Krishna and Karna- Is life fair or unfair?

Practice of Dharma

Value- Righteouness

Sub value- Duty

Prahlad was not only a devotee of Lord Narayana but also a very righteous king. He was the most bountiful of kings. He would never say ‘no’ to anyone who approached him for a favour, gift or help.

prahalad 1
Once Indra intending to test Prahlad, came to him in the guise of a Brahmin. Prahlad offered his respects to him and asked: “What do you seek of me. How can I make you happy? The Brahmin replied: “Oh king! I want you to gift me your Sheela (character). Prahlad said: “So be it. Your wish is fulfilled. I am gifting away my Sheela to you.” The Brahmin left the court. No sooner did the Brahmin leave, then a charming young man was seen walking away from the royal court. Prahlad questioned him: “Sir! Who are you. The young man replied: “I am fame. I cannot stay with you any longer since Sheela has left you.” Prahlad permitted him to leave.

A few seconds later, yet another handsome man was seen walking away from the court. Prahlad asked, “May I know who you are?” The man replied: I am valour. How can I be with you without Sheela and fame? I am therefore leaving.” Prahlad permitted him to leave.

Soon, a charming lady was leaving the court in hurried steps. Prahlad asked her: “Mother, may I know who you are?” “I am Rajyalakshmi, the presiding deity of this kingdom.” She replied and added: “I can’t live here without Sheela, fame and valour. Then a lady was seen moving away with tears in her eyes. Prahlad ran towards her and asked: “Mother, who are you?” She said: “Son! I am Dharma Devatha (righteousness). I don’t have a place where there is no Sheela, fame and valour. Even Rajyalakshmi has left you.”

Prahlad fell at her feet and said: “Mother, I can live without Sheela, fame, valour and Rajyalakshmi but I cannot live without you. How can I send you anywhere. It is the duty of the king to protect Dharma. Dharma alone is the basis of the entire world. Please stay with me. Do not forsake me.”

Dharma Devatha agreed to stay. When Dharma Devatha agreed to stay, all the others also returned to the court and said: “We cannot exist without Dharma Devatha. Let us please be with you.”

Lord Indra tested Prahlad only to illustrate to the world the greatness of Prahlad, which was founded only on his practice of Dharma.

Learning

Great sages, saints, kings like Prahalada are remembered for their adherence to righteousness, faith and devotion. When one does all their duties with sincerity, love and devotion in a righteous manner they not only progress in material life but in spiritual life as well.

Source-http://www.saibaba.ws/stories/storiesparables.htm#Practice of Dharma

 

Receive the knowledge of the Supreme

Value- Right conduct

Sub value-Self control

Once a disciple went to a preceptor and requested him to impart to him the Supreme knowledge of the Omniself (Brahma Thathwam). The Guru gave him a mantra and asked him to chant it continually without any selfish desire. The Guru told him that after he had done this sadhana for one whole year he could come to receive the knowledge of the Supreme (Brahma Jnana).

gurudisc

The disciple approached his Guru after one year and told him “Oh revered one! I have recited the mantra for one whole year”. He was eagerly awaiting the preceptor’s answer. He thought that his Guru would certainly impart to him the knowledge of the Supreme. Just then, unaware of the presence of the disciple, the maid servant was sweeping the ashram premises and the dust from the ground fell on the young man. The disciple flew into a rage, because he had come to the ashram after a sacred bath and the dust had sullied his body. He looked at her with anger and the maid was filled with fear. The Preceptor was watching the entire scene.

The Guru said “you are not competent to receive the knowledge. You got angry with the maid servant who unwittingly caused some dust to fall on you. How can Brahma Jnana be imparted to one, who has not that much of endurance? Go back and practice the Sadhana for one more year”.

At the end of the second year the disciple was about to enter the ashram. According to the instructions of the Guru the maid servant once again let the dust fall on the disciple in full measure. The disciple grew indignant and wanted to beat her, but somehow, refrained from doing so.

