Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apple seed

One day I stopped to think about growing apples. I was munching a delicious, juicy apple and took a big bite. As a result I got an apple seed into my mouth. I spat it out into my hand, with the intention of throwing it away. But instead I looked at the apple seed. Really looked. It was very dark brown, almost black. Its shape reminded me of a candle flame. A little dark brown candle flame…

I realized I was holding an apple tree in the palm of my hand. A little seed with the potential to become a beautiful big tree - a tree that could grow thousands of apples in its lifetime. Thousands of apples, each containing several seeds, each capable of growing a new tree which again could produce thousands of apples. Why then the world wasn't filled with apple trees?

It is a rule of nature that only a few of these seeds grow. Most never do or are destroyed early on in their growth. And it came to my mind it's quite often so with people's dreams also. Wonderful ideas come to our minds but they die too soon - we don't tend to the little saplings, we don't protect them as we should. And then one day we wonder what happened to our dreams - why did they never come true?

I put the apple seed on the table, and bent down to see how the light was reflected from it, this nature's tiny wonder. I wondered when someone was seriously growing apples, how many times they had to try to get a seed to germinate? How much work did it require?

Maybe it was like with our dreams: the seeds of your dreams did not automatically grow. Like planting an apple tree It might take many trys: like a hundred job applications to get that good job. You might send your manuscript out two hundred times before it was accepted. You might meet dozens of people until you met the true friend.

But if you kept on sowing the seeds of your dream, one day you would succeed. And after that others would comment you were lucky to be successful - when in fact you probably failed more often than you would like to count. But you were good at failing - you learned, you adapted, and then with your new knowlegde you tried again. And again. And again. And one day success was yours.

picked up the apple seed again - but instead of throwing it away I took an empty flower pot, poured some earth into it and planted the seed. Maybe one day it would grown into a proud tree. I'd never knew if I didn't try.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who is the highest

Once there was a very pious devotee who was utterly devoted to his family deity. He worshipped this deity every day, sitting cross legged in front of the shrine in his home.One day during his meditation, he observed that the prasad or food offered to the deity, which is customarily eaten by the devotee after worship, was snatched away by a mouse and eaten in front of his very eyes. The devotee was astonished to see this and concluded that the mouse was more powerful than the deity. Otherwise, how could it dare to eat the offering? So he grabbed hold of the mouse, and tying it with a string to the place of worship, decided to worship this creature instead of the deity.

He removed the picture of the deity from the shrine, and started worshipping the mouse. One day his cat, jealous of the attention the mouse was receiving, pounced upon the tiny creature. The two had a terrible fight, but of course the poor mouse was killed in the battle.

Now it was quite clear to the devotee that the cat was more powerful than the mouse, so he started worshipping the cat whom he had previously neglected. This continued for some time until one day the devotee's dog entered the room of worship. Seeing the attention that the cat was getting from his master, the dog became furiously jealous and violently attacked the cat. The unhappy cat was bitten and scratched all over and bled in many places. When the devotee considered the situation, it became quite clear to him that the dog was more powerful than the cat.

So he removed the cat from the place of worship and placed the dog there instead. He now began to worship the dog, who was tied with a rope to the shrine. The animal's continual barking, however, was a source of great irritation to the devotee's wife. One day in utter exasperation, she threw a brick at the barking dog. It landed on his head with a thump. The poor dog was in great pain and cried piteously over his wound.

The devotee, hearing the whimpering of the poor dog, came into the room, and seeing what had happened, concluded that it must be due to the superior power of his wife. So he decided to let the dog go and to worship his wife. He said to her, "At long last I realise that you are the most powerful. Only you can be the object of my adoration!"

The wife was thunderstruck at these remarks, to say nothing of being puzzled and embarrassed. How could she be the object of his adoration, she thought, since all her life she had been made to feel like his servant, constantly at his beck and call? She finally consented, however, since she had no alternative.

Now the devotee's wife had become his object of adoration and worship. He addressed her with words of devotion and praised her divine qualities. So devoted was he that he had the impulse to worship her even when she was asleep. He would awaken her and make her take her place at the shrine where he could adore her. Or if she were in the shower, he would call her to come out. No matter what she was doing she would have to stop and come to the shrine to be worshipped.

