Spiritual stories (Volume 1) Behold, o king! Behold' Once aking asked a yogi to impart Knowledge to him in one word. The yogi said, "All sight; you will get knowledge in one word." After a while a magician come to the king. The king saw the magician moving two of his fingers rapidly and heard him exclaim, " Behold, O king, Behold. The kiing looked at him amazed when, after a few minutes, he saw the two fingers becoming one . The magician moved that one finger rapidly and said, "Behold, O King! Behold. " The implication of the story is that Brahman and the Primal Energy at first appear to be two. But after attaining knowledge of Brahman one does not see the two. Then ther is no differentiation; it is One. without a second -Advaita- non-duality. 25 cents occult power Once two brothers began doing sadhana. One of them directed his mind towards Paramapurusa; the other was interested in occult powers and soon acquired some. When they met some years later, one brother said to the other, "See what powers I have developed!" and using the power of laghima', making himself very light, he walked across the water of a deep river Meanwhile the other brother, who had become a devotee of God, paid 25 cents and took the ferryboat to the other side. The first brother said to him, what do you think of my siddhi (power)?" "Ha!" he laughed, "Your siddhi is worth only 25 cents!" The snake with two conflicting heads There was a snake in the forest which was leaving a carefree life until one day, it's tail said: - Hey, snake head! Why is it that you are always moving forward and I can only follow behind? This is not fair! - Snake tail, I have eyes, so of course I take the lead in going forward. How could you be moving forward? - If not for the motion of my tail, how could you move forward? - I go wherever I please. You cannot do anything about it. - Move by yourself if you are able to! and the tail coiled itself around a tree. - Disgusting! I am determined to move away. And started pulling hard. Whoosh! Whoosh! No way out! I really cannot move. You win! I am not going to contend with you. You can take the lead in moving forward. As a result the snake tail very haughtily moved forward and felt very conceited. However, it did not have eyes and could not see where it was going. In the end, the snake fell to its death in the ravine. The disciple who painted 2 similar paintings Once upon a time, a guru asked his disciple to paint two similar paintings on to separate sheets of paper. He was then ordered to go to the city and hang the painting on a wall, together with a marker and the following inscription: "Please mark the painting where you like it most." In the evening he went to bring the painting and found out it was covered with marks. "Everyone like my painting!" thought the disciple who became suddenly very pleased that his training had been so successful. The next morning, the guru requested his disciple to hang the other painting in the same fashion, but this time with this instruction: "mark places you don’t like" In the evening the disciple discovered the painting was also full of marks, and he became very sad. The guru then told: "Never mind, yesterday you were happy and today you are sad, and both paintings are the same" The disciple then realized it was futile to pay attention to other’s praise and criticism, and that he should just do what he had to do the best way he could. How Rama ate and threw out 3 fishes Some disciples of Rama were fighting about whether they could eat fish or not (Bengalis are fond of eating fish). Some were saying: we should not eat fish because Rama told us not to, and the others were telling: everything is Brahma anyway so it doesn't make any differences. Rama was overhearing their conversation and brought them on the beach. Then He put his hand inside the water and took of a fish and immediately ate it. He ate in this way three fishes in front of the disciples who were delighted to see their master eating fish: Now we can eat fish also like Him! And Rama said OK if you can do like me: and He threw out the three fishes alive from his mouth in the water. The three friends and the tiger Once three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly appeared before them. " Brothers, " one of them exclaimed, " we are lost!" " Why should you say that?" said the second friend, " Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God. " The third friend said: "No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree. " The friend who said 'We are lost! did not know that there is a God who is our Protector. The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn't want to trouble God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God. It is the very nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his is to keep his Beloved from even being picked in the foot by a thorn. The robbers are the 3 gunas Once a man was going through a forest, when three robbers fell upon him and robbed his possessions. One robber said, "What's the use of keeping this man alive? " So saying, he was about to kill him with his sword, when the second robber interrupted him, saying: " Oh! No! What is the use of killing him? Tie his hand and foot and leave him here." The robbers bound his hands and feet and went away. After a while the third robber returned and said to the man: " Ah, I am sorry. Are you hurt? I will release you from your bonds. " After setting the man free, the thief said: "Come with me. I will take you to the public high way." After a long time they reached the road. At this the man said: " Sir, you have been very good to me. Come with me to my house. " " Oh, No!" The robber replied. " I can't go there. The police will know it. " This world itself is the forest. The three robbers prowling here are sattva, rajas, and tamas. It is they that rob a man of the Knowledge of Truth. Tama wants to destroy him. Raja binds him to the world. But sattva rescues him from the clutches of rajas and tamas. Under the protection of sattva, man is rescued from anger, passion and other evil effects of tamas. Further, sattva loosens the bonds of the world. But sattva also is a robber. It cannot give man the ultimate Knowledge of Truth, though it shows him the road leading to the Supreme Abode of God. Setting him on the path, sattva tells him: "Look yonder. There is your home. " Even sattva is far away from the knowledge of Brahman. The four blind men and the elephant four blind men went out to see an elephant. One touched the leg of the elephant and said, « The elephant is like a pillar. « The second touched the trunk and said, « The elephant is like a big jar. » The fourth touched the ears and said, « The elephant is lide a big winnowing basked. « Thus they began to dispute hotly amongst themselves as to the shape of the elephant. A passer-by, seeing them thus quarrelling. said, What is it you are disputing about ? » They told him everything and asked him to arbitrate. The man said : « None of you has seen the elephant. The elephant is not like a pillar, its legs are like pillars. It is not like a winnowing basket, its ears are like winnowing baskets. It is not like a stout club, its trunk, is like a club. The elephant is the combination of all these -legs, ears, belly, trusk and so on » In the same manner, those who quarrel about the nature of God have each seen only some one aspect of the Deity.. The pot full of cow-dung is also Brahma A king was once taught by his Guru the sacred doctrine of Advaita, which declares that the whole universe is Brahman. The king was very much pleased with this doctrine. Going in, he said to his queen : « There is no distinction between the queen and the queen’s maid servant. So the maid servant shall be my queen henceforth. » The queen was thunderstruck at this mad proposal of her lord. She sent for the Guru and complained to him in a piteous tone, « Sir, look at the pernicious result of your teachings, « and told him what had occurred. The Guru consoled the queen and said, « When you serve dinner to the king today, have a pot full of cow-dung also served along with the dish of rice. « At dinner time the Guru and the king sat down together to eat. Who could imagine the rage of the king when he saw a dish of cow-dung served for his meal. The Guru, seeing this, calmly interrogated : « Your Highness, you are well versed in the knowledge of Advaita. Why do you then see any distinction between the dung and the rice ? « The king became exasperated and exclaimed, « You who pride yourself to be such a great Advaitin, eat this dung if you can. « The Guru said, « Very well, « And at once changed himself to a swine and devoured the cow-dung with great gusto and afterwards again assumed his human shape. The king became so ashamed that he never made again his mad proposal to the queen. The man who slept through the show Once a man went to a certain place to see a theatrical performance, carrying a mat under his arm. Hearing that it would be some time before the performance began, he spread the mat on the floor and fell asleep. When he woke up all was over. Then he returned home with the mat under his arm! The holy man who ate with Vishnu as a dog There was a holy man who used to live in a state of ecstasy and would not speak with any one. He was regarded as a lunatic. One day having begged some food in the village, he took his seat by the side of a dog and fell to eating. A strange sight now presented itself and attracted a crowd of spectators, for the holy man would put one morsel into his own mouth and the next into that of the dog, so that the man and the beast went on eating together like a pair of friends. Some of the spectators began to laugh at the holy man as being a mad fellow. Thereupon he said, " Why do you laugh? Vishnu is seated with Vishnu; Vishnu is feeding Vishnu; Why do you laugh, O Vishnu? Whatever is, is Vishnu." What to pray for I prayed to Divine Mother only for love. I offered flowers at Her Lotus Feet and said with folded hands: " O Mother, here is Thy ignorance and here is Thy Knowledge; take them both and give me pure love for Thee. Here is thy holiness and here is Thy unholiness; take them both and give me pure love for Thee. Here is Thy virtue and here is Thy sin; here is Thy good and here is Thy evil; take them both and give me pure love for Thee. Here is Thy dharma and here is Thy adharma; take them both and give me love for Thee." The sage, the thief, the drunkard and the saint Once a sage was lying by the roadside deeply immersed in Samadhi. A thief while passing by that way, saw him and thought: " This fellow here must be a thief. He must have broken into some houses last night, and is now sleeping through exhaustion. The police will be very soon here to catch him. So let me escape in time. " Thus cogitating he ran away. Soon after, a drunkard came there, and seeing the sage, said: " Halloo! you have fallen into the ditch by drinking too much. He! I am steadier than yourself and am not going to tumble down. " last of all there came a sage, and realizing that a great saint was lying in the state of Samadhi, sat down by his side and began to stroke his holy feet gently. Thus our worldly tendencies prevent us from recognizing true holiness and piety. give the dog a good beating at times There was a man who had a pet dog. He used to caress it, carry it about in his arms, play with it and kiss it. A wise man, seeing this foolish behavior of his, warned him not to lavish such affection on a dog. For it was, after all, an irrational brute, and might bite him one day. The owner took the warning to heart and putting the dog away from his arms, resolved never again to fondle it or to caress it. But the animal could not first understand the change in his master, and would run to him frequently to be taken up and caressed. Beaten several times, the dog at last ceased to trouble his master any more. Such indeed is everybody's condition. The dog you have been cherishing (i.e., lust ) so long in your bosom will not easily leave you, though you may wish to be rid of it. However, there is no harm in it. Do not caress the dog any more, but give it a good beating whenever it approaches you to be fondled, and in course of time you will altogether free from its importunities. The King of Bokhara Ibrahim Adham, the king of Bokhara was very fond of Parmatth, or the spiritual way of life, and was always seeking the company of the Sages and the Saints. However, he lived in such luxury that he slept in a bed that had a maund and quarter of flowers laid on it all the time. one day, when he was going to this bed, he heard a noise on his palace roof and, on investigation, saw two men roaming about on the roof. "What are you doing here?" He asked them sharply. "Sir, we are camel drivers, and are searching for our lost camels," they repolid. Amazed at their stupidity, the king said scornfully: "How could you ever expect to dind camels on the top of a palace?" "In the same way that you are trying to realize God in your bed of flower,"was the reply. This greatly shocked the king and completely changed his way of life. He abandoned his throne and started to see much more of the Saints and Saged in his own kingdom; but without satisfaction. Thereafter, he went to India and after making a thorough search, was still unsuccessful until he reached Banarasi. There he heard of Kabir Sahib, the weaver Saint. As both he and Kabir were Mohammedans, he thought it would be well for him to stay with Kabir Sahib. Accordingly, he asked Kabir Sahib to accept him as his disciple. Kabir Sahib replied: "There is nothing in common between a king and a poor weaver like myself, and two such different persons could hardly get on together." But the king pleaded with him, saying: "Idid not come to your door as a king, but as a beggar. Again I beg of you to dindly give me the boon for which Ik am seeking." Loi, the wife of Kabir Sahib, also askedher husband to accept him; and the Saint gave in to her request. In a weaaver's house, the only work that could be done by the king was that of a menial- cleaning the woof and the warp, and washing the yarn and the thrad. Six years passed by, and the king did this work without a murmur throughout these years. One day Mai Loi entreated Kabir Sahib , saying: "This king has now been with us for six long years, has been eating what we offered him, and has been doing what we have ordered him to do, without uttering a word of complaint. Because of all this, he appears to be highly deserving." Kabir Sahib told his wife: "As far as I can see, the king's mind is not yet crystal clear." Mai Loi again entreated, and reminded Kabir Sahib that what the king had done was a tremendous service to them; and that she could not even for a moment believe that he was not deserving of Initiation. Kabir Sahib replied: "The best way to prove it to yourself is to do what I ask you to do, and thereafter come and tell me what you heard from his mouth. Please go on the top of the roof and, as the king comes into the street, throw the entire sweepings of the house upon his head." Mai Loi did as she was asked, and as the serrpings fell on the head of the king of Bokhara, he looked up and sighed: "if only this were Bokhare, you would not have dared do this to me." Mai Loi returned to Kabir Sahib and repeated wht the king had said. "Didn't I tell you that the king was not yeet fully deserning of the great Gift of Man?" Kabir Sahib said. So another six years passed by, during which the king worked as hard as he had during the first six years. One day Kabir Sahib said to his wife: "The vessel is now completely ready to receive the Nectar." Mai Loi told him: "I do not find any difference between the condition of the king six years ago and now. He has been ever dutiful and willing, and has never uttered a word of complaint, even on days when we had a large number of Sadhus in the house and there was nothing left for us to eat." Kabir Sahib told her: "If y ou want to see the difference, you may once again throw the refuse and rubbish swept