Real Devotion

Value- Love

Sub value- Devotion

krishna arjuna 02

In a village, one scholar was giving a great exposition on the Bhagvad Gita. A rustic man also came to listen to the talk.

All people were listening with rapt attention at the commentary, but this rustic was weeping.

When enquired about this, the rustic replied that he wept at the predicament of the Lord who had to sit on the chariot and half turn his head behind to talk to Arjuna and how much pain this would have caused to the Lord? . The rustic had identified himself with the characters in the episode.

The rustic had real devotion for the lord and could experience what the Lord would have gone through during the entire conversation with Arjuna

Learning

It is one thing to expound and listen to the great scriptures; but if one is not able to absorb the right message and practise it; it is of not of much use. The scriptures are only guides and maps. We have to understand that and put into practice the teachings.

Adapted from Chinna Katha- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

A dear devotee

kashi

Value- Love

Sub value- Yearning for the Lord

One day in the sacred shrine of lord Viswanath at Kasi, all the devotees and temple priests were immersed in singing hymns and reciting chants. All of a sudden, they heard a metallic sound. When they turned their heads in that direction they saw a shining gold plate on the floor of the shrine. It must have fallen through an open space in the center of the hall from the sky leading to the sanctum sanctorum. All of them gathered around in wonder, as the chief temple priest went close to examine it. He found the following words inscribed on it,”This belongs to my dear devotee” and read the inscription loudly. Soon   the temple priests vied with one another to snatch the plate with the feeling, “Who could be a greater devotee than myself. I spend my time, talent and strength only to offer worship to the Lord Viswanath of Kasi.” But the plate changed into an earthen one the moment they touched it one after another.

News spread like wild fire about the golden plate. Several scholars, singers, poets and preachers came and tried their luck but in vain. Days, weeks and months rolled on but the plate remained there without a claimant.

One day, a stranger came to the temple. As he  stood at the entrance,  tears gathered in his eyes when he saw beggars, blind, dumb and lame piteously pleading for alms. He felt ashamed of his inability to relieve them of their hunger and agony. He wanted to pray to the Lord and so stepped into the temple. He saw people gathered round and discussing something. He tried to squeeze himself into the crowd to find out why they were standing there.

He saw a golden plate in the center of that enclosure. He inquired and was told about the episode of the golden plate. He was rather surprised and sad at the attitude of the people and the priests. Instead of praying to the Lord of the Universe and trying to earn His grace, they were eager to possess the golden plate. Observing his nonchalant attitude, the high priest requested him to try his hand. The stranger replied: “Oh Revered one! I do not care for either gold or silver, what I long for is God’s Grace.” The priest’s esteem for that man increased. So he once again requested him, “At least to satisfy us, please try your hand.” The stranger touched the plate without a trace of attachment. Lo! It shone forth with redoubled effulgence.

All the priests gathered round and queried: “Sir, where do you come from? What are your qualifications? What are the branches of learning you have mastered? How many years did you do penance?” The stranger replied calmly: “I don’t belong to any place. I just manage to earn my bread by hard labor. The only sadhana I do is Namasmaran [repeating the name of the Lord]. This has perhaps rendered my heart pure and filled it with love and compassion. It has enabled me to control my mind and the senses. I have not read any book or mastered any science. The only art I know of is chanting the Name Divine. The only act I do is to be kind to the poor.”

Learning

The only qualification to become dear to the Lord is to acquire a compassionate heart and sense control. These two can be acquired through Namasmaran (chanting the name of the Lord) with full faith, love and devotion.

Adapted from Chinnakatha by Sri Sathya Sai baba

Winning or losing

Value- Truth, love

Sub value- Awareness, compassion

One day, a young boy came into the monastery and asked the Chief Monk, to give him some work and also food.

monk

The Chief Monk asked him: What have you read? What work can you do? What do you know?

The boy replied: I have not studied in school; I have no proficiency in any work excepting some stray jobs like washing food plates, cleaning up the cottage etc., I do not know anything else.

The Chief Monk asked ,’ Are you sure you do not know anything else?’

The young boy replied, ‘Oh, yes, Sir, now I remember. I can play a decent game of Chess.’

The Chief Monk said: Oh that’s good. Now I shall test you in your game.’
He asked another monk to come with chess board and coins and asked a table to be placed so that the game could start.

Before start of the game, the Chief Monk said,’ Now see, I have a sword on my hand. If any one is defeated, his nose will be severed.’

The boy became nervous. However, without any other way to go, he agreed.

The game started. Initially, the boy made some mistakes in moves. His position on the board became almost hopeless.

chess

He then concentrated completely on the game and improved the position to a winning level.

Then he noticed that the monk, his opponent,  was not nervous but obviously a little disturbed.

The boy then thought,
“I am a useless fellow in life. Nothing will change the world if I lose the game and lose my nose.

But this monk, is well read person, doing meditation and is sure to attain Buddha Hood Why should he lose?’

So the young boy deliberately made a wrong move, so that his opponent  could take advantage and win the game !

The Chief Monk suddenly flashed his sword on the table. All the coins flew into different directions.

He then said, ‘ The game is over. Oh boy! you are IN. You will be with us in the monastery hereafter.’

The boy did not understand.

The Chief Monk explained, ‘I did not ask you to play chess to find out your caliber in the game. But I was looking for two essential qualities that are necessary for Self realization.

One is *Maha Prajna*. The Great Awareness. I found that in you. When you were losing badly, you put your entire concentration and attention on the game turning to your advantage.
This is Maha Prajna.

The second is *Maha Karuna* – The Great Compassion. I found that also in you. When your opponent was about to lose the game, you looked at him with great compassion and deliberately made a wrong mistake so that he could win.