Finally the devotee's wife became so fed up with this farce that she told him the whole thing was nonsense. At this he became furious. "Nonsense?" he echoed. "How dare you criticise my wisdom?" And he yelled at her loudly. The poor frightened woman began weeping bitter tears.

Now, seeing his own power, it became very clear to the devotee that he was the strongest of all. So he started worshipping himself, saying, "I am God, I am the greatest, I am everything." But it did not take him much time to realise that he was merely a prey to his desires. It was his desires that were compelling him to action, either good or bad. So since his habit was to worship the most powerful force, he started worshipping his desires. But he quickly gave this up, for he saw immediately that his desires had no strength of their own. It was his senses that compelled the desires to possess and be possessed.

Then the devotee started worshipping the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. He was now pondering deeply on these subtle things which he was worshipping. After much thought, he concluded that it was the mind which was responsible for the functioning of the senses.

So he began worshipping his mind, and felt proud that he had progressed so far from the ignorant animals he had worshipped only a few months before. But he found that his mind was far from satisfaction, and even farther from perfection. So he catered into his heart. The heart, in spite of having peace and joy and harmony, was still lacking in absolute fulfilment. He was yearning for the supreme power. He concluded that the heart was not enough, so he entered into his soul.

There, in union with his own soul, he got the first glimpse of his divine fulfilment. He plunged deep into the spiritual life. But the individual soul, he found, is not all pervading or all fulfilling. He aspired for the highest. He went even deeper. Deep within he discovered the Supreme Self. Here, at the end of his journey, the Brahmin saw that the Supreme Self is the most powerful. The Supreme Self, which has neither beginning nor end, is all pervading and all fulfilling. The Supreme Self, which is both Creator and Creation, is the Highest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wild Boars

There was a village that was attacked by wild boars.Everyday the wild boars would enter the village to rampage the whole village of their food. The villagers tried various means to fight and chase away the wild boars, but without much success.

One day a wise man approached the village headman to offer his advice. He told the villagers that they will have to follow all his advice and directions. Out of desperation, the villagers agreed. The wise man told the villagers to gather all the food from every household and put it in the middle of a big empty field. They followed his advice, and immediately they saw hundreds of wild boars approaching the vicinity where the food was placed. The wild boars were apprehensive initially, but after a while they went for the food.

Once the wild boars had a taste of the food they came back for the free food everyday. And everyday the villagers would put more food in the field and the wild boars would come to have their free meals. After a while, the wise man asked the villagers to erect four poles at the four-corners of the field.The wild boars were too busy having their food that they did not take notice of what was happening.

After a few weeks, the wild boars developed the habit of having free food. The wise man then asked the villagers to put fencing around the field, with a large gate through which the wild boars can enter to have their food. Finally once the fencing and the gate were completed the villagers closed the gate and all the wild boars were trapped inside the field. The wild boars were finally defeated!

Habits are easily developed but difficult to get rid of. The wild boars were trapped because out of their greed, they developed the habit of having free food, and without having to work for their food. They became so comfortable, that they did not realize they were being trapped. Most of us are like the wild boars because we become too comfortable with our jobs and businesses that we do not realize we are in one way or another being "trapped". We seek security rather than freedom!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Petal

I am a pretty and soft Petal. I am part of the beautiful Flower but I am still a flower in my own right. I have same quality and attributes as the Whole Flower. I am beautiful. I am Unique. I am Wholesome and Complete. The flower cannot be flower without me. There are other Petals in the flower too. These petals also look like me though they are little different in color, shape and texture but their properties are also same as me. All together we form a beautiful flower. Flower is not flower without each of us. Each of us cannot survive without each other. We all need each other for our survival. We are incomplete without each other. We all are interdependent on each other. It is my false EGO which makes me say that 'I am not depending on any one else'.

Similarly, I am a peaceful, loving and divine Soul in the Universe. I have my own light, knowledge and depth. There are other souls also though little different from me. All souls together form a huge incomprehensible Divine Spirit. The Soul is part of the Spirit and reflects its spark. The Soul has same properties as that of the Spirit. The Spirit shines and sparkles when Soul merges with it. None can survive without each other. The Soul takes a human body to feel and experience the bright knowledge of the cosmic Spirit. Spirit thrives in taking the Soul back into its fold for it increases its own brilliance.