up from the house on the king's head.: The next day, when the king was passsing the house, she did exactly as she was asked. On receiving this "gift", the king looked up and said: "May you, the doer of this, live long. This mind was still full of ego and self. It had to be treated this way." Again Mai Loi related the kin'gs words to her husband. This time Kabir Sahib told her: "The king now deserves the great treasure of Man." As Kabir Sahib then gazed on the king, the king's soul swiftly ascended, traversed the upper realms and ultimately merged in the Supreme Being. Who has put you in bondage? Sengcan, the third patriarch of Zen spread the rain of truth. One day a young monk came to him. The monk asked him: "I beg you, master, to show your compassion and lead me to the dharma-gate of liberation. "Who has put you in bondage?" answered the master. The monk kept silent for a while and then said: "Nobody has put me in bondage." Sengcan then told him: "Since nobody has put you in bondage, it means you are free already. Why should you continue to seek liberation?" The monk became enlightened upon hearing these words. He succeeded Sengcan to become Fourth Patriarch Daoxin. To express Brahma the silence is better than sutras Once a devout man sent his two sons to a Guru to learn the knowledge of Brahma. After a few years they returned home. The father questioned the boys on what they had learned. He asked the older boy, "My child, you have studied all the scriptures. Tell me, what is the nature of Brahma." The boy began to recite many slokas and sutras form the scriptures. Then the father asked the younger child the same question, but the boy remained silent and stood with his eyes cast down. No word escaped from his lips. The father was pleased and said. "My child you have understood a little of Brahma. What It is cannot be expressed in words." How the lady who recovered her sight found ecstasy in the soap bubbles In USA recently it was reported the case of a woman who had been blind all life, and who was operated when a new laser technology appeared, and successfully recovered her sight. She described her feeling afterwards, and she could not help watching this incredibly beautiful soap bubbles with all their colors and lightness, as she was washing the dishes, and she was entering in a sort of ecstasy, lost in this beautiful experience of sight. Suggested comment: Usually people enjoy when sight more stimulated, movie, art, scenery, etc... For this lady, washing dishes is a great stimulation, compare to nothing before. The more your get stimulated, the more stimulation you need to enjoy. In the beginning excitement, then not so much, looking for something else drug problem : materialistic society push people to buy stimulation, presented as the only way to get happiness, but not true. Ananda Marga does the opposite: it offers destimulation by meditation and service. After cleaning the mental plate in this way, it becomes easy to enjoy all simple things of life (eating, washing dishes, etc...) In Sweden training center, brothers were fighting for cleaning the toilets. Not only enjoying it, but also because seeing this most neglected task, as a divine service and an opportunity for spiritual growth. In long meditation seminar, it's a fight to sit for two hours, because the mind is addicted to external stimulation. To stay long time in meditation one has to find joy from inside. So try to do more long meditation and service and you will certainly fell more bliss in your life. Lord Buddha Lord Buddha was a pleasure loving young prince in a palace so luxurious that it was even air-conditioned with perfumed winds fanned through cool fountains, to banish the heat of summer from those delightful halls. He never thought about the nature of life; he merely enjoyed all the sense pleasure life could offer, day after day, throughout his youth. His father, remembering the astrologers prediction that his son would either become a world ruler or a great spiritual master, tried to keep him from knowing the existence of sorrow; he never let him leave those pleasure-charmed confines of the palace. But one day Lord Buddha left the palace without telling his father, and drove into the town in his chariot. On the way he passed an old man, bent double, toothless, hobbling along on his cane. Lord Buddha asked his charioteer what this was. The charioteer answered, " That is an old man, my Lord." " Will I also become like this? ""Yes, Master, old age comes to all people." Soon he passed a diseased man and Later a corpse and was told in each case that all these conditions would one day come to him also they were the lot of all humanity. Finally the Buddha met a monk who had renounced all attachment of the world and he realized that this was his path, that he must leave the illusory and short- lived sensory pleasures of this youth and journey along the difficult road to Truth. He left his family, his wealth, his kingdom, and set forth alone, without any possessions, to become ultimately, the Enlightened one. How the old weaver was saved « by the will of God » A devout old weaver was sitting under a tree one day thinking of God, when a band of robbers who had just robbed a house came up and forced him to carry their stolen goods. Suddenly the police arrived and the robbers ran away. The police arrested the weaver and threw him in jail. The next day they brought him to trial to make his statement. "Your honor" He said, "By the will of God I was sitting under a tree last night and by the will of God a band of robbers passed by and put a load on my head. By the will of God the police arrived and arrested me and put me in jail for the night, and by the will of God I was brought before you today." The judge realized that the old man was a great devotee of God and released him. On his way home the weaver said to his family, " By the will of God, they released me." The monk who carried the girl across the stream The jananese Zen master Tanzan and the monk Ekido come across a beautiful girl who was unable to cross a stream. The master said: - I will carry you across the stream - Master, thank-you and farewell! said the girl. The two of them continued walking for half the day... finally Ekido said: -We monks do not go near women, right? Why did you do that earlier? -Er, what woman are referring to? I put her down long ago. Are you still carrying her? Save a Rembrandt or a cat? One famous sculptor was asking to an audience :" If your house is burning with inside a very famous Rembrandt painting and a small house cat. Which one would you save first? The answer is the cat. Try not to be concern is also a concern One day a man asked the Zen master Zhaozhou. - If one can attain the state of not being concerned about anything, what then? -Not to be concerned about what? - Not to be concerned about a thing. - Isn't this still concern? The crow who repeated Rama’s name Rama and Lakshmana visited Pampa Lake. Lakshmana saw a crow very eager for water. Again and again it went to the edge of the water but would not drink. Lakshmana asked Rama about it. Rama said:" Brother, this crow is a great devotee of God. Day and night it repeats the name of Rama. Its throat is parched with thirst, but still it won't drink for fear of missing a repetition of Rama's name." The yogi who saved a scorpion again and again Once while a yogi was bathing in the ocean, a scorpion crawling along the sand verby was swept into the water by a large wave. To save it from drowning, the yogi reached out and carried the scorpion to dry land: but as he did so the scorpion stung him. Another wave carried the scorpion into the ocean, and again the yogi saved him--and again he was stung. A third wave, and a third time the yogi, this time with a red and swollen hand, came to its rescue. A passerby, watching the scene cried in amazement, "Why do you keep saving it when it keeps stinging you. Have you no sense?" The yogi smiled and replied, "It is the dharma of the scorpion to sting and the dharma of the yogi to serve. He is merely following his dharma and I am following mine." stick to the well you are dinging Once upon a time a man wanted to sink a well and someone advised him to dig in a certain spot, and he did so. But after sinking fifteen cubits, when he found no water coming out, he got disgusted. In the meantime another man came and laughing at his foolish attempt advised him to dig in another spot which he knew to be the best . So the man went and resumed his labor there. This time he went down twenty cubits, but no water was found. A third man come and asked him to try in another and better place which he would point out to him. He followed and a certain spot was shown to him. He went on sinking and sinking till thirty cubits were reached and in utter disgust he was going to give up the task, when a fourth man came up to him, smiling sweetly and said," My child, you have labored much indeed, but being misdirected all these labors have been of no use to you. Very well, kindly follow me and I will take you to a spot where if you only touch your spade to the ground, water will flow out in torrents. " The temptation was too much for him and so he followed this fourth man and did according to his advice. He went on digging expecting every moment the gushing out of water, till he patiently sank twenty cubits, but alas! no water came. Then utterly discouraged he gave up the task altogether. By this time he had sunk eighty -five cubits. But if he had the patience and perseverance to sink half the number of cubits in one place, he would surely have been successful. Similarly, men who cannot stick to their religion, and always hastily court one religion after another, at last turn out to be atheists in their old age, giving up religion altogether. The man who helped the villagers not to fear pumpkins Once a pilgrim chanced upon a land during his travels. All the people of that land welcomed him. Soon he was invited in the field where one of the main food sources was grown. However they suddenly pointed at a strange orange ball and said fearfully, " This is the demon" and acted strangely towards it. Seeing this the visitor recognized a pumpkin and resolved to gel them. So he said 'Look at me. I will tame the demon." He took a knife, cut the pumpkin and ate it. At this the villagers looked at him with fear and reaching for hoes and forks drove him out of the land. He was lucky to get out alive. Another visitor came a year later and was similarly welcomed. Upon realizing the nature of the predominant fear and superstition he resolved to help. He did not say a thing but lived with the people for many years and thus changed their minds gradually and taught them how to cultivate the pumpkin. the child who gives the gems to the man who doesn’t ask A child is sitting with gems in the skirt of his cloth. Many a person passes by him along the road. Many of them pray to him for gems. But he hides the gem with his hands and says turning away his face, " No, I will not give any away. " But another man comes along. He does not ask for the gems, and yet the child runs after him and offers him the gems, begging him to accept them. I want to know what I am In the beginning was an infinite ocean of perfect peace. Then a wave arose in that ocean, and that wawe was the question, "I want to know what I am." From that wave sprayed millions of tiny droplets, each bearing the question, "I want to know what I am." But over time those droplets forgot the last part of the question, and became obsessed withe desire:"I want, I want, I WANT." Until finally, gradually, they began to remember the whole question: I WANT TO KNOW WHAT I AM." The dust flew in from outside One day the great Zen master Zhaozhou was sweeping the courtyard. One disciple came and asked the master: -- There is dust even in a Buddhist place of purity? - The dust flew in from outside. - Another disciple came and asked: There is dust even in a Buddhist place of purity? - Ah, another piece of dust has flown in here. Count not leaves, eat mangoes Two friends went into an orchard. One of them possessing much worldly wisdom, immediately began to count the mango trees there and the number of leaves and mangoes each tree bore, to estimate what might be the approximate value of the whole orchard. His companion however went to the owner, made friendship with him, and then, quietly going to a tree, began, at his host's desire, to pluck the fruits and eat them. Whom do you consider to be the wiser of the two? Eat mangoes! It will satisfy your hunger. What is the good of counting the trees and leaves and making calculations? The vain man of intellect busies himself uselessly with finding out the ' why ' and 'wherefore' of creation, while the humble man of wisdom makes friends with the Creator and enjoys His gift of supreme bliss. How a Saddhu ate and offered his own excrement to the chief of police this is the true story of a naked Saddhu in Benares. The chief of police ordered his arrest and he was put in jail. The next day the guards saw Him outside the cell meditating. When he was brought to the court room he said that every thing was equal for him and that's why he didn't bother wearing clothes. The cunning chief of police then brought a dish of raw beef and said: then you can also eat my food. The Saddhu said yes, but only if you first eat my food, and he defecated in the court and ate a piece of it and with his hand offered some shit to the chief of police, who surrendered in front of the greatness of the Saddhu and immediately ordered his release. after he left the court someone smelled the excrement and found a Rasagulla smell! Elder the pumpkin cutter. You must have seen the sort of elderly man who lives in a family and is always ready day and night, to entertain the children. He sits in the parlor and smokes the hubble-bubble. With nothing in particular to do, he leads a lazy life. Now and again he goes to the inner court and cuts a pumpkin; for since women do not cut pumpkins, they send the children to ask him to come and do it. This is the extent of his usefulness-hence his nickname, 'Elder, the pumpkin cutter.' He is neither a man of the world nor a devotee of God. That is not good. Equalization of samskaras Baba performed a demonstration in Ranchi of this equalization of samskaras. He asked two sadhakas to sit in meditation and withdrew from their minds the individual samskaras which made them different from each other. Now their bodies were different but their samskaras were the same. He said, "If the same samskaras are in two bodies, they cannot live in two separate entities; they want to be fused into one." Soon, the two sadhakas began to be attracted toward each other. They moved across the floor until they embraced each other so tightly that it was difficult to separate them. They lay unconscious in each other’s arms. Baba said, "If I let them remain much longer in this state, they will merge into one entity, they won't be able to maintain two separate existence." So He infused the vrtti of anger in one person and the vrtti of shame in another. Gradually they moved apart and sat in meditation. Initiation of Ram Mohan Roy The great indian intellectual, Ram Mohan Roy, had sought the Truth in thousands of scriptures which he had even traveled as far as Tibet to read. But he was always unfulfilled, always searching. One day as he was walking down a country road, a common peasant passed him and said in a friendly voice, "where are you going?" and handed him a leaf. The peasant's use of the familiar "you" form irritated Ram Mohan and he walked home with the leaf still in his hand, thinking about the insolence of the man. When he arrived home he glanced at the leaf he had been carrying unconsciously and saw written on it a mantra. His Guru had come in the form of that simple peasant whom he had resented so, to initiate him with his own special mantra. With great sincerity Ram Mohan practiced sadhana with that mantra and after some time he attained realization of the Truth. How