour and piety also grew with him and deepened and he became more and more eager to contribute what he could,however humble it might be,to the service of the lord.It is the tendency of true love to grow till it overflows the heart,and then it can no longer be shut up within,but must necessarily show itself out in action.Nanda thought long over what he could do to please the Lord;he was not rich:he was of low birth:no kind of charity readily suggested itself to him.One day while seriously thinking over the matter,it struck him all of a sudden that he might supply temples with leather for drums.To him,there was something almost miraculous in the very suddenness of the thought and he rose up with joy and exclaimed:"the Lord has spoken to me.He has commanded me to supply His drums with Leather",and he immediately set about preparing it.The Lord indeed does always keep conversing with us,only,we do not hear Him:and of the things we offer to him He chooses,not by their value(for He is himself the Lord of all things)but by the love and piety with which they are offered.The labour of procuring leather,of wetting and tanning it and cutting it into proper sizes,henceforth became to Nanda a sacred pastime and the very smell of leather roused in his imaginative mind a group of holy associations.
Nanda had a few friends in parachery(it is a pity that their names have not been handed down to posterity)who shared his enthusiasm and sympathised with him in his labours.Every now and then he would speak to them of God's glory and grace,smear himself and them with sacred ashes,and one day,while there was no work to be done in the fields,he stole away with them(we must remember that these pariahs were slaves under the Village landlords)to a famous temple a few miles off,called Tirupunkoor now known as old vaitheesvaran Koil.They went round the village three times,repeatedly besmeared themselves with sacred ashes and shouted forth the names of siva.Nanda was beside himself with pious enthusiasm and danced and wept,and after sunset,when the temple doors were opened,sent forth to the priest his offerings of coconuts,plantain fruits and loads of leather.He and his companions stood outside the temple at a little distance from the Flag staff,and from there obtained occasional glimpses of the image within.Their joy,particularly that of nanda,knew no bounds when they beheld for the first time,though from a great distance,the mysterious sanctum sanctorum of the great temple all radiant with light.The ringing of the bells,the crowd of neat looking pious devotees,the recitation of sacred verses,the puja,the burning of camphor,the worshipping with light and other imposing rituals of the temple,and above all the lingam(Image of siva)itself,which by its very form filled the whole place with a peculiar solemnity and sacredness,far exceeded his grandest expectations and impressed his imagination much more deeply(here his low birth was an advantage to him)than they did that of the Brahmin worshippers inside,who were familiarized to them.

continued....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:02:11 PM
Nanda,the pariah saint continued...

There was to him a mystery only half cleared and a solemnity he had never known before;he eagerly drank in the spectacle which to him was new and fascinating;tears flowed in torrents from his eyes and his emotional communion with God became every moment closer and closer till at last he became completely absorbed in meditation and all thought expired in the enjoyment.Those that saw him were filled with wonder at the steadiness of his devotion,his self-absorption and the serenity that shone in his face in spite of his low caste,and before he woke from his devotional trance a large and admiring crowd had gathered around him.The sensation created at the time was so great that his visit to Tirupunkoor has made a distinct epoch in its history and richly added to the glory of its temple,for tradition asserts that while he was standing behind the Flag-staff and struggling to get a view of the Lingam inside,Siva took pity on him and ordered Nandi(the image of the Bull placed opposite to the lingam in all saivite temples)to move a little to one side,that his low caste devotee might get a view of Him;and accordingly unto this day the huge figure of nandi at Tirupunkoor is placed not exactly opposite to the image of Siva but leaning to one side.
As soon as nanda awoke from his holy trance,he prostrated before the Brahmin crowd,that had gathered about him and began with his friends to go round the Village once again.It so happened,that while thus going round,a certain Brahmin pundit was reciting before a large audience chidambarapuranam(the Story of chidambaram) from the pial of one of the cornermost houses of the Brahmin quarters.As Nanda passed along,he heard the Brahmin say:"Chidambaram is the holiest place in all the world;he that once visits the temple there,be he a chandAla(outcaste),crosses once and forever the ocean of births and deaths":and then followed an eloquent description of the temple and the inner meaning of its grand symbolism.
Indeed in point of tradition,Chidambaram is one of the Richest cities in the world.What palestine was for the Christians,what Mecca is to the Muhammadans,what sreerangam is to the vaishnavites,that Chidambaram is to the saivites of the Hindu community.It is one of the Five great places of worship in Southern India,in each of which,God is represented as one of the five elements.There the representation is as Akas(ether),the first of the five elements.The idea of worshipping the elements as God is essentially Vedic,and it is a great help in the finding out and practical recognition of the divinity in the universe-which latter,when examined,is seen to be nothing but a physico-chemical compound of these elements.In a higher sense,the Akas worshipped at Chidambaram is not the ether of the scientists,but the spaceless,timeless,unconditioned Self.The very name Chidambaram means the Akas of wisdom and the temple there is called KOil-the temple par excellence.In the centre of that temple,there is a gold tiled mantapam(hall)called the Chit Sabha-the hall of wisdom in which to be seen first the image of nataraja and then what is known as the Rahasya(the secret)-representing of course the secret of all secrets,the characterless Nirvana of the Self.Of all the anthropomorphic representations of the deity yet known to man,that of nataraja is one of the very best and the image at chidambaram,which is the prototype of all similiar images elsewhere,is certainly one of the most inspiring figures that I(rajam Iyer)have known.Even considered as purely a work of art,there are few images more faultless,more life-like and more charming.That soft curly hair tufted like that of a dikshitar(a priest),the long prominent nose,those eyes so full of life and expression,that face in which dignity,bliss and mercy speak out and dance,that natural bend of the arms and their ornaments,that beautiful attitude of the dancer,and lastly,that raised foot(kunjidapAda)so eminently inspiring are before me as I (Iyer)write,and when to the artistic appreciation of the image is joined a full understanding of its idea,its inner poetry-that form the noise of the damaruka(a little drum)held in one of the right hands,innumerable worlds are represented as rushing forth into life as sparks from fire,as bubbles from a spring -Sabda nishtam Jagat-the world sprang out of and stands by sound or vibration;the other Right hand expressive of the idea "be it so",represents the power which maintains those worlds under a great unerring and faultless law;that the fire in one of the left hands ,represent the mighty and mysterious power of destruction,which makes the stars,mountains,and oceans "the perfume and suppliance of a minute";that firmly planted Right leg indicates the power of the mystery that refuses to clear up,the thick manifold veil of illusive panorama which hides Truth from us for ages together;and that lastly,the raised left foot that symbolises the grace of God,which shelters and saves those that seek it,from the eternal infinite,and terribly deceiving drama of creation,existence and destruction-it is no wonder,that men like appar,manikkar,pattinathAr,and thAyumAnavar forgot in that presence the petty commercial prose of our daily life,and broke forth in the highest,the most philosophical,and the most impassioned poetry that the Tamil language has known.

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:31:57 PM
Nanda,the pariah saint continued...

Nanda paused and heard the whole story of Chidambaram from the eloquent lips of the Brahmin Reciter.It acted on him like magic.The words,Chidambaram and Nataraja,obtained a strange mastery over him.He became eager to visit Chidambaram,which was not very far off,that very night,and was with great difficulty dissuaded from his object by his companions."The temple at chidambaram would be closed,"they said,"before you reach it and besides ,you are a slave to your Brahmin Master,you should not forget your position so easily.we have already stayed away too long and it will not be proper to do so longer." A Lesser man in that situation might have been provoked to reply:"Is that Brahmin greater than God?I care not for him.I shall have my own way," but Nanda meekly replied:"Yes,you are right.It has pleased God to place me in the situation of a bondsman.He knows what is good for me infinitely better than I do.To resign myself to His Will,is even a higher worship than visit his temple.I shall fall at the feet of my Brahmin Landlord,and please him in all honest ways and I am sure he will sooner or later allow me to go to Chidambaram."So saying ,he returned home with his companions,but not before he had dug out with their assistance a tank,still pointed out as his,for the use of the people at Tirupunkoor.The feat was regarded as wonderful,and the idea of a few pariahs joining together and creating a tank,was an altogether novel one,so much so,that popular tradition attributes the work to God Ganesa,who did it in order to please his father Siva's devotee.The Truth is ,Love works wonders and Nanda's love was of a very high order;it was not like that of some people who go into the temple with plenty of offerings to God-coconuts,plantain fruits,etc ,but would not give a pie to the beggar at the temple gate.In Nanda's eyes all men were God's children and to serve them,was itself a kind of worship,higher even than supplying temple-drums with leather or making offerings to God.After digging and completing the tank,he and his companions returned home.
Henceforth it became the one passion of Nanda's life to visit the great temple of Nataraja.Day and night he would pant for it.While working in the fields,while staying at home,while laying himself down to sleep,always his mind was with the Great God dancing as it were the unceasing dance of Creation,Maintenance and Destruction.Everyday he would think of begging his master to let him go to Chidambaram,but day after day passed without his venturing to do so for fear of a refusal.He would tell his friends everyday:"I go to Chidambaram to-morrow,"but a great many to-morrows became to-days and he had not gone:he became a veritable "dupe of to-morrow" and his very friends nicknamed him "one that goes to-morrow"(TirunALaipOvAr)
In the meantime,the pariah community at Adhanur,among whom true Bhakti was a thing altogether unknown,observed first with curiosity and then with alarm,the change that was coming over Nanda.The constant repetition of the Holy Name of Siva,the frequent besmearing of the body with sacred ashes,the meditation he was plunged in,and more even than these,the thorough change that had come over the inner man,his extreme meekness and humility,his constant and involuntary references to God,his inability to talk of anything but Him and His glory,his self absorption even in the midst of work,caused real uneasiness in the minds of his ignorant kinsmen,to whom any kind of deviation from the accustomed run of Life was a source of Fear.He would seldom mix in the cruel and barbarous sports of his community;meat and toddy lost their sway over him.Butchery was an act of abomination in his eyes,and he discouraged it whenever he had occasion.Often while the rest of the community was engaged in quarrel or gossip,he would unconcernedly repose under some tree and meditate:he would look at the wonderful creation around him,admire the unceasing miracles of the universe-plants,rivers,mountains,trees,and say:"Ah,all this deceptive phenomenal wealth is the glory of that one foot of Nataraja so firmly planted down.Beautiful as all this is,let me O God cross over to you and see you not as you seem,but as you are." Then he would fix his mind on the raised foot of Nataraja and pray with eyes filled with tears to be sheltered under its blissful shade of wisdom.
One day Nanda had long sat meditating in this way till his eyes were suffused with tears of joy and he passed into an ecstatic trance,when a curious neighbour went near him,and finding him unconscious and his body wetted with tears,gave the alarm to the whole community that something was wrong with Nanda.The report found ready acceptance on all sides,and soon our poor friend was shaken rudely and disturbed and was at once demanded an explanation;but all that he could say was:"Knowing that there is a God,who can help worshipping him?" which ofcourse was not found satisfactory.The result was that a council was at once formed on the spot,and it was unanimously resolved by the wise of the community,that Nanda's malady was due to the fault of not having held feasts for their gods more frequently,and that therefore one should be celebrated the very next day.
Grand were the preparations that were made for the feast.A huge pandal(shed)was erected and decorated with plantain trees,coconuts,mango leaves and flags.Fowls and sheep were procured in abundance for sacrifice.A Valluva priest of oracular fame was called in,and grotesque clay figures of the mighty gods of wonderful names-veeran,iruLan,kAtteri,veryan,Nondi,chAmundi,nallakarupan,pettannan,pavadai and a multitude of others too numerous to be mentioned here,were made.The next morning,the whole village gathered together under the pandal.The clay gods were arranged in order of importance;fowls and sheep and pots of toddy were ready for the feast.Nanda was held by main force,for which however there was no need ,in the centre of the assembly,and the high priest Valluvanar shook his damarukkam(a little drum);and at once there was a wild blowing of horns and reckless beating of 'drums and timbrels loud' and,as soon as they stopped,the holy priest got inspired;god has descended unto him,and he rose making all sorts of hideous cries;about ten people held him down,perhaps to prevent his escape to heaven.Thus held down and shaking forth his damarukkam,he delivered with appropriate gestures the following oracular utterances."Nandan," he said, "Nandan-Nandan-Nandan is possessed with the big long haired devil which resids in the market Tamarind tree;it will make him laugh and weep and run and talk and sleep"(many people do these things without the help of the devil-Iyer)and he asked:"Does he not do all these?" to which there was a tumultuous reply of "aye,aye,how true the Oracle,how right!". Nanda said nothing but thought within himself:"O Lord,how wonderful is thy dance!Here is a wonderful scene played in thy endless Drama!"

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:36:46 PM
Nanda,the Pariah saint continued...

"Kill a hundred sheep," continued the oracle,"and two hundred fowls" and offer them with pots of toddy to god karuppan and his brothers,and they say that Nanda will at once be cured.The great gods are extremely angry with you for having neglected them so long."The oracle ceased and immediately a large dancing group of middle aged pariahs was arranged and they sang.

PidAri great,the guardian dev
of all our fields,poor nandan save!

Nanda added:
None but natesan(nataraja)has that power
For he's my chosen lord and lover.

They sang
O vira dark with turban Huge
Beneath thy feet we seek refuge

Nanda said:
No turban could you make for one
who filleth all these worlds alone

They sang(admiringly)
IruLa fat with aspect Brave,
Thy belly is of Goats the grave

Nanda:
Trust not ye fools!to demons base,
But Him who is all love and grace.

The enthusiastic dancers heard not Nanda,or at any rate heeded him not;but the dance was followed by a more serious affair-the butchering of inncent fowls and sheep.Nanda rose and vehemently protested against it,but in vain;he eloquently preached to them about the grace and glory of the creator,invited them to throw away their wicked gods and barbarous sacrifices and exhorted them to join with him in the worship of the beautiful,eternal Nataraja,but all his words were as pearls cast before the swine;nay worse than that,they tended to strengthen the current notions about his madness.

Nanda turned away from that ignorant multitude in sorrow and filled with pity for them,prayed to God that they might be saved.With every moment of prayer,the longing to visit chidambaram gained new strength,till it grew irrepressible and forced him to apply to his master for leave.After considerable hesitation,the Brahmin landlord was asked;but in the meantime ,the pious devotees of pidari and company,finding that their gods had no power over nanda,had carried their appeal to the more powerful tribunal of their visible agricultural landlord,who unlike the invisible gods vouchsafed a prompt enquiry.Nanda appeared before his master just a little after the above deputation had gone from there and made his application.
"Eh,you going chidambaram,you pariah fool!You want to become a B r a h m i n???" jeered the landlord.Nanda was thunderstruck,he felt himself undone and returned weeping without speaking a word.He went to the shade of his favourite tree,and there wept in Torrents."O God."he said to himself,"How cruel art thou!I have no right to blame the Brahmin,he ofcourse spoke under Thy prompting,for not an atom moves save at Thy bidding.I am a poor pariah too low for Thy Grace,Ah!how cold art thou!Thou hast no pity on this wretched,miserable forlorn creature.I have nothing to be proud of-no wealth,no beauty,no fame,no learning and as if these were not enough I am born a low caste bondsman.All this was nothing to me,so long as I had hope of Thy Grace,and now i have been deprived of even that.Oh God,How then can I live?".
But hope,that most wonderful of all things,again asserted itself and he thought:"God knows what is best for me,infinitely better than I do.I shall resign myself to His Will in all things great and small.The Brahmin master may relent and I am sure when I am fit to enter His Presence,i shall be allowed to do so."

A few days later,a second application was made for leave and with a similiar result of refusal combined with rebuke;but the disappointment this time had a different effect on him;he consoled himself with the idea that he was not yet fitted for the Holy Presence,and that therefore he should strive to be more pious and god-loving and purer in heart.He redoubled his meditation that there might not be in his waking state a single moment in which God was forgotten,curtailed his hours of sleep,danced in a wild and ecstatic way both morning and evening,and at other times wept for God's grace or rejoiced over his illimitable glory.In the stream,in the bird,in the tree,in man,in short wherever he saw life,there he felt the presence of Nataraja;and under heavy sway of this strange fancy,often played with the stream,embraced the tree,ran after the bird and did a thousand wild things which positively confirmed his kinsmen in the idea of his lunacy.

continued....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:39:50 PM
Nanda,the pariah saint continued,,,

The poor folk tried all sorts of remedies,even bound him by fetters and tortured him,but all in vain.To him,everything in the world was divine,and his love and tenderness to living creatures was simply boundless:he would feed the ants with sugar,would take up the worms from the roadside lest they might be scorched by sun or crushed under the feet of passers-by,play with the children and enjoy the music of the birds as if he were himself one of them.
In the meanwhile however harvest time had come and ,his kinsmen being desperately engaged with him,work in the fields suffered.The landlord got enraged and sent for his men.all of them came,except nanda,and related everything that happened.The Brahmin angrily dismissed them and sent for nanda.Nanda came and bowed to his master and stood.The Brahmin was greatly surprised at the remarkable degree of joy and calmness and humility that shone in his face.It clearly struck him that nanda was no ordinary man,and that what was misconstrued by the ignorant pariahs as madness was nothing but an extravagance of piety and fervour;but he did not want to encourage him,and got really angry when the request to go chidambaram was put forward;yet he was moved at the extremely piteous,sincere and imploring way in which it was urged and the quivering and suspense with which his reply was awaited,as if a soul's destiny hung upon his one word;and so he gently replied:"nanda,you are really a good fellow,but you have fallen into wild ways;you have not been doing your work properly of late.This is the harvest season,the corn has to be reaped,after all the harvest is gathered in,I shall grant you leave to go to chidambaram!".

No sooner was this said than Nanda sprang into the fields like a wild deer,and a few hours later ,again called at the landlord's backyard.When the Brahmin asked why he was wanted,Nanda replied:"Do me the favour sir,to go into the fields," and led the way followed by his master;and what was the latter's wonder when he found that the whole of his vast paddy fields has been reaped and the harvest gathered in like a mountain of gold-all the work of a single man,and that in a space of a few hours!

The landlord could hardly believe his eyes,and struggled to know if he was not dreaming:what he saw was no vision but a concrete and thorough reality,and when convinced of this,he could only say:"Nanda,you could not have done this work,not all your kinsmen together ,what a miracle has God worked in my fields through you.This is the reward of your devotion-the proof to us,incredulous fools of your greatness.Nanda,you are the Holiest,and purest man that I have known,God's dearest Bhakta,Ah!what a sin have I commited by treating you as a slave,-from this moment,I am thy slave and this whole estate is yours.Bless me and recommend me to that High God who is so near and dear and kind to you."

Nanda's feat was at the same time a miracle and not a miracle-not a miracle in the superstitious sense generally attached to the word,but a miracle,a genuine miracle in that it was beyond the power and comprehension of ordinary men.Most of us are ignorant of the resources of love.Its intensity,its abundance and its wonderful possibilities are foreign to our mediocrity and when measured by our leaden standard,appear legendary.Love rolls the hills,leaps over the seas,annihilates the elements and shakes the universe.what can it not do and what has it not done?it is the energy of the soul,nay it is the soul itself and when nanda threw his whole soul into work on which hung the fulfillment of his life's objective,the result was what it was.The astounded Brahmin fell at his feet;and here by the way,it may be said to the credit of our caste system,that however rigorous it may be on the social plane,it has ever been liberal on the religious one.Many of the saints worshipped in our temples are men of the lower castes,some of them being of the very lowest;and the Brahmin is as ready to-day(Rajam iyer) as he was in the days of Nanda to fall at the feet of any man irrespective of caste,if any high religious merit be at least plausibly claimed.

Nanda ran to his master,and raised him up,repeatedly fell at his feet and with tears in his eyes said:"My Lord,what a sin you have commitedby bowing to your pariah slave",to which the Brahmin replied:"You are no longer either a pariah or a slave,you the holist of men;Go to chidambaram,but bless me before you go,forgive mefor my treatment to you and recommend me to God's High Grace." Saying this,he took nanda's hands and placing them on his head(our heads as well-ravi)implored him to give some parting advice. "This is all that your humble slave could say,my lord," said Nanda, "Love God as well as you love your wife,children,lands and wealth.What more does this uncultured slave know?".

The Brahmin looked at the radiant face of Nanda and worshipping him once again reluctantly let him go.With great many kindly exchanges they parted;but hardly had nanda gone a few yards,when the Brahmin ran upto him and asked :"Nanda,dear Nanda,O my Guru,when may I see you back?When will you return?" Nanda replied:"Now,O Master,we part once for all.O my Lord,who really goes to Chidambaram and comes back?I loathe again to enter into this mortal coil.My master,I hope no longer to return." The Brahmin did not understand what Nanda said,but we may perhaps do from the sequel of the narrative.

Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:42:13 PM
Nanda,the Pariah saint continued...

No deer that newly escaped from the hunter's toils,no barren woman just blessed with a male child,no blind man that newly received the gift of light,was more rejoiced than Nanda the pariah who was relieved from the work which stood between him and God.His heart sang:
The Drug that cures my grief,the fear-not-drug
The Drug that spreads through all the worlds alike
The Medicine of Grace,the wondrous drug
That grows within,the drug that feasts my love;
The Drug of growing light,the drug that cures the ill
of life,the Drug great and ineffable.
The story goes that the Earth shook with joy,the grasses waved with delight and a few rain drops of joy fell from the Heaven.Nanda sang and jumped like a veritable deer.He jumped with delight.His eyes and ears were hardly his.From Adhanur he reached colladam.The river was in full flood.The waves were rolling forth one after another for very joy as it were.Nanda looked at the river,saw the deep water yet clear,saw the Living Flood and claimed eternal kinship with it.A boat came;a black boatman steered it,and with a sunburnt face,with his sweat ,covered all over the body,but bearing the traces of the white ashes it wore and smelling of sweet camphor.Nanda saw him and worshipped him,for he was Nataraja in his eyes;and getting into the boat for hire sang to a surprised audience about the unfading glory of the Prince of Dancers.He said:
The drug which made me him,the dancing drug
That dances in wisdom's sphere,the silent drug
The poorman's friend,the rarest drug,the drug
Both First and last,The Drug that seeks out those
That seek it not,that which my hunger soothes,
The Loneliest Drug,the pure man's help,the Light,
The Drug that cures false loves and avarice kills,
That which Earth-hunger soothes,the drug which plays
Hide-and-seek,the Drug which is all within
The Heart that Loves,that is my strength and Joy.

NatarAja Guru,NatarAjA,NatarAjA,...

Nanda dancedon the Boat.The people in the boat danced with nanda.The sun-burnt boatman forgot his oar and danced with the people.The boat dancing this way and that,dragged itself to the shore.Nanda leapt on the ground-sacred it was,it was the territory of NatarAjA,put his hand into his lap searching for a few copper coins,the fruit of his toil,but the boatman wept and would not take the hire.
Ten minutes were the interval for crossing the river and within that time the Bhakta was recognized and worshipped by a band of men who became his Bhaktas.The Boatman left his boat;The man of business forgot his business;the ploughman left aside his plough.A dancing group formed itself.They danced for very joy.The Tower of Chidambaram ,grand,majestic,loomed from a distance and beckoned Nanda.

Nanda looked at the tower of Nataraja,bowed before it and worshipping it,covered the ground with the other devotees until the base of the tower was visible.The temple gate was in view.And Nanda sang:"Here is the Gate of the Kailas,the gate that opens to the good alone,the gate from which no good man ever returns,that through which Saint mAnikkar entered and sang to the echo of these High walls his divine anthems of ecstacy,the Gate through which that poet of poets appar entered and sang his majestic vedas,the gate through which Sundarar entered and enjoyed the secret nuptials with the prince of Lovers.my brothers and friends and kinsmen,here God is and is not.Here he is both form and no form.Here he dances and is quiet.Here it is that the ignorant are blessed with wisdom and the wise lose their senses.Here he is space and Light.And here he is both the creator and the destroyer." And that is why appar sang:-
The tillai Dancer,wrapt by watery fields
around,this helpless slave to forget and live!