I cannot help but imagine how electric it would feel when after completing my 70-80 years of earth life I will go back and realise my place in the whole flower. How foolish of me to think that I am just a petal just because I cannot see the complete flower and my own important place in it. Thus, I have to learn to love each and every creation of the Spirit around me unconditionally to become the part of the Bloom.

Only the feeling of Love is Real which unites Soul with the Spirit. Till I realize and actualize this internally, I will be caught in cycle of birth and death. Once I start loving each and all as I, I would be earning the Master’s Degree from the University of the God – the Divine Spirit of Universe. Thereafter, I need not come back again to Earth School again.

I have to realize that I am that big ONE and that big One is 'I'. I have to understand and experience the Oneness of the Universe that 'I am the Spirit and the Spirit is I'. Ultimately, everything is illusion except the only truth I AM THAT

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Sailor

A story is told of a man taking a trip on an old wooden sailing ship.He was out of the deck one day and saw one of the crew-members climbing the ropes, going up to the crows nest. When he was about half way up, the ship pitched to one side and he was thrown overboard.

When he hit the water, he began to scream for help, and flail his arms wildly, as he struggled to survive. The traveler watched as a sailor walked over to the rail of the ship, and calmly observed the man in the water. After a short while the man in the water tired, and began to sink.

Immediately the sailor standing by the rail jumped overboard, and rescued the drowning victim. After both men were safely on board, the traveler went over to the rescuer and asked, why did you wait so long to jump in the water and rescue this man?

He calmly replied, I have found that as long as a man is struggling in the water, there is a greater chance that he will get us both killed if I jump in too quickly, and try to save him. I have learned that it is better to let them struggle awhile, and when they come to the end of their own strength, I can then jump in and rescue them.

Are you like the drowning man in the story? Have you fallen from your place of comfort and safety, and you are now struggling just to survive? Have you cried out to God to come and rescue you immediately? It is possible the God is waiting until you have come to the end of yourself, and stop struggling in a vain attempt to save yourself, through any means. When you finally admit you cant save yourself, God will jump into the water and save you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Bad & Good People

One day, a young monk went to see his master. "Teacher, you said that we should save both bad and good people. But then bad people had lost their True Nature, so how can we call them human anymore? If they are not human, then they need not to be saved!" the young monk inquired.

The master was silent without answering his disciple's question. Then the master wrote the chinese letter "wo" (me), but written upside down.

"What is this?", the teacher asked.

"This is a letter but written upside down," answered the young monk.

"What is the letter?"

"The letter of 'wo'!"

"This 'wo' written upside down, can it be called a letter?" asked the teacher.

"Of course not!"

"If not, then why did you said that this is letter 'wo'?

"Yes, it is!", he corrected his words.

"If it is a letter, then why did you said that it is upside down?"

The young monk could not say anything, had no idea of what to reply. "The 'wo' letter is a letter. A letter written upside down is also a letter. You said that this is a letter 'wo' and you knew that this letter was written upside down. It was because inside yourself you had understood well about the letter 'wo'. But then if you do not know letters, even if I write it upside down, you would not be able to distinguish it. After somebody tell you about it and after you see the real 'wo', then you will of course say that this is an upsidedown letter! The same applies to human. The bad and the good are both human. It is important that you understand what is the True Nature of human. When you encounter the bad, guide them to their True Nature. Then it would not be hard to save them...", so did the wise teacher explained.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Priest & A Lad

There was once a lad who had been scholastic study abroad for a very long time before returning to his hometown. Upon his return, he asked his parents to find any teacher, or priest or anybody that would be capable of answering 3 of his questions.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In search of Truth

A man was on his mission in search of the truth. He met an old man who was sitting under a tree outside his village. He seemed to be the first religious person whom he encountered. On approaching him, he told him of his mission and asked him as to where he can find his true master and what his characteristics would be.

The old man's answer was simple. He explained that the seeker would find him sitting under a particular tree, in such and such posture with such and such gestures and said that was suffice to know the true master.

The seeker began his search and wandered far and wide for the master. Thirty years passed and he returned to his own village meeting failure in finding the true master. As he was returning, he found the same old man who directed him thirty years back with the descriptions of a master. To his amazement he found the same old man who directed him, with himself bearing all his descriptions of a true master. The seeker sensed his folly and fell at the feet of the old master.

The seeker enquired, " Why did you not reveal yourself to me when I first met you? Why did you misdirect me thus to wander fruitlessly for thirty long years?"

