There is no dearth of fun and frolic in the company of a Mahatma like Amma. Amma narrates several humorous and funny stories that carry spiritual wisdom. Here are fifteen more such little stories:
1. The lucky bowl!
[Amma: Many people think of themselves as very smart and they believe they can easily hoodwink others to get away with what they want. But there are always smarter people around ]
Once an antique dealer was travelling by the countryside. In a farm, just outside a farmer’s hut, there was an old cat, drinking milk from a very old bowl. The moment the antique dealer saw the bowl, he felt sure that it was an extremely old piece of antique that could fetch very high price in the market. He thought of a smart plan to buy the bowl at the cheapest price from the farmer.
“Hey! Your cat looks very nice. I want to buy it. Can you sell it to me?” said the dealer to the farmer.
“Of course everybody likes my cats. How much can you pay?” asked the farmer.
“Two hundred rupees!” said the antique dealer. The farmer refused. The negotiations went on for a while and finally the dealer offered a price of 4000 rupees and the farmer agreed.
Now the dealer started his smart move. “Hey! I am definitely paying a hefty price for your old cat. Anyway, since I am taking it, why not I take that milk bowl too along? It is old and dirty and you won’t need it anyway once the cat is gone”
“No. I can’t give it. It is a very lucky bowl for me. I can’t part with it” said the farmer firmly.
“Why? In what way it is lucky?”
“You see, using that bowl as the bait, I have so far sold 8 old cats at very good price to antique collectors like you!”
2. The speaking Parrot
(From Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil – Page 43)
[Amma: What is the point in reading scriptures for years and not understanding them nor grasping their purport? Any mere reading of scriptures is only feeding the ego; If you read sastras like this, your ego grows bigger and bigger but the real ‘you’ starves; when you start talking on sastras based on such bookish knowledge, it is like parrot that keeps repeating what it has been taught to speak]
A rich man had a hobby of rearing different types of birds; he was very proud of his winged possessions. Whenever friends came to meet him he would take them around the various cages in which he kept a variety of birds and talk proudly about them. One day, a friend commented “It’s all fine, but you don’t have a talking parrot with you”.
The first thing the rich man did once the friend left was to visit a bird dealer and ask for a talking parrot. The dealer pointed out a cage in which a parrot was sitting. When the rich man asked “Will it speak?”, the parrot itself spoke: “There is no doubt”, even before the bird dealer opened his mouth! Very impressed, the rich man bought the parrot, ignoring something that the bird dealer wanted to say.
The rich man sent a word to the friend and invited him to come and see his talking parrot. The friend arrived; they went close to the parrot’s cage. The friend asked, “Will it talk?” . The parrot said instantly: “”There is no doubt”. Amused, the friend asked “That’s nice What’s your name?” The parrot said “There is no doubt”. For a couple of questions posed again, the parrot simply repeated “There is no doubt”. It became clear that the parrot cannot speak anything else and the rich man’s friends made a fun of him for having bought such a parrot.
Ashamed and angered, the rich man opened the cage to let out the parrot, saying “I have made a fool of myself…”. The parrot said “There is no doubt” and flew away!
3. Hubby’s girl friend
(From Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil – Page 53)
[Amma: An angry husband and a jealous and doubting wife can mar a good family; they will bring gloom to their own and their children’s lives too. Their fighting and anger can cause bad influence on those who come to contact with them too. Unnecessary doubting and fighting will become their past time]
There was this wife who always suspected the character of her husband and would find issues to fight with him every day. Every evening, immediately after her husband returned from office, she would smell his shirt; inspect his dress thoroughly. If any hair is found stuck at his dress, she would inquire how it came; she would check his pockets. When she did all these, she would keenly observe his eyes and facial reactions to see whether he displayed any fear or guilt. She would read his diary; if she found any new number in his mobile phone, she would inquire who was it. She would torture him like this, shout at him, cry and fight with him. It became almost regular.
