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".