The cobbler and the rich man

Value- Right conduct

Sub value- Contentment, Detachment, peace of mind

There lived a happy cobbler who passed his days working and singing from morning till night; rain or shine. A rich man who passed by the cobbler daily felt sad at the sight of the poor cobbler working so hard. He wanted to help him.

One day he asked the cobbler “Hello man, I see you working hard daily and wondering how much do you earn in a year?” The cobbler replied, ”I earn enough to make both ends meet.” ”I am really sorry to hear that .You must be living in great distress,” said the rich man. “But I am used to this sort of life and I am happy,” said the cobbler.

The next day the rich man again came to visit the cobbler. He came with ten thousand rupees in a bag. He said to him, ”Look, my friend! I have brought ten thousand rupees for you. Keep this money and remove your distress. ”The cobbler was greatly surprised. At first he refused to take the money. The rich man told him that he could use the money in times of difficulties. The cobbler took the money from the rich man and thanked him.

Now a new fear troubled the cobbler. He said to himself, ”Ten thousand rupees is a lot of money. ” He could not think where to keep the money safe. He dug a hole in his hut and kept the money there. But he always thought that his money could be stolen any time. This thought kept him awake and he lost his sleep every night. He lost his smile, happiness and forgot to sing. He could not devote himself to his work. As a result, his life became more miserable. Peace and happiness vanished from his life. The cobbler gradually realized that he had money, but no peace of mind.


Money does not necessarily bring happiness. It is difficult to earn money and even more difficult to safeguard it. It brings more fear and anxiety to protect the wealth. The money which should have brought happiness brought more restlessness and fear. This does not mean that money is not good. It is good to have enough money for our needs and comfort and a little more to be of help to others.

Saint transforms a thief

Value- Right conduct
Sub value- Detachment
 Tulsidas, a pious saint, used to worship God in the form of Rama, the great prophet of India. Wealthy devotees of Tulsidas, inspired by his intense devotion, gave him many golden utensils to be used in his sacred temple ceremonies. Tulsidas, while he meditated deeply on Rama, noticed an underlying fear that these gold utensils would be stolen.
His fear was not unfounded, for a thief had learned about the temple’s gold utensils. Saint Tulsidas left the temple open, and at night he used to meditate under a bower of fragrant flowers, about one hundred yards from the temple. The thief planned to go there at night and steal the utensils, but for seven nights as he approached the temple, he beheld the living image of Rama guarding the temple entrance.
Bewildered, the thief dressed himself up as a gentleman and went to Tulsidas one morning, saying, “Honored Sir, I have heard that you do not lock the temple door even at night, for you always invite true devotees to meditate there. Yet for seven nights I have wanted to enter your temple to meditate and receive the holy vibrations, but I dared not enter because your sentry, dressed as King Rama and equipped with bow and arrows, was menacingly guarding the temple door.”
Tulsidas, with tears in his eyes, asked the gentleman, “Is it true that you saw Rama guarding the temple door? Well, sir, I’m sorry. I will ask my sentry not to guard the temple door anymore, so that you can visit the temple at any time.”
Tulsidas realized that this “gentleman” was really a thief. But he also realized that his fear of losing the gold utensils had attracted the Lord Rama to materialize and lovingly guard the temple treasures for him.
The saint retired to the temple and meditated all day long, praying to Rama, “Lord, please take away my gold utensils. I’m ashamed to have bothered you with my fears and caused you to be awake through the night guarding the temple utensils. Please desist from assuming the part of my sentry.” Rama appeared in a vision and smilingly agreed to the prayer of his devotee.
That night the thief, making sure that Tulsidas was deeply meditating under his favorite tree, once again crept silently into the garden. As Tulsidas had promised, there was no divine guard at the temple entrance. On tiptoe the thief stole into the temple, hurriedly gathered most of the golden utensils in his gunnysack, and then quickly left the temple. At that point, a stray dog began to howl and chase him. The thief, with the golden utensils tinkling in the gunnysack, now chased by the barking dog, broke into a run.
Tulsidas, having finished his meditation, was resting under the tree and expecting the return of the thief. When he heard the howling dog, the racing feet, and the tinkling sound of the gold utensils, he went into the temple and discovered the loss of almost all of the utensils.
Hurriedly gathering up the few remaining gold pieces, Tulsidas tied them in a napkin, and raced in the direction of the barking dog. He quickly overtook the thief, who, in remorse and almost beside himself with fear, fell at the feet of the saint and cried, “Gracious Saint, please take back your gold utensils. I beg you not to turn me over to the police.”
The saint laughed merrily and, patting the thief on the back, handed him the rest of the gold utensils, saying, “Son, I did not overtake you to arrest you, but only to give you the rest of the utensils, which in your hurry you missed. I am glad to be relieved of them, for they distracted me from my meditation on my beloved Rama. Son, you need them more than I do. Take them all with my blessing. However, the next time you want anything from the temple, please don’t steal it and poison your spiritual life. Just ask me and I will willingly give it to you.”
The thief was dumbfounded at the astonishing non-attachment, devotion, forgiveness, and generosity of Tulsidas, and, bowing deeply before him, held the saint’s feet tightly to his bosom, saying amidst sobs, “Honored Saint, I am a thief by profession, but I have never met a greater thief than you. Today you have stolen everything from me—my body, mind, desires, aspirations, heart, and my very soul, as well as the golden utensils you gave me. I don’t want to be a thief of perishable articles any longer, but I want to be a thief of souls like you.”
Saying this, the thief, now a disciple, followed the master to the temple, and ever after they walked, dreamed, and loved God together.
The above story illustrates that the love of God must be supreme. One must learn to detach  ourselves from perishable things and material world. These are but temporary. It will not make us negative and joyless, but instead will bring the imperishable, ever-new, ever-increasing joy of God