Walking further they reached the sacred precincts of Chidambaram.The associates of Nanda,though of higher caste would not go into the town and enter the temple without Nanda.For 3 days,Nanda sang praises of the Lord and waited along with the other devotees.
Tradition rich in legends and folklore asserts that all the Dikshitars(priests of the Chidambaram temple)on one and the same remarkable Night,dreamt that NatarAjA appeared to them in their vision and directed them to take into their Brahmin fold,the purest of his Bhaktas,Nanda ,the pariah saint.It was a beautiful morning,when the sun had just risen,and the Dikshitars had returned from their bath with sacred ashes besmeared all over their bodies and Rudrakshas hanging loosely round their necks,assembled a miscellaneous council in the devasabha,their general meeting place within the temple.
Appiah Dikshitar,the eldest of the group,rose and told his wonderful dream-how Nataraja appeared before him,and related the possibility of purifying Nanda by means of a fire -bath.Kuppanna Dikshitar ,his immediate successor confirmed the dream by his own experience.Subbah dikshitar saluted the two previous speakers and expressed his surprise at the coincidence of his dream with those related;and all the Dikshitars simultaneously rose and expressed the uniformity of their dreams.at once,when the wind was blowing fiercely and the sun was burning hot,arrangements were made for a sacred fire being reared.
Meanwhile Nanda had just risen from a long trance and was singing:
My Mind,Go tell my Lovely Lord that I
Bow to His Golden Feet that dance on High.

Just then,the Dikshitars appeared in a body before himand bowing to him,to his great surprise,related to him their wonderful dreams,and took him over to the corner of the South mAda Street where the Fire had been prepared.The pious devotee at once sprang into the fire joyfully singing:"My father Isa's feet are cool like the effulgent evening moon,the faultless Vina,the Breeze that unceasingly blows,the spring that swells,a tank round which bees hum and swarm."
Nanda passed through the crucible unhurt.He was taken by the admiring Dikshitars from the South mAda street through the Eastern Tower gate broad like the vedas and speedily led on by the side of kambattuadi mantapa(Subramanya's shrine)and the square tank,and across the deva sabha into the common platform,midway between Sri Govindaraja Perumal and the Dancing NatarAjA.

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 12:44:34 PM
Nanda,the pariah saint continued....

Where once stood appar singing his famous hymn:
"He is my Lord,He who is rare,He who lives in the bosom of the Gracious,He who resides in the temple of the vedas and in the atom,the true god yet unknown,who is sweet like honey and milk,the abounding light of heaven,the God of gods Brahma and vishnu,the Great invisible spirit that pervades the Rolling sea and the Mountain chains.the days on which I forget to sing His Praise are days in which I did not live."

Where stood mAnikkar fainting with Love and pouring forth his remarkable upanishads;and where great men have left the dust of their feet to inspire noble and pious souls that may come after them.There now Nanda stood and on both sides of the Kanaka sabha (the Golden mantapa)huge ocean-voiced bells poured forth their joyous chimes.appiah dikshitar entered into the shrine and made puja to the Lord waved the lighted camphor before the Lord.Nanda rushed to the sanctum sanctorum and disappeared ,singing his swan song:
Nataraja my Lord,Nataraja my Love,
My Lord,I come,I come my Love,
We both are only one from now;
Thou art I,and myself art thou.

concluded.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 11, 2012, 04:53:02 PM
Dear Ravi,

Nice to read the story again about Nandanar, tiru nALaip pOvar.  It is one of the finest stories of  63 Saints, though in such
detail Sekizhar did not say it. Later when Gopala Krishna Bharatiyar and a few others made some of these stories as 'dance
dramas' - sangeetha nAtaka kirtanams, the glory of Nanda and other saints became more popular.  Recently I witnessed one
video that is running for about 15 minutes, about Tiru poR chuNNam of Sri Manikkavachagar.  There the heavenly damsels
pound bathing powder for Siva's bath!  When this was seen as a dance drama, it was more entertaining. It came in
www.Shaivam.org.     

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 07:27:21 PM
Subramanian,
Yes,the nandanAr charitra keerthanai of Sri Gopalakrishna bharatiyar is a wonderful work that is full of  moving songs.To see  Dance Drama performance of the story of these Great saints is indeed a delight.The Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai staged a performance of KaNNappa nAyanAr story-it was absolutely rivetting,especially where thiNNanAr goes into the Forest and comes across kudumi thEvar among the KALahasthi hills.How Love fathomless gushes out and how he feels a deep compassion for the Lord and decides to feed and Protect the Lord!It was very well performed by all the artists.
I will check out what you have referred to in shaivam.org.Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 21, 2012, 08:06:28 PM
Dear Ravi.N, You were right,i ADORE this story!:-) It is very beautiful and inspiring,and i am reading it with tears and joy in my heart in the same time. Love it! Thank you for sharing it. Even,i feel like dansing right now.:-):-) And yes,i am from Serbia and,like you said,really is wonderful how love of God is bringing us all close to Him,to Sri Ramana,Arunachala,and eachother. I really feel blessed. Those are all His workings,and ways. And how wonderful is that! This world is He,and everything Is by Him only. What a beautiful play! Thank you for the kind words. I wish you too Very Best dear Ravi.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 09:09:08 PM
Jewell,
You are Blessed with Deep Devotion.Thanks very much for your Blessings.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 22, 2012, 12:30:13 AM
Dear Ravi.N, Thank You sooo much!
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 23, 2012, 06:51:35 AM
Jewell/Friends,
You may be interested in the talks on the devotees of Sri Bhagavan, by Sri V Ganesan that has been brought out in book form.It is quite an absorbing account.you may download it here:
http://www.thewizardllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-Human-Gospel-Sharing-Western-Version2.pdf (http://www.thewizardllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/The-Human-Gospel-Sharing-Western-Version2.pdf)
Namaskar
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 23, 2012, 04:08:21 PM
Dear Ravi,

Thank You for the link. I am downloading it now,and cant wait to read it. Surely,i will enjoy it.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 23, 2012, 04:27:04 PM
O,there are all devotees! And pictures too! Great!

Thank You Dear Ravi!!!
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on October 20, 2012, 07:48:30 AM
Friends,
For sometime I have been thinking of Sharing the life story of one of the Great householder disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, Durgacharan NAg or nAg MahAsya about whom Swami VivekAnanda had said: "I have traveled many places in the world, but nowhere have I come across such a great soul as Nag Mahashay"
I intend posting his life story in instalments here.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 01:55:02 PM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Nag-Mahashay_t.jpg)

Nag Mahasaya 1846-1899
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2013, 04:53:27 PM
Life of Nag Mahasaya,Householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna:

There is a saying, 'Gurus are available by the thousands, but real disciples are very few.' A real disciple is one who translates the teachings of his guru into the actions of his life. Durga Charan Nag was one such rare soul. Once he overheard Sri Ramakrishna say, 'It is very difficult for doctors, lawyers, and brokers to advance on the path to God'. Referring to doctors in particular he said, 'If the mind dwells on tiny drops of medicine, how can it conceive of the Infinite?' Durga Charan was then practicing homeopathic medicine. He noticed that most of the time his mind was reflecting on them faces of his patients, and this disturbed his meditation. He therefore thought that the advice was meant for him. Immediately he resolved, 'I will not make my living from that procession which is an obstacle to the realization of God'. He returned home and that very day threw his medicine box and medical books into the Ganga.

According to Vedantic tradition, the life of a householder is based on spirituality. He should follow the path of truth and dedicate the results of all his actions to the Supreme Being. It is not an easy path. 'He is true hero', said Sri Ramakrishna, 'who can perform all the duties of the world with his mind fixed on god. None but a very strong man could stop to admire a bridal procession moving by while carrying a load of two maunds[164 pounds] on his head'.

It was because of his extraordinary personality that Durga Charan Nag came to be known as Nag Mahashay.

Swami Vivekananda once said about him, 'I have traveled many places in the world, but nowhere have I come across such a great soul as Nag Mahashay.'

He began studies in the Campbell Medical School but, for some unknown reason, discontinued them after a year and a half. Later he studied homeopathy under Dr. Behari Lal Bhaduri, a renowned physician of Calcutta. His success in his profession was immediate. He had a rare intuition in diagnosis and even as a student performed some remarkable cures. He refused to set any fixed fee for his services. Whatever people offered he accepted, than what he considered just. He treated poor patients free of charge, sometimes even giving money to them for food and medicine. Some unscrupulous people took advantage of his kindness, but he did not mind. He served men as God.

The lives of the mystic prove that when intense longing for god dawns in a soul, God responds and makes everything favourable for the devotee. One morning Durga Charan was seated on the bank of the Ganges when his family guru arrived there, unexpectedly, on a boat. When he was asked the reason for his coming to Calcutta, the guru replied, ` I have come at the special command of the Divine Mother to initiate you,'. However, the initiation only created in him more hunger for God. He was carried away by the divine intoxication and often lost outward consciousness. Once, while he was meditating on the bank of the Ganga, the flood tide rose and swept him into the river. It was several moments before full consciousness returned to him and he was able to swim ashore.

People read about God, talk about God, hear about God, but how many really want to experience him directly? This desire completely possessed Durga Charan. One day his friend Suresh came to him with news about Sri Ramakrishna, the saint of Dakshineswar. They both decided to immediately to Dakshineswar and see him. They arrived there about two in the afternoon and inquired about the Master. Pratap Hazra, a strange devotee, informed them that Sri Ramakrishna had gone to Chandannagore and asked them to come back another day. They were terribly disappointed and about to leave when they noticed someone inside a room beckoning them to enter. It was Sri Ramakrishna.

The Master received them cordially and asked them about themselves. During the course of the conversation he advised: ` Live world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud but its skin is always bright and shiny. Similarly, remain at home unattached and the skin of worldliness will not touch your mind'. He asked them to mediate into the Panchavati grove for some time, and then he took them too see the different temples. As they were leaving, Sri Ramakrishna said to them: `Come again. A relationship grows through frequent visits.'

It was a few months after his first meeting with Sri Ramakrishna that Durga Charan gave up his medical practice.

When Sri Ramakrishna passed away on August 16, 1886, Nag Mahashay quit eating and remained in bed. Hearing about this, Swami Vivekananda went to his house along with two of his brother disciples. After repeated requests he got up from bed, and Swami Vivekananda told him that they had come there for lunch. Immediately Durga Charan went to the market, brought back groceries, and cooked for them, but he would not eat anything himself. When they urged him to eat, he said, 'Alas, how can I offer food to this wretched body which has not yet been blessed with god-realization?' It was with great difficulty that Swami Vivekananda finally persuaded him to take some food.

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2013, 04:57:16 PM
Life of Nag Mahasaya continued...

There is a common belief among the Hindus that those who bathe in the holy river Ganga during Ardhodaya Yoga (An auspicious day which comes once every fifteen years) become free from impurities and ignorance, and go to heaven. Three or four days before that auspicious occasion Nag Mahashay left Calcutta, which is on the bank of the Ganga, to return to his village. His father was furious and said to him, 'People are selling everything they own to go and bathe in the Ganga on this holy occasion, and you have come back home, leaving the Ganga! I really don't understand your attitude towards religious life! Still a few days are left. Take me to Calcutta.'

But Nag Mahashay humbly said: If a man has true devotion, Mother Ganga reveals herself in his house. It is needless for him to go any place'.

On the day of Ardhodaya Yoga, several of Nag Mahashay's devotees came to visit him. Suddenly one of the women noticed a stream of water gushing out of the southeast corner of the courtyard. The devotees gathered around it in amazement and watched as it formed a flowing stream. Nag Mahashay was in his room when he heard the excitement of the devotees. He came out and, seeing the stream, bowed down to it reverently. Then, sprinkling a little water on his head, he prayed: 'Victory to Mother Ganga! Mother, purify us'.

Word of the mysterious water spread throughout the village, and on that auspicious day devotees and villagers alike were blessed by bathing in that miraculous stream. Hearing of this episode some time later, Swami Vivekananda commented: 'The wish of a great soul like Nag Mahashay can make the impossible possible. Their infallible will power can even liberate people'.

Nag Mahashay did not wear the ochre cloth of a monk, but he was true a yogi. To him all women were the veritable manifestation of the Divine Mother. 'I have never touched a woman in my life, so I have nothing to do with this world', he said to his father when the latter scolded him about his unmindfulness of the household. His purity was almost tangible. Desire for progeny, wealth, and name and fame simply could not appear in his mind. But as he himself observed: 'A man can overcome the temptation of gold and diamonds through renunciation, but he needs the grace of God to overcome lust. Where there is lust, there God is not; and where God is, therefore cannot be lust. As long as your body is not burned into ashes, do not be proud of your chastity. No one can escape Maya unless the Divine Mother allows one to pass'. Without having taken any monastic vows, he was a true monk.

Once Girish Chandra Ghosh presented a Nag Mahashay with a blanket, even though he knew he did not accept gifts. Out of his deep respect for Girish, Nag Mahashay accepted the blanket by putting it on his head and went home. Later a devotee went to visit him and found him seated with the blanket on his head. Hearing of this, Girish found a tactful way of taking it back so that Nag Mahashay might not suffer any further discomfort.

Although this type of behaviour seems very strange to ordinary people, it is called in devotional scriptures urjhita bhakti, or exuberant devotion. When this type of devotion awakens in the heart of an aspirant his behaviour becomes erratic. For no outwardly discernable reason he may smile, cry, dance, sing, or even remain motionless like a log. The least remainder of the beloved puts him into ecstasy.

Three years later after the passing away of his father, Nag Mahashay became seriously ill with colic and dysentery. He said to his wife: 'My prarabdha karma (action performed in a past life, the fruit of which is being reaped in the present life) has almost come to an end - only a little is left. Don't worry about this cage of flesh and bones.'

The last few days Nag Mahashay was in samadhi off and on. Because Sri Ramakrishna had asked him to stay at home and live the life of a householder, he had never gone on a pilgrimage to the holy places, although he had once gone to Gaya to perform to the last rites for his father. Two days before he passed away, at 2' clock in the morning, he said to Sharat Babu: 'Sri Ramakrishna has come here to show me the holy places. Please tell me the names of holy places you have seen, and I will visit them one after another'. As Sharat Babu mentioned the name of each place-Hardwar, Prayag, Varanasi and Puri- Nag Mahashay immediately had a vision of it and vividly described what he was seeing. Sharat Babu knew he was witnessing the blessing of Sri Ramakrishna upon his disciple, yet, seeing Nag Mahashay pain and suffering, he could not help thinking that god was a cruel Master. But Nag Mahashay read his mind and said: 'please, never doubt the boundless mercy of God. What good will this body be to the world? Look, I am bedridden; I cannot serve you, so Sri Ramakrishna, out of compassion, is taking away this body'. Then he said in a feeble voice, 'Let the body and its suffering know each other; O my mind, you be happy'.


On December 27, 1989, the auspicious time of his final departure came. Nag Mahashay was in bhava samadhi. Sharat Babu began to chant the name of Sri Ramakrishna in his ear and, placing the picture of the Master in front of him, and said 'This is the picture of your Master, in whose name you have renounced everything'. Nag Mahashay opened his eyes and saw the face of his beloved Master. With folded hands he saluted him and murmured, 'Grace, grace-you blessed me out of your boundless mercy'. He then slowly merged into mahasamadhi.

Excerpted from They Lived with God by Swami Chetanananda
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 13, 2013, 10:19:58 PM
Came across this thought provoking story, source, unknown.

 there was once a woman who was very pious and wise and very religious and spiritual. she knew that it was a sin to harm any one and she was very conscious of every act of hers. one day while she was sweeping the floor, her broom fell on an insect and killed it. this woman went mad with grief and ran around the streets of the town crying terribly, saying -oh my god, i have killed a creature today, oh my god i have killed a creature today..

there was an unlettered fisher woman selling fish in the market. she was watching this woman's agitation for a long time and then at one point could not take it any more. she called her and said - lady, listen to me ..... i kill fish for my living every day .... killing one more insect is not going to add to my sins. so i will take that sin off you right now. you please do not worry and go and rest in peace.

this woman happily gave her the dead insect and went away. after praying, she fell asleep with a very clear heart. years later, both of them died on the same day. the 'pious' womn was being taken to hell when she saw that the fisher woman was being led to heaven. thinking there was some confusion, she tried calrifying who she was and who the other woman was.

the god of justice said - oh woman, you presumed yourself so well read, wise and pious .. yet you were willing to do anything to cheat yourself and believe that u had not sinned ... wheras the other woman was killing fish as part of her duty ... she took such pity on you that she was willing to increase her sin and take it off you so that you could have peace of mind ..

what use is your 'piety' and 'wisdom' in front of that????
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on February 13, 2013, 10:34:01 PM
Very interesting story,dear Sri Nagaraj.

Well,it seems that is much important our very heart,and the motive behind every act. Second woman showed compassion and simplicity,which reflect purity of the heart. The first one was doing everything for some wrong reasons,i think selfish.
My interpretation can be wrong,thatsts the way i see this story.

Nice story,indeed worth pondering.

Thank You Very much!

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 14, 2013, 02:45:49 AM
Dear Sri Jewel,

Yes, its a beautiful story that makes us ponder. Its like a flash, ligjtning, God being present at.all timed and who is a witnesd to everything.

Here is one small from mahabharata,

 Vaisampayana said: Thy heart is a witness to the truth or falsehood.  He who being one thing represents himself as another thing to others, is like a thief and a robber of his own self. Of what sin is he not capable? Thou thinkest that thou alone hast knowledge of thy deed. But knowest thou not that the Ancient, Omniscient one (Narayana) liveth in thy heart? He knoweth all thy sins, and thou sinnest in His presence. He that sins thinks that none observes him. But he is observed by the gods and by Him also who is in every heart. 

Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on February 14, 2013, 03:28:06 AM
Yes,God Is Everywhere,and God sees Everything,,dear Sri Nagaraj. And He sees something which anyone else cant see,our very heart. And we are Eternaly Greateful for that.
Our only sinn is our ignorance! Indeed,there can be no greater sinn than that!

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 23, 2013, 04:10:35 AM
Follow Your Heart:

The Story of Layla and Majnun
by J. T. Coker

Layla and Majnun have been characters for Sufi poets, as Krishna was for the poets of India. Majnun means absorption into a thought and Layla means the night of obscurity. The story is from beginning to end a teaching on the path of devotion, the experience of the soul in search of God. -- Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

The story of Layla and Majnun is one of the most popular in the Islamic world, enduring in legends, tales, poems, songs, and epics from the Caucasus to Africa and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Scholars find good reasons to believe that the central character -- Qays, nicknamed Majnun (Madman) -- lived in northern Arabia in the second half of the seventh century, five hundred years before the poet Nizami. At the behest of the Transcaucasian chieftain Shervanshah, Nizami collected many of the widely dispersed traditional versions and wove them into his great narrative poem.


 The story begins with the Sayyid, a man of wealth, power, and prestige, desiring a son and heir. He importunes Allah, who grants his request. The beauty of his son Qays "grew to perfection. As a ray of light penetrates the water, so the jewel of love shone through the veil of his body." At the age of ten, Qays goes to school and meets his kismet/fate, Layla. "Does not 'Layl' mean 'night' in Arabic? And dark as the night was the color of her hair." Love struck them both; others noticed, tongues wagged, and Qays first tastes bitterness. He refrains from seeing her, but his heart breaks and he begins to slip into melancholy. Layla's tribe, to protect her (and their) honor, deny her right to see him, and he falls into madness: "A madman he became -- but at the same time a poet, the harp of his love and of his pain."

In time Majnun runs away into the wilderness, becoming unkempt, not knowing good from evil. His father takes him on pilgrimage to Mecca, to seek God's help in freeing him, but Majnun strikes the Kaaba and cries "none of my days shall ever be free of this pain. Let me love, oh my God, love for love's sake, and make my love a hundred times as great as it was and is!" He continues to wander "like a drunken lion," chanting poems of Layla's beauty and his love. Many come to hear him. Some write down the poems he spontaneously speaks.

Meanwhile, Layla holds their love quietly so none will knowshe lived between the water of her tears and the fire of her love, . . .Yet her lover's voice reached her. Was he not a poet? No tent curtain was woven so closely as to keep out his poems. Every child from the bazaar was singing his verses; every passer-by was humming one of his love-songs, bringing Layla a message from her beloved, . . . -- p. 40

Refusing suitors, she writes answers to his poems and casts them to the wind.It happened often that someone found one of these little papers, and guessed the hidden meaning, realizing for whom they were intended. Sometimes he would go to Majnun hoping to hear, as a reward, some of the poems which had become so popular. . . .Thus many a melody passed to and fro between the two nightingales, drunk with their passion. -- p. 41

Eventually Layla is married to another, but refuses conjugality. Being in love, her husband accepts her condition of an outward marriage only. Majnun learns of the marriage and of her faithfulness. Neither his father nor his mother, when near death, can induce him to return to his people. Wild animals, loving rather than fearing him, congregate in his presence, protecting him. One night Majnun prays to Allah, thanking Him for making him the pure soul he now is and asking God's grace. He sleeps, and in his dream a miraculous tree springs from the desert, from which a bird drops a magic jewel onto his head, like a diadem.

An old man, Zayd, helps Layla and Majnun to exchange letters and finally to meet, though she cannot approach him closer than ten paces. Majnun spontaneously recites love poetry to her, and at dawn they go their separate ways.

Nizami asks:

For how long then do you want to deceive yourself? For how long will you refuse to see yourself as you are and as you will be? Each grain of sand takes its own length and breadth as the measure of the world; yet, beside a mountain range it is as nothing. You yourself are the grain of sand; you are your own prisoner. Break your cage, break free from yourself, free from humanity; learn that what you thought was real is not so in reality. Follow Nizami: burn but your own treasure, like a candle -- then the world, your sovereign, will become your slave. -- p. 148

After the death of Layla's husband, she openly mourns her love for Majnun, and dies shortly thereafter. Majnun hears of her death and, mad with grief, repeatedly visits her tomb. He dies and is buried beside his beloved.

In a dream, Zayd, who tends their joint grave, has a vision of them in paradise, where an ancient soul tells him:

These two friends are one, eternal companions. He is Majnun, the king of the world in right action. And she is Layla, the moon among idols in compassion. In the world, like unpierced rubies they treasured their fidelity affectionately, but found no rest and could not attain their heart's desire. Here they suffer grief no more. So it will be until eternity. Whoever endures suffering and forebears in that world will be joyous and exalted in this world. -- p. 176

On waking Zayd realized that
Whoever would find a place in that world must tread on the lusts of this world. This world is dust and is perishable. That world is pure and eternal. . . . Commit yourself to love's sanctuary and at once find freedom from your ego. Fly in love as an arrow towards its target. Love loosens the knots of being, love is liberation from the vortex of egotism. In love, every cup of sorrow which bites into the soul gives it new life. Many a draft bitter as poison has become in love delicious. . . . However agonizing the experience, if it is for love it is well. -- pp. 176-7


(http://harlequinteaset.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/laila_majnu.jpg?w=266&h=375)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 24, 2013, 05:20:35 PM
Bulleh Shah and His Master


Bulleh Shah was born in Syed family. Thus he was descendant of Prophet Mohammed. Bulleh Shah was well versed in many scriptures but what ever he knew from scriptures was not his personal experience. So Bulleh Shah was searching for a Guru. And when ever a seeker is ready, Guru appears. This is the rule of existence.