The disciple approached the Guru and paid his respect. The Guru told him: “You are still not competent to receive the knowledge. Last year you exhibited the qualities of a snake and now those of a dog. Come back after ridding yourself of these animal qualities”.

At the end of the third year, the disciple entered the ashram premises after taking a sacred bath. As per the instructions of the Guru the maid servant poured some dirty water on the disciple. The disciple calmly offered his salutations to the maid and said, “Mother! I offer my salutation to you. You have helped me to acquire the greatest virtue, forbearance. Now I am worthy enough to receive the grace of my Guru. I shall always be grateful to you”.

As soon as the disciple prostrated before the Guru, the Guru endearingly said: “Son! Now you are quite competent to receive the knowledge of the Supreme”.

Learning

The spiritual practices of chanting the Lord’s name, doing selfless service, reading the scriptures, leading a noble life are all the initial things to start off in a spiritual journey. One has to develop self control and work on oneself to eliminate the ego. When one is mature in this and then begins the quest of self realisation; he attains the knowledge when the time is right. A fruit when it is green will not fall even if the gale is furious, but when it is fully ripe it drops to the ground even in the silence of the night.

From- Chinna katha stories by Sri Sathya Sai Baba

A true friend

Value- Right conduct

Sub value- Friendship

He called his friend; and told him: “I’m in need of money, my mom is sick and I have no money for her treatment.”

friend

His friend said: ” Alright my dear friend, just call me later after sometime.”

He called him but his phone was switched off.

He kept calling over and over again, until he got tired.

And went to search for another friend who can help him with the treatment fee.

But he couldn’t find anyone who can help.

He returned back to home and found a bag of medications near his mother’s pillow and she was sleeping.

He asked his brother, the brother told him: “your friend came and collected the prescriptions and brought these medicines, he just went out not long ago”.

He smiled and with tears in his eyes he went out to look for his friend, and when he found him; he asked him : “where have u been, I have been calling you since but your phone was switched off..?”

The friend replied: “I sold my phone and bought the medications for your mom”

Learning

A friend in need is a friend indeed. One can be called a true friend only if one is there for that friend in times of need for his support and help him/her out.

Courtesy- Whatsapp forward

Philosophy of Life

Value- Right Conduct

Sub value-Control of vices, awareness

A good interpretation of Mahabharata..

Sanjaya was finally there at Kurukshetra, the  hallowed ground where the great war of Mahabharata happened.

maha

He wondered if the war had any real purpose. He also knew that he would not have the answer till he went to the spot where the greatest war took place.

It was said in the texts that eighty percent of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days of the war.

He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood.

“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.

Sanjaya turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust.

“I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.

“What do you mean?”

Sanjaya instantly knew that he was in the presence of someone who knew more about the war than any living person he had ever met .
“The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.”

The Old man smiled luring Sanjaya into more questions.

“Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?”
Sanjay requested.

“Sure. Here goes,” began the Old man.

“The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?” he asked narrowing his eyes.

Sanjaya shook his head.

“The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can overpower them. Do you know how?”

Sanjaya shook his head again.
“When Krishna is your charioteer”. The Old man smiled brighter and Sanjaya gasped at that gem of an insight.

“Krishna is your inner voice ,your soul, your guiding light and if you put your life in His hands you have nothing to worry.”

Sanjaya was stupefied but came around quickly with another question. “Then why are good people like Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”

The Old man nodded, sadder for the question.

“It just means that as you grow up, you realize that the elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults. And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad. Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.”

Sanjaya slumped down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he was struck by the enormity of it all.

“What about Karna?” he whispered.

“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best question for the last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is Desire. He is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being the vices as your desire does all the time.

Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”

Sanjay nodded silently. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone.

He seemed to have disappeared in the column of dust………
Leaving behind the great philosophy of Life .

Learning

Mahabharata is the inner war in each one of us. Once we are aware of our shortcomings, vices etc we must start working on it to improve ourselves; with the help of our inner voice i.e ‘Krishna’ within us.

