Author Topic: Stories  (Read 34015 times)

Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #60 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?’”



Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #61 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



Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #62 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



Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #63 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

Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #64 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).

Ravi.N

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Re: Stories
« Reply #65 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.

Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #66 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,

Ravi.N

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Re: Stories
« Reply #67 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/
Namaskar.

Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #68 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


« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 06:07:57 PM by Jewell »

Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #69 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



Jewell

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Re: Stories
« Reply #70 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

Nagaraj

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Re: Stories
« Reply #71 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.



  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.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Stories
« Reply #72 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...
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 03:07:24 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Stories
« Reply #73 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.

Ravi.N

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Re: Stories
« Reply #74 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).

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