Bharat became attached to a fawn Once there lived a great king named Bharat who in his old age felt it was time to leave the world, become a hermit in the jungle, and prepare for his death. Without any sorrow or attachment he left his kingdom, his wife and family, and journeyed to the forest. For many days he absorbed his mind in deep meditation and began to shed all bondage: he was approaching the state of absolute liberation. One day while sitting beside the river, he saw a sudden drama unfold before him: a tiger was chasing a doe heavy with child. In great panic the doe jumped the river to escape the tiger, but with her weight could not cross it. She fell in the water and at that very moment she gave birth to her fawn. The mother dear drowned, but the little dear floated kicking and crying down the river, past the old saintly king. The king, in his great compassion, reached down and saved the fawn. He dried it off and warm it before his fire and gave it food. From that time the little fawn lived with the king and played near his hut. The king came to love him as his own child, and even worried anxiously when the little fawn did not return at nightfall. The great renunciate who left his family and kingdom without a backward glance gradually became attached to a tiny fawn. The weeks passed and death approached the old king. He sat down in sadhana and withdrew his mind from his body to absorb his mind in that infinite 'consciousness at the moment of death, that he might attain liberation. But as he concentrated his mind on the Supreme, a sudden thought flashed in his mind: "But when I die, who will take care of my beloved little fawn?" With this thought filling his mind, he died. And in his next life he became a deer. But this deer was jatismara or "birth rememberer"- he remembered well why he had become a deer. He always grazed near the ashrams of saints where he could hear their kiirtan and feel the blissful vibration of their meditations. When this deer body died, he was born in a Brahmin family as a deaf-mute. This life time, he was determined not to become attached to the old in any way. Though his relatives mocked and scorned him he was unaffected and sat alone, refusing ever to speak, engrossing his mind in thoughts of the Supreme until he finally got liberation. Spiritual stories (Volume 2) How Babaji tested the man who wanted initiation On another occasion Babaji's sacred circle was disturbed by the arrival of a stranger. He had climbed with astonishing skill to the nearly inaccessible lodge near the Guru's camp. "Sir, you must be the great Babaji." The man's face was lit with inexpressible reverence. "For months I have pursued a ceaseless search for you among these forbidding crags. I implore you to accept me as a disciple." When the Great Guru made no response the man pointed to the rock-lined chasm below the ledge. "If you refuse me I will jump from the mountain. Life has no further value if I cannot win your guidance to the Divine." "Jump, then," Babaji said unemotionally. "I cannot accept you in your present state of development." The man immediately hurled himself over the cliff. Babaji instructed the shocked disciples to fetch the stranger's body. After they had returned with the mangled form, the Master placed his hand on the dead man. Lo! He opened his eyes and prostrated himself humbly before the omnipotent Guru. "You are now ready for discipleship," Babaji beamed lovingly on his resurrected disciple. "You have courageously passed a difficult test." How a wood cutter became rich by just « going forward » Once upon a time a wood cutter went into a forest to chop wood. There suddenly he met a bramachari. The holy man said to him, « My good man, go forward». On returning home the wood-cutter asked himself, « Why did the Brahmachari tell me to go forward? » Some time passed. One day he remembered the brahmachari’s words. He said to himself, « Today I shall go deeper into the forest. » Going deep into the forest, he discovered innumerable sandal-wood trees. He was very happy and returned with cart-loads of sandal- wood. He sold them in the market and became very rich. A few days later he again remembered the words of the holy man to go forward. He went deeper into the forest and discovered a silver -mine near a river. This was even beyond his dreams. He dug out silver from the mine and sold it in the market. He got so much money that he didn't even know how much he had. A few days more passed. One day he thought: " The brahmachari didn't ask me to sop at the silver-mine; he told me to go forward. " This time he went to the other side of the river and found a gold-mine. The he exclaimed: " Ah, just see! This is why he asked me to go forward!" Again, a few days afterwards, he went still deeper into the forest and found heaps of diamonds and other precious gems. He took these also and became as rich as the god of wealth himself. Whatever you may do, you will find better and better things if only you go forward. You may feel a little ecstasy as the result of japa, but don't conclude from this that you have achieved everything in spiritual life. The disciple who saw God in a mad elephant In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and knowing this, to bow low before them all. A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry, "Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!" All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: " Run away! Run away! " But the disciple didn't move . The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him, to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Some one asked him, "You know the elephant was coming-why didn't you leave the place?" "But," he said, " our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run away." At this the teacher said: "yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn't you trust the mahut's words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God." How Krsna killed the old woman’s cow Once Lord Krsna was walking with Arjuna, visiting the houses of his various devotees. They entered the palace of a rich man, who feasted them with many delicacies. After the meal Lord Krsna said, "You are my devotee and you have served me well. May your riches increase one thousand-fold." The man was overjoyed and thanked Lord Krsna with great fervor. The next day they visited the hut of an old widow who had nothing left in the world except her old cow which was her sole companion and only means of support. After she had fed the Lord on a simple meal of milk and bread, the Lord said, "You are my devotee and you have served me well. Tomorrow your cow will die. " And they left the hut. Arjuna's mind was in turmoil. How could the Lord have blessed that rich, materialistic man with so much wealth, and cursed that poor devout lady with the death of her cow? Lord Krsna, knowing his disciple's confusion, said gently, "The ways of the Lord are often very mysterious; you cannot always understand them. You see, that man had such desire for more material possession, and I fulfilled that desire. Now he will soon tire of this treasures and his mind will turn more and more towards Me. And that poor old lady whom you pity so -- she is almost freed from all her worldly bondage, but her mind is on Me only half the time. The rest of the time it is on her beloved cow. Now that the cow is dead she will think only of Me, and very soon she will attain complete Liberation." How « weeping hag » came to smile at all times There was an old woman nicknamed "weeping Hag." She cried when it rained, she also cried when it did not rain. Once, one monk asked her: - Old lady, what are you crying for? - I have two daughters, the elder sells cloth shoes and the younger sells umbrellas. - When the weather is fine, I think of my younger daughter whose umbrellas are not in demand. When it rains, I think of my elder daughter. During rainy days, no customers will want to go to her shop to buy shoes. -You should think of business being good for your elder daughter when the weather is fine. During rainy days, your younger daughter’s umbrellas will definitely sell well. Since then , "weeping Hag" no longer cried. She smiled at all times, rain or shine. Why king Ghazni was buried with his empty hands kept outside the coffin King Mahmud of Ghazni, who invaded India seventeen times during the eleventh century, was a Turk whose ancestors had come from central Asia. Today, Ghazni is a small village in Afghanistan, but during Mahmud's reign it was probably the richest city in all Asia. This was all due to the enormous treasures of gold and jewels that Mahmud took from Indian cities and temples. When this powerful and cruel ruler was about to die, he asked his courtiers to display all of his wealth and arrange it so he could look at it once more before he died. When this was done, Mahmud was carried past his hoarded treasures in a palanquin. When after several hours he had feasted his eyes on piles of gold coins, diamonds, rubies, pearls, emeralds, marvelously wrought images and hosts of other priceless objects, the tears began to flow unchecked from Mahmud of Ghazni's eyes. Addressing his courtiers, he said: How many tens of thousands have I slained, How many thousand widows have I made, How many children now, because of me , are orphans. Yet nothing, not the smallest piece of gold, Is going with me now that death is nigh. As the king realized more and more deeply the enormity of his crimes and the uselessness of his treasures, the tears continued to stream from his eyes as he told his courtiers: "When you take my body to be buried, please keep both of my hands outside of the coffins the people can see that a great king has left this world absolutely empty-handed, and may learn a lesson from my life." The starving people who could not feed themselves A group of starving people sat together at a great feast. All their arms were bound with long sticks, so that they could not bend them and reach their hands to their mouths. Some of them, trying desperately to feed themselves, were unable to do so; they became more and more frustrated and more and more desperately hungry. But others soon realized that they would never be able to feed themselves, and instead reached out their straight arms to place food in the mouths of others. Those who tried furiously to feed themselves and failed were in hell; those who fed others and were , in turn, fed by them, were in heaven. How Zen master Ekaku opened the gates of heaven and hell to a general A military officer approached Japanese Zen master Hakuin Ekaku and asked: -"Is there really heaven and hell?" -"What are you? - I am a general. - Ha! Ha! which fool employed you to be a general? Why, you look more like a butcher! - What! I will cut you down! -Here open the gates of hell! - I am sorry... Please forgive me for my rudeness. - Here open the gates of heaven. The brahmana who killed a cow A brahmana was laying out a garden. He looked after it day and night. One day a cow strayed into the garden and browsed on a mango sapling of which the brahmana used to take special care. When he saw the cow destroying his favorite plant, the brahmana became wild with rage, and gave such a severe beating to the animal that it died of the injuries received. The news soon spread like wild-fire that the brahmana had killed the sacred animal. When any one attributed the sin of that act to him, the brahmana, who professed himself to be a Vedantin, denied the charge, saying: " No, I have not killed the cow, it is my hand that has done it; and as god Indra is the presiding deity of the hand, it is he who has incurred the sin of killing the cow, not I." Indra, in his heaven, heard of this. He assumed the shape of and old brahmana, and coming to the owner of the garden, said, "Sir, whose garden is this? "Brahmana: Mine. Indra: It is a beautiful garden. You have got a skillful gardener; for see how neatly and artistically he has planted the trees. Brahmana: Well, sir, that is all my work. The trees were planted under my personal supervision and direction. Indra: Very nicely done, indeed! Who has laid out this path? It is very well-planned and neatly executed. Brahmana: All that has been done by me. Then Indra said with folded hands, "When all these things are yours, and when you take credit for all the work done in this garden, it is not proper that poor Indra should be made responsible for killing the cow." The musulman who always shouted: « O Allah! » while praying A musulman, while saying his prayers shouted: " O Allah! O Allah!" Another person said to him: " You are calling the name of Allah. That's all right. But why are you shouting like that? Don't you know that He hears the sound of the anklets on the feet of an ant?" When the mind is united with God, one sees him very near, in one's own heart. How a Guru saved his disciple In the old days, Gurus used to constantly travel to visit disciples. But one Guru became to old and used to travel along with one disciple. This disciple was not intelligent, but thought he was. He also was greedy. They arrived in one place. It was a very special country where the price of everything was the same. When the Guru realized the situation he told: "that King must be a great fool, let’s go before we get into some troubles." But the greedy disciple thought, "let me stay here to eat continuously". The Guru tried to convince his disciple otherwise, but to no avail. "If you get into troubles", he finally told him, "just think about me, and I will come". After a few days, the disciple was caught stealing food, and was brought before the king for judgement. After hearing the case, the king announced: "He will be hanged tomorrow at 8 AM! Let everyone come to witness what happens with robbers!" Long before 8 AM, a huge crowd started to gather to see the execution. At this sight, the disciple started to panic and he suddenly remembered what His guru had told him before, and by every passing minute, the thought of his Guru was occupying his mind more and more. Finally, just 5 minutes before 8 AM, and old man appeared running and He shouted to the king: "Wait! Wait! According to my calculations, whoever dies from hanging today at 8 AM will directly go to heaven!" And he added: "I want to go to heaven instead of my disciple, so please hang me in his place!" On hearing this, the king rushed forward and announced proudly for everyone to hear: "Only me, the King can go the heaven!" And he ordered his soldiers to hang him on the spot. It's not easy to attain true humility A man went to a sadhu and said with a great show of humility: "Sir, I am a very low person. Tell me, O Master, how I am to be saved." The sadhu, reading the heart of the man, told him, " Well, go and bring me that which is meaner than yourself. " The man went out and looked all round but found nothing whatsoever meaner than himself. At last he saw his own excrement and said, " Well, here is something which is cerainly worse than myself. " He stretched forth his hand to take it up and carry it to the sadhu when suddenly he heard a voice say from within the ordure: " Touch me not,O sinner. I was a sweet and delicious cake, fit to be offered to the gods and in appearance so pleasing to all the spectators. But my ill-fortune brought me to you, and by your evil contact I have been reduced to such a detestable condition that men run away from me with faces turned and with handkerchiefs covering their noses. Once only did I come in contact with you and this has been my fate. What deeper degradation may I not be thrown into if you touch me again?" The man was thus taught true humility and became the humblest of the humble. As a result he attained the highest perfection. Idleness Once, Yangshan paid a visit to Guishan after being absent for a time. - My son, I have not seen you for the whole summer. What work have you accomplished? - Well, I have tilled a strip of land and planted a basketful of seeds. - Then you have not passed the summer in idleness. - And what have you been