He had a deep desire to meet his Guru who can take him to other shore. He was doing many spiritual practices even before meeting guru and had some spiritual powers also. But his heart was not satisfied. His thirst for God was very deep and only real experience could have satisfied it.

One day he heard about one man Inayat Shah who had attained the Ultimate. Bulleh Shah belonged to a very rich family but this man was from very low caste family land. He was a Gardener.

When Bulleh Shah first time went to meet Inayat Shah, he was Planting an Onion crop. Inayat Shah's back was towards him. Now he didn’t had the courage to call the attention of Inayat Shah. Bulleh Shah saw there are many mango trees in front of Inayat Shah.

He closed his eyes and remembered Allah for a minute. Mangoes started falling from the tree. When mangoes started falling Inayat Shah looked at falling mangoes and saw one man standing behind him.

Inayat Shah said “Oh you thief, why you are making these mangoes fall” 
Bulleh looked here and there but there was no one around. Bulleh shah said “if you are asking me then see, I don’t have any stone or stick in my hand. How can I make these mangoes fall”

Inayat Shah said “You are clever also. What do you want?”
Bulleh said “I am searching for God” and he fell at Inayat Shah feet.
Inayat Shah said “Why you are falling below. Look upwards towards me.”
He looked towards Inayat Shah. And the way Inayat Shah looked at him. Seeing so much compassion and love in Inayat Shah eyes Bulleh shah fell in deep love with him.

Sahajo is one lady in whole spiritual history who has sang lot of songs in praise of Guru. But Bulleh Shah's love for his Guru was exceptional. Bulleh Shah's eyes were always thirsty for his Guru's Vision. His Love for his Guru was so intense that once his guru became angry with Bulleh Shah and asked him to leave his house immediately.

Now Bulleh Shah can was in terrible agony. Day and night he was thinking how to please his Guru. From some where he came to know that his guru loves dance. Just to please his Guru, Bulleh Shah learned dance from prostitutes and became a dancing Girl. Such was the intensity of his love for his Guru.


(http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Stories/First_interaction/Bullehshah%255B1%255D.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 24, 2013, 05:34:07 PM
Maulingaputta and Gautam Buddha


 : One great philosopher, Maulingaputta, came to Buddha, and he started asking questions... questions after questions. Must have been an incarnation of Patrick! Buddha listened silently for half an hour. Maulingaputta started feeling a little embarrassed because he was not answering, he was simply sitting there smiling, as if nothing had happened, and he had asked such important questions, such significant questions. 

Finally Buddha said, "Do you really want to know the answer?" Maulingaputta said, "Otherwise why should I have come to you? I have traveled at least one thousand miles to see you." And remember, in those days, one thousand miles was really one thousand miles! It was not hopping in a plane and reaching within minutes or within hours. One thousand miles was one thousand miles. 

It was with great longing, with great hope that he had come. He was tired, weary from the journey, and he must have followed Buddha because Buddha himself was traveling continuously. He must have reached one place and people said, "Yes, he was here three months ago. He has gone to the north" -- so he must have traveled north. 

Slowly slowly, he was coming closer and closer and then the day came, the great day, when people said, "Just yesterday morning he left; he must have reached only the next village. If you rush, if you run, you may be able to catch him." 

And then one day he caught up with him, and he was so joyous he forgot all his arduous journey and he started asking all the questions he had planned all the way along, and Buddha smiled and sat there and asked, "Do you really want to have the answer?" 

Maulingaputta said, "Then why have I traveled so long? It has been a long suffering -- it seems I have been traveling my whole life, and you are asking, 'Do you really want the answer?'" 

Buddha said, "I am asking again: Do you really want the answer? Say yes or no, because much will depend on it." 

Maulingaputta said, "Yes!" 

Then Buddha said, "For two years sit silently by my side -- no asking, no questions, no talking. Just sit silently by my side for two years. And after two years you can ask whatsoever you want to ask, and I promise you I will answer it." 

A disciple, a great disciple of Buddha, Manjushree, who was sitting underneath another tree, started laughing so loudly, started almost rolling on the ground. Maulingaputta said, "What has happened to this man? Out of the blue, you are talking to me, you have not said a single word to him, nobody has said anything to him -- is he telling jokes to himself?" 
Buddha said, "You go and ask him." 

He asked Manjushree. Manjushree said, "Sir, if you really want to ask the question, ask right now -- this is his way of deceiving people. He deceived me. I used to be a foolish philosopher just like you. His answer was the same when I came; you have traveled one thousand miles, I had traveled two thousand." 

Manjushree certainly was a great philosopher, more well-known in the country. He had thousands of disciples. When he had come he had come with one thousand disciples -- a great philosopher coming with his following. 

"And Buddha said, 'Sit silently for two years.' And I sat silently for two years, but then I could not ask a single question. Those days of silence...slowly slowly, all questions withered away. And one thing I will tell you: he keeps his promise, he is a man of his word. After exactly two years -- I had completely forgotten, lost track of time, because who bothers to remember? As silence deepened I lost track of all time. 

"When two years passed, I was not even aware of it. I was enjoying the silence and his presence. I was drinking out of him. It was so incredible! In fact, deep down in my heart I never wanted those two years to be finished, because once they were finished he would say, 'Now give your place to somebody else to sit by my side, you move away a little. Now you are capable of being alone, you don't need me so much.' 

Just as the mother moves the child when he can eat and digest and no longer needs to be fed on the breast. So," Manjushree said, "I was simply hoping that he would forget all about those two years, but he remembered -- exactly after two years he asked, 'Manjushree, now you can ask your questions.' I looked within; there was no question and no questioner either -- a total silence. I laughed, he laughed, he patted my back and said, 'Now, move away.' 

"So, Maulingaputta, that's why I started laughing, because now he is playing the same trick again. And this poor Maulingaputta will sit for two years silently and will be lost forever, will never be able to ask a single question. So I insist, Maulingaputta, if you really want to ask, ASK NOW!" 

From Dhammapada Vol 1 Osho

Note: Maulingaputta accepted Buddha's condition and realized the Buddha Nature.

Gautam Buddha Dhammapada Discourses

Osho on Buddha Disciple Ananda Enlightenment
 


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 26, 2013, 08:39:17 PM

Zen Master Rinzai


One day the Zen monk Rinzai is speaking in a temple. He has gone into a sermon, but someone is disturbing him there. So Rinzai stops and asks, "What is the matter?" The man stands up and says, "What is soul?" Rinzai takes his staff and asks the people to give him way. The man begins to tremble. He never expected that such will be the answer.

Rinzai comes to him, takes hold of his neck with both hands and presses it. The man's eyes bulge out. He goes on pressing and asks, "Who are you? Close your eyes!" The man closes his eyes. Rinzai goes on asking, "Who are you?" The man opens his eyes and laughs and bows down. He says, "I know you have really answered what is soul."

Such a simple device! But the man was ready. Someone asks Rinzai, "Would you do the same thing when anybody asks?" He says, "That man was ready. He was not just asking for the question's sake, he was ready. The first part was fulfilled; he was really asking. This was a life and death question to him: `What is soul?' The first part was fulfilled completely. He was disillusioned completely of life, and he was asking, `What is soul?' This life has proved just a death to him; now he is asking, `What is life?' So no answer from me would have been meaningful. I helped him to just stand still in the present."

Of course, when someone presses your neck just on the verge of killing you, you cannot be in the future, you cannot be in the past. You will be here and now. It is dangerous to miss the moment. If you just say to such a man, "Go deep and know who you are," the man becomes transformed. He goes into samadhi; he stands still in the moment.

If you are in the present, even for a single moment, you have known, you have encountered, and you will never be able to lose the track again.

Spiritual feeling is to know what is -- what is all this. Not that, this. What is all this -- this me speaking, this you hearing, this whole? What is this? Just stand, be deep in this. Let it open to you, and let yourself open to it. Then there is a meeting. That meeting is the seeking.

That meeting is the whole search. That is why we have called it yoga. Yoga means meeting. The very word yoga means meeting -- joining again, becoming one once more. But so-called spiritual seekers are not seeking any spirituality. They are only projecting their desires in a new dimension. And no desire can be projected in this spiritual dimension, because this spiritual dimension is only open to those who are not desiring. So those who desire go on creating new illusions, new dreams.

Source: “I am the Gate” - Osho


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 27, 2013, 06:41:33 PM
King Jayamal - Devotee of Lord Krishna


There was a king named Jayamal who worshipped Lord Krishna with all his heart. Even a small doubt from Mind creates barrier between the Lord and Devotee. Only the Heart can converse with the divine. The Heart that is purified by fire and tears in separation of beloved, ultimately merges with the Beloved.

Jayamal used to worship Lord Krishna with complete dedication under the name Syamalasundra (Syamala means Black and Sundra means beautiful). He never felt the need to worship any other deity.

As a rule he used to worship his deity till mid-day and he never bothered about any thing else during his worship. When a devotee is really worshipping its deity from heart then nothing else can bother the devotee. The bliss experienced during that time is indescribable.

The neighboring king came to know of this secret and he attacked Jayamal in the early hours of day. Jayamal's  soldiers were waiting for their master response. But Jayamal felt “this kingdom was given to me by my lord and if he has decided to take it away then what can I do and none will be able to harm me if he protects me”.

The Real devotee becomes a child and put all its faith on the deity and when it happens then the deity takes charge of the devotee's life, as Sri Ramakrishna did for Girish. In the mean time Syamalasundra, the deity himself, had taken the king’s horse and alone destroyed the enemies.

After the worship was over, King Jayamal came out and saw his horse panting and covered with sweat and when King Jayamal went to battle field with his army he saw the  whole army of enemy is destroyed except the king.

Enemy king told Jayamal about the Blue warrior who destroyed his whole army and he is no longer interested in his wealth but he wants to know about the Blue warrior who has cast a spell on his heart and soul.

Both the kings understood that it was Jayamal's deity who had fought the battle on his behalf. The Enemy king worshipped Jayamal and through his blessings received Lord Krishna’s grace.

Source: From “Bhaktamala” a book by Vaishnava(worshipper of Lord Vishnu) saints. But I have read this story in “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna”

Note: In the book “Living with Himalayan Masters” I have read one story similar to this in which Sage protects the devotee.


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 28, 2013, 08:56:07 PM

How to Stop the Mad Mind

There is a Sufi story...

Junaid was going through the market-place of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junaid said ’Wait’ to the man, and told his disciples ’Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.’

The man stopped – Junaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junaid asked his disciples ’I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?’ Of course, the disciples said ’The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope, the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.’

And Junaid said ’Now, see.’ He took out his scissors and cut the rope – and the cow escaped.

The man ran after the cow, and Junaid said ’Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.’ And the man was very angry, he said ’What kind of experiment is this ?’ But Junaid said to his disciples ’And this is the case with your mind.
All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow – you are becoming mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested IN it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.’

People come to me and ask ’How to stop this mad mind?’ I say ’There is no need to stop, all that is needed is that you become disinterested in it and the rope is cut.’ That is the meaning of sannyas: become disinterested in the mind. That is the meaning of real vairagya, detachment.
It has nothing to do with renouncing the world, but it certainly has something to do with cutting the rope to the mind. Just become disinterested in the rubbish and slowly slowly you will see a gap arising. The cloud that used to surround you always is getting farther and farther away and, one day, suddenly it is no more there. 

And when you are left without mind, that is the state of spiritual perception, that is the state of darshan, that is the state when you can see, you have eyes; otherwise your eyes are so full of smoke you cannot see.

Source: "The Sun Rises in the Evening" - Osho


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on April 08, 2013, 02:05:34 AM
Jalaluddin Rumi teachings to his disciples


 - One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples *and devotees* *to a field. That was his way to teach them things of the beyond, through the examples of the world. He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical man. The disciples were thinking, “What could be the message, going to that faraway field... and why can’t he say it here?”

But when they reached the field, they understood that they were wrong and he was right. The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was digging a well in the field – and he had already dug eight incomplete wells. 

He would go a few feet and then he would find that there was no water. Then he would start digging another well... and the same story was continued. He had destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.

The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, “Can you understand something? If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into only one well, he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long ago. 

But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field and he will never be able to make a single well. With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land, and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed: what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert, but one has to go deep to find the sources of water.”

He turned to his disciples and asked them, “Are you going to follow this insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path, sometimes listening to one, sometimes listening to another... you will collect much knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not going to give you the enlightenment you were looking for. It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life.”

Osho


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 08, 2013, 03:09:06 PM
Dear Jewell,

This is like Sri Ramakrishna's story.  He said instead of digging many wells, where work is only half way done, without getting
water, dig one well deeper and deeper and you will get plenty of water.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on April 08, 2013, 07:39:56 PM
Dear Sri Subramanian sir,

Yes,it is great story. I love it. It is about preservance,persistence,dedication,devotion,and faith. Nothing can be archieved without it,in whatever field.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on April 16, 2013, 08:12:41 PM
Three Old Men


Once three old man came to a house and told the house lady that they are hungry. The House lady asked them to come inside the house and eat the food.

They refused saying “we three have an agreement between us. Only one of us can go inside the house”. The woman was surprised to hear their reply and asked about the reason.  They replied “We three are wealth, success and love. You can invite any one among us”.

The woman asked them to wait as she wanted to consult her husband. Woman went inside the house and consulted his husband. They decided to invite the Love as Love can fill their house.

So the Woman went outside and asked love to come inside the house. The old man who was love got up and walked towards the house.

Other two old men also got up and started following love. Surprised, the woman asked “I only invited Love, why both of you are coming now.”

The old men replied together “if you would have invited wealth or success, other two would have stayed outside. But where ever love goes, we also go with him.”


Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 04, 2013, 10:19:09 PM
The Magic Horse


A king had two sons. The first helped the people by working for them in a manner they understood. The second was called 'Lazy' because he was a dreamer, as far as anyone could see.
The first son gained great honours in his land. The second obtained from a humble carpenter a wooden horse and sat astride it. But the horse was a magical one. It carried the rider, if he was sincere, to his heart's desire.
Seeking his heart's desire, the young prince disappeared one day on the horse. He was absent a long time. After many adventures he returned with a beautiful princess from the Country of Light, and his father was overjoyed at his safe return and listened to the story of the magic horse.
The horse was made available to anyone who wanted it in that country. But many people preferred the obvious benefits which the actions of the first prince provided for them because to them the horse always looked like a plaything. They did not get beyond the outer appearance of the horse, which was not impressive - just like a plaything.
When the old king died, the 'prince who liked to play with toys' became, by his wish, the king. But people in general despised him. They much preferred the excitement and interest of the discoveries and activities of the practical prince.
Unless we listen to the 'lazy' prince, whether he has a princess from the Country of Light with him or not, we shall not get beyond the outer appearance of the horse.. Even if we like the horse, it is not its outward shape which can help us travel to our destination.
 
From "The way of the Sufi"
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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on May 05, 2013, 10:53:59 AM
Wonderful stories you are posting Sri Jewel.

--
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 05, 2013, 05:59:15 PM
Thank You Very much,dear Sri Nagaraj! Yes,i love these stories too,they are very beautiful and profound.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 09, 2013, 07:46:34 PM
The Way Out


Bees seem to have something like human minds, exactly the same kind of stupidity. The doors may be open, but if a bee is inside the room, caught inside the room... and she may have come from the open door but she will try to get out from the closed window. Not only bees but other birds also behave in the same way. Any bird can enter in your room; the doors are open, he has come from the door, but he cannot go back from the same door.

He starts trying to get through the wall, through the ceiling... and the more he tries, the more desperate he becomes, because there is no way to get through the ceiling or through the wall or through the closed window. And in that desperation, frustration he becomes more and more blind, afraid, scared. He loses all intelligence. And the same is the case with human beings.


One day Buddha came into his assembly of the monks. It must have been just a morning like this. His sannyasins were sitting and waiting for him. They were puzzled because this was for the first time that Buddha had come with something in his hand – a handkerchief. They all looked at the handkerchief What was the matter? There must be something special in it. And Buddha sat on the platform and rather than starting speaking to the assembly he looked at the handkerchief, started tying a few knots in it, five knots in all. 

The whole assembly watched – what is going on? And then he asked the assembly, ”Can anybody tell me: is this handkerchief the same as it was before the knots were tied?”
Sariputta said, ”This is a tricky question. In a way the handkerchief is the same because nothing has changed, in a way it is not the same because these five knots have appeared which were not there before. But as far as the inner nature of the handkerchief is concerned – its nature is concerned – it is the same; but as far as its form is concerned it is no more the same. The form has changed: the substance is the same.”


Buddha said, ”Right. Now I want to open these knots.” And he started stretching both ends of the handkerchief farther away from each other. He asked Sariputta. ”What do you think? By stretching farther will I be able to open the knots?”


He said, ”You will be making knots even more difficult to open because they will become smaller, more tighter. ’


Buddha said, ”Right. Then I want to ask the last question: what should I do so that I can open the knots, the tied knots? How I can untie them again?”


Sariputta said, ”Bhagwan, I would like first to come close and see how in the first place the knots have been tied. Unless I know how they have been tied it is difficult for me to suggest any solution.” 

Buddha said, ”Right, Sariputta. You are blessed, because that is the most fundamental question to ask. If you are in a certain fix, the first thing is how you got into it rather than trying to get out of it. Without asking the most fundamental and the primary question, you will make things worse.”


And that’s what people are doing. They ask, ”How we can get out of our sexuality, greed, anger, attachment, jealousy, possessiveness, this and that?” without asking, ”How in the first place we get into them?”
Buddha’s whole approach is, first see how you get into anger. If you can see the entrance, the same door is the exit; no other door is needed. But without knowing the entrance if you try to find out the exit you are not going to find; you will get more and more desperate. And that’s what people go on doing. In the scriptures, what are you looking for? – solutions. You create the problems – and the solutions are in the scriptures! Why don’t you look at the problems yourself. How you create them? 

Why don’t you watch when you are creating a certain problem? And you create every day, so it is not a question that you have to go back. Today you are going to be angry again, today you will feel again the sexual urge: see how it arises, see how you enter into it, how you get hooked into it, how it becomes so big like a cloud that surrounds you and you are lost in it. And then you go to ask others! You are functioning almost like a silly bee. Bees can be forgiven, but you cannot be forgiven. 

Source: from book "Zen: The Special Transmission" by Osho


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: latha on May 09, 2013, 08:16:04 PM
Dear Jewellji,

Very simple and clear story. I was listening to a Bagavath Gita discourse when Swamiji mentioned the same thing. He said the answer is in the problem and instead of looking there people go to other places like temple etc., looking for the solution. I did not fully understand what he meant then but your story makes it very clear.
Thank you for sharing.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 09, 2013, 08:38:37 PM
Dear Lathaji,

Yes indeed. The solution is always in the problem itself. We create everything,and then get catch in it. The thing i saw is that there are never problems. It is only matter of wrong interpretation. And things are never the way they look or the way we think they are. We look everything through mind prism,and all that is mind buisiness anyway. And we are entagled just because we are holding onto it,and create even more problems. It is the matter of wrong focused attention and interest. One thing i learned is that mind cannot be trusted at all.

I live this story too,and especially the way Osho narates it.

Thank You Very much,dear Lathaji!

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 11, 2013, 06:11:33 PM
Want


There is a very old story about an ascetic who was doing penance in a dense forest. He was sitting with closed eyes and was praying to God continuously. He wanted to gain heaven. Hunger and thirst did not worry him.

A very poor young woman used to come to that forest to collect firewood. Out of kindness and consideration for the ascetic she used to pluck some fruits, bring water from the pond in cups made of leaves, and she used to put them near him. The ascetic was able to sustain himself on these things.

 Gradually his asceticism became even more intense. He forgot about hunger and thirst and he neither touched the fruits nor the water. That poor young woman felt very unhappy and sad about this but there was no way out. Lord Indra also became worried and said that this person is going beyond the limits: does he intend to get hold of the throne of heaven? It is absolutely necessary to disturb his penance.

It was not very difficult to do so because Lord Indra knows the mind of man. A breeze came from heaven and turned that poor dark, ugly, young woman into a stunning beauty. It seemed as if a ray came down from heaven and turned her ordinary body into a golden one. As she was filling water for the ascetic from the pond, she saw her reflection in the water and just could not believe that she was looking like a fairy. She became fascinated by her own reflection.

She continued to look after the ascetic. Then one day the ascetic opened his eyes and told the young woman that he wanted to leave that place and go to other mountains as he has to tread on a more difficult path; he cannot rest till he has conquered heaven itself.

The young woman started crying, tears fell from her eyes. She said, “What wrong have I done that you are stopping me from serving you? I have never asked you for anything.”

The ascetic thought and he looked at her face. He had never seen such a beauty — not even in his dream! The woman looked familiar and unfamiliar both. The outlines were just the same but now there was a glory in it. The body and the features were the same but they were radiant now. She was like the forgotten melody, played again on a flute by some musician. The ascetic sat down and closed his eyes again. He did not go.

That night the young woman could not sleep because she felt happy at her victory and also repentant for polluting an ascetic. She was happy that she had won but felt unhappy for being an obstacle in the path of the ascetic. She felt sorry that because of her he could not continue the journey upwards. She could not sleep at night. She cried and she laughed. In the morning she took the decision. She touched the feet of the ascetic and told him, “I have to go. My family is going to another village.” The ascetic blessed her so that she would be happy wherever she lives, and the young woman went away.

After many years the asceticism was complete. Lord Indra himself came down, bowed and said, “The doors of heaven are open to welcome you.”

The ascetic opened his eyes and said, “I do not want heaven.”

Indra was very surprised. He could not believe that any human being can say that he does not want heaven. Then Indra thought that maybe this ascetic has the desire of attaining liberation. So he asked, “Do you want liberation?”

The ascetic said, “What will I do with liberation?” Lord Indra was highly impressed by this attitude. He thought to himself that this is the height of asceticism — even the desire of attaining liberation is not there. So out of regard he wanted to bow down in front of that ascetic but before doing so he said, “But there is nothing beyond liberation. What else do you want?”

The ascetic replied, “Nothing except that young maiden who used to collect wood in this forest. I want her!”


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 11, 2013, 06:15:12 PM
Questions..


A man was sitting at the gate of a town, an old man. A rider stopped, a horse rider and asked him, “What are the people of this town like?”

The old man asked, “Why do you ask this?”

The rider said, “The people of the town I have come from are very indecent. I was upset and disturbed by them. I had to leave that town. Now I want to become a resident of some new town. So I am asking you how the people of this town are.”

The old man said, “Brother, you had better move on. The people of this town are even more vile, more wicked, more indecent. Here you will get into trouble, go look somewhere else.”

The rider moved on. Just behind him a bullock cart came to a halt and a man looked around and said, “Grandfather, how are the people of this village? I am searching for a new residence.”

The old man asked again, “How were the people of the village you have left?”

Tears came to the eyes of that man. He said, “I didn’t want to leave, helplessly I had to leave. The people of that village were very loving. Now wherever I live the memory of those people will torment me. I was helpless, I was in economic difficulty. I had to leave it so that I can earn something, I need to try my luck somewhere else. But I have just one ambition that whenever my luck improves, I will return there. I will reside in that village, in the end I want to die in that village. If I cannot live there then at least I want to die there.”

That old man said, “You are welcome. You will find the people of this village even more loving than the people of that village.”

A man was sitting there listening to all this. First he heard what the horse rider said and the old man’s answer. Then he heard what this man on the bullock cart said and the old man’s answer.
The man said, “You have really surprised me. You said to one man that this village is very vile and wicked, just move on. And to the other you said this village has very loving people, you have no need to go further, you are welcome! The old man explained, “People are just the way you are. Everywhere men are the same. The real thing is your question.”