These two qualities are adequate to do sadhana and make the life ‘Meaningful’
‘YOU ARE IN.’

Learning

Life isn’t about winning or losing there is nothing to win and nothing to lose.We can at best enjoy or suffer our limited time called ‘Life’ but enjoyment or suffering is also only a figment of our imagination.

Going beyond enjoyment, suffering, winning or losing is the path that few choose to walk.

 

 

Postman and the little girl

 

Value- Love

Sub value- Compassion, sensitive to others need

postman

A postman knocked on the door of a house, saying, “Letter.”
A child like voice came from inside, “I am coming.” But the inmate did not come until three or four minutes, the postman shouted “Hey, please come fast and take the letter. “the child’s voice again said, “Mr. Postman, put the letter under the door , I’m coming. “Postman said,” No, I it’s a registered letter with, acknowledgment you should sign. “approximately six to seven minutes later the door was a opened,angry for the delay the postman was going to yell at the person who opened, but he was shocked to see a child with no feet kneeling on her knees in front of him.

The postman delivered the letter quietly and went back feeling sorry, it went on like this. The postman got used to waiting till the door was opened whenever he had to deliver a letter to the child’s house. Deepavali was approaching.The child saw the postman was always barefoot. One day when the postman came to deliver post, the girl took the postman’s feet size in the dirt marks on the floor and just before Diwali when the postman came the child told him Uncle, it’s a gift from me to you on Diwali.” Postman said, “You are like a daughter to me, how can I take any gift from you? The child insisted and he took it home and opened the packet.

He was shocked his eyes were filled him tears when he saw a pair of shoes because during his entire service no one had even noticed that he was barefoot always.

Learning

The sensitivity, others perceive pain, to experience and to share their pain. It is a human quality, without which the human being is incomplete.
We should pray to God to give us the ornament in the form of sensitivity so that we can contribute in reducing the pain of others in times of sorrow.

Sweetness of Sour Oranges

Value- Love

Subvalue- Concern

oranges
A man often bought oranges from an old lady. After purchasing the oranges he would peel it and taste a segment and as soon as he would taste those he would complain that those were sour and insist the old woman to taste.

The old lady would put the segment in her mouth and retort, “why do you complain, it is so sweet,” but by then the man would have gone off.
His wife wondered on this daily act of her husband and asked him about his charade.
He smiled, “the old lady only sells sweet oranges but never eats them herself. This way I get her to eat one, without her having to spend and I feel good seeing her eat those.”
The vegetable vendor  next to the old lady, observed this daily happening and
one day chided her, “every time this man fusses over your oranges but you always weigh a few extra for him. Why?”
The old lady smiled, “I know he does this to feed me an orange, only, he thinks I don’t understand. I never weigh extra. His love tilts the scale slightly every time.”

Learning
One should also learn the art of giving and sharing. There is no pleasure more than seeing others happy by a simple kind act of ours. Life’s joys are in these sweet little gestures of love and respect for our fellow beings. And in giving, not usurping. Not in money.

A True friend

Value- Love, Faith

Sub value- Friendship

Horror gripped the heart of the World War I soldier as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head, the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the “no man’s land” between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back. “You can go,” said the lieutenant, “but I don’t think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your life away.” The lieutenant’s advice didn’t matter, and the soldier went anyway.

soldier

Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder and bring him back to their company’s trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, and then looked kindly at his friend.

“I told you it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said. “Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded.” “It was worth it, though, sir,” said the soldier. “What do you mean; worth it?” responded the Lieutenant. “Your friend is dead.” “Yes, Sir” the private answered. “But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive and I had the satisfaction of hearing him saying, “Jim…, I knew you’d come.”

Learning

Many times in life, whether a thing is worth doing or not, really depends on one looks at it. We must take up all our courage and do something our heart tells us to do so that we may not regret not doing it later in our life. A true friend is one who walks in, when the rest of the world walks out. War doesn’t determine who’s right. War only determines who’s left.

Shell worth

Value- Love, optimism

Sub value- Sacrifice, responsibility

A 4 yr old boy was in the market with his 6 yr old sister…Suddenly the boy found that his sister was lagging behind.He stopped and looked back.His sister was standing in front of a toy shop and was watching something with great interest.

The boy went back to her and asked,”Do you want something?” The sister pointed at the doll. The boy held her hand and like a responsible elder brother, gave that doll to her.The sister was very very happy…

The shopkeeper was watching everything and getting amused to see the matured behaviour of the boy…
The boy came to the counter and asked the shopkeeper,”What is the cost of this doll,Sir!”
The shopkeeper was a cool man and had experienced the odds of life; so he asked the boy with a lot of love and affection,” Well,What can you pay?”

The boy took out all the shells that he had collected from sea shore,from his pocket and gave them to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper took the shells and started counting as if he were counting the currency. Then he looked at the boy.The boy asked him worriedly,”Is it less?”

The shopkeeper said,”No,No… These are more than the cost.So I will return the remaining.” Saying so,he kept only 4 shells with him and returned the remaining. The boy, very happily kept those shells back in his pocket and went away with his sister…

A servant in that shop was very surprised watching all these.He asked his master,” Sir!You gave away such a costly doll just for 4 shells???”

The shopkeeper said with a smile,”Well, for us these are mere shells.But for that boy,these shells are very precious.At his age, he does not understand what money is,but when he grows up,he definitely will. And when he does, he will  remember that he purchased a doll with the shells instead of money. He will remember Me and think that world is full of good people.He will develop positive thinking!!

Learning

True love can be seen through sacrifice. Compassionate and loving people will be remembered for their kind acts. Let us always do good and touch as many lives in our lifetime as possible.

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