doing. master? -Taking a meal at midday and sleeping in the night- So you too, master, have not passed the summer in idleness. How king Janak was given instant realization by Ashtavakar When King Janak became eager to do spiritual practice, he called all the rishis and munis to his court. He also had a stage built and said: "Whoever can reveal to me the true Knowledge in the same length of time that it takes to mount a horse, please come and sit on the stage." The rishis and munis thought that this could be done only after they had taught him from the very beginning; that knowledge was not like something that could be passed on to him to drink. But one of the sages, named Ashtavakar, was himself a realized soul and said that he could do what the king wanted. He was hunchback and ugly, so the people looked down upon him and jeered at him. But after being insulted in this way by the rishis and munis, Ashtavakar said: "I was under the impression that this was a meeting of hermits and sages, and not of cobblers and low castes." The king asked him what he meant by these words, and Ashtavakar replied: "Judging the beauty and colour of a skin is entirely the work of cobblers and people who deal with prostitutes. » On hearing this, King Janak sought the True Knowledge form Ashtavakar. When King Janak had seated himself before Ashtavakar, the sage asked him: "O King, are you certain that you are really eager to have your request granted?": "There is no doubt whatever in my mind," replied the king. "I am seeking for the True Knowledge with the utmost earnestness." Ashtavakar then turned to the assembled holy men and asked: "Is there anyone among you, rishis and munis, who can impart True Knowledge to the king, and that right quickly?" There was utter silence. Addressing the king, Ashtavakar said: "King Janak, there is price that must be paid for obtaining this True Knowledge. Are you prepared to pay it, no matter what it may be?" "Yes, " said the king. "Then I will tell you the price," said Ashtavakar. "and listen carefully. The price consists of three things that you must give to me: your body, your mind, and your wealth. Is this agreeable to you?" The king said: "Yes, it is agreeable to me." Ashtavakar then told the king: "You should think this matter over very carefully, and only after thorough deliberation should you promise to hand over to me the three things." The king assured him with great earnestness: "Ashtavakar, I have already given the matter the most careful thought. There is no doubt whatever in my mind. I will be glad to pay the price." After the king had made the promise, Ashtavakar said: "Now that you have surrendered everything -your body, mind and wealth- to me, will you please leave your throne and come down and sit where all the shoes of your people are lying?" The king was quite annoyed at this, but soon realized that he had already given everything to this rishi. So he quietly left his throne and sat among the shoes of his subjects. When Ashtavakar made this request to the king, he was quite aware that many people do not advance spiritually because of their sense of ego, honor and glory. When the king had seated himself amidst the shoes, Ashtavakar told him: "Now, please do not allow your mind to think of your wealth, since your have no wealth of your own to think about. It all belongs to me." At the time that this order was given, the mind of the king was sometimes thinking about his wealth, sometimes of his other possessions, sometimes of his kingdom and sometimes of his wife and children. But on hearing the words of Ashtavakar, he realized that is was useless to think of any of these things, as they no longer belonged to him. And so his mind came back to its center. Like a crow on a ship, his mind had no other place to go but to come back and sit on the ship. As the king had been enjoined to stop his mind from going out to anything that did not belong to him, he covered his eyes so that his attention would not go out. Then Ashtavakar said to him: "This mind is mine, and you have no right even to think with it nor to have any desires." Then King Janak complied and withdrew his entire attention form outside and from his body up to the eyes, the rishi immediately gave his own attention to the king with the result that the king's soul went up to higher realms. Ashtavakar verbally called him again and again, but there was no reply, as the king was deeply merged in True Knowledge or Inner Bliss. Later on, with his own attention, Ashtavakar brought the King’s attention back into his body and asked him: "Have you obtained the True Knowledge you requested?" The king replied: "I have obtained it, O Ashtavakar, and it is far greater, more glorious and blissful than I had ever dreamed that it could be." After this, Ashtavakar said: "I have no need for your body, mind or wealth; so I return them all to you. You are to act as a steward and use them on my behalf. By giving up the world and your worldly possessions, you have received the priceless gift of Ram, the Word of God. Henceforth, you will cease to crave for happiness and riches in this world, but shall crave only the Love of the Lord and the Bliss of His Presence. How Manjh sacrificed everything for his Guru Bhai Manjh, owned a village and worshipped the tomb of saint Sakhi Sarvar. One day he listened to Guru's Arjan 's discourse, and he begged him for initiation. OK, he said, but first you should destroy your Puja room. People were watching him while he was razing the room and they were telling him: « You will have to pay heavily for such a desecration ». Manjh said He is ready to suffer the consequences. Then he was initiated. Soon his horse died, then some bullocks, and he also got things stolen., People told him he should rebuild the temple.But he replied: « I don't care what happens,the Guru is all knowing, and always does all for the best. Then he contracted some debts, and had to leave the village with his wife and daughter. He started cutting and selling it in other villages. After several months, his Guru sent a letter with one disciple. He had to sell his wife ornaments to give the 20 Roupies requested by the Guru, in exchange for the letter. After kissing the letter and lifting it to forehead and eyes, he went into Samadhi. After 2 years, he recieved another letter, and gave 25 Roupies he had saved for his daughter dowry for the letter. After that the Guru asked them to come to serve Him. They came and worked in the guru’s kitchen, cutting firewood. After few days, Guru sayed they were not performing real service, because they are getting wages in food. From that day, they were cutting wood at night, selling it for food. One night there was a great wind and Manjh fell into a well with his wood. The Guru went to rescue him with some disciples. The Guru asked his disciples to say to Manjh , before pulling him out of the well. "Brother, see the wretched condition you are in. And it's all due to the way the Guru has treated you. Why don't you forget a Guru who does such things?" Manjh replied: "What? Forget the beloved Guru? Never! And as for you, ungrateful ones, please never again speak so disrespectfully of the Guru in my presence. It makes me suffer agonies to hear such shameful words." Then he asked: « can you take out the wood first, because as it is for the Guru's kitchen, it should not get wet ».The Guru appeared and told him: « you have gone through all tests with courage, faith and devotion for Guru. I can make you the ruler of the universe if you wish so. » Manjh fell on his knees before the beloved Guru, and with tears streaming down his cheeks, exclaimed: "What boon could I wish for, my Guru, but you alone? I want you alone. Nothing else could ever be of any interest to me. » The Guru said: « Manjh is the darling of his Guru. And guru is Manjh's only love; Manjh now, like Guru, is a ship, That carries people safely across The ocean of phenomena. » The tiger that lurks behind worldly joys God is like the wish-yielding tree of the celestial world (Kalpataru), which gives whatever one asks of it. so one should be careful to give up all worldly desires when one's mind has been purified by religious exercises. Just listen to a story: A certain traveller came to a larger plain in the course of his travels. As he had been walking in the sun for many hours, ha was thoroughly exhausted and heavily perspiring; so he sat down in the shade of a tree to rest a little. Presently he began to think what a comfort it would be if he could but get a soft bed there to sleep on. He was not aware that he was sitting under the celestial tree. As soon as the above thought rose in his mind, he found a nice bed by his side. He felt much astonished, but all the same stretched himself on it . Now he thought to himself how pleasant it would be were a young damsel to come there and gently stroke his legs. No sooner did the thought arise in his mind than he found a young damsel sitting at his feet and stroking his legs. The traveller felt supremely happy. Presently he felt hungry and thought: "I have got whatever I have wished for; could I not then get some food?" Instantly he found various kinds of delicious food spread before him. He at once fell to eating, and having helped himself to his heart's content, stretched himself again on his bed. He now began to revolve in his mind the events of the day. While thus occupied, he thought, " If a tiger should attack me all of a sudden! " In an instant a large tiger jumped on him and broke his neck and began to drink his blood. In this way the traveller lost his life. Suc h is the fate of men in general. If during your meditation you pray for man or money or morldly honours, your desires will no doubt be satisfied to some extent; but, mind you, there is the dread of the tigber behind the gifts you get. Those togers-disease, bereaverments,loss of honour and wialth dtc.,-are a thousand times more terrible than the live tiger. How a discouraged army physician stopped to think: « I am a physician » There was an army physician who followed the troops as they went into battle. He tended to wounded soldiers in the battlefield. Whenever his patients had recovered form their injuries, they were once again sent to continue fighting. As a result, they were wounded once a again or killed...After seeing this scenario again and again, he eventually suffered a nervous breakdown. He did not understand whether there was any meaning in his being an army physician, and he was troubled that he could not continue healing others. As a result, he went up a mountain to seek out a Zen master. After being with a Zen master for a few months...Finally, he understood his problem completely. He descended the mountain to continue practicing as a physician. He said: It’s because I am a physician. How Narada leaned the nature of Maya by loosing his family Once Narada besought the Lord of the universe, " Lord, show me that Maya of Thine which can make the impossible possible." The Lord nodded assent. Subsequently the Lord one day set out on a travel with Narada. After going some distance, He felt very thirsty and fatigued. So He sat down and told Narada, " Narada, I feel much thirsty; please get me a little water from somewhere." Narada at once ran in search of water. Finding no water near-by, he went far from the place and saw a river at a great distance. When he approached the river, he saw a most charming young lady sitting there, and was at once captivated by her beauty. As soon as Narada went near her, she began to address him in sweet words, and before long, both fell in love with each other. Narada then married her, and settled down as a householder. In course of time he had a number of children by her. And while he was thus living happily with his wife and children, there came a pestilence in the country. Death began to collect its toll from every place. Then Narada proposed to abandon the place and go somewhere else. His wife acceded to it and they both came out of their house leading their children by the hand. But no sooner did they come to the bridge to cross the river than there came a terrible flood, and in the rush of water, all their children were swept away one after another, and at last the wife too was drowned. Overwhelmed with grief at his bereavement, Narada sat down on the bank and began to weep piteously. Just then the Lord appeared before him, saying. " O Narada, where is the water? And why are you weeping?" The sight of the Lord startled the sage and then he understood everything. He exclaimed, " Lord, my obeisance to Thee, and my obeisance also to Thy wonderful Maya!" How Lord Buddha carried a lame goat to the top of a hill. As Lord Buddha was walking one day along a country road, he met a shepherd who was driving his flock of sheep and goats to a nearby hill, where there was a good grazing ground. One of the goats was lame and limped along slowly, always falling behind the rest of the flock. But the shepherd showed no pity for the poor beast, and lashed it mercilessly to make it keep up with the herd. When Lord Buddha saw what was going on, his heart was moved by pity and compassion. Stepping up to the shepherd, he asked: "Where are you going with your herd?" The shepherd pointed to the nearby hill. "Would you have any objection if I should carry this poor lame goat to the top of the hill on my shoulders?" asked Lord Buddha. The shepherd laughed.. "Why, of course not," he replied. So Lord Buddha happily carried the goat to the top of the hill and left it there with the rest of the flock. How a dying Alexander came to offer his kingdom to see his mother After many conquest, in northwestern India, Alexander was about to return to his homeland. He asked his astrologers how and when he was going to die. The astrologers said: « not until the earth turns into iron and the sky into gold .» Alexander thought that such a miracle will take ages to pass. « I will live for many years. » But as he started riding towards Persia, he got malaria in the Seistan Desert, which is now in Afghanistan. Alexander told his chief minister riding near him: "A fever has come to me. My strength has gone and I can ride no farther." His anxious minister told: « please ride just a few miles more. We may find a tree under whose shade you can lie down and rest. » But no tree was to be found and there was a scorching sun. Alexander, to weak to ride, laid down on the hot ground. His minister spread on the ground his coat of iron chain-mail lined with forty layers of silk , and Alexander rested on the soft couch of silk. The minister also held his shield over the king's face to shade him from the sun. As Alexander saw the strips of gold decorating the shield, he remembered the prediction. It had now come true. The doctors around him were saying: you are going to die very soon. But Alexander still refused to believe that death could be so close at hand. " O faithful friend", he gasped, to his chief minister, "announce that I will give half my kingdom to any man who will enable me to live long enough to have a last glimpse of my mother. But the doctors replied: " It’s impossible, you have but a minute or two to live." Panic stricken, Alexander cried out in a loud voice: "To whoever will take me alive to my mother, I will give all my conquests, holding nothing back. As for myself, I will live on alms." A doctor again told him: « Your Majesty, there is no one who can prevent your dying now. » At this, the mighty Terror of Nations burst into tears and wept like a child. A wandering saint, Who happened to pass by and who had stopped to gaze in silence at the dying king, now approached the minister. "O Excellency, what a pity that your great master threw away his life for nothing. For, the conquest of all the world is as nothing when compared to the great Gift of the Saints The Nam, or Holy Name, that can free you forever from this world and take you to the higher Realms of Bliss, where thoughts of bloody conquests are unknown." How Rajadevi lead the people’s revolt againt her husband the