The Divine Upholder of all – Story from Mahabharata – The fight between Arjun and Karna.

Value : Truth

Sub value : Faith, humility

There are many caveats of Mahabharata, some which may not be mentioned in the original. But many of them are very interesting and provide deep insights.This is one such story:

The battle of Kurukshetra was at its zenith, Arjuna and Karna were  fiercely fighting each other. It was an epic battle to witness,  with a  flurry of arrows were being exchanged rapidly from the quivers  of unparalleled warriors of that time.  It’s said that the Gods  too were witnessing this epic battle between the two great warriors. The impact of Arjuna’s arrows were so intense  that Karna’s chariot would  sway and be pushed back by 25-30 feet. People who witnessed this, were amazed  by  Arjuna’s skills. Karna wasn’t inferior either, his arrows would make   Arjuna’s chariot  sway and push it behind by 3-4 feet.

Lord Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer  would  always applaud Karna, every time his arrow would hit Arjuna’s chariot, much to Arjuna’s dismay;   but not once did Krishna applaud Arjuna’s skills. At the end of the day, Arjuna  unable to control his annoyance , he asked Krishna “Oh Lord, the arrows I shot at Karna’s chariot,  the  displaced the chariot like a feather in the wind, but not once did you appreciate me or congratulate me. Rather you appreciated Karna’s skill knowing well it wasn’t as potent as mine”.


The all knowing Lord Krishna smiled and replied “Oh, Arjuna, remember, your chariot was being protected by “Hanuman” at the top as the flag, “Me” as your charioteer in the front and by “Sheshnag” at its wheels, yet the whole chariot would still sway and displace whenever the valiant Karna would hit us with his arrows”. Karna’s chariot was not protected by any such force, he was on his own, yet he fought  so valiantly”.

It is said that after the battle of Kurukshetra was over, Krishna refused to get off the chariot till Arjuna got down first. Once Krishna alighted from the chariot, it burst into flames and turned to dust.

Krishna then said “Oh Arjuna, your chariot was destroyed by Karna long time ago, it is I who was protecting it thus far”.

“Never in your life have the arrogance to say that you have achieved something, if you have achieved something, it is the divine will, it is the Divine Intervention that has always protected you, cleared your path and gave you the right opportunities at the right time”.

Learning : Its God’s grace and benevolence, that protects us from many pitfalls and dangers in life. Our lives and situations, whether they are good, bad, horrible or passable, all happen with Him as the upholder; as the scriptures say not a blade of grass moves without His consent.


Sai Satcharita- Chapter 9- Love and See God in All

sai satcharita 1

Value- Love, Devotion

Sub value- Faith, see God in all

Story 1

Devotion of Mrs Tarkhad

Mrs. Tarkhad loved Baba and always offered three things− Bharit (roasted eggplant mixed with yogurt and spice), Kacharya (circular pieces of eggplant fried in ghee) and a Peda (a sweet). How Baba accepted them is written below.

Once, Mr. Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandare of Bandra, a great devotee of Baba, left for Shirdi with his family. Before they left, Mrs. Tarkhad went to Mrs. Purandare and gave her two eggplants and requested her to prepare Bharit with one and Kacharya with the other. She asked Mrs. Purandare to serve Baba with both these dishes.

After reaching Shirdi, Mrs. Purandare went with her dish of Bharit to the Masjid. Baba was just about to start his meals and found the Bharit very tasty. So He distributed it to everyone and said that He wanted Kacharyas now. A word was sent to Radha Krishna-Mai that Baba wanted Kacharyas. She was in a fix, as that was no season for eggplant.

When an enquiry was made as to who had brought the Bharit, it was found that Mrs. Purandare was also entrusted with the duty of serving Kacharyas. Everybody then came to know the significance of Baba’s enquiry regarding Kacharyas, and were wonder-struck at Baba’s all-pervasive knowledge.

In December 1915, Govind Balaram Mankar, wanted to go to Shirdi to perform the obsequies of his father. Before he left, he came to see Mr. Tarkhad. Mrs. Tarkhad wanted to send something with him to Baba. She searched the whole house but found nothing, except a Peda(an oval shaped sweet) which had already been offered as naivedya. Govind was in mourning and yet out of great devotion to Baba, she sent the Peda with him, hoping that Baba would accept and eat it.