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Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 12, 2013, 06:10:30 PM
Trust in Allah, but tether your camel first‏


DON'T BE PASSIVE. God has no hands other than your hands. Trust in Allah, trust in God, but that should not be an excuse for becoming lousy, lazy.       THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. One thinks he has to do a thing; he himself is THE DOER. He does not trust the whole, the encompassing whole. He simply lives on his small, small energy, and naturally is defeated again and again and proves a failure. If you live on your very small energy against this vast energy that surrounds you, you are going to be a loser, a goner. And you will suffer great agonies and anguish. Your whole life will be nothing but a long, long misery.       Then the second type of person is one who thinks, "When God is doing everything, I need not do anything. I'm not supposed to do anything." HE SIMPLY SITS AND WAITS. His life becomes more and more lazy. And there comes a point when he no longer lives, he simply vegetates.       THESE TWO TYPES REPRESENT EAST AND WEST. The West represents the doer, the active type, and the East represents the non-doer, the passive type. THE WEST IS DRIVING ITSELF CRAZY. The problem of Western humanity is too much action, no trust, too much dependence upon oneself, as if, "I have to do everything", as if, "I am alone", as if, "The existence does not care a bit about me." Naturally it creates anxiety, and the anxiety is too much, unbearable. It creates all kinds of neuroses, psychoses. It keeps people always on the verge, tense, nervous. It is murderous, it is maddening.       THE WEST HAS SUCCEEDED IN DOING MANY THINGS, and has succeeded in getting rid of the idea of God, and has succeeded in dropping all kinds of trust and surrendering, has dropped all kinds of relaxing moods, knows nothing of let-go, has forgotten completely. That's why in the West people are finding it more and more difficult every day ever to fall asleep, because that needs a certain kind of trust...       THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS CREATING INSOMNIA IN THE WEST. People think they cannot fall asleep, that something has gone wrong in their bodies. Nothing has gone wrong in their bodies. Their bodies are as healthy as ever -- in fact, more healthy than ever. But something has gone so deeply into their minds: that they have to DO everything.       And sleep cannot be done, that is not part of doing -- sleep has to be allowed. You cannot do it, it is not an act; sleep comes, it happens. AND THE WEST HAS FORGOTTEN COMPLETELY HOW TO LET THINGS HAPPEN, how to be in a let-go, so sleep has become difficult. Love has become difficult. Orgasm has become difficult. Life is so tense and strained that there seems to be no hope, and man asks again and again, "What to live for? Why go on living?" THE WEST IS ON THE VERGE OF COMMITTING SUICIDE. That suicide-moment is coming closer and closer.
 
    THE EAST HAS SUCCEEDED IN RELAXING TOO MUCH, in being in a let-go too much. It has become very lazy. People go on dying, starving -- and they are happy with it, they are not worried about it, they trust God. THEY ADJUST TO ALL KINDS OF UGLY SITUATIONS. They never change anything. They are good sleepers, and they have a certain calm and quietude about them -- but their lives are almost like vegetating. Millions of people die every year in the East just because of hunger. Neither they do anything, nor anybody else bothers about it -- "It must be the will of Allah!"
 
    This Sufi saying wants to create the third type of man, THE REAL MAN WHO KNOWS HOW TO DO AND WHO KNOWS HOW NOT TO DO; who can be a doer when needed, can say "Yes!", and who can be passive when needed and can say "No"; who is utterly wakeful in the day and utterly asleep in the night; who knows how to inhale and how to exhale; who knows the balance of life.       "TRUST IN ALLAH, BUT TETHER YOUR CAMEL FIRST."
 
    This saying comes from a small story:

    A MASTER WAS TRAVELING with one of his disciples. The disciple was in charge of taking care of the camel. They came in the night, tired, to a caravanserai.       IT WAS THE DISCIPLE'S DUTY TO TETHER THE CAMEL. He didn't bother about it, he left the camel outside. Instead of that he simply prayed. He said to God, "Take care of the camel," and fell asleep.       IN THE MORNING THE CAMEL WAS GONE -- stolen or moved away, or whatsoever happened. The Master asked, "What happened to the camel? Where is the camel?"       And the disciple said, "I don't know. You ask God, because I had told Allah to take care of the camel, and I was too tired, so I don't know. AND I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE EITHER, BECAUSE I HAD TOLD HIM, AND VERY CLEARLY! There was no missing the point. Not only once. In fact, I told him thrice. And you go on teaching, 'Trust Allah', so I trusted. Now don't look at me with anger."       The Master said, "TRUST IN ALLAH BUT TETHER YOUR CAMEL FIRST -- BECAUSE ALLAH HAS NO OTHER HANDS THAN YOURS." If he wants to tether the camel he will have to use somebody's hands; he has no other hands. And it is your camel! The best way and the easiest and the shortest, the most short, is to use your hands. Trust Allah. Don't trust only your hands, otherwise you will become tense.Tether the camel and then trust Allah.       You will ask, "Then why trust Allah if you are tethering the camel?" -- because a tethered camel can also be stolen. YOU DO WHATSOEVER YOU CAN DO. That does not make the result certain, there is no guarantee. SO YOU DO WHATSOEVER YOU CAN, AND THEN WHATSOEVER HAPPENS, ACCEPT IT. This is the meaning of tether the camel: do whatever is possible for you to do, don't shirk your responsibility. And then if nothing happens or something goes wrong, trust Allah. Then he knows best. Then maybe it is right for us to travel without the camel.       IT IS VERY EASY TO TRUST ALLAH AND BE LAZY; IT IS VERY EASY NOT TO TRUST ALLAH AND BE A DOER. The third type of man is difficult-- to trust Allah and yet remain a doer. But now you are only instrumental -- God is the real doer, you are just instruments in his hands.       And you ask: "I love this Sufi saying but I don't know who or what the camel is."
 
    It depends on the context. The content of the camel will be there, but the context will be different. Each day it happens: YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING BUT YOU DIDN'T DO IT, and YOU ARE USING THE EXCUSE THAT IF GOD WANTS IT DONE, HE WILL DO IT ANYHOW. You do something and then you wait for the result -- you expect, and the result never comes. Then you are angry, as if you have been cheated, as if God has betrayed you, as if he is against you, partial, prejudiced, unjust. And there arises great complaint in your mind. Then trust is missing.       THE RELIGIOUS PERSON IS ONE who goes on doing whatsoever is humanly possible but creates no tension because of it. Because we are very, very tiny -- small atoms in this universe. Things are very complicated. Nothing depends only on my action -- there are thousands of criss-crossing energies. THE TOTAL OF THE ENERGIES WILL DECIDE THE OUTCOME. How I can decide the outcome? But if I don't do anything then things may never be the same.
 
    I HAVE TO DO, AND YET I HAVE TO LEARN NOT TO EXPECT. Then doing is a kind of prayer, with no desire that the result should be such. Then there is no frustration.       TRUST WILL HELP YOU TO REMAIN UNFRUSTRATED, and tethering the camel will help you to remain alive, intensely alive. And the camel is not a fixed entity, it is not the name of a certain entity. It will depend on the context.  OSHO
The Wisdom of the Sands
Vol 1, Ch #2: Trust in Allah...
am in Buddha Hall


(http://www.portalsofspirit.com/GodsHand.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 13, 2013, 03:44:45 PM
Dropping The Past

Let the dead bury the dead



Gather courage--the journey has already started. Even if you go back you will not find the old shore again. Even if you go back, those old toys will not be of any help anymore; you are finished with them, you will know they are toys. Now the real has to be found, has to be inquired into. And it is not very far away either--it is within you.

A man who lives according to the past is bound to feel boredom, meaninglessness, and a kind of anguish: "What am I doing here? Why am I continuing to live? What is there in tomorrow?--another repetition of today? And what was in today was a repetition of yesterday, so what is the point? Why go dragging yourself from the cradle to the grave, in the same routine?"

It is perfectly good for buffaloes and donkeys--because they don't have a memory of the past, they don't have any idea of the future. They are not bored, because for boredom a certain consciousness is needed. This consciousness is aware that you have done it before, you are doing it again, and you will be doing it tomorrow also--because you don't move away from the past, you don't let it die, you keep it alive. This is the dilemma that everybody faces in life, and the only solution is to let the past die.

There is a beautiful story in the life of Jesus. He comes to a lake; it is early morning, the sun has yet not risen, and one fisherman is just going to throw his net into the lake. Jesus puts his hand on his shoulder and says, "How long are you going to do this thing, every day--morning, afternoon, evening--just catching fish? Do you think this is all life is meant for?"

The fisherman says, "I have never thought about it, but because you have raised the question, I can see the point, that life must be something more."

Jesus says, "If you come with me I will teach you how to catch men, rather than catching fish." The man looked into Jesus' eyes... such depth, such sincerity, so much love that you cannot doubt this man, such a great silence surrounding him that you cannot say no to this man. The fisherman threw his net into the water and followed Jesus.

As they were leaving the town a man came running and told the fisherman, "Your father who was ill for many days has died. Come home!"

The fisherman asked Jesus, "Just give me three days so that I can do the last rituals that a son is expected to do when his father dies." And this is the statement that I want you to remember: Jesus said to that fisherman, "Let the dead bury their dead, you come with me."

What does he mean? "The whole city is full of dead people; they will manage to dispose of your dead father. You are not needed. You just come with me."

Every moment something is becoming dead. Don't be antique collectors; that which is dead, leave it. You go with life, you flow with life, with your totality and intensity, and you will never face any dilemma, any problem.

Osho


(http://www.fastcocreate.com/multisite_files/cocreate/imagecache/960/poster/2012/11/1681991-poster-1960-the-moment-studio-creates-brand-content-built-to-share.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 13, 2013, 03:52:24 PM
One has only to become a witness and the mind becomes pure

Man’s mind is wonderful. It holds the mystery of the world and of liberation. Sin and virtue, bondage and liberation, hell and heaven reside within it. Darkness and light are its own creation. Birth is in it and death too is in it. It alone is the door to the external world, it alone is the ladder to the internal being. When it ceases to exist, we transcend both worlds. The mind is everything. Everything is its own imaginative creation. If it disappears, all imagining ceases to exist.

Yesterday I said this somewhere. Someone came forward to ask, “The mind is very unstable and fickle. How to lose it? The mind is polluted. How can it be made pure?”

Then I told a story.

After Buddha had become old, one afternoon he stopped to rest at the foot of a tree in the forest. He felt thirsty, and Ananda went to a nearby mountain stream to fetch water. But just before, some carts had crossed the stream, and the water had turned muddy. Rotting leaves and scum had begun to float on the surface. Ananda returned without water, and said to Buddha, “The water in the stream is not clean; I shall go back to the river and bring water from there.” The river was very far off, and Buddha asked him to fetch water from the stream. After a short while Ananda returned again empty-handed: the water did not appear to him fit to bring.

But Buddha made him go back once more. On the third occasion that Ananda reached the stream, he was amazed. The stream had now become completely clear and unpolluted. The mud had settled and the water had become pure.

I find the story very interesting. The state of the human mind is just the same. The traffic of life comes and stirs it up. But if one goes on watching it, sitting in silence and patience, the impurities settle and a natural clarity returns. In this clarity of mind, life renews itself. It is only a matter of patience, silent awaiting, and without doing anything the impurities of the mind settle.

One has only to become a witness and the mind becomes pure. Our task is not to make it pure. All difficulty arises because of doing. Simply watch it, just sitting on the bank — then see what happens!

Osho


(http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8ij75dXao1rz3i5oo1_1280.gif)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 14, 2013, 06:53:57 PM
THE TALE OF THE THREE QUESTIONS


A certain Sultan owned everything a man could wish for and still he did not know the purpose of life. The answer to three questions made his life difficult:

1. What should I do?
2. With which people should I do the things God asks me to do?
3. When should I do it?

The Sultan asked the advice of all kinds of wise people, and then he was told that there was a Chishti dervish, who lived far away, and who might give him a satisfactory answer. The Sultan immediately left and after a journey of several weeks he met the dervish. The dervish was cultivating his own land. He was a simple man, but no simpleton, as he was reciting a Persian quatrain over and over again:

There is a work beyond knowledge, realise that, go!
Do not work to get jewels, be the mine, go!
The heart is a temporary abode, leave it and come!
The soul is the final abode, realise that, go!



The Sultan was however not interested in Persian poems and asked his three questions to the dervish. The dervish did not answer him and continued with his work. The Sultan became angry and said: “Don't you know who I am. I am the Sultan of Sultans”. But this did not make any impression as well and the dervish continued doing what he was doing.

A heavily wounded man suddenly appeared and he dropped to the ground in front of the dervish. The dervish said to the Sultan: “Help me to carry this man to my place!” “I'll help you,” the Sultan said, “but will you answer my questions afterwards?”

“Later!” the dervish said and together they brought the wounded man to the hut of the dervish and took care of him.

“And now I'd like to receive the answers to my questions,” the Sultan said.

“You can return to your palace,” the dervish said, “because you have already received the answers to your questions. As to what to do, you should do what comes to you on your path. As to with whom you should do it, the answer is with those who are present. And as for the when to do it, you should do it the moment it takes place”.


(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hr8waoTkVZ0/TiYLAzBcm4I/AAAAAAAAf0Y/gTqLZYtFyDo/s1600/20080208-big-wave-surfing-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 23, 2013, 04:23:51 PM
THE VALUABLE SUFI MANTLE

Once upon a time shaykh Nasiruddin Chishti went on a journey. He appointed a young man as his caliph. Several of the other disciples were disappointed. One of the older disciples, a very learned man, was very jealous of the young man, but he had to accept the decision of the shaykh.
When shaykh Nasiruddin Chishti had appointed the young man as his caliph he had clothed him in his own robe, surely a great blessing! This created an even stronger jealousy among several of the disciples. One day a dervish passed by and approached the young man for alms. As the young man had no possessions but his Sufi robe the only thing he could give to the dervish was this very mantle. Many of the jealous disciples became extremely angry as this object of great blessings, had been given away to a wandering dervish. We however will not deal with them anymore, nor with the young man, but the story continues by relating what happens to the Sufi mantle.
The dervish who had received the mantle met a stranger on the road. He did not know that this stranger was the immortal Khizr and behaved towards him as he always behaved himself, i.e. he was kind towards the stranger. Khizr then returned the kindness by saying some words because of which the Sufi robe turned into a very valuable one. The dervish then saw, that he now possessed a magnificent golden mantle, which was embroidered with precious gems. Wherever he went, he always put on the same light-giving garment; and, since his circle of wandering was actually quite small, soon he was known far and wide, to the people he met, as the dervish with the valuable Sufi mantle.
One day, while traveling along the highroad, singing a little song to himself in praise of the Beloved, he encountered a band of robbers. "Oho!" they cried. "If the life of holy poverty is indeed such a free life, let us make baste to liberate this servant of Allah from his valuable Sufi mantle." "Stand back!" warned the dervish. "This cloak is a gift of God, and those who steal God's gifts will surely incur His wrath." "We'll take that chance," laughed the robbers, and after raining on him a storm of kicks and blows for his trouble, stripped him of valuable robe, and rode off.
Bruised and crestfallen, the dervish continued on his way down the highroad, none too sure - if the truth be known - that God's Wrath would necessarily fall upon his adversaries any time soon; after all, He was the one with all the bruises, wasn't he? Still, he commended himself to Allah, and walked on. Imagine his surprise, then, when he turned a corner of the road, and saw before him the robbers who had just waylaid him, lying dead in a pool of their own blood. At first he could not understand what had happened; but then he looked up, and saw the precious robe hung on a tree of thorns, beneath which lay the corpses of the robbers; slowly it dawned upon him that the robbers had in fact killed one another. They had been fighting for possession of the cloak, which, they realized, would lose half its value if they divided it. "Praise be to Allah!" cried the dervish. "This goes to prove how generous He is, and how just in His dealings with His servants. He has simply been testing me, that much is certain." Then the delighted dervish wrapped himself anew in his cloak, which - if the truth be known - he'd been certain he would never see again. "How great is Allah! He bas punished my enemies and returned to me 

"Your story bas been to me like a miracle of Allah," the widow said. "How can I ever repay you? Ah! I know just the thing. Nothing can satisfy me unless you will accept as a gift this very cloak, which is more yours than my husband's. He already carries with him provisions for his journey, while you, poor homeless dervish, have nothing and no one in this world." And so, humbly and with many protests, Mo’in accepted the valuable Sufi cloak. When dawn broke the next day the funeral procession passed on, and Mo’in made ready to follow them. But what of the mantle? How could he wear it now? His years of struggle and suffering had changed the heart in his breast. Yet how could he leave it behind? At last he tied the cloak in a bundle, placed it on his back, and resumed his aimless wandering. But though he was still unsure of this destination, somehow he felt, after his encounter with the widow, that a great burden had been lifted from his heart.

One day in early Spring, when the sun was bright and the rain had woven a thin carpet of green over the Earth, Mo’in, who had been traveling since before dawn, encountered on the road an old man of venerable aspect, wearing a worm and patched cloak. The old mendicant was reciting some poem:

I ask myself 
Why would a limitless entity
Subject itself to the limits of time and space?
I ask myself 
What is it that makes an entity an entity?
At a minimum a continuity of identity?
If time and space
Clothes an entity with a continuity of identity
Tell me, what is a limitless entity?


"Where are you traveling to, my son?"- the old man said, "and what is in that bundle you carry on your back?"
"Where I am traveling to God only knows, unc1e; I am without any path but the one I make with my own steps. As for this bundle on my back, it is the famous valuable Sufi Cloak." "That cloak!" said the old man; "it must be worth 10,000 dinars. Tell me, what are you planning to do with it? Are you going to sell it for its value in gold coins?" "No," replied Mo’in. "Then you must be planning to wear it." "No," replied Mo’in. "Ah yes, I see, very wise, undoubtedly you fear to attract thieves; but tell me - what ARE you going to do with it? Are you going to make a gift of it to someone?"

Mo’in was taken aback by the old man's question, and pondered how to answer. He had done with wearing it, that much was certain. And he had already sold it once, and bought poverty with its price. Why in the name of Allah was he carrying it on his back? What, in fact, was there left for him to do but give it away? "I would rather answer with actions than words, my Master; take it, it is yours." And Mo’in removed the bundle from his back, opened it, and handed the old man the precious mantle. "What a wonderful gift," the old man said, "and believe me, I have a use for it. But here, you must take something of my own; I cannot allow you to do this thing without expressing my gratitude." And so saying, the old man removed his worn, patched c1oak, and handed it to Mo’in. Immediately a change came over the old man. A great light shone out of him. His beard, that had been white, now became black and glossy. The jewels and gold threads of the valuable Sufi cloak shot rays in all directions, as if touched with the sun: Thus the old man in the patched cloak was revealed as Khizr, whom we have already met in the beginning of this tale.

"Now you can see," said Khizr, "that this cloak, which you valued so highly, but which proved useless to you in the markets of the world, does indeed hold all the value you imbued it with, and infinitely more., Your valuation, in tact, was far too low, your paltry degree of admiration insulting to the sublimity of this garment. You valued it only as high as your own vanity - while it saw in you the knowledge of Allah. This is why it came into your life, and clung to you like a loyal friend, and always returned to be with you, even through great hardship. But perhaps vanity for knowledge is not, all in all, a bad exchange. Nevertheless, the cloak bas now been returned to its rightful owner, because only in this moment has it been given with an open hand, neither stolen, nor bartered, nor sold There is nothing inside this cloak but knowledge; consequently knowledge may be your companion from now on, and accompany you in all your travels. But as for that tiny particle of knowledge called 'The Tale of the Dervish with the Valuable Sufi Mantle' its time to speak is now ended."
*::: ::: :::*
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 25, 2013, 12:35:13 AM
The Frogs


A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit.

The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs asked him, "Why did you continue jumping. Didn't you hear us?"

The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time...


This story holds two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path.

The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times.

Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.


(http://www.sundijo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/7-Ways-Encouragement-Changes-Things.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 25, 2013, 04:11:29 PM
THE BLOODLETTER'S EMULATION OF THE MERCHANT


It is said that in one of the distant cities of Khwarazm there was a merchant of much wealth and property whose name was ‘Abd al-Malik. He was always trying to find ways to make more money, so he frequented the gatherings of the learned men as well as those of the poor.
One day he thought: “I have been engaged in many kinds of business in different parts of the world, but now I am going to follow the Qur’anic precept”:

HE WHO DOES A GOOD DEED SHALL BE REWARDED TENFOLD.


Having decided upon this, he proceeded to carry out his decision. Whatever wealth he possessed he distributed for charity. Whatever riches he had he gave as alms to the poor. He did not even had enough money left for his breakfast.

That night in a dream he saw a monk. He asked him: “Who are you?”

The monk replied, “I am the spirit of your good fortune. Since you have given all your wealth for charity and all your money to the poor, you must not be left to starve. Tomorrow morning I will reappear in this form before you. At that time you must hit me on the head with a cudgel and I will fall down and turn into gold. Whenever you cut off a part of me that part will grow back again and whatever limb you remove another will immediately grow in its place”.

O, Nakhshabi, relinquish whatever wealth you possess.
How long will you charity and benevolence disdain?
For the sake of God donate to someone a pure gold coin
And a thousand will later be your well deserved gain.


The next day when the night-travelling monk – the moon – was entering the temple in the west, and when the great, devout wayfarer – the sun – was spreading the carpet of light in the sky, and at the moment when the bloodletter was trimming the beard and the moustache of ‘Abd al-Malik, the monk appeared.

‘Abd al-Malik arose and hit him on the head several times with a cane. The monk immediately fell down and turned into gold. ‘Abd al-Malik gave a few silver coins to the bloodletter and warned him not to divulge the secret.

The bloodletter surmised that if anyone struck a monk on the head, that monk would turn into gold. He went home and made preparations for a feast inviting several monks to be his guests. After the dinner was over, he fetched a heavy stick and hit the monks on their heads with such force that their scalps were cut and blood began to flow like a stream. When the monks started to scream and wail with pain, a large crowd gathered. They bound the bloodletter securely and took him along with the monks to the magistrate of the city.

The magistrate asked: “Why did you beat up those poor people and crack their heads open?”
The bloodletter replied: “I was in the house of ‘Abd al-Malik when a monk came to see him. He beat him on the head several times with a cane and the monk immediately turned into gold. I thought that anyone who hit a monk on the head could cause him to turn into gold. With this temptation I invited the monks to be my guests and struck a few blows on their heads. Not only their condition failed to change, but the whole affair ended in a great fiasco”.

The magistrate summoned ‘Abd al-Malik and asked him: “what is this bloodletter claiming?”
‘Abd al-Malik answered: “This man lives on my street. For several days his senses have been affected and his mind has become deranged. He wanders around all day like a madman and talks nonsense. Otherwise why would a sane person act in such a manner or an intelligent man utter such words? He needs care, proper treatment, medicine and potions. He must be taken to a doctor. He must be sent to a capable physician. It is a pity that such a bloodletter should be wasted and it is regretful that his skill should be lost”.

The words of ‘Abd al-Malik met with the approval of the magistrate. He made excuses to the monks and ordered that the bloodletter be released.

O Nakhshabi, conduct your true self with integrity.
When will you ever forsake thought of worldly possession!
Fools will imitate unsuitable actions of others.
To maintain self esteem, you should always use discretion.

Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on May 26, 2013, 08:37:26 PM
MASTER AND DOG,Sufi story


One day I was going to the fields, accompanied by my faithful dog, guardian of our farms and sworn enemy of those monkeys who devastate them. It was the time of the great heat of April. My dog and I were so hot that it was only with great pain that we were able to breathe properly. I had no doubt that in the end one of us, perhaps myself, would faint. Thanks to God we came upon a thicket of clustered branches with a thick covering of green leaves. My dog, whimpering slightly, raced towards the shadow. But when he reached it, he did not stay there, but returned to me, his tongue hanging out, his lips sagging, his pointed white teeth, bared. His sides throbbed rapidly making me realise how exhausted he was. I moved towards the shade and the dog became happier. But I decided to continue on my way. He whined plaintively, but nonetheless followed me, his head more bowed, his tail curled between his legs. He was visibly in despair, but decided to follow me whatever the consequences.

This faithfulness touched me deeply. I did not know how to appreciate the act of this animal, ready to follow me to the death without any need of his own, and without being constrained to do it by anything whatever. He was loyal just because he considered me his master. He proved his attachment to me by risking his life with the sole aim of following me and being at my side.

“Lord,” I cried in an outburst of feeling, “cure my troubled soul. Render my fidelity similar to that of this being whom I disparagingly call dog. Give me, like him, the strength to be able to scorn my life when it is a question of accomplishing Your will. And give me the strength to follow the road on which You place me without asking ‘Where am I going?’”


(http://dekokoblog.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/faithful-dog.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on July 03, 2013, 05:37:15 PM
Kodhana Sutta -- An Angry Person (paraphrased)


Seven things happen to people who are angry, which end up making their enemies happy:

Some people wish that their enemies become ugly.  But when people are angry, even if they are well bathed, beautifully dressed, and their hair neatly cut, they become ugly themselves!  This is exactly what their enemies would wish for them!

Some people wish that their enemies sleep poorly.  But when people are angry, even if they sleep on luxurious beds, with white sheets, fluffy pillows, and beautiful blankets, they will sleep poorly because of their anger.  This, too, is exactly what their enemies would wish!

Some wish that their enemies not profit in business.  But when people are angry, they become confused:  When they suffer a loss, they think they are making a profit; when they make a profit, they think they are suffering a loss.  This leads to constant worry, which is exactly what is enemy would wish!

Some wish that their enemies not have any wealth.  But when people are angry, even if they start out with wealth that they have worked hard to accumulate, they will behave badly and may wind up in jail or paying fines for their misbehavior, and eventually lose their fortunes.  This is exactly what his enemy would wish!

Some wish that ther enemies lose their reputation.  But when people are angry, whatever reputation they have, and however well earned it may be, will disappear, which is exactly what their enemies would wish!

Some wish that their enemies have no friends.  But when people are angry, their friends and relatives avoid them because of their temper.  This is exactly what their enemies would wish!

And finally, some people wish that their enemies would go to hell.  But when people are angy, they commit all kinds of sins, in their behavior, their speech, and in their minds.  When they die, they may find themselves in hell, which is exacly what their enemies would wish!

These are the seven things which happen to angry people, which end up making their enemies happy.

Buddha


(http://spiritofrebellion.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/mara_demon_nat_and_buddha.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on July 03, 2013, 06:08:41 PM
Not everyone desires enlightenment.  Sometimes, all we want is to be able to meet once again the ones we love:

Samajivina Sutta -- Living in Tune

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Once the Blessed One was staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. Then early in the morning the Blessed One put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went to the home of the householder, Nakula's father. On arrival, he sat down on a seat made ready. Then Nakula's father & Nakula's mother went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, Nakula's father said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since Nakula's mother as a young girl was brought to me [to be my wife] when I was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to her even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

And Nakula's mother said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since I as a young girl was brought to Nakula's father [to be his wife] when he was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to him even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

    Husband & wife, both of them
        having conviction,
        being responsive,
        being restrained,
        living by the Dhamma,
        addressing each other
        with loving words:
    they benefit in manifold ways.
        To them comes bliss.
    Their enemies are dejected
        when both are in tune in virtue.
    Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
        both in tune in precepts & practices,
    they delight in the world of the devas,
    enjoying the pleasures they desire.


Buddha


(http://concreteconceptions.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/beautiful-buddha.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on July 04, 2013, 05:29:51 PM
Dhul-Nun al-Misri (the Egyptian) and how he was converted


Dhul-Nun al-Misri the Egyptian told the following story of his conversion.

    
 I was informed that in a certain place an ascetic was living. I set forth to visit him, and found him suspending himself from a tree.

“O body,” he was saying, “assist me to obey God, else I will keep you hanging like this until you die of hunger.”

A fit of weeping overcame me. The devotee heard me crying.

“Who is this,” he called, “who has compassion upon one whose shame is little and whose crimes are many?”

 

I approached him and gave him greeting.

“What is this state of affairs?” I asked.

“This body of mine gives me no peace to obey God,” he replied. “It wants to mingle with other men.”

I supposed that he must have shed a Muslim’s blood, or committed some other deadly sin.

“Did you not realize,” the ascetic said to me, “that once you mingle with other men, everything else follows?”

“What a tremendous ascetic you are!” I cried.

“Would you like to see someone more ascetic than I?” he said

“I would,” I said.

“Go into yonder mountain,” he said. “There you will see.’

I proceeded thither, and saw a young man squatting in a hermitage; one foot had been amputated and flung out of the cell, and the worms were devouring it. I approached him and saluted him, then I enquired after his circumstances.

“One day,” he told me, “I was seated in this hermitage when a woman happened to pass by. My heart inclined towards her and my body demanded of me to go after her. I put one foot out of the cell, then I heard a voice saying, “Are you not ashamed, after serving and obeying God for thirty years, an now you obey Satan and chase a loose woman?” So I cut off the foot that I had set outside the hermitage, and now I sit here waiting for what will transpire and what they will do with me. What business has brought you to such sinners? If you desire to see a man of God, proceed to the top of this mountain.”

The mountain was too high for me to reach the top, so I enquired about this man.

“Yes,” I was told. “It is a long time now that a man has been serving God in that cell. One day a man came along and disputed with him, saying that daily bread was meant for earning. The devotee vowed that he would eat nothing that involved the acquisition of material possessions. For many days he ate nothing. Then Almighty God sent a cloud of bees to hover around him and give him honey.”

The things I had seen and the words I had heard caused a mighty pain to clutch my heart. I realized that whoever puts his trust in God, God cares for him and suffers not his anguish to be in vain. As I went on my way, I saw a blind little bird perched in a tree. It fluttered down from the tree.

“Where will this helpless creature get food and water?” I cried.

The bird dug the earth with its beak and two saucers appeared, one of gold containing grain and the other of silver full of rosewater. The bird ate its fill, then it flew up into the tree and the saucers vanished.

Utterly dumbfounded, Dhul-Nun al-Misri thenceforward put his trust in God completely, and was truly converted. He pushed on several stages, and when night fell he came to a desert. In that desert he sighted a jar of gold and jewels, and on the top of the jar a tablet on which was written the name of God. His companions divided the gold and the jewels between them.

“Give me the tablet on which is written the name of my Friend,” Dhul-Nun al-Misri cried.

And he took the tablet. He kissed the tablet all through the day and night, till by the blessing of the tablet he so progressed that one night he dreamed a voice said to him, “All the rest chose the gold and jewels, for they are precious. You chose what was loftier than that, my Name. Therefore I have opened to you the door of knowledge and wisdom.”

Dhul-Nun al-Misri then returned to the city. His story continues.

I was walking one day when I reached the margin of a river. By the water I saw a pavilion. I proceeded to make my ablutions, and when I had finished my eye suddenly fell on the roof of the pavilion. On the balcony I saw a very beautiful girl standing. Wanting to prove her, I said, “Maiden, to whom do you belong?”

“Dho ‘l-Nun,” replied she, “when you appeared from afar I supposed you were a madman. When you came nearer, I supposed you were a scholar. When you came still nearer, I supposed you were a mystic. Now I see you are neither mad, nor a scholar, nor a mystic.”

“Why do you say that?” I demanded.

“If you had been a madman,” she replied, “you would not have made your ablutions. If you had been a scholar, you would not have gazed at that which is prohibited you. If you had been a mystic, your eye would have fallen upon naught but God. “

So saying, she vanished. I then realized that she was not a mortal creature, but had been sent as a warning. A fire invaded my soul, and I flung myself in the direction of the sea.

When I reached the seashore, I saw a company of men embarked in a ship. I also embarked in that ship. After some days had passed, by chance a jewel belonging to a merchant was

lost on board. One by one the passengers were taken and searched. Finally they reached the unanimous conclusion that the jewel was on me. They set about belabouring me and treated me with great disrespect, whilst I remained silent. At last I could endure no more.

“O Creator, Thou knowest,” I cried.

Thousands of fishes thereupon put their heads out of the water, each with a jewel in its mouth.

Dhul-Nun al-Misri took one of the jewels and gave it to the merchant. All on board when they saw this fell at his feet and begged his pardon. So highly was he considered in the eyes of men. That was why he was called Dhul-Nun al-Misri (“The Man of the Fish”).

Dho ‘I-Nun is arrested and taken to Baghdad

When Dhul-Nun al-Misri had already attained a high degree, no one recognized his true greatness. The people of Egypt denounced him unanimously as a heretic, and informed the caliph Motawakkel of his activities. Motawakkel sent officers to convey him to Baghdad in fetters. When he entered the caliph’s court he declared, “This very hour I have learned true Islam from an old woman, and true chivalry from a water-carrier.”

“How is that?” he was asked.

“When I reached the caliph’s palace,” he replied, “and beheld that court in all its magnificence, with the chamberlains and attendants thronging its passages, I wished that some change might take place in my appearance. A woman with a stick in her hand came up and, looking straight at me, addressed me.

“‘Do not be afraid of the body before whom they are taking you, for he and you are both servants of one

Almighty Lord. Unless God wills it, they can do nothing to His servant.’

“Then on the road I saw a water-carrier. He gave me a draught of pure water. I made a sign to one who was with me to give the man a dinar. He refused to take it.

“‘You are a prisoner and in bonds,’ he said. ‘It would not be true chivalry to take anything from such a prisoner, a stranger in bonds.’ “

After that it was ordered that he should be put in prison. Forty days and nights he remained in gaol, and every day the sister of Beshr the Barefoot brought him a loaf, the earnings of her spindle. The day when he came out of prison, the forty loaves remained intact, not one having been eaten. When Beshr’s sister heard of this, she became very sad.

“You know that those loaves were lawful food and unsolicited. Why did you not eat them?” she protested.

“Because the plate was not clean,” Dhul-Nun al-Misri replied, meaning that it had been handled by the gaoler.

As Dhul-Nun al-Misri came out of the prison he stumbled and cut his forehead. It is related that much blood flowed, but not one drop fell on his face, his hair or his clothes, and all the blood that fell on the ground vanished at once, by the command of Almighty God.

Then they brought him before the caliph, and he was ordered to answer the charges preferred against him.

He explained his doctrine in such a manner that Motawakkel burst into tears, and all his ministers stood in wonder at his eloquence. So the caliph became his disciple, and accorded him high honour.

 Dhul-Nun al-Misri
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on July 15, 2013, 03:24:54 PM
Lying is such an institutionalized part of modern society it is hard for many of us to imagine a world without it.  Buddha has a lesson for his son in this sutra:

*Ambalatthikarahulovada Sutta -- Lesson for Rahula at Mango Stone*(paraphrased)


When Rahula, Buddha's son, was seven, he set out some water for his father to wash his feet.  Buddha picked up a ladle full of the water and began to wash.  He showed his son the ladle with a little bit of water left in it and said "This is how little worth is left in someone who isn't ashamed at telling a lie."

Tossing away the little bit of water, he said "What little honor is left in someone who is not ashamed when telling a lie is tossed away just like that."

Turning the ladle upside down, he said "What little honor there is in someone who is not ashamed is turned upside down just like that."

And showing Rahula the empty ladle, he said "What little honor there is in someone who is not ashamed is empty and hollow just like that."

"A royal elephant going into battle who holds back in the fight hasn't given of himself fully.  But when he gives his all, there is nothing he will not do.  The same thing is true of someone who is not ashamed when they tell a lie:  There is no evil he will not do!  So train yourself not to lie, even in jest.

"What do your think a mirror is for?"

"For reflection, sir."

"Just like a mirror, you actions, whether they are physical, verbal, or mental, should be done with constant reflectiion.

"When you are considering doing something, reflect on it:  Is this something which will cause harm to myself or others?  If so, stop yourself from doing it.  If not, if it leads to happy consequences, you may feel free to do it.  While you are doing something, reflect on it:  Is this act harming anyone?  If so, stop.  If not, go ahead.  After you have done something, reflect on what you have done.  If it resulted in harm to yourself or others, confess it to your teacher or companions, and resolve to restrain yourself in the future.  If the act had happy consequences, then be joyful.

"The same things apply to verbal acts.  Before, during, and after you say something, reflect on it.  If it seems that your speech will have or does have negative consequences, then restrain yourself or, if you are too late, confess and resolve to do better in the future. If what you have to say has positive consequences, then go ahead.

"And the same thing applies to mental acts.  Reflect on them, before, during, and after.  If a thought has negative consequences, abandon it or, if it is too late, be ashamed and resolve to improve.  If the thought has positive qualities, then act upon it.

"Before, during, and after, reflect on your behavior, and purify yourself this way."

Liberally paraphrased from That the True Dhamma Might Last a Long Time: Readings Selected by King Asoka, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (www.accesstoinsight.org).
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 15, 2013, 03:30:23 PM
Jewell,
Wonderful teachings of Lord Buddha.These are favourites of Master TGN who never tires of quoting these-so simple and  fundamental.
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on July 16, 2013, 12:26:39 PM
Thank You,dear Sri Ravi!

Yes,it is indeed beautiful,simple and very practical wisdom too. And all told through a nice stories.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on August 04, 2013, 06:59:34 AM
Friends,
You may like to read the Stories of Great Saints featured here:
http://indiansaints.wordpress.com/list-of-stories/ (http://indiansaints.wordpress.com/list-of-stories/)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 09, 2013, 06:04:02 PM
Story of Solomon the son of David and the lovesick ant


'Solomon, in the midst of all his occupations, passed by a swarm of ants on the roadside.All the ants came forward to do obeisance; in an hour many thousands had come.
But one ant did not come quickly before him because there was a mound of earth in front of its home.With the speed of the wind that ant was carrying out each separate particle of earth so that that mound might be cleared away.

Solomon summoned it and said: "0 ant, I perceive thee to be without strength or endurance,And yet if thou wert to acquire the lifes pan of Noah and the patience of Job,thy task would not be accomplished.This is no task for the arm of thy likes; thou wilt not cause this mound to disappear."

The ant opened its mouth and said: "0 king, by high endeavour one can proceed along this road.
Look not at my constitution and build, have regard to the perfection of my endeavour.There is a certain she-ant who is invisible to me and who had drawn me into the snare other love.

She has said to me: 'If thou removest this mound of earth from here and clearest the way,I will cast on one side the boulder of separation from thee and then sit together with thee.'Now my loins are girded for this task; I know about nothing except this carrying of earth.
If this earth is made to disappear I can achieve union with her,And if I die in this endeavour, at least I shall not be an idle boaster and a liar."—

Friend, learn of love from an ant; learn of such sight from one who is blind.Though the ant's cloak is very black, yet it is one of the attendants on the road.

Look not with contempt upon an ant, for it too has passion in its heart.I know not what state of affairs it is upon this road when a lion is chid by an ant.’

Farid Ul din Attar
from The Book of God


(http://www.far3e.com/wp-content/uploads/Hardworking-ant.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 09, 2013, 06:18:31 PM
Story of Nushirv and the Just and the aged cultivator


Nushirvan was riding his horse with the speed of an arrow when he saw in the road an old man [bent] like a bow.
The old man was planting a number of trees. The king said to him: "Sincethy hair has turned to milk,And since thou wilt remain only a few more days, why art thou planting trees here?"

The old man replied: "There is reason enough. Since many have planted for us,So that today we have the benefit thereof, we too are planting for others. One should take each step in accordance with one's capacity, for in every step there should be order.

The king was pleased with the old man's speech. He filled his hand with gold and said: "Take this."

The old man said to him: "0 victorious king, already today my trees have borne fruit.
For If I live to be over seventy thou knowest that I have not fared badly by this planting. The planting did not make me wait ten years; it has borne gold as fruit this very day."
The king was even more pleased with this reply of his, and he bestowed upon him the land, the village and the water.—

Thou must perform thy labour today for without labour thou wilt have no fruit. Thou must set thy foot on the road of the Faith, thou must lay aside vanity.

If thou art a man, then like a man make thy beard a broom for the privy. Art thou not ashamed with all that strength of arm to place thy weight on the scales? Thou art less than a dog. Listen to this story if thou think thyself more than a dog.'

Farid ul din Attar
From The Book of God


(http://www.zastavki.com/pictures/originals/2013/Animals_Dogs_Dog_on_a_grass_036757_.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on November 07, 2013, 04:10:53 AM
The independent man
 
Many hundreds of years ago there were two man of Kabul who fell upon very hard times. They lost all they owned and suffered great hardship and poverty. So great was their misfortune that, try as they might, they could not improve their position. Always something happened to them to cause them a setback. Great were the bodily hunger and distress of mind, which they suffered. Grief and sorrow lay upon them like a heavy cloud. One day one man said to the other: ‘We have suffered much and have toiled hard, yet there seems no hope of improving our lot. Let us leave this country and seek our fortune elsewhere. Surely that would be a wise move. The good sultan Mahmud is now reigning, and he is well known for his generosity. Let us go to Ghazna and try to see him. Then at least it will give us some hope that our miserable circumstances may be altered’.

So they set out for Ghazna and on the road they met a man who joined their company and walked with them. He was a very pious man and he seemed happy and contented; indeed it was as if he walked the earth like one of the blessed.

“Tell me, my brothers”, he asked the two men, “where are you going? And what is the purpose of your journey?”

“We have both suffered great and prolonged misfortune and have endured great hardship”, the two men replied. “In Kabul we have toiled hard and long and have yet failed to improve our lot, and having heard of the great generosity of sultan Mahmud and his concern for the poor and needy we have decided to make our way to him in the hope that he will look kindly upon us and help us back on the road of prosperity”.

The two men of Kabul then asked the stranger whither he was bound and what the object of his journey was.

“I, too, have nothing I can call my own in my country and my affairs too are going badly”, he replied. “I go in search of some lawful means of support, but I do not expect anything from sultan Mahmud or anyone like him. Sultan Mahmud and his kind are besieged by a hundred thousand men all hoping that he in his infinite grace and bounty will bestow some gift or favour upon them. I shall look elsewhere for a solution to my difficulties”.

The three men continued their journey in company and when at length they arrived in Ghazna they took up their lodging together in a ruined building.

One night the three men were sitting together in the ruin talking of this and that, and it so happened that at this time sultan Mahmud had left his palace with two close friends to take a walk in the moonlight. As they approached the ruin the sultan was attracted by the sound of voices; he walked on, discovered the three travellers and asked them who they were.

The two men of Kabul replied: “We have been crushed in the press of poverty and misfortune and are now distressed and helpless. We left our own country to seek some betterment of our lot elsewhere. Fate has led us hither and we hope that somehow, somewhere, the cloud of misery which envelops us will be lifted”.

“And what are your wishes?” inquired the sultan.

“Even if we say what our wishes are we know they will never be fulfilled”, said the two men of Kabul. “What useful purpose will be served by reciting them?”

And the sultan said: “It is the duty of men to help each other. Therefore, tell me your desires that I at least may know how you could be helped”.

The first man replied: “I was once prosperous and had great wealth. This world, with its chances and changes, ceased to be lucky for me, and the shame of my poverty and the disgrace of my family have caused me to leave my country. Now, if I had ten thousand dinars I could regard the sum as fresh capital and could then raise my head again and return to my country”.

The second man replied: “I had a dutiful and loving wife. The loveliness of her features surpassed the rose in beauty; the radiance of her face made the moon seem to decline in splendour. I loved her much and could not bear to be parted from her. But she died and I was so consumed with grief that I felt lost and helpless. If his highness the sultan were to present me with a member of his harem so that my life might once more be lighted by the sun of her presence, I would gladly return to my own country”.

The third man remaining silent, the sultan turned to him and said: “And have you no wish?” And the third man answered:

“I place all my trust in God. I need neither a wife nor gold. I turn my face towards the mercy of God by Whom all favours are granted. All our desires are known to God and God knows what we deserve. I place myself in His hands; He will grant whatever is right for me. All I ask of you is this: if you enjoy the favour of God and if He grants you your desires, please pray to Him for my sake that I may never follow a line of thought or action which is against His will”.

The sultan said no more and, without letting it be known who he was, rose and departed. Next morning he ordered that the three strangers whom he had met in the ruin be brought to his presence.

When the men saw the sultan and realised that he was the man with whom they had spoken on the previous evening, they thought at first that he was going to be angry with them. But the sultan asked each to step forward in turn and state his wants, and the two men of Kabul repeated what they had said before. When it was the turn of the third man to step forward and speak he said:

“Begging leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Sweet is the generosity of the noble-minded. O most kind of the rulers, may the treasury of your desires remain filled with the gold, silver and jewels of prosperity so long as the storehouse of God is full of blessings. Although many rejoice in your bounty and you yourself know the sweet taste of good deeds, those who have found their peace with God are so contented that they have no desire to take anything from another man. Contentment is not sweetened by the generosity of others and the delights of independence are far greater than any pleasure there may be in receiving gifts from others. I submit my hopes and longings only to God; He will grant what is right and good for me. I have no need to ask another man for anything”.

Now the sultan, who was not used to meeting such independence, tried to persuade the man to ask for some gift or favour, but the man could not be shaken from his avowed principles. The sultan then gave orders that the man who wanted a wife should be given one of the sultan’s own damsels, while the man who wanted money was presented with two purses of gold. He then commanded that all three men should return to their own countries. The three men accordingly set out on the road back to Kabul.

When the companions had walked about seven miles the man who had been given the gold began to feel tired from the weight of it so he handed it to his empty-handed friend, requesting him to carry it until he had rested a while.

After the three men had left the presence of the sultan, the ruler turned to his courtiers and said: “That independent man has put me greatly to shame. Although I tried to persuade him to accept a gift of some kind he would take nothing and when he left me I felt as if I was in the position of a poor man”.

Now one of the courtiers was a very greedy man, and greedy men are the natural enemies of the contented. “The sultans and kings of this world” – said the greedy courtier – “are God’s treasurers. Men who will not turn to their rulers for help or scorn their favours are guilty of the sin of pride and act contrary to the will of God. Such men deserve to die and should be punished”.

This statement greatly excited the sultan and he at once ordered one of his chamberlains to hasten along the road which the three men had taken and, leaving undisturbed the man with the gold and the man with the girl, to seize the man
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on July 29, 2014, 02:33:12 PM
Lord Vithal, or Panduranga Vittala, is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is worshipped in the world famous Pandarpur Rukmini Vithal Temple at Pandarpur in Maharashtra. There is an interesting story that explains about the incarnation of Lord Vithal at Pandarpur.

Once a devotee named Pundalik was traveling to Kashi and reached the Ashram of Saint Kukkut. He asked the sage the way to Kashi. Kukkut Rishi said that he did not know the way to Kashi and he had never been there.

Pundalik made fun of Kukkut Rishi for not knowing the way to Kashi and said that a holy man like him should have already visited Kashi. Kukkut Rishi kept quiet and did not bother to answer Pundalik.
 During the course of the night Pundalik heard the voice of women in the ashram.

He came to out to look what was happening and saw that three women were sprinkling water on the Ashram and cleaning it.

On enquiry, Pundalik found out that the three women were Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi and they had come to clean the Ashram of Kukkut Rishi. Pundalik wondered how a saint like Kukkut who had not visited Kashi was such holy and powerful that the three holy rivers came down to purify his ashram.