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As you sow so you reap

 

Value- Right conduct

Sub value-Sincere, doing the right always

Once a king ordered his three ministers to take a bag and go to the forest and fill up the bag with fruits.

forest
The first minister thought that as  his king had ordered for collection of fruits,   his duty  should be to collect the best of the fruits in the bag.
The second minister thought that as the king was a very busy person, he would not inspect the bag very thoroughly for its contents; so he collected whatever he could lay his hands. Thus his bag was filled up with a mixture of good and rotten fruits.
The third minister thought that the king would see only the exterior of the bag,  the size of the  bag and definitely not the contents, so he just filled up the bag with all dried leaves and dust.
Soon all the three ministers came back to the court with their respective bags, having executed the order of collecting the fruits.

bag of fruits
The King, without even seeing what their bags contained, just ordered that  the three ministers  be sent to separate jails for three months, where they would not be provided with any food but  were only allowed to carry the respective bags wherein they had collected the fruits.
The first minister  spent the three months in the jail by eating the very good fruits he had collected.
The second one  survived for some time with the good fruits in the bag but later he succumbed to illnesses caused by eating the rotten fruits he had collected.

The Third minister had nothing to eat   and so could not survive.
Learning
From the above story we understand that one undergoes the consequences for good/bad action. Every action has a reaction.
In  the ancient Indian text called Mahabharata (Anushasana Parva – chapter on discipline) it is said
yathaa dhenu sahasreshu / vatso gachhati maataram
yat ca krtam karma / kartaaram api gachhati
“Amongst thousands of cows, the calf finds its own mother cow. Similarly the results of our past karma (deeds) when fully ripened, will find us without fail.”

 

Aruni’s devotion

 

Value-Right conduct

Sub value- Love and devotion for one’s guru

aruni 1

Aruni was a dedicated disciple of Sage Dhoumya who lived long ago in the city of Panchala.. He lived in his  Guru’s  ashram and participated in the sevaa (service into God) of the aashram’s daily chores in order to receive the divine knowledge he sought.

One cold winter day, Aruni was carrying back the firewood he had collected for the aashram. As he was passing by a field which belonged to his Guru, he noticed a breach in the embankment that was holding water in the field. He realised that the water would seep away due to the breach and the crops in the field would die without the water.

Aruni thought, “What should I do? If I stop to rebuild the embankment, I will be delayed and there is no firewood at the aashram to keep the place warm. I’d better rush to the hermitage with the firewood and then come back to take care of the breach.”

Meanwhile, the Guru and His disciples had assembled for the day’s lessons. Aruni was missing. Soon Aruni rushed in, dropped the firewood in the courtyard, informed the teacher about the break in the embankment and quickly rushed back out.

Sage Dhoumya was pleased with the responsible disciple.

Aruni ran all the way back to that field and tried to stop the leakage of water by blocking it with some logs and mud. However, this did not stop the leak. The heavy pressure of the water washed away the temporary dam Aruni had constructed. He felt helpless. It seemed impossible for him to stop the leakage without help, but time was running out! He thought for a while and then had an idea about how to stop the water from leaking out.

As evening fell and it became dark, everyone at the ashram started worrying about Aruni. The Sage gathered the other disciples and they all set out to look for Aruni. When they reached the field and the Sage called out Aruni’s name, they heard a faint voice, “Here I am, Master!”

Aruni 2

Everyone rushed towards the sound. They saw Aruni lying in the breach to prevent the water from leaking out. When nothing else had worked, he had used his own body to stop the flow. The disciples quickly pulled Aruni out of the freezing water. They assured him, “Don’t worry Aruni! We will fix the breach.”

“My son you are more precious than the crop,” said the Guru.

Aruni was covered in a blanket and brought back to the aashram. Sage Dhoumya himself tended to Aruni. The Sage then blessed His disciple, “You shall be renowned forever, for your unmatched devotion and obedience to your Guru.”

Learning

The kind of obedience that Aruni had was crucial in his quest to win the Guru’s grace. We too can see what efforts we can make to develop this quality so that God and Guru will bless us. An example of this quality is, listening to our parents and teachers.

Adapted from https://www.hindujagruti.org/hinduism-for-kids/64.html

 

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