Hallmark of Humility

Value- Right Conduct

Sub value- Humility, forbearance

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was an extremely humble person and many a times it was this part of his nature that inspired others. Several incidents and anecdotes from his life reflect his simplicity and humility. All these plus his contributions towards society, made him a renowned  and respected person all across India.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar along with his few friends was working hard on a mission to start the Calcutta University and for this they were seeking donations. Though advised by his fellow members not to approach the Nawab, who was known to be an unsavory character, Vidyasagar went to the palace of the Nawab of Ayodhya to fulfill the same mission.   Vidyasagar met Him and presented the whole situation to the Nawab; who in complete disdain and disrespect, dropped his shoes into Vidyasagar’s donation bag. Vidyasagar did not react but just thanked the Nawab and left the palace.

vidyasagar

The next day, Vidyasagar organized an auction of the Nawab’s shoes just in front of the Nawab’s palace. People, in order to impress the Nawab, including the Nawab’s jagirdars and court members, etc came forward and started bidding. The shoes were auctioned to the highest bidder for a good sum of R.1,000. The Nawab on hearing this was pleased and donated the same amount.

When the Nawab dropped his shoes in the donation bag,  Vidyasagar could have reacted in another manner, he could have taken this as an insult or got depressed. But on the other hand, he used those shoes as an opportunity to fulfill his mission. He not only got the money but also pleased the Nawab with his resourcefulness.

Vidyasagar always worked above his personal feeling  towards one goal; and soon enough his dream of opening Calcutta University also fructified.

Learning

When one faces an adverse situation, one should respond rather than react. How does one respond? We should keep our goal above our ego. One should be able to subordinate ones likes and dislikes for the higher purpose of life. When one develops such forbearance and humility like Ishwar Chandra by keeping personal feelings on hold  then one shall be able to achieve ones  goal and succeed in life.

 

 

 

 


 

Tale of Two Dogs

Value- Right Conduct

Sub Value- Optimism

There were two dogs walking along. The first dog enters a room and comes out of the room wagging its tail.

happy dog

The next dog enters the same room a little later and comes back growling.

growling dog

A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and other mad. To her surprise she finds a room filled with mirrors.

mirror maze

The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog saw only angry dogs growling back at him.

Learning

What we see in the world around us is a reflection of who we are. So if we are at peace and calm within ourselves, we will see the whole world peaceful and calm.

 

Shared by Akshara Venkatesh- 10yrs old

The bird which interpreted dreams

Value- Non Violence

Sub value- Positive Thoughts

A young farmer, named Raju worked hard on his land from dawn to dusk. One evening, as Raju rested under the shade of a banyan tree on one end his farm, before heading back home, a royal herald rode by announcing that whoever could interpret the king’s dream would receive 100 gold coins.

King dreaming

The king had seen a sneering jackal trying to jump on to his lap. “If only I knew the answer,” muttered Raju to himself. “I’ll tell you, provided you give me half the reward Raju” said a little bird sitting atop  the banyan tree. Raju was delighted and agreed to share the reward with the bird. “The jackal symbolizes treachery. Ask the king to be cautious”, said the bird.

Raju conveyed this interpretation to the king and received his reward. “What a pity I have to part with half the reward”, thought Raju. He took a detour, avoiding the bird.

talking bird

 

He invested the money prudently and grew rich. Five years passed. One evening, the king’s general galloped to Raju’s house and called out, “His Majesty has had another dream. He saw a bloody dagger circling his head”. Scared, Raju went in search of the bird on the banyan tree, which had interpreted the earlier dream. As he approached the banyan tree, the familiar voice said, “Will you give me half the reward if I interpret the dream?” Raju promised. The bird said that the dagger represented violence and that the king should be on his guard. This time, Raju won 1000 gold coins. Again, he was in no mood to oblige the bird ,but worried about bird reporting this matter  to the king. So he strolled past the banyan tree, picked up a  stone and hurled it at the bird. Luckily the bird escaped unhurt.