The three women told Pundalik that piety, spirituality and devotion does not depend on visiting holy places or doing costly rituals but in performing one?s karma.

The three women told him that Sage Kukkut had served and nursed his parents most faithfully and devoted all his life to that one aim. He had thus accumulated Punya enough to earn Moksha and bring us down to earth to serve him.

Pundalik had left is old parents at home and was visiting Kashi to gain moksha and blessing. He did not bother to entertain the request of his parents to take them also to Kashi.

(http://kids.baps.org/storytime/photo/Pundarikdevotion.jpg)

  Pundalik now understood his mistake and rushed back home and took his parents to Kashi and on return started looking after them. From then onwards the care of his old mother and father came before everything else.

Lord Krishna was moved by the sincere devotion of Pundalik towards his parents. He decided to visit Pundalik?s home.

When Lord Krishna visited Pundalik?s home he was serving food to his old parents.

Pundalik saw the Lord at his door but his devotion to his parents was so intense that he wanted to finish his duties first and then attend to his guest. Pundalik had reached such a stage that it didn?t matter to him whether the guest was a mere mortal or God. All that mattered was service to his parents.

 Pundalik gave Lord Krishna a brick to stand on and asked Him to wait until his duty was completed. Lord Krishna was moved by the devotion of Pundalik to his parents and waited for him patiently.

Later when Pundalik came out he asked the Lord forgiveness for making Him wait. Lord Krishna blessed him and asked him to ask a boon.

Pundalik said what more can I ask when the Lord himself waits for me.

When Lord Krishna insisted that he ask a boon, Pundalik asked that the Lord should remain on earth and bless and take care of His devotees.

Lord Krishna agreed to stay there and is known as Vithoba or the Lord who stands on a brick. This form of the Lord Vithoba is Swayambhu which means that His idol has not been carved or etched but it came into existence on its own.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 03:02:37 PM
Nagaraj,
What a wonderful story!Thanks very much.

In this excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the master talks about Debts  to parents:

A long conversation ensued about Ram's household affairs. Ram's father was a devout Vaishnava and worshipped Krishna daily at home. He had married a second time when Ram was quite young. Both the father and the stepmother lived with Ram at Ram's house. But Ram was never happy with his stepmother, and this sometimes created a misunderstanding between himself and his father.

They were talking about this when Ram said, "My father has gone to the dogs!"

MASTER (to the devotees): "Did you hear that? The father has gone to the dogs and the son is all right!"

RAM: "There is no peace when my stepmother comes home. There is always some trouble or other. Our family is about to break up. So I say, let her live with her father."

GIRINDRA (to Ram): "Why don't you too keep your wife at her father's home?" (Laughter)

MASTER (smiling): "Are husband and wife like earthen pots or jars, that you may keep the pot in one place and the lid in another? Siva in one place and Sakti in another?"

RAM: "Sir, we are quite happy. But when she comes the family is broken up. If such is the case-"

Our duties to father and mother

MASTER: "Then build them a separate home. That will be a different thing. You will defray their monthly expenses. How worthy of worship one's parents are!
 Rakhal asked me if he could take the food left on his father's plate. 'What do you mean?' I said. 'What have you become that you cannot?' But it is also true that good people won't give anyone, even a dog, the food from their plates."

GIRINDRA: "Sir, suppose one's parents are guilty of a terrible crime, a heinous sin?"

MASTER: "What if they are? You must not renounce your mother even if she commits adultery. The woman guru of a certain family became corrupt. The members of the family said that they would like to make the son of the guru their spiritual guide. But I said: 'How is that? Will you accept the shoot and give up the yam? Suppose she is corrupt; still you must regard her as your Ishta. "Though my guru visits the tavern, still to me he is the holy Nityananda." '

"Are father and mother mere trifles? No spiritual practice will bear fruit unless they are pleased. Chaitanya was intoxicated with the love of God. Still, before taking to the monastic life, for how many days did he try to persuade his mother to give him her permission to become a monk! He said to her: 'Mother, don't worry. I shall visit you every now and then.'

(To M., reproachfully) "And let me say this to you. Your father and mother brought you up. You yourself are the father of several children. Yet you have left home with your wife. You have cheated your parents. You have come away with your wife and children, and you feel you have become a holy man. Your father doesn't need any money from you; otherwise I should have cried, 'Shame on you!'"

Everybody in the room became grave and remained silent.

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 03:06:33 PM
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master asks M whether he can do prostration to his father:

Advice to M

The Master was still in the ecstatic mood. Suddenly he said to M: "Look here, you have had enough of reasoning. No more of it. Promise that you won't reason any more."

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir. I won't."

MASTER: "You have had enough of it. When you came to me the first time, I told you your spiritual Ideal. I know everything about you, do I not?"

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "Yes, I know everything: what your Ideal is, who you are, your inside and outside, the events of your past lives, and your future. Do I not?"

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "I scolded you on learning that you had a son. Now go home and live there. Let them know that you belong to them. But you must remember in your heart of hearts that you do not belong to them nor they to you."

M. sat in silence. The Master went on instructing him.

MASTER: "You have now learnt to fly. But keep your loving relationship with your father. Can't you prostrate yourself before him?"

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir. I can."

MASTER: "What more shall I say to you? You, know everything. You understand, don't you?"

M. sat there without uttering a word.

MASTER: "You have understood, haven't you?"

M: "Yes, sir, I now understand a little."

MASTER: "No, you understand a great deal. Rakhal's father is pleased about his staying here."

M. remained with folded hands.

MASTER: "Yes, what you are thinking will also come to pass."

One book(It is not just a Book!) I invariably recommend over and over again is this-The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.It addresses almost all circumstances and doubts that an aspirant can possibly encounter and gives definitive course of action.Truly indispensable for all aspirants.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 03:42:17 PM
Lives of Saints: Sant Eknath ,Dec 31, 2009 by varsha(From Amrita Bala Kendra)

Sant Eknath is one of the greatest saints of Maharashtra. He was born in Paithan on the banks of the Godavari River around 1533. Paithan is a holy place, and in those days it was a centre of Sanskrit learning, as well as of Brahminical orthodoxy. Eknath was the great grandson of the well-known saint, Saint Bhanudas. His parents died when he was three years old, and he was brought up by his grandparents.

He became a disciple of Janardana Swami who lived a little distance away from his town. One story has it that he ran away from home and stayed with his Guru for 12 years. Another story says that he was entrusted to Janardana Swami by his grandfather Chakrapani. This is more likely since there are historical records which show that Janardana Swami and Chakrapani were scholars and good friends.


His Guru made him undergo spiritual disciplines and taught him Sanskrit grammar, philosophy and basic texts of Vedanta and other holy books. It was here that Eknath studied the Jnaneshwari, Jnandeva's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, and his mastery of this classic comes through in his writings. Janardana Swami was a state official, and Eknath helped him in his official work.

Essentially, however, Janardana Swami was interested in his disciple's spiritual progress and he took every opportunity to drive home a lesson. On one occasion he asked Eknath to square up the accounts. Eknath discovered that there was a discrepancy of one adhela (the equivalent of one paisa) in the accounts, and he sat up all night to rectify it. He danced with joy when the accounts were finally squared up. Seeing his jubilation, his Guru remarked, "If you have the same concentration and devotion for Lord Krishna, you will realize the Truth and attain everlasting happiness."

When Eknath had completed his education, Guru and disciple went on a pilgrimage. At Tryambakeshwar (near Nasik) they heard a discourse on the four fundamental slokas of the Bhagavat Mahapurana (Canto II 9:32-9:35) given by Pundit Chandroba in Sanskrit. Janardana Swami asked his disciple Eknath to translate them into Marathi and to write his own commentary, so that ordinary people could enjoy it. Eknath did this, and the result was the Chatusloki-Bhagvat, his first important work. Eknath was a great Guru-bhakta and he attributed not just this first book but all his works to his Guru's inspiration, invariably writing "Eka-Janardana" (Eknath of Janardana) as his signature.

After his education, as per his Guru's instructions, Eknath settled into a householder's life. He married Girijabai from Bijopur. She proved to be a saintly woman, a lifelong companion and a great support. Eknath is a remarkable example of a man who blended worldly life and spiritual attainments. He lived in the world but was not of it, and achieved complete renunciation in the midst of activity. He was a prolific writer who wrote a number of abhangas (hymns) and bharudas (short allegorical poems), besides philosophical and devotional works. He spent his life spreading the gospel of Lord Krishna among the masses, not in Sanskrit, but in Marathi, their own language. This frequently brought him in conflict with the orthodox sections of society.

His most important work is the Eknathi Bhagavat. It is his commentary on Canto XI of the Bhagavat Mahapurana -- the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Uddhava. Composed between 1570 and 1573, it was begun in Paithan and completed in Varanasi. There is an interesting story behind this. After the first five preliminary chapters had been completed, one of his disciples took them to Varanasi and recited them on the banks of the Ganges River. The pundits of Varanasi took umbrage at what they called the "pollution" of the holy text in the language of the shudras (the lowest caste). Eknath was summoned to Varanasi and asked for an explanation. He requested that he be given an opportunity to present his work before judgment was passed. This was given reluctantly. In fact, the chief pundit even kept a curtain between himself and Eknath, so that he would not be polluted. Then Eknath started reciting his poem. So beautiful was the melody, so profound the philosophy, and so moving the mystical imageries created by him, that the audience of learned pundits became ecstatic. The chief pundit tore down the curtain and requested him to complete the work in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges. After completion, the work was paraded on the back of an elephant, through the streets of Varanasi.
Like many poets-saints of the period, Sant Eknath creates a fusion of bhakti (devotion) and advaita (non-duality). The reflection of God in the soiled mirror of avidya (ignorance) is jiva (individual soul), and in the clear mirror of vidya (knowledge) it is Shiva -- the difference is not real. He emphasised the practice of bhajan singing, nama-smarana (chanting the Lord's name), purity of conduct, meditation, discharging one's duties, retirement into solitude from time to time, and saguna bhakti (devotion to the Divine with a form) leading to Nirguna (formless). His ideal was to see God everywhere and in everything (Gita, Ch. IX, s 1:29-30).

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 03:46:14 PM
The Story of Sant Ekanath continued....

Eknath's reformist views brought him into conflict not only with orthodox pundits but also with his own family. His son Hari Pundit was annoyed at his father's habit of preaching in Marathi and of eating in low-caste homes. He went away on a pilgrimage to Varanasi and didn't return. When Eknath followed him, Hari Pundit told him the reason for his exile. With a heavy heart, Eknath promised to give up his discourses and unorthodox ways. Hari Pundit returned and gave discourses in Sanskrit, while Eknath remained silent. The audience dwindled to near-zero while the people clamoured for Eknath's discourses and kirtans. One day an old, low-caste widow came to invite Eknath for a meal at her place. She desired to feed a thousand Brahmins, but, being poor, could not do so.

Since she considered Eknath to be worth a thousand Brahmins, she decided to feed him. Eknath turned to Hari Pundit, who was moved by her plight. But Hari Pundit made two conditions: one, that he would accompany Eknath; and two, that he himself would cook the food. On the appointed day, the two of them went to the woman's house and settled down to eat. Hari Pundit noticed that the woman had slipped a dish that she had prepared onto Eknath's leaf plate. He resented this but kept quiet. After finishing the meal, Eknath told Hari Pundit to pick up the leaf plates, so as not to trouble the old woman. Hari Pundit bent down to pick up Eknath's leaf plate. As he picked it up, he found another plate beneath it. Perhaps he had been served on two leaf plates. But below the second was a third. Eventually, Hari Pundit had to pick up a thousand leaf plates! A thunderstruck Hari Pundit realized his stupidity. His father was worth a thousand Brahmins and more. He fell at his feet begging forgiveness. Eknath forgave him saying, "Hari, you have learnt the shastras, but not humility." Needless to say, after this Eknath resumed his preaching and other activities.

Besides the Eknathi Bhagavat, he wrote the Rukmini-Swyamvar, the story of Lord Krishna's marriage to Rukmini Devi. It is an allegorical tale of the meeting of the jiva and Shiva, though in Maharashtra it was popular as simply a story.

In 1583, Eknath renovated the samadhi (tomb) of Jnanadeva in Alandi. In 1584 he completed editing the Jnaneshwari. In his day, there were several interpolations on the Jnaneshwari and more than one version was extant. The Jnaneshwari we read today is his edition. He began writing the Bhavartha Ramayana, a Marathi translation of the Ramayana, but took Mahasamadhi (left his body) in 1599 before completing it. This parallels the story of the sage Valmiki: Scholars believe that Valmiki never wrote the Uttar Kanda, but that it was added later. Similarly, in Eknath's case, the Uttar Kanda was written later by his disciples.

According to scholars, in Maharashtra, Eknath's place as philosopher-writer-saint is second only to Jnanadeva's. His main achievement, outwardly, was to spread Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) and its philosophy down to the lowest stratum of society. As one of his biographers puts it, "With Jnanadeva, philosophy reigned in the clouds; with Eknath, it came down to earth and dwelt among the people".

concluded.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 04:05:01 PM
Saint Ekanath and The vagabond

An incident in his life highlights his broad mind, forbearance and compassionate nature.

Sant Eknath lived in a village called Prathinapura, in Maharastra. He practiced Bhagvath Dharma - singing the names and glories of the Lord. He performed pooja to the idols of Rukmini and Panduranga which was presented to him by his Guru - Sri Janardana Swami. Sant Eknath was particularly famous in his village for his patience; nobody ever saw him angry, and nothing could ever make him lose his temper. Almost all his fellow-villagers paid respects to Eknath for his great virtues.

In the same village, there were a few vagabonds who used to regularly meet for gambling. One morning it so happened that one of them arrived late. When the others looked at him with a questioning look, he said, "I had been to Sant Eknath's residence to pay respects to him. So I could not come here in time."

On hearing this, the others guffawed and with a mocking tone asked him, "So my friend, what is so special about this gentleman, which makes you fall at his feet?"

"Sri Eknath never loses his temper under any circumstance. Isn't this trait unusual?"

They teased him further..."How can he who never gets angry be called a human?" On hearing thus, he immediately answered, "That is the reason why I regard him a saint..." The conversation which started in a light vein, took a serious turn... In the end, one of them challenged, "I shall make Saint Eknath lose his temper, and prove to you all that he is no different from others and I shall accomplish what I just said by tomorrow itself."

The next morning, Sant Eknath went to bathe in the Holy Godavari river early in the morning. While he was returning, the one who threw down the gauntlet, was waiting for Sant Eknath on a rooftop with mouthful of Paan (Betel leaves and Betel nuts, usually taken after meals). While walking back home, Eknath suddenly felt something wet falling on him. Without any signs of surprise, and without losing his composure, he walked back to the river for a holy dip.

The defiler was surprised, but when Sri Eknath returned from his second dip, he again spat on this great saint. Sri Eknath again went back to the river for a dip without losing his calm. But the vagabond was persistent in his efforts to make this saint angry, and he kept on spitting at Saint Eknath.
Each time he spat on the saint, he could not even detect a faintest frown in Eknath's face. As the twilight of the dawn started to bounce off from the glittering waters of Godavari, the vagabond got tired of spitting at Eknath.

He was totally bewildered on seeing the patience and forbearance of Eknath. While his mouth was aching stiff due to repeated spitting, Eknath was looking as composed and as fresh as he was early in the morning!

The vagabond, feeling guilty and ashamed, rushed down to fall at the feet of Saint Eknath. Saint Eknath, with eyes brimming with compassion and love even for this offender, blessed him.

Now the vagabond was totally perplexed, "Swami, how is it possible for you to be like this?"

Saint Eknath replied, "Brother, if you can stick so stubbornly to this vice of harassing sadhus, it isn't the least surprising that I, on my part, should stick to  virtue of not losing temper.I am on the way to offer my morning worship to the Lord. The dirt on my body can be easily cleansed by a dip in the river, but if I let anger enter my mind, it defiles the mind, and no amount of bathing in any river can cleanse me of this impurity.Worshiping with an impure mind would not bear fruits."

Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 04:14:24 PM
Saint Ekanath and his vision of Dattareya:

Saint Ekanath served his Guru Janardana Swami as his assistant .One night, Eknath was checking the accounts as usual. He found that there was 1 paisa missing in the account and he had excess in hand. He was breaking his head to find out what happened. This was because he felt all the work he was doing in the ashram was Guru seva and that he should be correct in that. As he was awake till late in the night, his guru came to see what he was doing. Eknath did not even realize that his guru was standing behind as he was thinking deeply about reconciling the accounts. Janardhana swami understood that he is checking accounts and went back to his place. He again came at mid night to see if he was done with it, but saw that he was still working on it and went back. Around 2 A.M  in the morning, Eknath emotionally shouted ?Gurunatha, I found it? as he had reconciled the accounts. Janardhana Swami immediately got up and went to him and asked him what he had seen. Eknath immediately apologized for waking him up and said that an entry for 1 paisa was missing and that he had found it. As soon as the Guru heard this, his eyes were filled with tears and told him that there were so many sishyas who had come here and found so many great things and after serving me for 12 years you are happy that you have found 1 paisa. Janardhana Swami then said that he is now indebted to him for having taken care of him and the ashram for all these years. He then went back to sleep. Janradhana Swami?s deity was Dattatreya and he requested him to give darshan to Eknath and Dattatreya agreed to his request. The next day Eknath went to Godhavari River to have his bath as usual. After completing his bath he would bring water from the river to the ashram. On his way back Dattatreya gave him his darshan in godly form. The four Vedas stood next to him as 4 dogs. Dharma devata stood behind him as a bull. Eknath on seeing him prostrated to him. Dattatreya then blessed him and Eknath came back to the ashram and started doing his work as usual. Janardhana Swami came and saw what Eknath was doing and he found him boiling the milk. He then thought that he doesn?t look like someone who has had the darshan of god. The state of a person who has realised and seen god would be different and they would be in deep meditation, sometimes crying or smiling and would not look like normal persons to the outside world. Janardhana Swami was now wondering if god had given him darshan or not. Janardhana Swami was now really confused and asked Eknath if had seen anything this morning. Eknath then told him that when he was returning from the river he saw his guru?s deity standing under the tree and that he had worshiped him. Janardhana Swami was further perplexed and told him that there are so many rishis trying to realize god for so many janmas and after having realized god how he could continue with his regular work. Eknath then replied to him that his Guru was everything to him and that he was happy to see this form of god rather than the form he saw in the morning. Hearing this Janardhana Swami was moved. Janardhana swami then asked him to go back to his parents, get married and lead a family life. Eknath hesitated as he dint want to leave his guru but Janardhana Swami told him that he would realize his presence wherever he was. This consoled Eknath and he returned home.

Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 04:24:28 PM
Saint Ekanath and Kandiya Krishna:

One day when he was reading Bagavatha a 12 year old boy came to him, prostrated to him and asked him to make him his sishya as he wanted to learn the Vedas from him. Eknath asked him who he was and where does he come from. He replied to him that his parents were no more and that he considered Eknath as his mother, father, Guru and God. He said that he was from Dwaraka and his name was Kandiya Krishna. Eknath accepted him as his sishya and looked after him as his own son. Krishnan was very smart and a learnt everything easily. He took care of all the needs of his guru and served him well. He did all service to his guru right from washing his clothes, cleaning his pooja vessels, cleaning his pooja room, preparing garlands for his god etc. He would also serve his Guru matha by getting vegetable from the market, bringing water from Godhavari etc.

One day Eknath was performing his ancestral rituals. Two outcastes happened to pass by his house and understood that a feast was being prepared. They were discussing that it would be good if they could get this food. Eknath on listening to these discussions called them and gave them the food that was being prepared. They were happy with him, thanked him and then left. The other Brahmans who had come for the ceremony left the place on seeing this. All Brahmans in the village on seeing this started speaking ill about him for giving the food that was prepared for ancestral ceremony to some outcastes before completing the ceremony. They all spoke to each other and decided that Eknath should be punished for this deed of his. All the Brahmans in the village then came to Eknath and asked him how he could do this in spite of learning sastras. Eknath then said that, he gave them food as they were hungry and that hunger doesn?t have any caste difference and hence decided to feed them. He also said that the sastras say that annadhanam can be given to anyone and that there was no caste discretion on that. They then said that none of the Brahmans in the village would mingle with him and not have any contact with him and his family from now on. Eknath now had to prepare food again for the ceremony and perform the ceremony. Eknath was now worried that he would not be able to feed the Brahmans after the ritual is over as no one would come to his house now. Kandiya Krishna then told Eknath that if Brahmans were not available the sastras say that they could give it to kurcham (a type of holy dried grass used in religious ceremonies) Eknath then started performing the rituals and when he kept the 1st kurcham, Vitthal came and sat down to have the food. As soon as he came other gods and his forefathers who were called during the ceremony came down and took the food directly. Kandiya Krishna was watching all these happening and smiling at Eknath. Once it got over, they blessed Eknath by reciting holy mantras and disappeared. His neighbours heard the chanting of holy mantras and thought that some Brahmans from neighbouring villages would have come without knowing what had happened with Eknath and were waiting for them to come out of the house so that they could warn them and advice them not to go to his house. After some time Eknath came out of the house. The Brahmans asked him who had come for the lunch and he was quiet. They then said that they heard some people reciting some mantras. Kandiya Krishnan then asked them what their problem was and said that no one had come. The Brahmans then left and thought that Eknath and Krishnan would have chanted the mantras in some different voices to fool them.  It was almost one year since they had given this punishment to Eknath. He then went to the Brahmin Samaj and said that he was ready to do whatever pariharam (doing penance) to clear the mistake he had done by feeding the outcastes. The Brahmans then told him that they would discuss among themselves and come back to him on the same. They got together and started preparing a list of things to be done as per their wish. One said that he has to make a gold cow and gift it to some one. Another one said he has to gift land and another said he has to gift a house. Like this each one came up with whatever they wished and this list was given to Eknath. Eknath then felt that he would use all his wealth and perform the list of parihara given by the Brahmins. The Brahmans were now happy that Eknath will now gift all his wealth to them and Kandiya Krishna was thinking how teach them a lesson. Krishnan tried to tell his Guru that they were cheating him and planning to acquire all his wealth in the name of parihara, but did not agree. The Brahmans were performing the rituals and Eknath was doing the sankalpam. It was noon and a leper came enquiring about Eknath. The Brahmans stopped him and asked him who he was. He said that he came from Triambakeshwar and wanted to see him. They then asked him why he wanted to see him. The leper said that he had come to do some praihara from him. The Brahmans then told him that they were doing pariharam even for Eknath and asked the leper to do it from them. The leper then said that they would not be able to do it for him and only Eknath could perform prayachitta for him. The leper said that he has done several pariharams from many people and had taken holy dips in many holy rivers but nothing had cured his leprosy. Just then Krishnan came and asked him what happened. The leper said that he went to Triambakeshwar and prayed to Lord Shiva. He said that he then asked him to cure his leprosy failing which he will commit suicide by jumping in the Godhavari River. He then said that Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to take the paada theertham (water taken by cleaning the feet of saints) of Eknath and that it was the only cure for him. As soon as he said this, Krishnan told him that it was his Guru whom he was mentioning and took him to Eknath. The ceremonies were still going on and the leper asked Eknath for his paada theertham. Eknath then told him that he was not such a great person and refused his request. The leper then told him that it was Lord Triambakeshwarar who had asked him to do this and that he should not refuse. When Eknath heard that it was the wish of Lord Shiva he agreed to it. The leper then performed paadha pooja for Eknath and consumed the water. As soon as he drank this water his body became normal and leprosy had vanished. The Brahmans there astonished to see this. Krishna then looked at the Brahmans and asked if they at least now understood the greatness of Eknath. The Brahmans now did not have the guts to continue with these parihara they were doing and Krishna was happy that Eknath?s wealth was saved.

continued....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 04:29:52 PM
Saint Ekanath and Kandiya Krishna continued....