Master’s messages- Vol 1-3.3- Dharma will protect the righteous

“If we protect Dharma, Dharma will protect us”


First step in spiritual discipline is adherence to dharma (righteousness). “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha”. “If we protect Dharma, Dharma will protect us”
Protection of Dharma does not mean mere adoration of Dharma. It is the effort of putting the principles of Dharma into practice. Dharma grants happiness and peace. Adharma makes life miserable with agony and sorrow. Dharma observed in worldly life; will lead to observance of dharma in spiritual life also.

Story based on the above message

Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 1- Chapter 3

Bhaja Govindam- Verse 28 with stories and essence



Verse 28

Sukhataḥ kriyate rāmābhogaḥ

paścāddhanta śarīre rogaḥ,

yadyapi loke maraṇaṁ śaraṇaṁ

tadapi na muñcati pāpācaraṇam

Very readily one indulges in carnal pleasures; thereafter, alas, come diseases of the body. Even though the ultimate end is death in this world, man does not give up his sinful behavior.

Story based on the above verse

guru nanak 1


Shankara asks us to observe how a common man exhausts himself and squanders this precious opportunity of human life without recognizing its value.

He says that there are millions of species in this whole universe, and the human being is but a minuscule part of all the creatures in this whole universe. However, to be born as a human being is a great blessing, ‘jantunām nara-janma durlabham’. It is a rare privilege, and we should utilize this precious opportunity. In this birth, the human form enjoys certain distinctions, certain privileges, which are not available to other life forms. Human beings have one distinction. They have an intellect. They can think, and they have an urge to evolve. There is an urge to change, an urge to improve, an urge to progress which other species don’t have.

This human form is not acquired to merely be wasted away in eating, drinking, and making merry. Human being has freewill, which is a great privilege. Therefore, man should contemplate upon the purpose of life. Life should not be wasted away merely in sensuous pleasures.

When man tends to get so carried away in material and sensual pleasure; he falls victim to many diseases both physical and mental. In pursuit of temporary happiness, he never takes time to know the purpose of his life. Life goes on this way and one day he dies.

When the appointed time comes, none of these pursuits are going help us. They are not going to protect us.

When the knowledge of great Masters like Shankara knock at our door, we should be alert and awake to listen, understand and put that into practise in our lives. We should spend our lives in a worthwhile pursuit which will save us or help us at the time of death.

For students

Story based on the above verse

It is said that a small plant can be moulded but it is difficult to mould a tree. For students; values to distinguish right from wrong should be taught from young age. Children can learn these values through various stories, examples of inspiring people etc. The values of perseverance, pursuing a goal and how to work around distractions should be cultivated. These need not be like a lecture, rather fun activities and slow, patiently working and understanding their point of view would help. Parents and teachers may not see the result as expected in the child. They should not give up. They must continue stressing these values by setting an example for the student to follow.

These are life lessons; as a student, they can start practising these values to achieve their education goal, passion goals, career goals with focus and have the determination not to get bogged down by various distractions and finally when they are ready for their spiritual growth, these values would be of great help.

Essence adapted from


Kallu Ram and Guru Nanak

Value- Truth

Sub value- Awakening, Realization


A poor man named Kallu Ram invited Guru Nanak to dine at his house. Guru Nanak accepted the invitation. A day was fixed, Guru Nanak went to the house of the poor man. The door was closed. Guru Nanak knocked at the door, but it was sometime before the door was opened.

The poor man came out and said, “Revered Sir, I did not open the door in time. Pardon me.” Guru Nanak asked, “My dear brother, what were you doing?”

The poor man answered; “Guruji! I was driving nails into the wall”. Guru Nanak said; “Driving nails into the wall? Follow me.”

The poor man replied; “I will obey thy commands. I will follow thee.”

The poor man left all his possessions and followed Guru Nanak. He practised the spiritual instructions of the Guru and became Guru Nanak’s beloved disciple.


The sweet merciful voice of the Guru comes to us and asks; what are we doing? Driving nails into the wall? Still hopelessly sunk in the quagmire of samsara? Still wasting the life in eating, drinking, smoking, playing cards and merry making? Still forgetful of the purpose of life and glory of Atma and Self realisation? Let us pray to the Lord to guide us; to send us a merciful Master who will lead us from ignorance to wisdom and light.

Courtesy: Philosophical Stories- Swami Sivananda

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