king. In the district of Bengal lived a King notorious for his corruption. But his wife was a well respected and good queen, Rajadevi. Often the people came to complain to her. And each time, she tells them: « you should revolt! », they always reply: « but we have no leaders.» One day she finally said, «I shall give you leadership.» The queen lead the people’s revolt and the king was defeated. Then the queen asked the people, "what shall be his punishment?" they said, "no we should not kill him, he is your husband." She said, "He should be killed." Then no one would kill him when she asked,» who will kill him?" So she said, "I will kill him." She chopped his head. Then she asked,» who will take the kingdom?" They said, "You" She said, «no", otherwise it will be said "she killed her husband to take the kingdom!" Then she self-immolated on a funeral pyre. The disciple who met a dog and a beggar while bringing food to his master A disciple of a guru used to bring his master's meals every day. One day while he was bringing the food, a thin, mangy black dog met him on the road and approached as if begging for food. The disciple, ignoring him, hurried off to his master. When he arrived, the guru said, "Why did you come so far in such a great rush, when I already met you, hungry, on the way? You could have fed me then." But again the next day, on his way to his guru's house, the disciple met an outcast beggar pleading for food, and did not even give him a second glance. When he arrived the guru again chastised him, "Today also you have needlessly taken so much trouble. I was standing near you but you did not care to look at me. I myself appeared before you as the dog, as the untouchable, because in all these resides one God. I wanted to teach you this secret: that He is all-pervading. He resides in all beings. So you have to look upon all with equal vision and bear good feelings towards all. Recognize Him in all and serve Him in all." And the disciple’s eyes were opened. « He who beat me is now giving me milk » There was a monastery in a certain place. The monks residing there went out daily to beg their food. One day a monk, while out for his alms, saw a landlord beating a man mercilessly. The compassionate monk stepped in and asked the landlord to stop. But the landlord was filled with anger and turned his wrath against the innocent monk. He beat the monk till he fell unconscious on the ground.. Someone reported the matter to the monastery. The monks ran to the spot and found their brother lying there. Four or five of them carried him back and laid him on a bed. He was still unconscious. The other monks sat around him sad at heart; some were fanning him. finally someone suggested that he should be given a little milk to drink. When it was poured into his mouth he regained consciousness. He opened his eyes and looked around. One of the monks said, " Let us see whether he is fully conscious and can recognize us. " Shouting into his ear, he said, Revered sir, who is giving you milk? " " Brother," replied the holy man in a low voice, " he who beat me is now giving me milk. " How a man realized God by loving his sheep A certain person, on coming across a sadhu, humbly begged him for instruction. The sadhu's advice was, "love God with all your heart and soul." The inquirer replied, "I have never seen God, nor do I know anything about Him; how is it possible that I should love Him?" The holy man inquired whom the other loved most. The answer was, "I have nobody to care for. I have a sheep and that is the only creature I love." The sadhu said: "Then tend the creature and love it with all your heart and soul and always remember that the Lord abides in it." Having given this advice the sadhu left the place. The inquirer now began to tend the sheep with loving care, fully believing that the Lord abode in the creature. After a long time the sadhu, during his return journey, sought out the person he had advised and inquired how he was getting on. The latter saluted the sadhu and said, Master, I am all right, thanks to your kind instructions. Much good has come to me by following the line of thought prescribed by you. Time and again I see a beautiful figure with four hands within my sheep and I find supreme bliss in that." The empty handed monarch King Mahmud of Ghazni, who invaded India seventeen times during the eleventh century, was a Turk whose ancestors had come from central Asia. Today, Ghazni is a small village in Afghanistan, but during Mahmud's reign it was probably the richest city in all Asia. This was all due to the enormous treasures of gold and jewels that Mahmud took from Indian cities and temples. When this powerful and cruel roler was abouit to die, he asked his courtiers to display all of his wealth and arrange it so he could look at it once more before he died. When this was done, Mahmud was carried past his hoarded treasures in a palanquin. When after several hours he had feasted his eyes on piles of gold coins, diamonds, rubies, pearls, emeralds, marvelously wrought images and hosts of other priceless objects, the tears began to flow unchecked from Mahmud of Ghazni's eyes. Addressing his courtiers, he said: How many tens of thousands have I slain, How many thousand widows have I make, How many children now, becouse of me , are orphans. Yet nothing, not the smallest piece of gold, Is going with me now that death is nigh. As the king realized more and more deeply the enormity of his crimes and the uselessness of his treasures, the tears continued to stream from his eyes as he told his courtiers: "When you take my body to be buried, please keep both of my hands ouside of the coffinso the people can see that a great king has left this world absolutely empty-handed, and may learn a lesson from my life." How Arjuna married Citrangala, the ugly queen. At the time of the Mahabharata in the East of India was a kingdom ruled by a good queen named Citrangala. There was harmony, peace and progress because of her ruling. But she was very ugly looking. Arjuna traveled to that land and upon seeing him she wanted to marry him. But she was ashamed of her appearance and prayed to God to give her beauty for one year. Then they met in the forest and Arjuna asked, «I heard about a queen, her country is so well governed, she will be the fittest queen for me." Citrangala said, "but she is not beautiful" and she delayed revealing herself. Before the year was over, however, she revealed herself in original form. Arjuna liked her. She said, «I am not a goddess for you to worship, I am not an ordinary women that you can throw away or neglect. But if you are ready to share my responsibilities, burdens, pleasure and pain, then you will understand my values." They were married. The sadhu who started to dance of joy after seeing a passing cloud A certain sadhu lived for some time in the room above the nahavat-khana (concert-room) of the temple of Dakshineswar. He did not speak with anybody and spent his whole time in the meditation of God. One day all of a sudden, a cloud darkened the sky and shortly afterwards a high wind blew away the cloud. The holy man now came out of his room and began to laugh and dance in the veranda in front of the concert-room. Upon this I asked him, «How is it that you, who spend your days so quietly in your room, are dancing in joy and feel so jolly today?" The holy man replied, " Such is Maya that envelops the life! At first there is clear sky, all of a sudden a cloud darkens it and presently every thing is as before once more. As the fishes in the lake are the four types of men Men may be divided into four classes: Those bound by the fetters of the world, the seekers of liberation, the liberated and the everfree. Among the everfree we may count sages like Narada. They live in the world for the good of others, to teach men spiritual truths. Those in bondage are sunk in worldliness and are forgetful of God. Not even by mistake do they think of God. The seekers of liberation want to free themselves from attachment to the world. Some of them succeed and others do not. The liberated souls, such as the Sadhus and Mahatmas, are not entangled in the world, in "woman and gold.' Their minds are free from worldliness. Besides they always meditate on the Lotus Feet of God. Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never caught in the net. They are like the everfree. But most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of them try to free themselves from it and they are like those who seek liberation. But not all the fish that struggle succeed. A very few do jump out of the net, making a big splash in the water. Then the fishermen shout, ' Look! There goes a big one! ' But most of the fish caught in the net cannot escape, nor do they make any effort to get out. One the contrary, they burrow into the mud with the net in their mouths and lie there quietly, thinking, 'We need not fear any more; we are quite safe here.' But the poor things do not know that the fishermen will drag them out with the net. These are like the men bound in the world. Spiritual stories (Volume 3) How a milkmaid crossed the river by taking God’name. A milkmaid heard from a Pandi that: "The sacred name of God, is the great ship which makes us cross the ocean, ..." She took the statement literally, and began crossing the river to sell her milk every day, by taking God's name. After she went to thank the Pandit, and asked the Pandit to also cross with her. The Pandit ask his friends to tie him up with rope in case he drown. And he did just that. How a fishwife used her fish-basket to find sleep at the gardener’s house Once a fishwife was a guest in the house of a gardener who raised flowers. She came there with her empty basket, after selling fish in the market, and was asked to sleep in a room where flowers were kept. But, because of the fragrance of the flowers, she couldn't get to sleep for a long time! She was restless and began to fidget about. Her hostess saw her condition and said, " Hello! Why are you tossing from side to side so restlessly?" The fishwife said: " I don't know, friend. Perhaps the smell of the flowers has been disturbing my sleep. Can you give me my fish-basket ? Perhaps that will put me to sleep." The basket was brought to her. She sprinkled water on it and set it near her nose. Then she fell sound asleep and snored all night. The children who were raised protected from all dangers In a family some children were raised protected from all dangers. They never went out by fear of being hit by a car. Everything is electric so that they never come in contact with the potentially dangerous fire. No knives, no plastic bags etc.. Once a forest fire reached the house that took flame. Instead of rushing out at the sight of the fire, the children stayed quietly inside, playing, and looking for the first time at the fire that was coming nearer and nearer, not understanding its danger. They all died burned. Suggested comment: You inject some of the virus or bacteria at small dose, so the body has time to learn how to fight against it by producing the proper antibodies. But we come in contact with bigger dose without this preparation of the body, we may be overcome and die. We should be in the world but without being affected by it like a lotus flower which remains white in the mud or a frog dancing in front of a snake without being caught. If we try to go in the forest, avoid all contacts with the world, our mind become more sensitive to anything (object or souvenir) related to the world. Out of privation we may constantly think about ice cream or power etc...Without contact with reality imagination goes wild and this world we want to escape become glittering and much more attractive. We are trying to protect ourselves but actually we increase our vulnerability. The solution is not to escape, but to accept and serve this universe as the expression of Supreme Consciousness. With this supreme ideation the mind is protected from all negativity. God does not raise us in this way. He let us have our encounter with difficulties and troubles, danger etc...He is Himself creating all this negativity and brings it to us so that we learn to overcome all clashes and reaching perfection, finally unite ourselves with Him. Face to face with the king, no doubts subsists Where the mind attains peace by practicing the discipline of 'Neti, neti, there Brahman is . The king dwells in the inmost room of the palace, which has seven gates. The visitor comes to the first gates. There he sees a lordly person with a large retinue, surrounded on all sides by pomp and grandeur. The visitor asks his companion, " Is he the king? " " No, " says his friend with a smile. At the second and other gates he repeats the same question to his friend. He finds that the nearer he comes to the inmost part of the palace the greater is the glory, pomp, and grandeur. When he passed the seventh gate he does not ask his companion whether it is the king; he stands speechless at the king's immeasurable glory. He realizes that he is face to face with the king. He hasn't the slightest doubt about it. Unlike the fly who would be drowned in the syrup one can’t die in God Once I said to Narendra, " Look here, my boy. God is the ocean of Bliss. Don't you want to plunge into this ocean? Suppose there is a cup of syrup and you are a fly. Where will you sit to sip the syrup? " Narendra said " I will sit on the edge of the cup and stick my head out to drink it." " Why " said I, " Why should you sit on the edge?" He replied, " If I go far into the syrup, I shall be drowned and lose my life." Then I said to him: "But my child, there is no such fear in the Ocean of Satchitananda. It is the Ocean of Immortality. By plunging into It a man does not die, he becomes immortal. Man does not lose his consciousness by being mad about God." How Guishan Lingyou reached enlightment Guishan Lingyou was a disciple of Baizhang and also the first to found a house of Zen of his own. His enlightenment came about in a most unexpected way. Baizhang: "here, you poke into this stove and stir the ashes and see if you can find any fire. - Yes... Master, there is no more fire in the stove. - Let me do it....Hey! Isn'this fire? and the disciple was enlightened upon hearing these words. Kabir and the man who could never afford the time for spiritual practices It is said that whenever Kabir Sahib walked by a certain place in Bananas, he would always find a certain man sitting in his garden. One day Kabir Sahib stopped and suggested to him: "Sir, instead of sitting idly in your garden, you could better spend the time in spiritual meditation, and thus improve yourself." "I have very young children, and will be able to afford the time for spiritual practices only after they have grown up, " the man replied. After the children had grown up, Kabir Sahib met the man again, and asked him: "Do you now find time for spiritual meditation?" "Ah, Sir, now I must wait for the children to be married, so they can look after themselves independently. Then I will have the time to devote myself to meditation." Later, when Kabir Sahib again met the man, he asked him: "And now, fortunate, man, all you children are married, so you are no doubt devoting yourself to spiritual practice." "Ah, no," the man replied, '"I am eager to see my grandchildren grow up and get married." After this had taken place, Kabir Sahib again asked the man: "What is your position now, my friend?" "O, Sir, " the man replied, "I find that my grandchildren are very careless. As a result of this it is quite necessary that I look after the house, even during the night. For if I were also careless, thieves would come and steal what little we have." Some years later Kabir Sahib inquired where the old man was. The sons and grandsons said that he had died. "Ah, that is indeed a great pity, " Kabir Sahib said. "Poor man, his life was wasted following the orders and desires of his worldly mind, which led him into such deep attachment to his family and his beasts. And even a few moments only