As the years rolled by, Raju forgot all about it, until the king had another dream. This time the king saw a dove on his lap. Once again Raju went to the bird for counsel and was told by the bird, that the dove symbolised peace .Again, Raju was awarded 10,000 gold coins. This time, he surrendered the entire amount to the bird. But the bird had no use for it. “Please tell me that you have pardoned me”, pleaded a repentant Raju.

Said the bird: “On the first occasion there was treachery in the atmosphere and you proved treacherous. The second time there was violence in the air and you were violent. Now there is trust and you have acted accordingly. Few can act according to their inner will”.

Courtesy: Speaking Tree- “Individual will be no match for Mad Mobs’- Manoj Das

Learning

We often get influenced by the people and the environment around us. When we are in the company of positive people we develop positivity; negative people and situations pull us down. So we must seek such company which evokes positivity in us.

Having said that, in reality, we might find ourselves more in adverse situations, circumstances and company. It is here where one needs to have a mind of our own where we are able to handle such situations without getting influenced or overwhelmed. We must train our mind in that direction so that we develop  inner strength to face any situation or challenge.

Prayers, reading of scriptures, spiritual practices and other motivational resources show us the path to developing a positive attitude and the strength to face and accept things which are beyond our control, but it is up to us to internalise those learning’s.

 

Learning

We often get influenced by the people and the environment around us. When we are in the company of positive people we develop positivity; negative people and situations pull us down. So we must seek such company which evokes positivity in us.

Having said that, in reality we might find ourselves more in adverse situations, circumstances and company. It is here where one needs to have a mind of our own where we are able to handle such situations without getting influenced or overwhelmed. We must train our mind in that direction so that we develop the inner strength to face any situation or challenge.

Prayers, reading of scriptures, spiritual practices and other motivational resources show us the path to developing a positive attitude and the strength to face and accept things which are beyond our control, but it is up to us to internalise those learnings.

Impart values at a young age

I have regular value based teaching classes for children, on every Wednesday and Friday evenings, at my place. These children are a joy to teach and I also learn a lot from them during our sharing and discussion sessions.

Last Friday, ie 14th March 2014, I had the first class of the day at 5.30pm for the little children aged 4-6 yrs. At sharp 5.30pm, a little girl aged 6 who was new to the class, entered the prayer room at our home, where I conduct these classes. Looking around with her inquisitive eyes and with a smile on her lips, she told me “I smell God here”. I was really surprised at this child’s words. Her expressions showed that she felt something so different and nice here.

Children are so innocent and pure. Wish we adults could retain some of our innocence and simple pure love for all.

After a while during the sharing session, a 5yr old was complaining to me about another 6yr old in the class. She said  that she had found a comb in the playground and given it to the 6 yr old, who was in return going to give her some gift but that the 6yr old didn’t keep up her word. The 6yr old was trying to justify as to why she couldn’t give a return gift.

After they finished their part, it was my turn. I told them that at the very first place the comb should not have been picked up from the playground, as it did not belong to them. One should never take the things that didnt belong to them, whatever it maybe. This is where they have to practice the human values of honesty and right conduct. If they did find any such thing the next time, they should just hand it over to the security of the building , who  would return it to the owner.

Just as he class was to an end, I overheard the 5yr old telling the 6yr old in a serious tone, that no sooner than  she gets home  should she  go alone or with her helper down to the security and return the comb. I was taken aback at such a quick response by this little kid. I was very happy. The lesson had gone in then and there.

That’s how the little kids are. They are like sponge. They will absorb and grasp whatever is told to them. Hence it’s the duty of the parents and teachers to impart the right values and manners at this very young age. It is said that ‘a small plant can be moulded but a tree cannot be’. Let us strive to bring up our little ones with the right values so that they become an exemplary citizen of the world.

I have never felt more satisfied and purposeful. Every minute spent in guiding these children is well spent and meaningful. I feel really happy and blessed to be imparting the value based education to these children and make a difference.