The master replied, " I was very much here fitting myself exactly to all the descriptions that I gave you, sitting under this very tree. But just that you would not see me!”

The master pointed out, "You were more interested in searching than the very truth itself!" He continued, " You were not ready to listen. You were not ready to come home without all your wanderings, that you knocked on different doors before you ultimately came here. Your mind lay in searching elsewhere than seeking me right here! You were not alert enough. Imagine my condition, waiting for you for thirty long years, trying to maintain my posture for your arrival, as I knew you would be coming! But what if I had passed away?!

Quite often we miss out 'the truth' which is ever present within us in seeking to know 'about the truth'. When one's attention is turned inwards, the truth shines there eternally, where the seeker merges with it in realisation.The seeker in this short story misses the truth in his search by focusing his attention outwards in his wandering. At the end of the fruitless search he comes upon it when he turns 'homeward,' in his very 'own village'.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The 'Duplicate' Artist

One day an artist came and said to the king, "Oh King! Give me a blank wall in your palace and let me paint a picture on it. It will be more beautiful than anything you have ever seen before. I promise you shall not be disappointed. "

Now, the king happened to be constructing a big hall at the rear end of the palace. So he said, "All right you may work on one of the walls in the new hall." So the artist was given the job and he was very pleased indeed.

Just then, another young man said, "Oh King! Please allow me to work on the opposite wall. I too am an artist." The king said, "What would you like to make?"

The man said, "My Lord, I shall make exactly what that man will make on the opposite wall. Moreover, I shall do so, without looking at his work. I would even request you to have a thick curtain put up between the two walls so that either of us cannot see the other."

Now, that was a tall statement. Everyone in the king's court, including the king and the first artist were intrigued. But the King loved surprises and he decided to give the young fellow a chance.

The following day a thick curtain was put into place and both the artists got to work.

The first artist brought in a regular supply of paint, oil, water etc. The second one would come with a cloth and a bucket of water every day.

After a month the first artist told the king that his work was complete and he would like to show it to the king. The king sent for the second artist and asked him, "Young man, when would your work be ready? I am coming to see the first wall this evening." The man said, "My Lord, my wall is ready too!"

The king went to see the first artist's wall. He was very, very impressed with the painting and gave a hefty sum as a reward to the artist. He then asked for the curtain to be opened up. The same painting was to be seen on the opposite wall too! Amazing! But true! Each line, each minor detail was exactly as it was on the first wall. But this man had not been seeing what was going on, on the other side of the curtain. So how had he done it?

The king wanted to know the secret. He gave a double reward to the fellow. Then he said, "Young man, I am indeed very happy with your work. But you must tell me; how did you do it?"

The man said simply, "It's very easy! I just polished the wall every day! It was a wall made of white marble! The fellow polished it till it shone like a mirror. The reflection of the painting across the room, showed up in it! "

That is what it means to polish yourself. For when we polish our hearts and souls, we see God's reflection within.It is said that the world is a reflection of you. Whatever you are, the world will seem to be that too. If you are sad, jealous, dejected, angry, restless ... That is what the world will seem to be! If you are happy, the world will seem to be paradise.

You decide how you want your world to look…

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The best contribution you can make

An elderly couple retired to the countryside - to a small isolated cottage overlooking some rugged and rocky heath land.

One early morning the woman saw from her window a young man dressed in working clothes walking on the heath, about a hundred yards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case, and he disappeared from view behind a copse of trees.

The woman thought no more about it but around the same time the next day she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case, and again he disappeared behind the copse.

The woman mentioned this to her husband, who said he was probably a farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some other country practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.

However after several more sightings of the young man with the spade over the next two weeks the woman persuaded her husband to take a stroll - early, before the man tended to arrive - to the copse of trees to investigate what he was doing.

There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough and uneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards the other end.

"How strange," the old lady said, "Why dig a trench here - and in such difficult rocky ground?" and her husband agreed.

Just then the young man appeared - earlier than his usual time.

"You're early," said the old woman, making light of their obvious curiosity, "We wondered what you were doing - and we also wondered what was in the case."

"I'm digging a trench," said the man, who continued, realizing a bigger explanation was appropriate, "I'm actually learning how to dig a good trench, because the job I'm being interviewed for later today says that experience is essential - so I'm getting the experience. And the case - it's got my lunch in it."

He got the job.