There was a Brahman who was very pious. He set out on a yatra to visit all the holy places and wherever he went the deity in that temple would speak to him because of his bhakthi. One day he went to Dwaraka, the deity here (Kalyanarayar) did not give him darshan or speak to him. He felt that Kalyanarayar was not there and it was only the statue that was there. After sometime he thought that he dint have enough bhakthi and that is why god did not speak to him. He decided to be on fast till he gets a reply form him. After fasting for 12 days, Lord Krishna came in his dream and said that he was in Prathistanapuram (now Paithan) doing service to Eknath as his sishya for the past 12 years. He then told him that he can have his darshan if he comes there. He also asked him to do service to Eknath instead of wandering all over India. The next morning the Brahman got up and started going to Prathistanapuram. He reached Paithan and enquired where Eknath?s house was and came to meet him. Eknath was reading Srimad Bhagavadam, the Brahman prostrated to him and asked him where Krishna was. Eknath thought that he was asking about Kandiya Krishna and told him that he has gone to Godhavari and would be back soon. Eknath thought that the Brahman was related to Krishna and had come to see him. He also asked him to be seated till he comes back. Krishna then returned from Godhavari with some water but did not say anything to the Brahaman. Eknath was surprised why both of them dint recognize each other. He then asked the Brahman if he saw Krishna going inside the house. The Brahman then told him that he was looking for Lord Krishna and not this Krishna and also explained to him what had happened to him in Dwaraka. Eknath on hearing this ran in to the house searching for Kandiya Krishna but only the vessels in which he fetched water were there but Krishnan had disappeared. He searched for him all over the house and started crying. He cursed himself for not being able to recognize god when he was there with him. He could not perform any work as everything reminded him of Krishna only. He went to a Samadhi state and was thinking only about god. The Brahman who came now started serving Eknath.

Truly the Glory of saints like Ekanath puts to shade even that of the Lord.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2014, 04:32:47 PM
Saint Ekanath and the Thirsty Donkey

One day Eknath decided to go on a yatra and he set out on a yatra with few others who joined him. They went to places like Kasi, Prayagai, Vrindavan, Ayodha, Mathura etc. Eknath performed Bhajans and pravachans wherever he went. When the finished the yatra and returning to Paithan with Ganga theertham, they got stuck in a place where there was no water and all of them were thirsty. Even though they had water in hand they did not use that as it was Ganga theertham and that it was supposed to be used only for religious purpose and not for quenching thirst. They then found a donkey lying down in an unconscious state due to thirst and heat. Seeing the donkey dying Eknath felt bad and moved forward to give his Ganga theertham to it so as to prevent it from dying. The others who were with him said that he should not do that as this water was supposed to be used only for religious purpose. Eknath then said that there was no better deed that saving the life of someone and that he would give it to the donkey and save it from death. Hearing this, the others left him behind and started moving forward as they dint approve of his action. Eknath then gave the water to the donkey. As Eknath was feeding the donkey it turned out to be Vitthal. He then prostrated to Vitthal and asked him why he did this leela. Vitthal then told him that he wanted to show the world that Eknath sees every living being in this world as Vitthal and hence did this leela. Eknath then returned back home.


Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on August 03, 2014, 05:10:51 AM
   The Story Of The Three Travelers


Three travelers on a long and exhausting journey had become companions, and shared the same pleasures and sorrows, pooling all their resources. After many days they realized that all they had between them was a piece of bread and a mouthful of water in a flask. They fell to quarrelling as to who should have all the food. Making no progress on this score, they tried to divide the bread and water. Still they could not arrive at a conclusion.

As dusk was falling, one finally suggested that they should sleep. When they awoke, the person who had had the most remarkable dream would decide what should be done.

The next morning the three rose as the sun came up and the first traveler said, "This is my dream: I was carried away to places such as cannot be described, so wonderful and serene were they. I met a wise man who said to me, 'You deserve the food, for your past and future life are worthy and suitable subjects for admiration.'"

"How strange," said the second traveler. "For in my dream, I actually saw all my past and my future. In my future I saw a man of great knowledge, who said, 'You deserve the bread more than your friends, for you are more learned and patient. You must be well-nurtured, for you are destined to lead men,'"

The third traveler said, "In my dream I saw nothing, heard nothing, said nothing. I felt a compelling presence which forced me to get up, find the bread and water, and consume them then and there. And this is what I did."

The two companions were very angry and demanded to know why they were not called when the mysterious power compelled him to consume the bread.
"But you were far from here! One of you was carried away to far places and the other to another time! How could you hear my calling?" he replied.

Shah Mohammed Gwath Shattari   


(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8XmhT_aiyRA/T1vLtFDNGYI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/Aecl_o9ed7A/s1600/baby-eating.jpg)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on August 04, 2014, 12:52:30 AM
(http://santeknath.org/images/samadhi_1.jpg)

Samadhi of Sant Eknath Maharaj
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 06, 2014, 07:25:09 PM
Once a ship while reaching the shore near Udupi faced a great storm and was in imminent danger. MadhwAchArya who was standing on the seashore, saw the scene, waved his cloth towards the ship and by the Grace of God the ship was saved. The first thing the captain did on landing was to prostrate himself before the AchArya and thank him for what he believed was the AchArya's miracle and request him to take something as gift. The AchArya by his inner vision saw a heavy lump of gopi-chandana (a species of white clay) lying in the ship as ballast. He asked for that to be given him as gift. Surprised at this seemingly trivial request the captain obliged. The AchArya drove his hand inside the lump of clay and brought forth a sAligrAma stone idol of Balakrishna (Krishna in his childhood) from within. The idol was so heavy that the very fact that the AchArya could carry it all by himself was itself a miracle. But more miraculous was the information he gave on the idol. It appears it was originally made by the divine architect viSva-karma and was kept by no less a person than Rukmini hrself in Dwaraka in the dvApara yuga. When Dwaraka was submerged in the sea at the end of Krishna's time, the idol was lost. That was the idol which the AchArya had unearthed! It adorns the temple of Udupi even today.

http://www.krishnamurthys.com/profvk/gohitvip/madhva.html (http://www.krishnamurthys.com/profvk/gohitvip/madhva.html)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 11:56:21 AM
In The Vision of God-Papa Ramdas,   CHAPTER XVI,CHITRAKUT
                                                                     (i) A Bania's Renunciation
Ramkinkar expressed a wish that Ramdas had a companion to take care of him. Hearing this, a bania, who was then on the platform, coming forward said:
'I am also proceeding to Chitrakut. I shall be so happy to keep him company and serve him.'
Accordingly, side by side, the bania and Ramdas took seats in the train. The train steamed out of the station. The bania carried a kambal and a lota(metal vessel). He spread the kambal on the bench and making Ramdas lie on it, massaged his feet. While doing this service he opened his mind: 'Maharaj, I am disgusted with worldly life. I too would lead the life of a sadhu. I have turned my back on a life full of cares and sorrows. Consider me as your disciple and take me under your protection.'
'Ramji', Ramdas replied, 'there is nothing wrong with the world. It is your mind that is obsessed. So long as your mind is not intensely longing to tear up the veil of illusion that clouds the Truth within you, mere external renunciation is of no avail. It will only be a leap out of the frying pan into the fire. True happiness consists in our right attitude towards life and the world. Now right attitude depends on right vision. The vision comes through the realisation of Truth or God. Do not be deceived. You cannot
have liberation and peace by simply turning your back upon the world. Know your mind well. Freedom and joy are within you. Conquest of lust, wrath and greed is the path. Don't cling to Ramdas. He is no guru. He can only show you the path. The effort and struggle are your own. Be, therefore, the disciple of Truth.'
The bania's mind appeared to have been preoccupied. Ramdas' words did not elicit any reply nor did he evince any sign that he had comprehended them. The night passed. Early next morning the train reached the Chitrakut station. Alighting, Ramdas and the bania moved towards the hills of Chitrakut which lay about three miles from the station.
On the way he had again a conversation with the Bania. 'Are you doing any sadhana, Ramji, for concentration of mind?'
Ramdas asked.
'Why not?' he returned, 'I am taking God's Name sometimes.'
'Sometimes is not good,' Ramdas said, 'you ought to repeat the Name ceaselessly, and keep up an unbroken flow of remembrance in your thoughts.'
'So far as that is concerned I am all right,' he cut short.
'Ramji, leave Ramdas alone. You live your own life, because he wanders alone', Ramdas put in.
'No, no' he said with vehemence, 'I am not giving you up'.
'The path Ramdas walks is beset with pains and dangers. He is fearless and has no dread of death. To follow him would mean for you so much discomfort and misery,' suggested Ramdas.
'I too am not afraid of anything. I can adapt myself to any life you choose to live. I am determined to cast my lot with you,' he spoke with great emphasis.
Ramdas had no alternative but to submit. So God willed. Now they reached the banks of the river Mandakini in the heart of the town. They came to a bathing ghat where Ramdas took his seat on a low, worn out table. The fit of vairagya that had seized the bania was at work. He removed his shirt and, calling a passing barber, squatted down on a stone step.

continued....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 12:12:05 PM
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Shave me clean,' he instructed the barber, 'I am taking up sannyas.'
'You mistake me,' remonstrated the barber, 'I am not prepared to bring down on my head the curses of your wife and children by helping you adopt sannyas.'
'Brother, why do you mind all that? Do as I ask you,' the bania pressed coaxingly. 'I will give you my shirt and a watch, in addition to the usual shaving charges.'
The barber was firm. His fear of the curses outweighed all other considerations. He refused to yield to the temptation. He got up and was about to leave the spot when the bania clutched him by the arm and begged:'Shave all the hair on my head and face except the eyebrows and a small tuft on the head. What do you say? You can have no objection now.' At this the barber lowered his leather bag of shaving materials and sat down. He agreed to the compromise. In fifteen minutes the bania?s face and head, except the tuft in the middle of the latter, were cleared of all hair. He gave away to the barber the shirt and the watch and also some money. Now he turned to Ramdas anticipating a look of approbation from him. Ramdas could only be a cheerful spectator of the performance.
He had now left with him a greasy old cap, which he threw away, two dhotis and a small bag containing some money. On his finger was also a gold ring. One of the dhotis he presented to a beggar. All that he now possessed consisted of one dhoti, a gold ring, some money and a lota. Bath over, he escorted Ramdas to a neighbouring sweetmeat shop where they had a tiffin of purees and milk. Then they sauntered along the bank of the river and came to a place called Phatakshila, where they saw
nearly a dozen sadhus living in a hut close by the river. Resting for some time beneath a tree they retraced their steps to the town again by noon. The bania felt hungry. A recourse again to the sweetmeat shop satisfied the ravenous wolf within. In the afternoon they went round the famous Kamtanath hill, on which it is said Sri Ramchandra made his abode with Sita for twelve years. In the evening they returned once more to the sweetmeat shop.
For the night Ramdas preferred to settle down beneath a tree and the bania slept beside him. The bania moved with him like his shadow. He was afraid that Ramdas might give him the slip at any moment. On rising next morning from the grassy bed, the bania felt that something was wrong with him. 'We shall go down to Karvi station,' he said to Ramdas, 'it is only four miles from here, and be back by evening.' It was not for Ramdas now to question why; his was to submit. After a visit to the fascinating tiffin shop they started. On the way, when they were walking through a narrow pass of a hillock, Ramdas had to follow the bania closely. Now a hissing noise and a low moan emanated from him. Ramdas jumped on one side and faced him. He was shedding tears.
'What is the matter?' inquired Ramdas.
Wiping away his tears with many a grief-laden hiccup, he said: 'I feel so keenly for my wife and children. I ran away from them without their knowledge. They might be remembering me and living in agony over my absence. For myself I don?t mind. It is for them my heart goes out.' And he burst into tears.
'Ramji, why don?t you then return to them?' asked Ramdas.
'You see I have almost burnt my boats. Oh! the barber was right.'
Now handling fondly the short pigtail on his head he continued. 'Yes, the prospect is not after all so bad. I may yet go back to them.'

continued.....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 12:25:24 PM
Bania's Renunciation continued.....

                                                                    (ii) Failure of the Peace Mission

Thus they arrived at Karvi. The bania went directly to the courtyard of a small thatched house near the railway station. Both sat on a bench in the yard, a few steps from the entrance of the house. Two boys were playing in front of it. The bania made several signs to the boys who neither recognised nor heeded him. His transformed appearance was the reason for their non-recognition.
Then he called one of the boys and whispered into his ears: 'Tell your mother a man wants to see her.'
The boy went in. Meanwhile, the bania confided to Ramdas the secret of his mission. He had come to his wife?s sister?s house. He wished to reveal himself to her so that through her he might find a means of reconciliation with his wife. It was evident that he had a quarrel with her which ended in his departure from his house with a threat that he would never darken its doorstep again.The boy returned and unconcernedly commenced his play with his brother. How could a lady condescend to see a stranger inside her house?
Again he drew towards the boy and told him in a low voice: 'Tell your mother that her sister Mami?s husband has come.'
The lad gaped with raised eyebrows at the face of the bania, and a smile lit up his chubby face. He again ran into the house and soon reappeared beckoning the bania to go in. With a happy face the bania now hastened to the house. Ramdas waited. About fifteen minutes - and the bania came out. He looked like a whipped dog. His bitter face told of the unpalatable stuff with which he was served by his sister-in-law! She must have given him a big slice of her mind. The burning lashes of her tongue had charred and wrinkled his face!'Her tongue cuts - like a razor. Bah! a woman?s tongue!' he exclaimed knowingly. Then he added: 'Maharaj, I have got it now. I am not
fitted for a family life. A sadhu?s life has a charm for me. I will never return to my home, there to face another sister! No, never.' The resolution made, he continued: 'Maharaj, let us be off from this undesirable place.'
It was now past midday. The wolf again sorely troubled the bania. He sought a sweetmeat shop and they had a light repast. In spite of his heart having been lacerated with conflicting emotions, his treatment of Ramdas was marked by undiminished respect and kindness. Ramdas could well understand that it was the Lord Himself playing the game. How perfect a player!
When night approached, they sought refuge in a dharmashala, but it was so fully crowded that there was no room for them. They came out. The moon was up in the heavens. Its cool and soft rays illumined the retiring world. It flooded the vast railway-yard with its genial effulgence. Ramdas went towards it followed by the bania, and crossing the gate they entered the yard. In the yard were scattered large slabs of stones. Ramdas took his seat on one of them, asking the bania to occupy another which lay by its side.
'This is a fine place to sleep in for the night,' Ramdas remarked.
The bania grunted as much as to say that he did not agree with him. He peered suspiciously into the dark spaces below the stones on all sides, but seeing that Ramdas had already laid himself down at full length on his slab, with another long drawn squeak, the bania also followed suit. Ramdas gazed on the bright moon above and the limitless blue space all around. He was charmed and absorbed. Suddenly, an unearthly yell issued from the bania. Ramdas sat up and looked at him. He was shouting out: 'A serpent! a serpent!' He had stood up and was shaking his cloth, the only cloth, with feverish agitation.
'Maharaj, this place is infested with snakes. Let us go away from here,' he said.
Ramdas had observed that lizards had made the snug nooks below the stone slabs their home.
'There is no fear, Ramji. They are lizards, not snakes, under the stone. They are harmless,' Ramdas assured him.

continued.....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 12:33:34 PM
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Oh!'  he cried, 'the thing, whatever it is, crawled on my legs. What a horrible sensation I got!'
'Never mind, sleep on; there need be no fear,'  Ramdas said encouragingly.
Finding Ramdas was in no mood to leave the place, he coiled himself on the stone, covering his body fully from head to foot with the cloth.
During the night he started in his sleep twice with a cry of fright; the cries were only the after-effects of the first alarm. The first shriek had terrified the poor lizards so much that they dared not come out of their lairs to touch one who could produce such a soul-racking sound!
The bania?s peace mission having utterly failed, the next day, they left Karvi again for Chitrakut. Bath in the river over, the favourite tiffin shop entertained them with its purees and milk. The day was hot. They rested for some time in the cool shade of a tree on the river bank. When the sun had descended half way down the heavens, Ramdas proposed that they should go up the hill of Hanumandhara and remain on it for the night.

(iii) Sadhuism is not a Joke

Ascending over a hundred stone steps uphill, they reached the place called Hanumandhara. Here a big jet of water was pouring down from a height of about fifty feet into a reservoir below, made of brick and mortar. There was also a small rest-house near the waterfall. The place is considered sacred because it is said to have been once occupied by Sri Ramchandra and Sita. From here an extensive view of the surrounding country can be had - vast plains, high hills covered with dense vegetation and the smooth running river, are all presented to the gaze of the spectator. Chitrakut is a land of sages and saints. Hundreds of sadhus are still doing penance in their small
ashrams called kutis, scattered over and around the hills and the riversides. From where they stood at the waterfall, Ramdas casting a glance upward, saw the mountain rise still higher. He was about to climb up when the bania suggested: 'Maharaj, there is a neat little rest-house here,' pointing to the building, 'what if we spend the night there?' Ramdas without reply, taking to a straggling path, went up, of course, followed by the bania. He now came upon a somewhat level piece of ground where stood two huts and an open shed. He entered one of the huts and found in it an image of black stone dressed in female robes, representing Sita. A sadhu was sitting near the image in order to collect the pice offered to the goddess by the pilgrims. It appears Sita was using the mandir as her kitchen, hence it goes by the name - Sita-rasuyee.
The other hut was locked up. The bania sat inside the open shed to rest his tired limbs. The hill was still higher up by a couple of hundred yards. The whole place was thickly covered with tall wild trees.

continued....
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 12:42:36 PM
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Ramji,' Ramdas said to the bania, 'this place is best suited for bhajan and so we shall stop here for the night.' He replied that the idea did not appeal to him and that the idea was simply preposterous or something to that effect. The sun had set and darkness was rapidly creeping on the world. The sadhu of Sita mandir came out and saw Ramdas seated on the root of a tree and the bania in the tiny shed.
'How, now,' the sadhu said, 'what are you doing here? Don?t you see it is getting dark? - Iet us go down.'
'Ram wills that Ramdas should remain here for the night,'  answered Ramdas.
'Madness,' he muttered, 'this jungle is haunted by wild beasts and nobody is permitted to remain here in the open in the nights. The shut-up kuti belongs to my guru who has gone down to the city for riddhi siddhi. It is his order that none should be here in the night.'
'Ramdas obeys the command of Ram who says that he should not move from here,'  Ramdas rejoined.
'Then, do as you like at your own risk,'  the sadhu retorted. 'But one thing,'  he added, ?don?t make use of that shed. You, you,'  turning to the bania, 'get out of the shed.' The bania came out. With a last warning the sadhu left the place and went down-hill. About ten yards higher up from the shed, Ramdas saw a flat stone beneath a
cluster of trees. Going up, he occupied it. No sooner had the sadhu gone out of sight than the bania got back to the seat in the shed. Darkness came on.
'Maharaj-ji, please do come to the shed,' the bania called.
'No, Ramji, this flat stone is large enough to accommodate two persons. So you may also come here,' answered Ramdas.
'This is a better place, Maharaj'  he urged.
By now it became pitch dark. The bania cried out in terror: 'O Maharaj, do come, I cannot remain here alone in this dreadful place.'
Ramdas abandoning the flat stone went up to him in the shed. With the advent of darkness cold had also set in. The shed, open on all sides, being supported on four bamboo poles, allowed freely the chill breezes to sweep into it. Ramdas sat up while the bania lay down to sleep. But where was sleep for him in that fearful place? He was shivering both from dread and cold. At midnight there was a rustling noise among the thickly strewn dry leaves beneath the trees. Hearing the noise, with a sharp cry the bania bounded into a sitting posture.
'Maharaj,' he whispered, 'what is that noise?'
'It is nothing, Ramji,'  consoled Ramdas, 'it may be only mountain rats, sporting about.'
'For all that we know, it might be a wild animal or a cobra. I have heard that these jungles are inhabited by large sized cobras,'  he spoke with
deep concern.
'Give up your fears, Ramji, they may be rats,' assured Ramdas.

continued...
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2014, 12:47:50 PM
Bania's Renunciation continued...

Again an hour later, a similar noise louder and closer was heard. This time the bania was thoroughly frightened, and clung to Ramdas as the scared young one of a monkey does its mother.
'What shall we do?'  he cried.
'Repeat the Name of Ram,'  Ramdas suggested, 'you need not be afraid of anything when that powerful Name is on your lips. Do repeat it and keep calm.'
Thereafter, Ramnam worked on his lips with amazing continuity. Till the appearance of dawn he went on with the japa, and no more noises disturbed him. The day-break dispelled his fears. He lay down through utter exhaustion from want of sleep, and directly commenced to snore.
Ramdas got up from the place, and wandering in the jungle, came to the top of the hill. Through the morning mist he beheld the distant landscapes and the faint outlines of the turrets and domes of the temples of Chitrakut. The sight was enchanting and Ramdas stood still for some minutes under its magic spell. He roamed deeper into the forest where he discovered at places dry bones of animals scattered on the ground, the telltale signs of the work of wild beasts.
Remembering the bania he hastened to the spot where he had left him. But where was the bania? He had vanished. When Ramdas was looking for him, the sadhu who had come up inquired: 'Whom are you seeking for? - the bania! When I was coming up I saw him running down as though pursued by a devil.'  He added with a laugh: 'After all he learnt that sadhuism is not a joke.'
The jungle called Ramdas back again and he rambled freely through it, till about eleven o ?clock when he descended the hill and directed his steps towards the river.

In the Vision of God-Papa Ramdas
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on September 10, 2014, 04:42:51 PM
The idea that all forms and all names belong to God is verily Constant Integrated Awareness. The experience of sarvam vishnumayam jagat - the world is pervaded by Vishnu, is but Constant Integrated Awareness. God can be experienced in any form, at any time or place.

The life of Tulasidas illustrates this beautifully. He could not recognise God even when He approached him and talked to him. One day Tulasidas sat under a tree, grinding a piece of sandalwood on a mortar to prepare the paste. Right then, two cowherd boys came there and asked him, "Grandfather! Will you give us some sandal paste?"

Then, Tulasidas replied, "My children! I am preparing this for Lord Sri Ramachandramurthi". Two parrots, perched on a bough of that tree, observed this, and commented, "For whose sake is all this paste? Why doesn't he realise it?" Tulasidas heard these words. He knew the language of the birds.

The next day, while he was preparing the paste, the two cowherd boys turned up. This time, even without asking him, they took some sandal paste into their palms, applied it to the forehead, and left. Tulasidas who had noticed this was dumbfounded. This time too he heard the birds? comments from the branch of the tree, "Aha! What a wonder! Those for whom the sandal paste was prepared, had themselves come, and received it! What fortune!" As he knew the language of the birds, Tulasidas realised that the boys who had adorned themselves with the paste were, indeed, Rama and Lakshmana. Out of ignorance, he had at first denied them.

You may have heard of Vemana too. He was a thinker who belittled worship offered to stones and idols. He used to doubt, "God, who pervades the whole world, how can He be inside stone statues?" He used to make fun of idol worshippers. One day, his elder brother's daughter, whom he loved dearly, passed away.

Grief stricken, he kept on gazing at the little girl's picture hanging on the wall. His elder brother's wife was observing all this. One day, she threw down the picture. It broke into pieces. This was too much for Vemana to bear.

Then, she said, "My son! My girl is no more, isn't she? Why do you cry over a broken picture?" Vemana replied, "Mother! Though she is gone, her picture was here, wasn't it? Looking at it has been some consolation for me. That is why when it broke into pieces, I am grieving ever more." Then his elder brother's wife counseled him admirably, "My son! It is very true that God is present everywhere. But, the devotee delights in seeing Him and worshipping Him in an idol as well. Just as you consoled yourself looking at the picture even though she whom you love is no more, the devotee invokes God in an idol, and offers it worship."