of love for the Lord would have started to end his imprisonment here: The dervish’s occult symptoms were just a sign of weariness Once a dervish sat listening to a sermon in mosque. But soon he began to meditate. Within a short time his body started trembling and shaking, tears ran down his eyes, his voice choked and groans came out. All the people gathered round him and watched with awe. «Look at such power this man has." He managed to master the occult symptoms and everyone looked to him with awe and respect. He said to them, "What you have just witnessed is not power but weariness. Real power is when the cosmic current of beatitude fills you up and not one organ flinches, not one eye-lash moves." How a Zen Master taught generosity to a rich man with his fists There was a rich man who, although extremely wealthy, was so stingy that he could not bear to spend even one coin. One day, Japanese Zen Master Mokusen Hiki came to visit him. He raised his right hand with closed fist, and asked: - Suppose my fist were always like that. What would you call it? - Deformed. Then he opened his fist and asked: - Suppose it were always like that. What would you call it then? - Still the same- deformed. If you understand that much, you are a happy rich man. Since then, the rich man became more understanding. Not only was he thrifty, but he also knew how to distribute his wealth and spend money. How the Divine Mother appeared to a man during his first Sava-sadhana There is a story about a man who practiced Sava-sadhana. He worshipped the Divine Mother in a deep forest. First he saw many terrible visions. Finally a tiger attacked and killed him. Another man, happening to pass by and seeing the approach of the tiger, had climbed a tree. Afterwards he got down and found all the arrangements for worship at hand. He performed some purifying ceremonies and seated himself on the corpse. No sooner had he done a little Japa than the Divine Mother appeared before him and said: "My child, I am very much pleased with you. Accept a boon from Me." He bowed low at the Lotus Feet of the Goddess and said: "May I ask you one question, Mother? I am speechless with amazement at your action. The other man worked so hard to be the ingredients for Your worship and tried to propitiate You for such a long time, but You did not condescend to show him Your favor. And I, who don't know anything of worship, who have done nothing, who have nether devotion nor knowledge nor love, and who haven't practiced any austerities, am receiving so much of you grace?" The Divine Mother said with a smile, "My child you don't remember your previous births. For many births you tried to propitiate Me through austerities. As a result of those austerities all these things have come to hand, and you have been blessed with My vision. Now ask me your boon." The words are pointing at the Truth, like fingers pointing at the moon The nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriarch Huineng: -I have studied the Mahaparinirvana sutra for many years, yet there are many areas I do not quite understand. Please enlighten me. - I am illiterate. Please read out the characters to me and perhaps I will be able to explain the meaning. - You cannot even recognize the characters. How are you able then to understand the meaning? - Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. the finger can point at the moon's location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right? How a monk through some coins at the king, the poorest man A monk had some copper coins and was about to give them away to some boys. Many poor people came to him to get them, but he would not give them. Finally, there came before the monk a king seated on an elephant. The monk threw the copper coins into the howdah on the top of the elephant where the king was seated. The king was astonished at this unexpected act of the monk. The monk said the money was for him, the poorest man. The king inquired how he could be the poorest man. The monk said he was the poorest man, because of his possessions and of his continual hunger and thirst for more kingdoms. Hence he was the poorest man. How a siddha killed many people by stopping the storm Once a great Siddha was sitting on the sea-shore when there came a great storm. The Siddha, being greatly distressed by it, exclaimed, "Let the storm cease! " and his words were fulfilled.. Just then a ship was going at a distance wit all sails set, and as the wind suddenly died away, it capsized, drowning all who were on board the ship. Now the sin of causing the death of so many persons accrued to the Siddha, and for this reason he lost all his occult powers and had to suffer in purgatory. Occult powers are more a hindrance than a help to god-vision You killed and revived the elephant but what has that done for you? Once upon a time a sadhu acquired great occult powers. He was vain about them. But he was a good man and had some austerities to his credit. One day the Lord, disguised as a holy man, came to him and said, "Revered sir, I have heard that you have great occult powers." The sadhu received the Lord cordially and offered him a seat. Just then and elephant passed by. The Lord, in the disguise of the holy man, said to the sadhu, "Revered sir, can you kill this elephant if you like?" The sadhu said, "Yes, it is possible." So saying he took a pinch of dust, muttered some mantras over it and threw it at the elephant. The beast struggled a while a while in pain and then dropped dead. The Lord said: " What power you have: You have killed the elephant!" The sadhu laughed. Again the Lord spoke:" now, can you revive the elephant?" " That too is possible," replied the sadhu. He threw another pinch of charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed about a little and came back to life. Then the Lord said: " Wonderful is your power. But may I ask you one thing? You have killed the elephant and you have revived it. but what has that done for you? do you feel uplifted by it? Has it enabled you to realize God?" Saying this the Lord vanished. Subtle are the ways of Dharma. One cannot realize God if one has even the least trace of desire. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if it has the smallest fiber sticking out. Three friends and the tiger Once three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly appeared before them. " Brothers, " one of them exclaimed, " we are lost!" " Why should you say that?" said the second friend, " Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God. " The third friend said: "No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree. " The friend who said 'We are lost! did not know that there is a God who is our Protector. The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn't want to trouble God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God. It is the very nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his is to keep his Beloved from even being picked in the foot by a thorn. « Life is all in the breathing » Buddha asked his disciples: "How long is the human life span?" After getting various answers like seventy years, etc...Buddha refuted all of them and said: "Life is all in the breathing." He meant that only the present has significance. Past and future are just mental projection, speculation or memories. We should live as if we are born in the beginning of the breathing, and going to expire at the end of the breathing. That much attention we have to give to the present moment. How the queen of Kasi’s two sons became sadhakas Madalasa was the queen of Kasi in ancient times. The King of Benares married her. Before the marriage, she said," I can marry under one condition. If we have a child, the entire responsibility of education is on me. If you interfere, I will leave you." He agreed but actually he was dishonest. She had a child and in his infancy she spent much time singing songs to the child. She sang a song to her son for him to leave attachments of family and seek t he white effulgence. To her second child, she also sang the same song. The first child left home at age twelve. The king decided to take care of the children so she decided to leave but gave an amulet to her second child with the advice, «in time of danger, you open it and see inside." She left and her second son followed the King's bad example,took the same tyrannical role, and finally replaced him when he died. When the elder brother Vikrant heard that in this kingdom all were dissatisfied and miserable, he went to the King of Kosul, revealed his true identity and asked the king to help him regain the kingdom. They did it successfully and King Kosul offered the rulership to Vikrant who refused and left to the forest to practice meditation. His younger brother Abarko thought, «I am kingdomless and poor. Now it is my bad time and I shall open my mother’s amulet. Inside was a paper with the advice: 1- Don't take any company 2- if impossible, take the company of saints. He choose the second and became a good sadhaka. After some time, he decided to return. Vikrant also decided to see and both reached. They both stood before King Kosul who offered the kingdom to the elder brother. Both refused,and theKing also refused to take it ,all three feeling detached from power. Here Baba asks, who is most great here? Baba said he who was bad and became good, Aloka is making most effort and shows greatest progress. The illiterate devotee could realize Krsna while hearing a reading of the Gita In the course of his pilgrimage through the southern parts of India, Sri Chaitanya Deva came across a certain devotee who was in tears all the while a pundit was reading from the Gita. Now this devotee knew not even a single word of the Gita. On being asked why he shed tears, he replied, " It is indeed true that I do not know a word of the Gita. But all the while it was being read, I could not help seeing with my inner eye the beautiful form of my Lord Sri Krishna seated before Arjuna in a chariot in the field of Kurukshetra, and giving out all those sublime thoughts embodied in the Gita. This it was that filled my eyes with tears of joy and love. " This man who knew not letters had the highest Knowledge, for he had pure love for God and could realize Him. How a magical paw caused a greedy man to win a million $ and loose his son Once a man passionately desired a great deal of money. He was given the gift of a magical monkey's paw which he was told, would grant him three wishes. He immediately wished for a million dollars. Suddenly there was a knock on the door: it was the insurance man, with an insurance payment of one million dollars; for his dead son! The man was heartbroken; he grabbed the monkey's paw and wished for his son back. There was a loud knock on the door. He opened it and there in the doorway was the skeleton of his son! Terrified, he grabbed the paw and screamed, "make it go away!!" The skeleton disappeared and the three wishes were finished. He had received the million dollars but he had lost his son. The form of action may be changed but the amount of reaction cannot be affected. How self-reliance and non dependence on rituals saved Zen communities In the year 845, Buddhism in China was dealt a severe blow. The emperor at that time, Wu Zong, cited economic reasons for ordering a widespread suppression of Buddhism. He issued an imperial edict to justify his actions. More than 4600 monasteries and more than 40000 temples and shrines throughout the empire were destroyed. More than 260500 monks and nuns were returned to lay life, and 150000 slaves were taken over by the government. During this suppression of the Buddhist sects, only Zen managed to remain more or less unscathed. Because Zen is not dependent on scriptures, Buddhist statues, and rituals, it could still flourish amid the destruction. Zen monks also did their own manual work to support themselves and were not dependent on society. Such a state of affairs can be said to be due to Baizhang's foresight in making the Zen communities self-reliant, so that during a time of calamity they could still grow steadily. How the man who did charity only once was nevertheless sent to hell One day one businessman died and went to the judgment of God, where the account of the good and the bad things done was made. The court looked at the record and found nothing good, so he was sentenced to hell. « Do you have anything to say for your defense? » he was asked « Yes , said the businessman, I remember having given one cent to a poor and old woman who came to me in a cold winter night . » The accountant looked again in the account where he could find the entry in light pencil. « God it is true » « return this cent and send him to hell. » said God. How Ram Mohan Roy got his mantra on a leaf The great Indian intellectual, Ram Mohan Roy, had sought the Truth in thousands of scriptures which he had even traveled as far as Tibet to read. But he was always unfulfilled, always search ing. One day as he was walking down a country road, a common peasant passed him and said in a friendly voice, "where are you going?" and handed him a leaf. The peasant's use of the familiar "you" form irritated Ram Mohan and he walked home with the leaf still in his hand, thinking about the insolence of the man. When he arrived home he glanced at the leaf he had been carrying unconsciously and saw written on it a mantra. His Guru had come in the form of that simple peasant whom he had resented so, to initiate him with his own special mantra. With great sincerity Ram Mohan practiced sadhana with that mantra and after some time he attained realization of the Truth. How a Saddhu ate and offered his own excrement to the chief of police this is the true story of a naked Saddhu in Benares. The chief of police ordered his arrest and he was put in jail. The next day the guards saw Him outside the cell meditating. When he was brought to the court room he said that every thing was equal for him and that's why he didn't bother wearing clothes. The cunning chief of police then brought a dish of raw beef and said: then you can also eat my food. The Saddhu said yes, but only if you first eat my food, and he defecated in the court and ate a piece of it and with his hand offered some shit to the chief of police, who surrendered in front of the greatness of the Saddhu and immediately ordered his release. after he left the court someone smelled the excrement and found a Rasagulla smell! How Ramakrsna got Nirvikalpa Samadhi under Totapuri’s guidance The great saint Ramakrsna had had many teachers and through their instructions and his serious practice he was able to merge his mind in Saguna Brahma, Savikalpa Samadhi. In this state the form of Kali, the Divine Mother, would appear before him, and he would be lost in Her. Then one day the Master Totapuri appeared and he became Ramakrsna's guru. "Dive deep into your Atman," he would say, "and realize your oneness with Brahma." But Ramakrsna could not cross from Saguna to Nirguna Brahma, the last and greatest stage of the journey, for the form of the Blissful Mother kept appearing and stood in his way. He told Totapuri he could not achieve that state. "What? But you have to!" Totapuri answered. He took a piece of glass and pressed the point between Ramakrna's eyebrows and told him to concentrate his mind at that point. Again Ramakrsna meditated and when the gracious form of the Divine Mother appeared, he used his discrimination as a sword and severed Her figure in two. His mind at once soared above all relative bondage, lost in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. For three days he remained in that sublime state of total merger, until finally by singing "Hari Om", Totapuri brought him down to the physical plane again. The small fish who wanted to know the sea but couldn’t see it. A small fish asked a big fish: "I often hear others talking about the sea. But what is the sea?" -All around you is the sea. - Why can't I see it? - You live, move and have your being in the sea. The sea is within