Govind went to Shirdi and saw Baba, but forgot to take the Pedawith him. Baba simply waited; When he again went to see Baba in the afternoon, he again forgot to take the Peda with him. Baba could wait no longer and asked him, “What did you bring for me?” “Nothing” was the reply. Baba asked him again and the same reply came forth again. Then Baba asked him the leading question, “Did the mother (Mrs. Tarkhad) not give you some sweet for Me?”

Govind then remembered the whole thing. He felt abashed, asked for Baba’s pardon, ran to his lodging, brought the Peda and gave it to Baba. As soon as Baba received it, He put it into His mouth and swallowed it. Thus, the devotion of Mrs. Tarkhad was recognized and accepted. “As men believe in Me, so do I accept them” (Gita, 4-11) was proved in this case.

Story 2

How Baba Was Fed Sumptuously

Once, Mrs. Tarkhad was staying in a certain house in Shirdi. At noon, meals were ready and dishes were being served, when a hungry dog turned up there and began to bark and whine. Mrs. Tarkhad got up at once and threw the dog a piece of bread, which the dog gulped with great relish.

sai and dog

In the afternoon, when she went to the Masjid, Sai Baba said to her, “Mother, you have fed Me sumptuously up to my throat and My afflicted pranas (life-forces) have been satisfied. Always act like this and this will stand you in good stead. Sitting in this Masjid, I shall never ever speak anything but the truth. Take pity on Me like this; First give bread to the hungry and then eat; Note this well.”

She could not at first understand the meaning of what Baba said. So, she replied, “Baba, how could I feed You? I am myself dependent on others and take my food from them on payment.”

Then Baba replied, “Having eaten that lovely bread, I am very content and am still belching. The dog which you saw before your meal and to which you gave the piece of bread, is one with Me and so are all the other creatures on earth. I roam in their forms; He, who sees Me in all these creatures is My beloved. So abandon the sense of duality and distinction and serve Me, as you did today.”

Upon hearing these nectar-like words, she was moved, her eyes were filled with tears, her throat was choked and her joy knew no bounds.


Baba saw the devotion and love of His devotees and accepted their offerings. The attitude and feelings of the devotee was more important to Him than the items or quantity offered. In the Bhagavad Gita. It is said that Lord sees only the devotion of the devotees. He does not need any paraphernalia. Even a small leaf, flower or water offered with love makes the Lord happy.

In the second story, the moral is “See God in all beings”. The Upanishads, the Geeta and the Bhagwat, all exhort us to perceive God or Divinity in all creatures. God is present in everyone and everything. Hence, we should love all and be of help to all. Any amount of prayers or offerings at the temple or chanting and reading of scriptures will not benefit if one does not show love and compassion to other living beings.

For children

From the above stories, children can learn to develop the attitude of love and sincerity in whatever they do. They can develop love and faith towards God and realise that they can derive inner strength from their faith.

They should help and be kind to all living beings including animals. If these habits are developed from young, they will grow up to be a good human being and bring peace and harmony in the society.

Another story to reinforce these values

Love and faith for God

Love towards animals





Master’s Messages-5.1 Re-establishment of Righteousness

Avatars come to earth to re-establish Dharma


Avatars like Sai Baba has come to sow the seeds of faith of devotion in religion and in God. Many atheists doubt, question and once they experience they dedicate their lives to the teachings of the avatar.

Sai has come down to the earth in response to the prayers of saints, sages and spiritual aspirants for the restoration of Dharma. Mahatmas, Mahapurushas and jnanis will work with Sai in re-establishing righteousness and paving the path for peace.

Story based on above message

Saibaba (known as Swami by His devotees) through His discourses always emphasised devotees to develop love for God. He told various short stories to drive this point home. One such story is shared below.