Donʼt wait for anything. Start today if you want to be successful in your life. The best contribution one can make to humanity is to improve oneself. Only the player with the initiative has the right to attack. Times will change for the better when you change. So start taking initiatives whether it is at your work place or at your home. Initiatives are first step towards Self Development.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Day the earth turned gold

Once upon a time there was a king who was famous for his charity. People said, "To the hungry he gives food; to scholars he gives rewards; to noblemen he gives titles and honours. In fact, he is never tired of giving."

But he had in fact, already tired of giving. He thought, "All my life I have been giving alms and awards. Where is the end? Are the people really needy or they continue to flock simply because I give? Don't I see the same faces coming to me again and again wearing a standard mask of gratitude?"

He thought a lot and decided to stop the practice. "If give I must, it should be only to those who are really needy. It is high time I know who are really needy and, to begin with, I must find out the poorest man in my kingdom," he decided.

Accordingly he sent his minister to find out the poorest man.

A week later the minister returned and announced in the tone of a successful explorer, "My Lord, not far from here, inside the forest, there is a small mountain. On top of that sits the poorest man of our land – a mendicant. He had no roof on his head, nothing on his body except a yard of bark; he lives on whatever fruits some wood-cutters leave beside him on their way home from the forest.”

"Is there really such a man in my kingdom? I must see him," said the king and rode into the forest and then climbed the mountain and found out the mendicant sitting still, his eyes closed.

The king had to wait for a long time. When the mendicant opened his eyes, he said, “I am the king of this land. I am sad to see the miserable condition in which you are living. I want you to dress well! Tell me, which dress will you like? Dhoti or gown?" The mendicant smiled, but kept quiet.

The king said again, "I would like to build a house for you; tell me, what kind of house would you like to own?" The mendicant smiled again; yet he did not speak.

A little later the king again said, “I will arrange to send some food for you everyday. Tell me your preference in matters of food." The mendicant smiled but still kept mum.

The king began losing patience and cried out, “I appeal to you, do speak!"

Slowly but sweetly the mendicant said, “My dear king, you are mistaken. I am not the poorest man. There is another man in the kingdom who is poorer than myself. So far as I am concerned, although I look poor; I am very rich, for I can change the earth into gold.”

The king gaped with amazement for some time and asked, "Will you kindly tell me who is poorer than you? And will you kindly reveal to me the secret of transforming the earth into gold?"

The mendicant said, “To know these things you have to follow a certain discipline.”

"I will follow,' said the king enthusiastically.

"For one year, everyday, you must come here once before the sunrise and once again before the sunset and spend some time with me,” said the mendicant.

“I will do so,” said the joyous king, bowing to the mendicant.

And he came there twice every day without fail. The mendicant seldom uttered any word, but his charming smile always spoke of his affection for the king. He made the king sit down and meditate for some time. For the king, the discipline was a bit awkward experience for the first few weeks. But soon he realised that it was a most welcome change from the dry or anxious hours in the court where he was always surrounded by diplomats and flatterers and discontented people. After a few months he grew so fond of his visits to the mendicant that he eagerly looked forward to the twilights.

The silence of the mountain, the sunrise and sunset which coloured the landscape, the breeze which embraced him with the message of freedom, the songs of the birds in the wood and above all the quiet yet overwhelming presence of the mendicant slowly made the king a different man. The little time he spent there everyday had its sure effect on the rest of his time and routine.

The king did not remember when a year passed. He even did not know when several years passed. At the end of the third year, one day the mendicant suddenly asked the king, "Well, it seems we have forgotten about the two things you wanted to know – about the man poorer than myself and about the secret of transforming the earth into gold! Would you not like to know about them?"

The king smiled and replied, "But haven't I known them already? I was the poorer man because I was anxious to possess more gold as I was begging to know the secret of changing the earth into gold. And secondly, I believe, by now I know the secret of changing the earth into gold. When I sit here and marvel at the splendour of nature all around, at the sunsets and the sunrise when the colours of heaven are sprinkled on earth, at the diamond-fringed clouds, at all God's creation—all appear to me a thousand times more wonderful than gold."

The mendicant smiled and said, “You have got it – and that is because you have turned gold within.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Ripple

A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake. The boy went up to the man and said, "Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?"

"Hmmm," said the man.

He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.
Sometime later, the man said softly, "Look at the water, it is absolutely still."