as well as outside you. The sea gave you life and at death you return to the source. The sea surrounds you as your own being. How a sannyasin was sent to hell and a prostitute to heaven A sannyasin dwelt by the side of a temple. There was the house of a harlot in front. Seeing the constant concourse of men in the prostitute's house, the sannyasin one day called her and censured her, saying: " You are a great sinner. You sin day and night. Oh, how miserable will be your lot hereafter. " The poor prostitute became extremely sorry for her misdeeds, and with genuine inward repentance she prayed to God beseeching forgiveness. But as prostitution was her profession, she could not easily adopt any other means of earning her livelihood. And so, whenever her flesh sinned, she always reproached herself with greater contrition of heart and prayed to God more and more for forgiveness. The sannyasin saw that his advice had apparently produced no effect upon her, and thought, "Let me see how many persons will visit this woman in the course of her life." And from that day forward, whenever any person entered the house of the prostitute, the sannyasin counted him by putting a pebble aside, and in course of time there arose a big heap of pebbles. One day the sannyasin said to the prostitute, pointing to the heap: "Woman, don't you see this heap? Each pebble in it stands for every commission of the deadly sin you have been indulging in since I advised you last to desist from the evil course. Even now I tell you: Beware of your evil deeds! " The poor wretch began to tremble at the sight of the accumulation of her sins, and she prayed to God shedding tears of utter helplessness, inwardly repeating, "Lord, will Thou not free me from the miserable life that I am leading? " The prayer was heard, and on that very day the angel of death passed by her house, and she ceased to exist in this world. By the strange will of God, the sannyasin also died on the same day. The messengers of Vishnu came down from Heaven and carried the spirit-body of the contrite prostitute to the heavenly regions. while the messengers of Yama bound the spirit of the sannyasin and carried him down to the nether world. The sannyasin, seeing the good luck of the prostitute, cried aloud: " is this the subtle justice of God? I passed all my life in asceticism and poverty and I am carried to hell, while that prostitute, whose life was a whole record of sin, is going to Heaven!" Hearing this, the messengers of Vishnu said: " The decrees of God are always just; as you think so you reap. You passed your life in external show and vanity, trying to get honour and fame; and God has given you this. Your heart never sincerely yearned after Him. This prostitute earnestly prayed to God day and night, though her body sinned all the while. Look at the treatment which your body and her body are receiving from those below. As you never sinned with your body, they have decorated it with flowers and garlands, and are carrying it with music in a procession to consign it to the sacred river. But this prostitute's body, which had sinned is being torn to pieces at this moment by vultures and jackals. Nevertheless, she was pure in heart and is therefore going to the regions of the pure. You heart was always absorbed in contemplating her sins and thus became impure. You are therefore going to the regions of the impure. You were the real prostitute, and not she." Lord Harayana and his self-defending devotee Once Lakshmi and Narayana were seated in Vaikunta, when Narayana suddenly stood up. Lakshmi had been stroking his feet. She said, « Lord, where are you going?» Narayana answered: « one of My devotees is in great danger. I must save him. » With these words He went out, but came back immediately. Lakshmi said: « Lord, why have You returned so soon? » Narayana smiled and said: « The devotee was going along the road overwhelmed with love for Me. Some washermen were drying clothes on the grass and the devotee walked over the clothes. At this the washermen chased him and were going to beat him with their sticks. So I ran out to protect him. » « But why have You come back? » asked Lakshmi. Narayana laughed and said, « I saw the devotee himself picking up a brick to throw at them. So I came back. » Shiva, Parvatii and their ox. One day, Shiva and his wife Parvatii were travelling in the mountainous area of Kaelash. He told his wife, "this path is too rough for you to walk, why don’t you ride the ox?" She followed her husband suggestion, and started riding the ox. But soon after, they passed two strangers sitting on the roadside, and Parvatii overheard them talking to each other. "Look at that selfish wife enjoying on the ox, while her husband is walking!" Upon hearing this talk, she immediately requested Shiva to ride the ox, and that She should walk. Shiva agreed to that, but soon after they passed another couple of strangers who commented: " this husband must really be of a bad kind, forcing his wife to walk like a slave while he is comfortably on the ox!" Distressed by this comment, Parvatii told Shiva that they both should be riding the ox together. And they started doing just so, but again some strangers commented: "What a shameful pair! Don’t they have any human feelings for this poor beast? Look at how it is struggling under the weight while they are both sitting on its back!" Parvatii going through more and more internal clash, asked her husband pitifully: "Let’s both of us walk by the side of the ox" But this combination did not work out either, because after walking for a few kilometers in this fashion, they again got criticized by some passer-by whose low voiced comment was overheard by Parvatii. "Look at that foolishness. These people have a nice ox and they are not even using it!" Parvatii frustration suddenly turning into realization smiled to Shiva. "Now I understand Your lesson, My Lord! Whatever I do, there will always be some people criticizing me. So I should first think deeply about what is right and do it without second thought for the criticism that will certainly arise." The four monks who broke their vow of silence Four monks made an agreement to meditate in silence for a week and not to speak a single word. On the first day, they maintained silence. But as darkness fell, the flame of the candle began to flicker... - Oh, the flame is going out. Said one monk - Eh, we should not speak a single word. Said the second. - Why do you two want to speak? Said the third. - Ha! Ha! Ha! I am the only one who did not talk. Said the fourth. Many people, in admonishing others and pointing out their errors, very likely are themselves fallible. « bring your sins to me and I will wipe them away for you » It was the year 559. A layman paid a visit to Huike. He said: « I probably committed some kind of wrong doing in a previous existence, and that is why I am now stricken with leprosy. I beg you, master, to wipe away my sins. » The master said: « bring your sins to me and I will wipe them away for you. » The disciple walked away , and after a while, came back to the master. « I have looked for my sins but I cannot find them. » The master then told: « In that case, I have thoroughly wiped away your sins. You should live in accordance with Buddha, dharma and Samgha. » How the man who climbed a snake to visit his wife became a saint In ancient India there lived a man who was passionately in love with his beautiful wife. All his thoughts were constantly absorbed in her; he had no other desire than to be with her every waking moment. One night he tried to enter her room to visit her when he found the door unexpectedly locked. He knocked, but there was no answer. Thinking her to be asleep, he ran outside the house and leapt up the wall to her window, grabbing a climbing vine for support. Driven by his desire to be with her, he burst through the window. She was shocked. "How did you get up here ?" she cried, "the wall is so high!" "I climbed up the vine, " he answered. "What vine?" she said. "There is no vine alongside this house!" And she looked out the window and saw that the vine he thought he had climbed was a huge snake that had slithered up the side of the house. She looked at him in amazement and said, "If you had desired God as much as you desire me, you would surely have realized the Truth by now." Her words suddenly awakened something deep in his mind. He looked at her, and from that moment the desire for Self-knowledge, kindled in his heart. He started performing sadhana and practiced diligently. He became one of the greatest spiritualists and poets of ancient India, the saint Surdas. Later he blinded his own eyes, because he realized that the charming temptations of the external world were distracting him from his true goal, and he wanted to see only the Effulgent Truth within. Either 'I' ad-infinitum or none of it Sankaracharya had a certain disciple, who served him long without receiving any teaching. One day, hearing footsteps behind him he asked: " Who is there?" and was answered by this disciple: " It is I." Then said the Master: " If this "I" is so dear to thee, either stretch it to the infinite or renounce it altogether. " How a tantric disciple was asked to fill up a pot with the tears of devotion Once , one Tantric master told his disciple, « take this pot and fill it with water, but don't go near any lake or river. » The disciple thought to himself as hard as he could, and then he wandered around a while before returning with an empty pot. The guru looked up at him and said, « There is only one way to fill this pot- with your tears. When you love your deity so much that you cannot bear to be without Him, that you cannot exist unless you have a glimpse of Him, that you are ready to kill yourself unless He shows himself to you, and when you cry continuously until the pot is full, then only are you fit to do Tantric sadhana, not until then. » How Yudhistira at the doors of heaven refused to abandon his faithful dog Yudhisthira, the oldest of the Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata, was on the long and difficult long and difficult journey toward liberation, toward "heaven". Along the way as he and his brothers and their wife Draupadi ascended the steep mountain, a little dog joined them, and followed at his heels even after all his brothers and Draupadi, on by one, became exhausted and fell by the side of the path. Yudhisthira walked on alone, with only the little dog as his companion. When he reached the gated of "heaven", the gatekeeper said, "there is no place for dogs in heaven, leave him here." Yudhisthira answered: "Then there is no place for me either. He was my loyal companion in my hours of solitude; without him I could never be happy in heaven. I have never failed to help those who sought my sanctuary or mercy. I will not now forsake my dharma for the sake of my personal happiness." At this moment the gates of heaven opened and the dog was suddenly transformed into the radiant god Dharma himself, the God of righteousness! And Yudhisthira, passing still another test, was admitted into heaven. The thief who changed his ways There was once a king of thieves, who during his whole life earned his livelihood by stealing, and was never caught. When he was about to die, he called his son to his bedside and told him: "My son, here is the best advice that I can give you. First, never go to a temple or a mosque, and never remain in the company of a Saint. Second, if you are ever caught stealing, never confess, even though ;you are severely beaten." After this, the king of thieves died. Thereafter, the son went out stealing every night. One night, when he had broken into a house, the people woke up and he had no alternative but to run away. He was closely followed, and had noticed that a police guard was standing nearby. The police told the people that the young man could not get very far, as they would catch him. The thief wondered what he could do, when he suddenly found that a temple was nearby. He heard hymns of worship being sung and to save his life, he had to go in. Remembering the advice rendered to him by his dying father, he put his fingers in his ears. Even so he had heard this much said: "Gods and goddesses cast no shadows." "Whether I know this or not, it has no significance to me, " he thought. Meanwhile, the police came and caught him, took him to the chief magistrate, and tried to make him confess his guilt: but he would not. Orders were then given that so long as he would not confess, the should not be released. The police then hired a woman who promised that she could make him confess his guilt if he was at all guilty. As a role, thieves are great believers in gods and goddesses. So one night this woman disguised herself as a goddess, had two artificial arms added, and in each one held a light. As had been previously arranged with the police she went into the jail and, as she entered, the door of the young thief's room opened automatically. After she entered, she told him: "I have come to save you - if you committed the theft, please confess it before me." The thief was just on the point of speaking the truth, when he suddenly noticed that the disguised goddess cast a shadow. Then he remembered what he had heard in the temple during the brief period that he was there that true gods and goddesses cast no shadows. He immediately told the disguised woman: "I am not at all guilty, and am unnecessarily harassed." The nest morning the woman reported to the chief magistrate that the man was not guilty and that it was futile to keep him in jail. He was accordingly released. Now, when the thief returned to his house, he began to think that by spending barely a couple of minutes in a temple, he had learned sufficient to release him from jail. Probably, he thought, no difficulties would face him in the future if he went regularly to the temple. consequently, he started to go to the temple every day. As he became devoted, he gradually left his evil ways, met and became a disciple of a Satguru, and in course of time himself became a Saint. How Mansur was tortured for saying « I am the Truth » Mansur was sentenced to be hanged in Haghdada for saying, "I am the Thruth (God)" that is , claiming that he was at one with the the Lord. Being rebuked for this and told to say instead, "He is the Truth, " Mansur replied: " Yes, He is all, but you say He is lost. Mansur is lost; the drop has disappeared, but the ocean remains as it was." It was decided that he should be stoned before he was taken to the gallows. The Saint was therefore dragged out into the public square of Baghdad, and everyone who so wished, threw stones at him. Bansur suffered all of this in silence. Then his friend, Shibli, who was also a saint, in order to show compassion, and at the same time to test Mansur, threw a flower. When it struck, Mansur winced and cried aloud in pain. "Mansur, my friend!" cried Shibli, "Why did you suffer pain, when it was only a flower that I threw?" "Those who are throwing stones are completely ignorant, and know not what they are doing," Mansur replied. "But you, dear Shibli, knew better; and that was why your flower caused me pain." The executioner then ordered that Mansur's hands should be cut off. This was done, and Mansur said: "That is well done. I had no need for those hands, for I have hand that can grasp the fringe of the abode of the Supreme Being." His feet were next cut off, and the Saint said: "Neither did I need those feet; for I have feet that can take me straight-away to the Divine Court." The executioner's assistants then put out Mansur's eyes, and he said: "That is no great matter, since I have eyes that are able to see the Lord at all times." It was next ordered that his tongue be cut out; but at this Mansur drew back and asked them to kindly wait for a few moments. he then bowed to the Lord and said: "O Beloved, it is you alone who have enabled me to pass these tests. You have been like a potter who strikes the surface of a pot with one hand, while using the other