Bowl of Noodles

Value- Love

Sub value-Love and Respect your parents

One night, Sue quarreled with her mother and then stormed out of the house. As she was walking, she remembered that she did not have any money in her pocket; she did not even have enough coins to make a phone call home.

At the same time, she crossed a noodle shop, the sweet fragrance of noodles kicked her appetite and she suddenly felt very hungry. She desperately wished for a bowl of noodles, but she had no money!

The seller saw her standing before the counter and asked:-  Hey little girl, you want to eat a bowl of noodles?

But … but I do not carry money … she shyly replied.

Okay, I’ll treat you – the seller said – come in and I will cook you a bowl.

A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles.  Sue cried after she ate some.

What is it? – He asked.

Nothing, I am just touched by your kindness! – Sue said as she wiped her tears.

Even a stranger on the street gives me a bowl of noodles, and my mother, after a quarrel, chases me out of the house. She is cruel!!

The seller sighed:

Girl, why do you think so? Think again. I only gave you a bowl of noodles and you felt that way. Your mother had raised you since you were little, why were you not grateful and disobeyed your mom?

Sue was really surprised after hearing that.

“Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel indebted, and my mother has raised me since I was little and I have never felt so, even a little.”

On the way home, Sue thought in her head what she would say to her mother when she arrives home, “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it is my fault, please forgive me.”

Once up the steps, Sue saw her mother worried and tired of looking for her everywhere. Upon seeing Sue, her mother gently said: “Sue, come inside honey. You are probably very hungry? I have cooked rice and prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot.”

Unable to control any longer, Sue cried in her mom’s hands.

In life, we sometimes find it easy to appreciate the small actions of some people around us, but for our relatives, especially parents, we see their sacrifices as a matter of natural occurrence or duty.

Learning

Parental love and concern are the most precious gifts we have been given since birth.

Parents do not expect us to pay back for nurturing us …… but have we ever appreciated or treasured the unconditional sacrifice of our parents

Love and respect your parents. Without them we wouldn’t exist.

Who you are makes a difference- Mrs Thompson

Value- Love

Sub value- Compassion

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class, on the very first day of school she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stallard.

Teddy’s third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stallard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs.Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching (reading, writing and arithmetic). Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stallard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other and Dr. Stallard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

Learning

You can never tell what type of impact you may have on someone’s life by your actions or lack of action. Please consider this fact in your venture through life, and just try to make a difference in someone else’s life today. Believe in Angels, and then return the favor by being someone’s Angel.

No work is insignificant. All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Who you are makes a difference”

Tribute to my Guru

Being the youngest of three siblings, I was very fortunate to be introduced to Bal Vikas at a rather young age. I was barely four years old. My older brother and sister were already attending Bal Vikas and came home with teachings from Swami. I was very thrilled to hear beautiful bhajans and attend annual Bal Vikas functions where children slightly older than me participated in skits, bhajan singing and keertans. Although it did not make much sense to me then, it got me interested and involved with attending Balvikas sessions with my older sister. Our guru was a very compassionate lady who allowed me to attend these sessions despite my childish pranks and mischief. I found her teaching rather profound, but gradually started to grasp the fact that I was a creation of God and my life was ultimately meant to realize him and become one with him. Our Guru implanted the teachings in my naive young mind. I quickly learnt about the five vices of kaam, krodh moha, lobha and matsarya and tried to stay away from them as I was told that these were wrong. I tried to be a a true shishya, and all I really did was imbibe the wisdom that our Guru taught us. As I continued to grow, my behavior was indeed noticed by my teachers in school who often complemented my parents saying that I had received great Sanskaras.

Looking back at my childhood, I think this was the most crucial part of moulding me as a human being. The symbol of Balvikas is that of a flower with five petals and a lamp. The light from this lamp has always been with me through the darker times of my life and has shown me the right path. As Swami says “Why fear when I am here”. I still sing the bhajan to myself several years later when I am seven seas away from my family, here in America. Swami and his teachings have been my support and inspiration through the hardest of times. The powerful bhajan even worked to soothe my three month old son who suffered from severe abdominal colic. I gently rocked him in front of Swami’s picture as I sang the bhajan to him! This may seem a little unusual coming from an allopathic doctor, but nonetheless is absolutely true.

