Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Apple in the bag

 A teacher teaching Maths to seven-year-old student asked him, "If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?"Within a few seconds the student replied confidently, "Four!"

  The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. "Maybe the child did not listen properly," she thought. She repeated, "My boy, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?"

 The student had seen the disappointment on his teacher's face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied, "Four…"

 The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that this student liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn't like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, "If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?"

 Seeing the teacher happy, the boy calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile the student enquired, "Three?"

  The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him, "Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?"

Promptly the student answered, "Four!"

 The teacher was aghast. "How my boy, how?" she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.In a voice that was low and hesitating young student replied, "Because I already have one apple in my bag."

When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect. Don't think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Red Hat

 Once there was a devotee lived in a village. He used to be immersed in devotion for God always. He had a routine of practising meditation, singing devotional songs and worshipping God every morning.

 There after he used to go to his shop to work. He used to close his shop at lunch time in the afternoon and did not open the shop after that. He used to devote rest of the time in feeding the saints, serving the poor, listening discourses of saints and in donating whatever he could for good of others. He used to be satisfied with whatever he earned from his business and used to devote his life for love of God. Such behaviour of his used to surprise others and they thought of him as a lunatic.

 People used to say: 'He is foolish. He spends all his earned money in donations. He opens his shop just for a few hours. He wastes the precious morning time meant for earning money in doing worship. He is mad.'

 Once the rishest businessman of the village called him over to his house. He had made a red colored hat. The rich man gave that hat to the devotee and said: ''This hat is for fools. I have not seen a person more foolish than you. So I'm giving this hat to you for wearing. If you find anybody more stupid than you, then you may give this hat to that person." Peacefully, the devotee took that hat and came back home.

 Once that rich man became very sick. The devotee went to meet him and asked about his health. The rich man said: 'Brother! I'm making preparations to go now.'

 The devotee asked: 'Where are you planning to go? Did you send somebody there to make preparations for your arrival or not? Are you taking your wife, son, money, car, bungalow etc or not?'

''Brother! Who can accompany me there? No body can go with me. I will have to go alone. I'll have to leave my family-relatives, money-bank balances, bunalows-vehicles here. Nothing can stay together other than Soul & God.''

After listening to the rich person's words the devotee giving the hat (which had been given to him by the rich man) to the rich man said: "You only wear this hat."

The rich person: "Why?"

The devotee said: "You are more foolish than me. When you knew that every thing -bungalows, bank balances, family etc will stay here, none of your friends will accompany you, there is no true hope other than God, then why did you waste whole of your life in acquiring all these things? When one is rich and powerful then everybody flocks around for selfish reasons. But nobody comes to help at times of trouble. Even after knowing all this you developed attachment for things which will not stay forever, stayed away from God and did not collect anything for your future. Therefore in these circumstances who is more foolish than you? Now you cannot do anything. You yourself are observing that none of your loved ones is coming for help."