The boy said, "Yeah, it is." The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, "Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?" "Yeah," said the boy, "they spread further and further."

"And soon, the water is still again," offered the man.

The boy said, "Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while."

The man continued, "What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Lets take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it." The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out.

But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.
The wise man said, "It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in
the mind. Time surely is a great healer, but prevention is always better than cure."

Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The power of love

A mighty King was marching home after being victorious in a gruesome battle. He had captured the crown prince of the neighbouring kingdom and killed the King. The King was crossing through a jungle. He wanted to rest.

The army halted there for the evening. Nearby was a hermitage. The king decided to pay his respects to the sage there. He sent his Minister and some soldiers to seek an audience. They told the disciples there, "Maharaj wants to meet the sage." The disciples said, "Guruji has retired for the day, you can come tomorrow."

The next morning the King came to the hermitage dressed in his royal finery, accompanied by his ministers and attendants. The sage was sitting under a tree and scattering bajra seeds all around. Hundreds of birds of different kinds were eating and the sound of their twittering filled the air. The King walked up to the sage. The sage did not look up. The king said, "Pranam, Guruji!" No answer.

He spoke louder, "Pranam, Guruji!" Still, no answer.

"Guruji, I said Pranam!" he said in an angry voice.

The sage looked up and said, "Stop shouting, you are scaring the birds."

That made the king even more furious. "Do you know who I am?" he shouted. The sage said calmly, "Yes, I do. You are the one who kills for the love of power. You are the one who knows not that this power is temporary. One day another King shall kill you in the same way. The love of power shall bring about your downfall."

The king was beside himself with rage. He said, "Your impertinence is intolerable. I shall behead you just now!" He drew out his sword and raised it to strike the sage.

In an instant, hundreds of birds flew up and attacked the king. They poked their beaks into his face, his eyes and his arms and all over. The king moved his arms up and around to ward off the birds. But the birds wouldn't leave him. The sage said, "Leave him! Leave him! Come to me my dears!" All at once, the birds quietened down and sat meekly at the feet of the sage.

The sage said, "All I ever gave these birds is love. Oh King! Realize the power of love. The love of power has blinded you and brought you to the level of a killer. These birds would have killed you, but that's because they love me. I rule over them like a king too, but the only power I ever exercise over them is the power of love and it is greatest power on this Earth."

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Ocean and the fjord

The captain did not get angry. Instead he slowly approached the lieutenant, took him by the shoulder and walked him aside. By that time he already regretted his insolent behaviour.

"Look at all these fjords, dear," the captain said. "See how many there are, and how impetuously they flow."

The lieutenant didn't know what the captain was trying to say, but he obeyed.

"Now look the other way and see how vast the ocean is, as if it were drinking up all the light of the sun. See how its movements seem to swallow everything. Do you think the fjords are greater in majesty than the ocean?"

"No Sir, I don't."

"Really? But there are so many fjords. And they flow so much faster than the gentle swell of the sea."

"But still, Sir, the ocean is stronger and more majestic than a fjord."

"That's exactly what I wanted to hear you say, my dear," said the captain. "If rivers and seas are greater than streams and brooks, it is because they are always lower. If you want to become a captain one day, you first have to learn to obey, to listen to what I say and to learn from me. One day you may surpass me, but that day has not yet come."

This story contains a profound truth: If you want to learn, you have to know how to hold back, observe and forget yourself. Every living creature grows by assimilating what comes from outside itself.

"The sage who wants to lead his people acts as a servant to his people." Lao Tzu

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Freedom from fetters

A short story relates the binding nature of attachments owing to one's alternated dwelling in the past and the future, ignoring the present which, postpones freedom.

An old man was on his death bed. His four sons who were very wealthy rushed to his side. Instead of attending to their dying father or thinking about how to work on the diminishing possibility of meeting each other after their father's death, they started discussing about how to transport the old man's body to the graveyard, once he was dead.

The youngest of the four suggested that the body of his father may be moved to the graveyard in an expensive car as his father always wanted to own one. Since he could not have one for himself during his lifetime, they could bring one for him at least to transport him to the graveyard when dead.

The second son claimed that the youngest son was still young and knew not how to deal with money. He said, “the question is not about buying an expensive car but only about hiring one. It could better be a cheap truck!” He pointed out that the dead father anyway would not be aware of whether he was moved in a car or a truck.