Source- Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol 1- Chapter 5

Tales of Ramanuja – Lord as the mother who feeds

Value        : Faith

Sub value : Surrender, Conviction


In the famous Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu,  a long line of devotees would patiently wait  for the delicious Prasadam, even a few centuries ago. A poor Vaishnavite used to be the first one in the line and was notorious for demanding prasadam not only for himself, but for his entire family consisting of sixteen children! Everyday he would fight with the temple authorities for a huge amount of Prasadam, even as the devotees standing behind him had to make do with a tiny quantity. Exasperated, the authorities resorted to pushing him out of the temple. He would wail, “ My sixteen children would starve if they do not get this Prasadam, please have pity on me!”. One day, he decided to bring all his malnourished children to stand in the line. As usual, the fight with the temple authorities started on that day also. Sri Ramanuja, who happened to be at the temple at that time, asked the authorities what the commotion was all about. They told him about the demands of the Vaishnavite and said that they would not mind giving him extra Prasadam if only he was willing to do some service to the temple.

Turning to the Vaishnavite, Sri Ramanuja asked him what was preventing him from rendering some service to the temple. He replied,  “ Swamy! Look at my children ! They are under nourished and sick most of the times. All my time is spent in taking care of them. Moreover, unfortunately, I have not studied the Vedas or the Divya Prabandhams ( hymns by the Azhwars) and so cannot join in the temple Parayanam.  All I know is a part of Vishnu- sahasranamam only! What can I do ? “

Sri Ramanuja then asked him to recite the Vishnu Sahasranamam to the extent that he knew it. The Vaishnavite hesitated and then began the recitation. “ Vishvam Vishnu Vashatkaro Bhuta Bhavya   Bhavat -prabhuh ; Bhutakrit Bhutabhrut..”  That was all he knew in Vishnu-sahasranamam! Only upto the sixth name! The poor Vaishnavite was overcome by shame and self pity and exclaimed, “ That is the only part I know, Swamy!”     Sri Ramanuja looked at him reflectively and said, “ You recited the sixth name, Bhutabrut. Now onward you must go on doing the Japam of the sixth name, in this manner: Bhutabhrute namah. If you do this, you don’t have to seek  food; food will come to you, to your place! Will you do it?” The Vaishnavite eagerly nodded.

From that day onwards, he was not to be seen in the temple. All the commotion during the prasadam distribution time stopped altogether. A few days later, when Sri Ramanuja went to the temple, the temple authorities came to him. They had a different story to tell now. They said, “ Swamy! A strange thing is being observed nowadays in the temple. Though a substantial quantity of Prasadam is offered to Sri Ranganatha as usual, when we take up the distribution it is found that a considerable amount is missing! This has started happening after you told the fighting Vaishnavite to stop coming to the temple. Our security is tight but still this is happening. We feel that the Vaishnavite maybe responsible. Somehow he is managing to steal the Prasadam!” Sri Ramanuja was stunned to hear this. He asked them whether they knew where he stayed. They said, “ That is again strange! He has moved out of his house.” Sri Ramanuja asked them to search for the Vaishnavite and bring him, as he would like to see him. All their efforts were in vain to locate that person.

A few weeks later, Sri Ramanuja had to cross the Kollidam river that surrounds Srirangam, for an event in a nearby village. Suddenly he saw a person running after him, calling out, “ Swamy! Swamy!”. It was none other than the Vaishnavite who stopped coming to the Srirangam temple for Prasadam. He fell at the feet of Sri Ramanuja, weeping profusely. When he managed to talk, he said, “ Swamy! By your Grace, that boy is delivering the prasadam, both times everyday! All my children are no more sick or under -nourished. I have moved out of the place near the  temple so as not to get into problem with the temple authorities. I am eternally grateful to you. I am also doing the japam, ‘Bhutabhrute namah’, constantly.”   Sri Ramanuja was overwhelmed. “ Which boy? What did he say his name was?” asked Sri Ramanuja. The Vaishnavite replied that the boy introduced himself as The Servant of Sri Ramanuja!

Sri Ramanuja realized now what was going on. Sri Ranganatha Himself was delivering the food to the Vaishnavite, everyday, both in the morning and in the night!

The Divine Name ‘ Bhutabhrut’ means One Who Nourishes the entire Universe!


The compassionate Lord plays any role, even that of a thief to help his devotee, who calls out to Him in total faith, love and surrender. The above story reflects the power of sincere prayer by the Vaishanvaite who faithfully followed Ramanuja’s words;  and also shows how the Lord literally obeyed Ramanuja words when he told the Vaishnavite that food would come to his house.


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