to support the side of the pot from within. The very same have you done for me. O my Beloved Lord, I have no words with which to express my gratitude." When this prayer was finished, Mansur called to the executioner: "I am ready now," he said, "to have my tongue cut out." Banish your cares, don’t think good or evil and show me you original face After Huineng, 6th patriarch of Zen, left Mount Huangmei, he was pursued by a monk named Huiming who caught up with him. «- I did not come for the robe, but only for the dharma. Kindly instruct me. - first banish your mundane cares and cut off your thoughts, then I will instruct you. - yes. - Don't think of good and don't think of evil. At this very moment what is your original face? - Er... Please reveal to me the meaning of this secret saying. - If you can look within, the meaning is right in your heart. - Thanks to your pointing out. I feel like a drinker of water who alone knows whether it is cold or warm. Everything is clear to me now. » Tulsidas and the tantrica who gave height sons to a childless lady Once the great Hindi poet-saint Tulsidas, during his period as a wandering sadhu, came to a certain town, where a lady offered him food. After eating, Tulsidas told the lady, "please ask for anything and I will do it for you. «She laughed in his face and said, "Maharaj, plenty of saints have come and none of them have been able to give me what I want." « But I am Tulsidas,» he said, a little offended, "and I will give you what you desire; just speak it." The woman sighed over his stupidity and said, "I want a son." Tulsidas went into meditation and after a few minutes came back to earthly consciousness and said, "Ma, I'm afraid that a son is not in your destiny." The woman smiled and said, "That is what I told you in the first place, but you wouldn't listen to me. However, you are always welcome for food." Tulsidas went on his way. After some time a Tantrica came to the town, and upon learning about the lady who was unable to have a child he decided to do something about it. One day he walked down the street in front of the lady's ;house, shouting, "who will feed me? I am offering a child for every roti I am fed! One roti, one child! Ten rotis, ten children!" When the lady heard this she invited the Agthora inside and told him, "But Maharaj, it’s not in my destiny to have children." The Tantrica replied, "I piss on destiny!" She fed him eight rotis, and in eight years she delivered eight handsome sons. After twelve years Tulsidas again visited the town. As he walked down the same street he saw the eight boys and was immediately enamored by their beauty and intelligence. They called their mother, and she invited him inside and told him, "Do you remember that you said I had no sons in my destiny?" When Tulsidas head that the Tantrica had given them to her, he went into meditation to ask Rama about it. He said, "Raghuvira, when you would not allow me to give this lady sons, how could that filthy evil-smelling Tantrica do it?" Rama smiled at him and said, "Tulsi, that Tantrica is something different from you. He has gone beyond the limits of being a saint and living in Sattva." Then Rama decided to teach Tulsidas a good lesson with the help of the Tantrica, and suddenly He started to shout, "Oh, I have a terrific pain in the heart. Please, Tulsi, get me a heart from someone so that I an get some relief." Tulsidas got scared: If something were to happen to Lord Rama what would be his fate as Rama's chief devotee? So he ran out into the street shouting, "A heart! Lord Rama needs a heart! Who will give his heart for Rama?" The Tantrica who was relaxing under a tree, heard him and said, "Tulsidas, come here." When Tulsidas came the Tantrica said, "now I know how much love you have for Lord Rama. If you really loved him, you would have given your own heart instantaneously when He asked. Here, if Lord Rama wants a heart, let Him take mine, " and so saying he ripped open his chest with his fingers, tore out his heart, and handed it to Tulsidas. When Tulsidas went back into meditation to offer the heart to Rama, Rama smiled at him and said, "Now do you see how a real lover behaves with his Beloved"? And Tulsidas had to keep quiet and acknowledge the Tantrica's greatness. Narada and the rustic who remembered Lord’s name twice a day Once upon a time conceit entered into the heart of Narada, and he thought there was no greater devotee than himself. Reading his heart, the Lord said: "Narada, go to such and such a place. A great devotee of mine is living there. Cultivate his acquaintance; for he is truly devoted to My." Narada went there and found an agriculturist who rose early in the morning, pronounced the name of Hari (God) only once, and taking his plough, went out and tilled the ground all day long. At night he went to bed after pronouncing the name of Hari once more. Narada said to himself: "how can this rustic be a lover of God? I see him busily engaged in worldly duties, and he has no signs of a pious man about him. " Then Narada went back to the Lord and spoke what he thought of his new acquaintance. Thereupon the Lord said: " Narada, take this cup of oil and go round this city and come back with it. But take care that you do not spill even a single drop of it. " Narada did as he was told, and on his return the Lord asked him, " Well, Narada, how many times did you remember Me in the course of your walk round the city? " "Not once, my Lord, " said Narada, " and how could I, when I had to watch this cup brimming over with oil? " The Lord then said: " This one cup of oil did so divert your attention that even you did forget Me altogether. But look at that rustic, who, though carrying the heavy burden of a family, still remembers Me twice every day." The Avadhuta and his upa-gurus The Guru is only one, but Upa-gurus (secondary gurus) may by many. He is an Upa-guru from whom anything whatsoever is learned. It is mentioned in the Bhagavata that the great Avadhuta (a great yogi) had twenty-four such Upa-Gurus. (a) One day as the Avadhuta was walking across a meadow, he saw a bridal procession coming toward him with loud beating of drums and great pomp. Hard by he saw a hunter deeply absorbed in aiming at his game and perfectly inattentive to the noise and pomp of the procession, casting not even a passing look at it. The Avadhuta, saluting the hunter, said, " Sir, thou art my Guru. When I sit in meditation let my mind be concentrated upon the object of meditation, as yours was on your game. (b) An angler was fishing in a pond. The Avadhuta approaching him asked, " Brother which way leads to such and such a place?" The float of the rod at that time was indicating that the fish was nibbling at the bait; so the man did not give any reply but was all attention to his fishing rod. Having first hooked the fish, he turned round and said, " What is it you have been saying, sir?" The Avadhuta saluted him and said, " Sir, thou art my Guru. When I sit in contemplation of the Deity of my choice (Ista), let me follow thy example and before finishing my devotions let me not attend to anything else. " (c) A kite with a fish in its beak was followed by a host of crows and other kites, which were pecking at it and trying to snatch the fish away. In whatever direction it went, its tormentors followed it cawing, till at last they made it let go the fish in vexation. Another kite instantly caught the fish and was in its turn followed by the whole lot. The first kite was left unmolested and sat calmly on the branch of a tree. Seeing this quiet and tranquil state of the bird the Avadhuta, saluting him, said, " thou art my Guru, for thou hast taught me that peace of mind is possible in this world, only when one has given up one's adjuncts (upadhis); otherwise there is danger at every step." (d) A heron was slowly walking on a marsh to catch a fish. Behind, there was a fowler aiming an arrow at the heron, but the bird was totally unmindful of this fact. The Avadhuta saluting the heron, said, "When I sit in meditation, let me follow thy example and never turn back to see who is behind me." (e) The Avadhuta found another Guru in a bee. The bee had been storing up honey with long and great labor. A man came from somewhere, broke the hive and drank up the honey. The bee was not destined to enjoy the fruit of its long labor. On seeing this, the Avadhuta saluted the bee saying, " Lord! Thou art my Guru; from Thee I learn what is the sure fate of accumulated riches." How Valmiki gave up stealing after none would share his bad Karma Once a notorious robber came upon a great saint in the forest and demanded his possessions. "Why do you steal?" the saint asked with a loving smile. The robber answered that he himself did not want to steal but he had to do so to support his wife and family. "Why do you perform this evil for them; they will not share your bad karma," the saint said. The robber refused to believe this and ran home and asked his father, mother, wife, and children if they would share his pain, the reactions to his evil deeds. "Of course not, it is none of our business how you get the money to feed us! We wont share your evil!" they answered. Then why I am doing all this?" he thought to himself and returned to the forest to the saint. He begged the saint to give him a true mantra; instead he gave him the word Mara Mara, death, death to meditate on. Because of the crude state of his mind, he couldn’t give him a true mantra; The saint went on a journey and when he returned, years later he found the robber meditating under a tree just where he had left him. He had been chanting his mantra with such ceaseless concentration that ants had built an hills over his body; but he was unaware of them. by constant repetition, the word Mara, mara had become Rama Rama, one of the names of God; and the once robber had become a realized soul. He took the name Valmiki and became one of the greatest poets of ancient India, the author of the great epic, Ramayana. How a disciple crossed a river and his guru trying the same was drowned A disciple who had firm faith in the infinite power of his Guru walked over the river by simply uttering his name. Seeing this, the Guru thought, "Well, is there such a power in my mere name? Then how great and powerful must I be!" The next day the Guru also tried to walk over the river uttering 'I', 'I', 'I', but no sooner did he step into the water than he sank down and was soon drowned; for the poor man did not know how to swim even. Faith can achieve miracles while vanity or egotism brings about the destruction of man. How a wave realized being water One day, in the ocean, one small wave said: " I feel distressed. Other waves are so big whereas I am so small. Other waves are so powerful whereas I am puny..." Another wave answered: -"It is because you have not seen clearly your original nature that you have sorrow. - Am I not a wave? Then what am I? - The wave is only a temporary form of your nature. In actuality, you are water. - Water? - Once you perceive clearly that your actual nature is water, you will no longer be obsessed with the form of the wave and thus, you will no longer be in sorrow. - I understand now. I am you, you are also me. We are both one. How a man took a prostitute as Guru and renounced the world This is the story of Vilwamangal in the Bhaktamala. He used to visit a prostitute. One night he was very late in going to her house. He had been detained at home by the Sraddha ceremony of his father and mother. In his hands he was carrying the food offered in the ceremony, to feed his mistress. His whole soul was so set upon the woman that he was not at all conscious of his movements. He did not even knew how he was walking. There was a Yogi seated on the path, meditating on God with his eyes closed. Vilwamangal stepped on him. The yogi became angry, and cried out; " What? Are you blind? I have been thinking of God and you step on my body!" "I beg your pardon " said Vilwamangal, "but may I ask you something? I have been unconscious, thinking of a prostitute, and you are conscious of the outer world though thinking of God. What kind of meditation is that?" In the end Vilwmangal renounced the world and went away in order to worship God. He said to the prostitute:' You are my Guru. You have taught me how one should yearn for God." He addressed the prostitute as his mother and gave her up. The guru who pressed his disciple’s head into the water A disciple asked his teacher, " Sir, please tell me how I can see God. " "Come with me, " said the guru, " and I shall show you. " He took the disciple to a lake, and both of them got into the water. Suddenly the teacher pressed the disciple's head into the water. After a few moments he released him and the disciple raised his head and stood up. The guru asked him, " How did you feel? " The disciple said, :Oh! I thought I should die; I was panting for breath. " The teacher said, " When you feel like that for God, then you will know you haven't long to wait for His vision." All for a single piece of loin-cloth A sadhu under the instruction of his Guru built for himself a small shed, thatched with leaves at a distance from the haunts of men. He began his devotional exercises in this hut. Now, every morning after ablution he would hang his wet cloth and the kaupina (loin- cloth) on a tree close to the hut, to dry them. One day on his return from the neighboring village, which he would visit to beg for his daily food, he found that the rats had cut holes in his kaupina. So the next day he was obliged to go to the village for a fresh one. A few days later, the sadhu spread his loin-cloth on the roof of his hut to dry it and then went to the village to beg as usual. On his return he found that the rats had torn it into shreds. He felt much annoyed and thought within himself, "Where shall I go again to beg for a rag? Whom shall I ask for one?" All the same he saw the villagers the next day and represented to them the mischief done by the rats. Having heard all he had to say, the villagers said, "Who will keep you supplied with cloth every day? Just do one thing, keep a cat; it will keep away the rats." The sadhu forthwith secured a kitten in the village and carried it to his hut. From that day the rats ceased to trouble him and there was no end to his joy. The sadhu now began to tend the useful little creature with great care and fed it on the milk begged from the village. After some days, a villager said to him: " Sadhuji, you require milk every day; you can supply your want for a few days at most by begging; Who will supply you with milk all the year round? Just do one thing-keep a cow. You can satisfy your own creature comforts by drinking its milk and you can also give some to your cat." In a few days the sadhu procured a milk cow and had no occasion to beg for milk any more. By and by, the sadhu found it necessary to beg for straw for his cow. He had to visit the neighboring villages for the purpose, but the villagers said, " There are lots of uncultivated lands close to your hut; just cultivate the land and you shall not have to beg for straw for your cow." Guided by their advice the sadhu took to tilling the land. Gradually he had to engage some laborers and later on found it necessary to build barns to store the crop in. Thus he became, in course of time, a sort of landlord. And, at last he had to take a wife to look after his big household. He now passed his days just like a busy householder. After some time, his Guru came to see him. Finding himself surrounded by goods and chattels, the Guru felt puzzled and inquired of a servant, " An ascetic used to live here in a hut; can you tell me where he has removed himself? " The servant did not know what to say in reply. So the Guru ventured to enter into the house, where he met his disciple. the Guru said to him, " My son, what is all this?" The disciple, in great shame fell at the feet of his guru and said, " My Lord, all for a single piece of loin-cloth!"
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