Pundit and the milkmaid

 

There was a highly learned Pundit (priest) in a village. Everyday a milkmaid used to deliver milk early in the morning at the Pundit’s house. One morning she was late for delivering the milk which made the Pundit upset with her. He angrily questioned her about the delay. She told the Pundit that the boatman was late to ferry her across the river and hence the delay. The Pundit told her that she could cross the river without the help of the boatmen, if one chants the name of Lord Hari (Vishnu- Hindu deity) he/she can cross the river of life itself, what about this small river? The milkmaid listened attentively to the Pundit.

Pundit and milk maid

Next morning she was very early to deliver the milk and was again questioned by the Pundit. The milkmaid told him that as per his teaching yesterday, she didn’t wait for the boatman but walked across the river chanting Lord’s name. The Pundit was flabbergasted. He thought she was just making up stories and asked to be shown how she crossed the river. The milkmaid took him to the river and started chanting the Lord’s name and was already walking on the river.Milkmaid and Pundit 1

Pundt and milkmaid 2She asked the Pundit to do the same. As soon as the Pundit touched the water he was very cautious of getting his clothes wet and just fell in the river. His attention was more on the clothes than on the Lord. He didn’t believe in his own words. He lacked the faith.

Pundit and milkmaid 3

Learning

Faith and devotion is more important than mere learning of the scriptures. One should advise others only when they believe in their own words. One should have conviction and faith in what they preach to the others.

Contributed by: Kunal Wagle- Age-11 years

The Feather Story

One day a boy spread false and negative rumour about one of his classmates. Being a Christian, he visited church every Sunday. He knew there was a confession box at the church and one could tell the priest whatever mistake one had done and be forgiven by God for confessing the mistake. This boy realised that he had caused a lot of sadness to his classmate by this act of spreading the rumours.

Feathers flying

There was a kind priest in the church who helped children with their problems. When this boy confessed to the kind priest how he had done wrong to his classmate, the priest heard him patiently and before praying for the boy’s forgiveness, he wanted the boy to understand the impact of his action. So, he told the boy to take a bag of feathers and go to the top of the hill on a windy day. He told him to let the feathers fly and again go the next day and pick up all of the feathers which had flown off, every single one of them. The boy immediately replied to the priest that it was impossible to pick each and every feather. Then the priest explained to the boy that it was exactly same for any rumour also. Once it is spread it is very difficult to stop it and cannot be undone. The damage is done and hence forth he must be very careful not to repeat this mistake with anyone else.

The boy learnt his lesson and never repeated this mistake again.

Learning

We must not talk ill about others. When we do not know the facts about something or someone, we should never spread false news. This can hurt the feelings of so many people. Words once out of the mouth can never be taken back. The damage once done cannot be repaired; the dent or the mark will remain forever. So we must watch our words whenever we speak.

Contributed by Anavi Shyam- Age- 10yrs

 

Journey is as important as the Destination

King hunting

 

Contributed by: Shyla Govil-11yrs

Once upon a time there was a king who loved all his luxuries and comforts. He would sleep on a bed covered with red roses and eat the most delicious of foods. One day, the king and his courtiers went on a hunting trip. They all had a great time, and by the time the hunting was over, it was night. The King started to lead the way but soon realised that he was alone! He had been separated from his people and since they could not find him, they had left.

The king was famished and tired. He was angry with this unforeseen situation. He rode his horse for some more time till he found a hermitage where a pundit was praying. The king told him his situation and prayed the pundit to help him get back his kingdom and luxuries. The pundit smiled and told him; “I shall teach you a mantra (prayer) and you will have to stand in a ring of fire and chant it for 40 days to get back your kingdom.” The king soon learnt the prayer and followed the Pundit’s instructions.

After 40 days of this penance, nothing happened. The King asked the Pundit about it. The Pundit then told the King to repeat the same exercise by standing in the coldest river. After 40 days of this chanting also nothing happened. All the King’s efforts had gone waste. The king was very upset and disappointed. The Pundit then explained to the King, that the king chanted the name always looking as what he would get rather than concentrating on the prayer, hence he did not get anything.

Learning

One should enjoy and concentrate on the work they are performing rather than only looking at the end result. We can learn a lot while performing a work. If we do anything just for the sake of doing without understanding and with lack of interest we will never get the desired results. The journey is equally important as is the destination.

 

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