A fond memory from my Bal Vikas days is that of Baba’s Vibhuti. Even as a little kid, I had deep faith in Swami and believed that he would hold my hand and guide me through every examination of my life. I always went to my guru before every examination and she would affectionately apply Baba’s Vibhuti to my forehad and bless me wishing me luck on the exams. I always carried a picture of Swami on all my exams, and did very well on them. I continued to seek Baba’s holy Vibhuti until I left for college. With Baba’s blessings, I stood first in my Secondary School examinations and eventually went on to pursue my medical career. I do wish to emphasize that Bal Vikas taught me more than just being successful on an examination. Swami’s teaching always reminded me to be humble and sincere. The beautiful skits that I had enacted during my Balvikas days had taught me that the world is mere Maya, and that pride over fickle possessions is easily perishable. My Guru always reiterated Swami’s analogy of ideal human life. Baba advises us to be like a dew drop on a lotus leaf. Swami’s teaching said that one should stick to good karma and shine like a dew drop on bright sunlight of life, but never get attached to the leaf itself, since the dew drop is not a part of the leaf! When it falls off, it does not leave any traces behind, but becomes one with lake water, its creator. I remind myself of this analogy to this day, and try not to get attached to materialistics of the world, seeking to realize the ultimate truth of life, which is the Lord himself, our creator.

I hope to bestow a similar culture on to my son who is now nearly fifteen months old. I am trying my best to recollect as many Balvikas Bhajans and collect as many Balvikas stories/ words of wisdom imparted by Swami and pass them on to my coming generations. Although Baba may not physically be here with us any more, he is in our thoughts and heart and will always prevail through the deeds of millions of shishyas he left behind in this world. I kindly request our fellow Sai devotees to spread the culture and share the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that we were blessed with in our childhood days.

Dr. Vinayak Hegde

Three Races to Save Humanity

Value- Love, Right Conduct

Sub value- Concern for others

An old  fable tells  us the story of a young athletic boy  who hungered for success, and for whom winning was everything; and he  measured success with results.

It so happened that, one day, the boy was preparing himself for a running competition in his small native village, with two other young boys and himself . A large crowd had congregated to witness the sporting spectacle and particularly a  wise old man, on hearing of the young boy, had traveled far to bear witness also.

The race commenced, looking like a level heat at the finishing line, but sure enough the  young boy dug deep; called on his determination, strength and power. He took the winning line and was first. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, expressing no sentiment. The young boy, however, felt proud and important.

A second race was called, and two new young fit challengers came forward, to run with the young boy. The race began and sure enough the little boy came through and finished first once again. The crowd was ecstatic again and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, again expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.

“Another race, another race!” pleaded the little boy. The wise old man stepped forward and presented the little boy with two new challengers, an elderly frail lady and a blind man. “What is this?” quizzed the little boy. “This is no race” he exclaimed. “Race!” said the wise man. The race was started and the boy was the only finisher, the other two challengers left standing at the starting line. The little boy was ecstatic; he raised his arms in delight. The crowd, however, was silent showing no sentiment toward the little boy.

“What has happened? Why don’t the people join in my success?” he asked the wise old man. “Race again”, replied the wise man, “this time, finish together, all three of you, finish together” continued the wise man. The little boy thought a little, stood in the middle of the blind man and the frail old lady and then took the two challengers by the hand. The race began and the little boy walked slowly, ever so slowly, to the finishing line and crossed it. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man smiled, gently nodding his head. The little boy felt proud and important.

“Old man, I understand not! Who is the crowd cheering for? Which one of us three?”, asked the little boy. The wise old man looked into the little boy’s eyes, placing his hands on the boy’s shoulders, and replied softly. “Young boy, for this race you have won much more than in any race you have ever ran before, and for this race the crowd cheer not for any winner!”

The next evolutionary step for humankind is to move from human to kind.

Learning:

Its good to win, but best to win along with others.
http://www.ezsoftech.com/stories/humanity.moral.stories.asp

 

The reason why the world lacks unity and lies broken in heaps is because man is disunited with himself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do good and help others

Value- Right conduct

Sub value- Love all, Serve All

During the days of “Gautama Buddha” there was a young boy who was addicted to bad habits. He behaved rudely with people and was becoming a criminal with his anti- social activities. His mother tried to bring him back to normal life but could not succeed.  Finally she decided to take her son to “Gautama Buddha” to seek his blessings. With great difficulty she convinced her son to meet the great saint “Gautama Buddha”.
Both of them went to the forest where Buddha was sitting under a tree doing meditation.  The mother fell at his feet shedding copious tears.

Buddha lovingly asked her “Why are you crying”?

The mother replied “Dear Lord!  My son is getting into bad ways and I am worried he will end up becoming a criminal! Please do something!