Straightaway Vemana grasped her message, and the secret behind idol worship. In this way, the experience of visualising the Supreme Lord in all places, times, and creatures is truly Constant Integrated Awareness. This can also be called the existence and intimation of Divinity.

as told by Satya Sai Baba
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on September 18, 2014, 07:57:14 PM
Ganesha went outdoors one day to play and found a stray cat. Too small to know better, he began to pull her ears and tail. He roughed up that poor cat and even began to beat her with a stick, making marks on her head till, yowling, she ran for her life.

Some hours later Ganesha went into the house. His mother, to his astonishment and dismay, was looking terrible. Her hair was a mess, she had scratches on her face and she limped from the bruises on her body.

"Mom!" cried Ganesha. "Who beat you up?"Sadly Sri Durga replied, "It was you, I'm afraid."

"No way! What do you mean? I never did it!"

"Do you remember, his mother asked, "a while ago, how you treated a certain cat?"

Now Ganesha though that the cat's owner must have come and beat Mother Durga on account of him, and he burst into tears. "Where is that man?" he sobbed."No, not that. You see, my boy, I am not just your physical mother. I have filled the whole universe with My Being.
As a matter of fact, whatever you do to any least part of it, you do that to Me.

"Some years later the Mother was sitting in her dressing room in a very lofty mood. She had recently been meditating and in that mood had become quite conscious of her own divinity. Now she put around her neck a lovely necklace of gems, a gift from her husband, Shiva. But seeing Ganesha and her other son, Kartik, playing nearby, she said to them "Look, I will give this precious necklace to whichever of you comes back first, after traveling all around the universe. So run this race, but cover every mile of the universe. "Kartik immediately dropped what he was doing, went out, and finding the animal he most liked to ride upon (which was a magic steed), he set off on the long journey. He went as fast as he could, over the earth, out to the moon and planets, sailed through the galaxies and visited the asteroids, even peeping into a black hole or two. Almost exhausted, he recalled that he had to save energy enough to return. When Kartik finally reached home he saw his brother was already wearing the necklace of gems! Ganesha, you see, had become much wiser now: he had simply gone all the way around his Mother's body and then bowed down before Her. He knew full well that apart from Her there was no universe.

(From Puranas)
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on September 19, 2014, 07:05:06 PM
Final days of Thirunaavukkarasar

At Kanchipuram, appar visited Ekambam, Mayanam, Merrali and other Siva temples. From Kanchi he went to Thiruvorriyur, visiting enroute Thirukkalukkunram, Thiruvanmiyur and Mayilappur. From there he went to T hiruvalangadu, Karikkarai and Kalahasti. From Kalahasti, he went to Srisailam (Sriparvata). Upto the temple of Srisaila Sekkilar gives the name of the Sivakshetras.

But then on Sekkilar gives only the name of the countries Appar passed through. After Srisaila, Appar is said to have crossed the borders of the Gelungu country and reached the Kannada and from there the Malaya country. Then crossing dense forests, he reached he Lata country, crossed several hills, forests and rivers and reached ?Madhya paitiram?. Crossing this country, he reached the banks of the Ganges and came to Varanasi. Having worshipped Siva at Varanasi, he reached ?Karcuram?i.e. the hilly tract.

Having reached Kailasa mountain, he started climbing the hill by hand. As the hands got tired he made use of his chest and crawled. Later he rolled up to reach the summit. After reaching a certain height Appar could not climb further. At that place, a saivaite saint appeared wearing a bark of tree, jatamakuta, sacred thread and sacred ashes on his body. There was a lake nearby. Appar told the saint that he was going to the summit of Kailasa to behold Lord Siva seated with Parvati there.

The saint advised Appar to turn back as Kailasa was beyond the reach of even Devas, and it was impossible for human beings to reach it. Appar stood firm and replied that he would not return with his body, without beholding Lord Siva on Kailasa. Thereupon, the sage, who was none other than Siva, appeared before Appar in his true form and blessed him. Appar prayed that he be given the sight of Lord Siva?s appearance on Kailasa. Siva asked Appar to take bath in the lake and at Thiruvaiyaru, he would behold the divine appearance. Appar bathed in the lake. When he emerged from the waters of the lake, he found himself in a lotus pond at Thiruvaiyaru in Tamilnadu. As he approached the temple he found everything in front as Siva and Sakti as if appearing in Kailasa. It was a vision of unsurpassed beauty with Lord Siva and Parvati seated, Nandikesvara standing in attendance, the mount Bull seated in front, and surrounded by ganas. Appar sang the hymn ?Matar pirai Kanniyanai?. He stayed for some time at Thiruvaiyaru and later visited Thirumalapadi, Neytanam and Punturutti. At Punturutti he established a matha.

   (http://nandhi.com/NandhiBackup/images/nyayanmar/appar.gif)

--
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Ravi.N on January 10, 2015, 04:16:40 PM
Papa Ramdas meets Swami Kaivalyananda, M.A.

Another day a sepoy of Raja Ram, a kind friend, took him out for a stroll. He asked the friend to lead him to a solitary place, away from the haunts of men. But being of an officious nature, the sepoy escorted him to a distant cave occupied by a sannyasi. In the midst of a jungle he found himself in front of a large wide open rock-cut cave. In it was seated a young sannyasi, clad in ochre coloured cloth, clean shaven, with a number of books scattered beside him.
The kind friend whispered into Ramdas ears: "This is Swami Kaivalyanand."
Ramdas went up to the sannyasi and prostrated before him.
With a look of surprise he asked: "To whom are you offering this salutation?"
"To Ram," Ramdas replied.
"Who are you?"
"Ramdas."
"Ramdas, Ramdas, funny ain't it? There is only one Truth. Why do you assume this false duality?"
"It is Ram himself, being One, has chosen to be many."
"Wrong, He is always one; many is false, is illusion," he said.
"Truth has become God and His devotee for the sake of lila or play."
"Why play?" he asked.
"For love and bliss; so, when Ramdas prostrates before you, it is yourself who do it in the form of Ramdas," Ramdas rejoined.
"Bosh, there is only one, never two.?
"To whom are you talking then, Swamiji?"
He reflected for a while and replied, "To myself."
"Exactly - you assume there are two, although in the light of absolute Truth there is only one."
"No, no - no realised man believes in duality."
"What of Tulsidas, Surdas, Kabir, Samarth Ramdas and many others?"
"Oh!" he laughed, they had not attained jnana. They were struggling still on a lower plane!"
"But their teachings and works show that they possessed high illumination. They held out parabhakti as the highest realisation," Ramdas rejoined.
"I maintain they were ignorant folk,?"and, taking a book from the pile near him, he added, "brush them all aside, here, take this book and read; you will understand things more clearly."
"Ramdas does not need to understand. Knowledge has been defined to him as that state in which you know that you know nothing."
"Well, well, I say read this work; it is written by me."
He pressed Ramdas hard to accept it. A glance at the book revealed its title and its author: 'Will to Satchidanand by Swami Kaivalyananda,M.A.'
Ramdas took leave of him after his usual way of a parting dandawat at his feet. He carried the book with him.

In The Vision of God-Swami Ramdas
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 20, 2015, 05:33:05 PM
Friends, i share a beautiful story:

One day, Ubhayabharathi was going along with her disciples to the river Ganga for taking bath. On the way, she observed a Sanyasi who was relaxing with a dried bottle gourd under his head. He was using this as a container for storing drinking water, and hence he was mindful of it. Ubhayabharathi saw this Sanyasi?s attachment to the bottle gourd and said to her disciples, ?Look! This man calls himself a Sanyasi, but he is attached to a bottle gourd which he is keeping under his head as a pillow.? The Sanyasi heard this comment, but did not utter anything then. While Ubhayabharathi and her disciples were returning from the river, he threw away the bottle gourd in front of them in order to demonstrate that he was not attached to it. Observing his action, Ubhayabharathi remarked, ?I thought there was only one defect in him, namely, Abhimana (attachment). Now I realise that he has another defect also, i.e., Ahamkara (ego). How can one with Abhimana and Ahamkara become a Jnani and Sanyasi?? Her comment was an eye-opener to the Sanyasi. He expressed gratitude to Ubhayabharati for imparting true knowledge of renunciation to him. Ubhayabharathi then explained to him further, ?The whole world is illusory. There are several objects in this world which are attracting man. But, they are not outside. They are all the reflection of one?s inner thoughts. They are created by man himself. You develop attachment to the physical body. Later on, you yourself will discard the body. You are the one who develops attachment to the body and you are again the one who will discard the body. Developing attachment to the body or discarding it - both are the result of your delusion. You are developing Dehabhranti. Hence, discard Dehabranti and develop Daivabhimana (attachment to Divinity). The body is a temple of God. Consider the Indweller in the body as Devadeva (the supreme Lord).

--
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Jewell on March 03, 2015, 02:14:46 PM
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pKi8Y7niYtw/T3W9N_hQVuI/AAAAAAAAEB4/7rCacRYkzUA/s1600/55.gif)

     Learning Humility from Bayazid al-Bistami


There was a certain ascetic who was one of the great saints of Bestam. He had his own followers and admirers, and at the same time he was never absent from the circle of Bayazid al-Bistami (or Abu Yazid al-Bistami). He listened to all his discourses, and sat with his companions.

One day he remarked to Abu Yazid, "Master, for thirty years I have been keeping a constant fast. By night too I pray, so that I never sleep at all. Yet I discover no trace of this knowledge of which you speak. For all that I believe in this knowledge, and I love this preaching."

"If for three hundred years," said Abu Yazid, "you fast by day and pray by night, you will never realize one atom of this discourse."

"Why?" asked the disciple.

"Because you are veiled by your own self," Abu Yazid replied.
"What is the remedy for this?" the man asked.

"You will never accept it," answered Abu Yazid.

"I will so," said the man. "Tell me, so that I may do as you prescribe."

"Very well," said Abu Yazid. "This very hour go and shave your beard and hair. Take off these clothes you are wearing, and tie a loincloth of goat's wool about your waist. Hang a bag of nuts around your neck, then go to the marketplace. Collect all the children you can, and tell them, 'I will give a nut to everyone who slaps me.' Go round all the city in the same way; especially go everywhere people know you. That is your cure."

"Glory be to God! There is no god but God," cried the disciple on hearing these words.

"If a nonbeliever uttered that formula, he would become a believer," remarked Abu Yazid. "By uttering the same formula you have become a unbeliever."

"How so?" demanded the disciple.

"Because you count yourself too grand to be able to do as I have said," replied Abu Yazid. "So you have become a unbeliever. You used this formula to express your own importance, not to glorify God."

"This I cannot do," the man protested. "Give me other directions."

"The remedy is what I have said," Abu Yazid declared.

"I cannot do it," the man repeated.

"Did I not say you would not do it, that you would never obey me?" said Abu Yazid.

[From the "Memorial of the Saints" of Fariduddin Attar.]


 
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 13, 2015, 07:59:08 AM


In Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam, there is a story where Siva came as a bangle seller, and touched Meenashi's
wrists to fix bangles on her hands.  She, by the mere touch of Siva, knew that the bangle seller is Siva.
This story is called Chetty Valaiyal Vitra Padalam, the story of Chetty (trader) selling bangles.  This
is one of the 64 holy sports of Siva in the Puranam. 

Regarding Valaiyapathi, this is one of the 5 great epics (Kaappiyam) of Tamil, dating from 3rd C. AD to
7th C. AD. Of the five great epics only two are available, viz., Silappadikaram, the story of Kannagi and Manimekalai, the story of Madhavi's (the woman of Kovalan) daughter, who embraced Buddhism.
The Valaiyapati epic is not available.  There are some stories and that is all.  So also, Jeevaka Chintamani,
and Kundalakesi.

These two are also not available excepting some stories.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 13, 2015, 09:38:23 AM




Verse 1 of Manisha Panchakam:

Annamayadhannamayam athava,
Chaitanyamena Chaitanyath,
Dwijavara dhurikathum vaanchasi,
Kim bruhi gaccha gacchati.

O the best among Brahmins.  This body is formed from food that is making up another body.  So also Chaitanyam (Consciousness) comes from Chaitanyam.  Now you are asking 'Go away, go away to a far off place!'  Tell me
which one should away to a far off place, from which?

The Chandala asks Sri Sankara, whether the body made up
of food should go farther away from another body made up
of food, or whether the Chaitanyam, which is all pervading,
should go away farther from another Chaitanyam?

Consciousness or Chitanyam, is one without a second.  It is all
pervading, occupying everything in this universe.  There is nothing
other than Consciousness. There is no Space where there is
no prevalence of Consciousness.  Srimad Bhagavatam says
that Narayana is there even in a straw as well as in big pillar.
Sri Dakshinamurty Stotram says that only Sivam is there in
all eight forms of five elements, sun, moon, and the jivas.
Where can It go at all?  Where is the space for It go away?
This is the lightning like question of Chandala which struck
Sri Sanakara.

In the Old Hall, many devotees would ask Bhagavan Ramana:
"Whether the Heart is within the body?"  This is because
Bhagavan Ramana had said that for meditators the Heart should
be meditated upon, and this is in right side of the chest.  But
this limited description is only for the seekers and meditators.
Once the Self is realized, the Heart contains all.  The body
is also in Heart.  The Self, the Heart, is everywhere in all
things and in all beings.  When Bhagavan Ramana replied:
"No, the body is in Heart" the seekers should further probe
into the truth of His statement.   Since Chaitanyam is everywhere,
the bodies which are temporary cannot be a point of reference
either to come near or go far.  The bodies are made up of
five elemeents.  Since the five elements are also in the Consciousess, all bodies are in Consciousness.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 13, 2015, 09:40:39 AM

Verse 2 of Manisha Panchakam:

Kim gangambuni bhimbithe ambaramanou chaandaalavatipaya,
Bhure chandaramsthi kanchanagati mrutumbhayorvambare,
Pratyagvasthuni nistharange sahajanandarapodham buthou,
Viproayam chvapachoyamitrapi mahaan koyam vibhetaprama.

The Sun reflects on the Ganga waters and also in the gutters
of a Chandaala. (Is there any difference?).  The Space is within
the golden pot and outside and so also is within the mudpot
and the outside.  (Is there any difference?).  The Atma which
is waveless and limitless ocean of Ananda, is ever the same!
What is this delusion that makes you feel that difference in
a brahmin's body and the dog eating body of Chandala?

Sri Sankara calls the Atma as Pratyakvasthu.  This is
experienced as "I AM".  This feeling of am-ness, I AM, is
common to all living beings, as the Sun without differentiation
reflects in the Ganga waters as well as in the gutter waters
near the Chandala's house.  The Space is again without any
differentiation is within and outside of both golden pot and
mud-pot.

Bhagavan Ramana used to say that I AM feeling and "I"-ness
is more sublime than even Om.  It is the feeling not connected
with one's body or one's mind.  If a leg is amputated, the I am
feeling does not diminish.  If a man becomes blind, the I am
feeling does not diminish.  If a man is sleeping, his I am feeling is no way absent.
This Pratyakvastu is eternal, without change, all pervading but not specifically in one place or another.

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on January 26, 2016, 08:28:26 AM
There was in lndia a king called Shikhardhwaj. He was a great king and mighty monarch. He wanted to realize his God-consciousness; and in order to do that he thought that he ought to give up his family life.

His wife was Chudala. She wanted to teach him, but he would not listen to her, for he thought nothing of her.

He renounced everything, gave up his kingdom, and his wife became the ruler. He then went to the Himalayas, and there he lived about a year or so.

In the meantime the empress, his wife thought of a plan to bring him real happiness. So one day she put on the garb of a Sannyasin, and walked upto the cottage where her husband then was. She found him lost in a state of meditation; she remained standing beside him and when he came to his senses he was filled with joy. Thinking her a great Sannyasin, he showered flowers on her.

She was in a blissful mood. He exclaimed, ?I think God has incarnated in you to lift me up." She replied, "Yes, yes.? He Wanted her to teach him and she did so. She said, ?0 king, it you want to enjoy perfect bliss. you will have to renounce everything.? He was surprised and replied, "l have renounced  my empire, my wife, my children." She said. ?You have renounced nothing."

He could not understand and asked ?Am i not a man of renunciation, have I not given up my empire, my family?" She answered, "No, no, do you not possess something still?" "Yes" he replied , ?l possess this cottage, this staff and this water-vessel." "Then you are not a man of renunciation," she replied ?So long as you possess anything, you are possessed by that thing. Action and reaction being opposites, you cannot possess anything without its possessing you." He then burnt the cottage, threw his staff into the river, burnt his water-vessel, and exclaimed, "Now, am I not a man of renunciation?" She replied, " Renunciation cannot come from renouncing these objects.? She said, "O king, you have burnt the cottage, but do you not still possess three cubits and a half of clay? It was wrong for you to destroy those things, you have gained nothing by it. What you possessed then you still possess, namely, that three cubits and a half of clay, where you lie down." He began to think and determined to burn the body. He piled up wood and made a great fire and was about to jump into it, but the wife prevented him and exclaimed, "0 king, when your body is burnt. what will be left?" He replied, "Ashes will be left." "Whose ashes?" she asked. He replied, "My ashes.? Then she replied. "You must still possess ashes. By burning the body you have not attained renunciation." He began to think and exclaimed. ?How can i renounce, what shall I renounce?"

She asked, "Whose body is this?" He answered. ?My body.? ?Well renounce it.? ?Whose mind is this?" He answered. ?My mind". ?Then renounce it." The king was then made to ask questions. He said, ?Who am i then? if i am not the mind. i am something else. and it I am not the body, I must be something ditterent" He reflected and the conclusion was that the king realuzed "I am the God at gods, the Lord of lords. the lnfinite Being, the Supreme Excellence.? He realized that and sald that this Supreme Excellence cannot be renounced, though other things may he.
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 04, 2016, 09:32:14 AM
Once a disciple saw at a distance of about a hundred feet a young couple under a tree. Probably, they were on their honeymoon trip just after the marriage and they were lost in their own world. The Guru asked the disciple,

'What do you feel on seeing them.'

It was a very unexpected situation for the disciple and he blurted out,

'Guru, I feel disgusted!'

'Can you not see a spiritual symbolism in that scene?'

'Can you not see Radha and Krishna in them? Do they not symbolise Prakriti and Purusha?'

The disciple could just bend his head in silence with a heart of understanding.

Then the Guru said to the disciple: "the ultimate goal of spiritual path is to experience God in every being and every atom of the universe. That is what is meant by "sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma", "Vasudevah Sarvamidam", "Vishwam Vishnu Swaroopam".
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 07, 2016, 05:53:35 AM
It  is  said  in  one  of  the  Hindu  scriptures  that  Sri Rama  Chandra,  the  greatest  hero  of  the  world,  or  at least  of  India,  when  he  went  to  search  out  Truth,  to discover  or  regain  Truth,  all  nature  offered  him  her services.  It  is  said  that  monkeys  formed  his  army, and  squirrels  helped  him  building  a  bridge  over  the gulf.  It  is  said  that  even  geese  came  up  on  his  side  to assist  him  in  overcoming  his  foes.  It  is  said  that  the stones  offered him  their  services.  The  stones  forgot their  nature;  the  stones,  when  thrown  into  water, instead  of  sinking,  said,  "We  shall  float  in  order  that the  cause  of  Truth  be  advanced."  It  is  said  that  air, the  atmosphere,  was  on  his  side,  fire  helped  him, winds  and  storms  were  on  his  side.  There  is  a  saying in  the  English  language  that  the  wind  and  wave  are always for the brave.

All  Nature  stands  up  on  your  side  when  you  persist, when  you  overcome  the  primitive  seeming difficulties.  If  you  overcome  the  struggles  or temptations  in  the  beginning,  the  whole  of  Nature must  serve  you.  Persist  in  standing  by  the  Truth,  and you  will  find  that  you  live  in  no  ordinary  world.  The world  will  be  a  world  of  miracles  for  you.  You  will be  the  master  of  the  Universe,  the  husband  of  the whole world, if you persist by the Truth. MORAL: The  whole  Nature  is  bound  to  co-operate with and  serve one  -who stands by Truth.

Swami Rama Tirtha
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on February 14, 2016, 04:47:53 AM
A PURANIC STORY of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha, is particularly instructive.

Although Ribhu taught his disciple the Supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path ofjnana, but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion.

But the sage loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown his ritualism. At times the sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he did not know that he was being observed by his master.

On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession.

Unrecognised by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in procession.

?Oh! It is the king. He goes in procession! But where is he?? asked the rustic.

?There, on the elephant,? said Nidagha.

?You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,? said the rustic, ?But which is the king and which is the elephant?? ?What!? exclaimed Nidagha. ?You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?? ?Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,? begged the rustic. ?But you said ?above? and ?below? - what do they mean??

Nidagha could stand it no more. ?You see the king and the elephant, the one a^bove and the other below. Yet you want to know what is meant by ?above? and ?below??? burst out Nidagha. ?Ifthings seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward, and you will know it all too well?.

The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said, ?Know it now. I amabove as the king, you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough??

?No, not yet,? was the rustic?s quiet reply. ?You say you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The ?king?, the ?elephant?, ?above? and ?below? - so far it is clear. But pray, tell me what you mean by ?I?and 'you?'?

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with the mighty problem of defining the ?you? apart from the ?I?, light dawned on his mind. At once he jumped down and fell at his Master?s feet saying, ?Who else but my venerable Master, Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! Benign Master, I crave thy blessings.?

~ Ribhu Gita, as told by Bhagawan
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on July 08, 2016, 07:00:26 PM
An old man lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran.

His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could. One day the grandson asked, "Baba, I try to read the Quran just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Quran do?"

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water." The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.

The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out of the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back o the house.

The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.

Out of breath, he said, "See Baba, it's useless!"

"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

"Son, that's what happens when you read the Quran. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of God in our lives."

..
Title: Re: Stories
Post by: Nagaraj on July 10, 2016, 06:50:16 PM
A very popular story in the North Indian Satsangs:

A guru told his disciple to chant the mantra- SOHAM, for his betterment. This simply means whatever is, it?s me or in other words, God is me and I am god, arising from the principle that God is present in every particle. Another guru came and told him this is very arrogant way to think, please add DA before it so say DASOHAM, that is I am a servant of the lord. He did so and one day came the first guru, he elaborated the meaning of SOHAM again, and advised him to add SA before the word and say SADASOHAM, that means I am always. Then came the second guru and asked him to add another DA and say DASADASOHAM, meaning that I am servant to the servant of GOD. This way teachings and interpretations differ, and a cycle of chakra goes on.



Another version brief one:

in that Varanasi Ghat, one Vedanti wrote on a wall in big letters ? ?SOHAM?.  Means, ?I am That?.  Next day, when he came back, he saw one Dasa Parampara sadhu had put ?DA? in front of that word ?Soham?.  It now read ?DASOHAM?.  Means, ?I am the Servant?.  And this Vedanti cannot keep quiet.  Next day day, this Vedanti added in front of that, the word ?SA?.  It now read ?SADASOHAM?.  Means, ?Always I am That?.  He put ?SA? and went away.  Next day, the Dasa Parampara fellow didn?t keep quiet.  That fellow comes and puts one more ?DA? and made it ?DASADASOHAM?.  And this fellow (the Vedanti) comes and adds one more ?SA? to make it ?SADASADASOHAM?!  And it continues.... ?DASADASADASOHAM?.... ?SADASADASADASOHAM?...!

I leave the moral of this story to ourselves to ponder!

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