The third accused of the second son to be immature and said that since their father would not be aware of how he is transported when dead, pointed out how it would matter if he is moved in a municipal truck which carries dead bodies free of cost. “You just have to put him out on the road and he would be given a free ride!”

The father suddenly opened his eyes and asked the sons for his shoes. When the sons asked him why he needed his shoes when he was about to die any moment. The father replied, “I am still breathing and can walk my way to the graveyard!” He chided his sons for being spend thrifts and their irresponsibility in handling money!

Attachment in different forms is a chain that keeps freedom at bay.Freedom obviously does not go with fetters. It is an individual issue. Once when one stops dwelling in the past and future, desires are automatically curbed. This paves way for total freedom beyond all limitations.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Pilgrim

A stranger eyed the money of a wealthy pilgrim who travelled alone. He slowly gained confidence of the pilgrim and schemed to rob him of his money. The pilgrim everyday counted the money and put it in his pocket. He did not carry a box to safeguard his money.

The stranger then slowly tried his luck in robbing the money. However he was unable to find it. Successive attempts night after night by searching under the pillow, bed and the belongings of the pilgrim proved futile. Yet at dawn he saw the pilgrim counting his money.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Lamp

Once a devotte, who had great ambition to know something about the divine, wanted his eye of wisdom to be opened. He entered a cave where a monk was residing. While entering the cave he saw a small light.

As he moved forward even that little light got extinguished. In darkness one feels frightened, and in fear, we think of God very intensively. Thus he chanted loudly the name of God and on hearing this, the saint asked him who he was. He said that he had come to seek his grace.

The great saint, who was sustaining himself in the cave only by breathing the air around him, had the competence to know the mind of his visitor. He said that he will answer his question later but asked him first to go and light the lamp, which had been extinguished. The visitor took a matchbox and tried to light the lamp but did not succeed. He told the guru that he had finished all the matchsticks and yet he had not succeeded in lighting the lamp.

The saint then asked him to open he lamp, put out all the water and pour oil in it, and then try to light it. The person did this but the lamp would not light even then. The saint then said that the wick was probably wet with water and asked him to dry it nicely in the open and then attempt to light the lamp. He did this and succeeded. Then the person ventured to mention his need and sought it to the saint. The surprised saint said that the appropriate answer was being given all the while. The visitor pleaded that, being an ignorant man he was not able to understand the significance of the teaching and requested the saint to explain to him in clearer terms.

The saint said: "In the vessel of your heart, there is the wick of your soul. The wick has been immersed all these days in the water of your sensuous desire. Therefore you are not able to light the lamp of wisdom. Pour out all the water of desires from the vessel of your heart, and fill it with devotion of God. Take the wick of soul and dry it in the sunshine of unattachment; squeeze out of it all the water present in the form of desire and put into the heart the oil of devotion of God. It will be possible for you to light the lamp of wisdom".

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One red leaf

I was walking out my door yesterday when a strong gust of wind blew something into my face. Getting over the shock I pulled it off of my glasses. It was single red leaf that had got taken for a ride on that windy September day. I held this messenger of Fall in my hand and looked At it closely. It looked like it had lived its life well.

It probably had first popped out on a cold April morning giving the first hope of Spring to some Winter weary soul who saw it.

It must have given shelter to singing birds and shade to tired children too. From the holes in it I would guess that it gave more than one meal to a hungry insect during the hot Summer months.

Now it was ending its life at its most beautiful with its radiant red adding to the glorious painting from God that covers the mountains during Autumn here. I knew too that its work wasn't done yet, because in death it would return to the soil and help God to bring about new life next Spring.

My little leaf reminded me too of all the good I can do in my own short life here. If one, red leaf can do so much for this world then how much more can one human life do? I am going to do my best then to live my own life well. I am going to do all I can to give hope to the weary, to comfort the tired, and to feed those with hungry hearts. I am going to try and live so that my last days are my most beautiful: full of the colours of love, joy, and oneness with God.

Remember you may just be one leaf in this world's mighty forest, but without your love and your life the forest is less. Remember too that tomorrow is another chance to live, to learn, to laugh, and to love in this world. Do your best then. Share your beauty. Help others. Commit yourself to life before death as well as to life after death.

God didn't put you here just to hang on a tree. God put you here to live well and colour this world with the light of your soul. God put you here to help make this world a better and more beautiful place for those who will follow.