Buddha looked at the weeping mother and her son and answered “It’s too late, dear mother. Your son is going to die in one day” and left that place.  Both mother and her son were shocked with Buddha’s words and returned home with a heavy heart. With fear of death looming, they could not sleep that night. The 23 hours painstakingly passed  and in the last hour Buddha walked into their house.

He asked her son “Have you indulged any cheating / criminal / theft during these  past 23 hours?”
The son said “No”. Did you tell lies?” The son said “No”
Buddha asked, “What did you do in these 23 hours then? “”
The son replied, “Since death was approaching me very closely, I have been filled with remorse and regret the sins and wrong doings committed until now. I have now realized that I wasted my valuable life but it’s too late now to realize”

Buddha said, “Don’t worry. Your death is not about to happen now and it has been postponed.  Spend the rest of your life meaningfully and be kind to the others. ”

Learning
Death is certain to all of us. It may come in any movement, any shape and for any reason.  Let us live with human values doing good things and be helpful to others. Such people will be remembered even after their death.

 

 

Shaluk’s Victory

Value- Love

Sub Value-Devotion

On the rich fertile banks of the river Meshwo in Mahudia, Gujarat, lived a poor farmer named Jivanbhai, who grew a species of melons known as chibhada. His wife, Kesarbai, and son, Shaluk, also helped him.
Once Shaluk said to his mother, Kesarbai, “Ma, I wish that Shriji Maharaj ( a saint) tastes one of our juicy chibhadas. Can I take one to him?” “It would be our great merit if Maharaj eats our chibhadas.”
So the next day, Shaluk plucked the most beautiful and ripe chibhadu from the river bed. He walked with the fruit in hand to give it to the Maharaj. Soon he began to have thoughts about eating the chibhadu; his mouth started salivating and he wondered, “Will Maharaj really accept such a cheap fruit, compared to the rich foods offered by wealthy devotees?  I might as well eat it myself.”
Soon his thoughts became so strong, that he sat down under a tree and took out a knife from his bag. Just as he was about to slice the fruit, he had another thought.
This thought seemed to come from his heart. “Shaluk, you are such a weakling! How can you eat something that you wished Maharaj to have? What happened to your great devotion for Maharaj?”
Shaluk’s intense devotion for Maharaj rattled him. It hit his mind. So he said to his mind, “Now listen, this chibhadu is for Maharaj.”Relieved that he had convinced his mind, he started walking again.
A little later, the walking made him thirsty and hungry and his mind started spinning again, “Fool, just eat up the chibhadu. Maharaj will not be interested in such a cheap little thing. The rich devotees will offer better foods. Gobble up and return home.”
Little Shaluk was now really overcome by temptation. No sooner had he put his hand in the bag for the knife, than he stopped dead in his track, when he again heard a voice from his heart  “No Shaluk! You are a true child devotee of Maharaj. Don’t listen to your mind.”
“That’s final now,” said Shaluk firmly to himself. “I am not going to eat the chibhadu. It’s for Maharaj. Swaminarayan! Swaminarayan!” As he chanted the divine mantra, he thought of Maharaj’s divine persona. He started running fast and continued chanting, “Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan.”

Soon he reached the place where Maharaj was seated in an assembly. The paramhansas were singing kirtans. Shaluk was attracted by Maharaj’s divine presence. The all-knowing Maharaj picked up Shaluk’s thoughts. With a wave of His hand, Maharaj gestured to Shaluk to come to Him. Shaluk’s heart pounded with excitement, he rushed to the Maharaj and fell at His feet.  Standing up he placed the chibhabu on Maharaj’s lap, with great reverence and humility.

Maharaj then said, “Shaluk, give me that knife from your bag. I wish to have this chibhadu now.”
One slice after another, Maharaj started eating the chibhadu and then finished it all. Everyone present was astonished by this and wondered about Shaluk’s sentiments. Before Maharaj revealed this to the assembly He gifted a small pot of barfi to Shaluk and then embraced him!

The whole assembly erupted in applauding this sight! Now they all eagerly and anxiously wanted to know why Maharaj was showering such grace and joy on this little boy.
Finally, Maharaj spoke, “This little boy fought with his mind to bring the chibhadu here. He battled bravely the temptations and was’wounded’ a few times. But he did not accept defeat and achieved victory. Bhagvan and His Sadhu disciples always help those who fight with their minds.”

Everybody present realised that Maharaj ate the whole chibhadu not because of its taste, but only to fulfill Shaluk’s intense and heart felt devotion.

They all then praised him, “Well done Shaluk! By conquering your mind, you have achieved victory over the whole world.”

Learning

When one has pure intention and devotion; his/her prayers will be heard.

 

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