One day, she could not find any reason to make a fight with him. She could not locate even a bit of hair in his dress. She slumped to the ground and started crying aloud. Surprised, her husband asked “Why this drama? You have not found even a bit of hair in my dress. What is your problem?”
The wailing wife replied; “I know, I know. You have now befriended a totally bald woman and you are returning home after spending joyful time with her. I know, it will happen like this one day” and cried aloud!
4. The Apology
Amma: Human life is short. No one knows when the death would come and sniff away all that we had. Why not spend the life purposely by loving and serving others instead of negativity and hatred? However, our emotions and ego are so strong that we cannot accept words of wisdom so easily.
Once two brothers had a serious fight between themselves. Very hot and hurtful words were exchanged between them and they stopped talking with each other.
One of the brothers, mentally disturbed on account of this fight, went to his guru and told him all about the fight. After listening to him patiently the Guru advised: “After all he is your close blood relationship; what is the point in maintaining so much hatred? I am sure you too would have spoken very harshly with him and hurting him very emotionally; Human life is short and unpredictable; who knows when death will knock at the doors? Think of this: Suppose your brother dies this night, won’t you feel bad that you have developed antagonism against him for not so serious a matter? Won’t you be suffering from guilty consciousness for having hurt him so much? So, I suggested that you go to your brother immediately and seek his pardon; mend your relationship with him immediately”.
The man brooded over what the guru said. Though he was not so much convinced of the need of seeking pardon from his brother, he however felt that he should not ignore what his guru had advised. So he went to meet his brother. With a stiff voice he said, “Hey! I thought I should seek your apology for whatever happened between us. I am sorry for it. But, remember. This apology is valid only if you are going to die tonight. Otherwise it is null and void!”
(Tuesday Satsang 8.8.17)
5. “You are fired! (1)”
Amma: There are two types of people in the world – those who act without thinking and those who think but don’t act. Doing things in haste without thinking would normally lead to problems and failures. One needs patience and discrimination as a virtues for proper thinking and acting.
Once a company was running under loss; the company owners appointed a new manager and entrusted him with the task of turning around the company. The new manager was very enthusiastic. He went around the company and started observing and overseeing people in order to make them perform better. He was intent on weeding out non-performers. On his rounds he noticed a person standing in the corner of the office and doing nothing. Observing him for a while, it appeared certain to him that he was doing nothing.
He went close to the person and asked him “What is your salary?” The man replied “Seven thousand rupees a month”. The manager said “OK. I will give you two month’s salary to you right now. You are fired immediately; I don’t wish to keep you here”. The man did not rise any objections. The manager prepared a cheque in his name and gave to him. The man left immediately.
The manager, with a look of authority on his face, said to others in the office “You see, this is what is in store for idle persons and non-performers hereafter. By the way what was this person’s assigned job?”
One person in the office replied “Actually, he is not our employee; he works in the adjacent tea shop and brings tea for us. You have paid him Rs 14,000.- unnecessarily!”
(Monday satsang 14.8.17)
6. “You are fired! (2)”
Amma: “We need full awareness in what we do. When listening to others, listen fully”.]
Once the owner of a Supermarket was overhearing the conversation between on of his salesmen and a customer. To something that the customer was asking he heard the salesman saying, “We didn’t have it recently. Perhaps we cannot expect it in the coming days too”.
Hearing this, the proprietor got worked up. He rushed towards the customer and said, “Excuse me, please don’t take his words; we have ordered the item and they will arrive within one or two days”. The customer looked confused upon hearing this and he moved away, shaking his head.
The proprietor started shouting at the salesman. “How many times have I told you that whatever a customer askes fr something not found here, you should never say ‘we don’t have it’; you should say, ‘the item is coming and expected anytime’. YOu never seem to learn this basic business tactic. I am fed up with you; you are fired!”
The salesman was trying to intervene and explain something but the angry proprietor would not allow him to open his mouth. Dejected, the salesman started leaving.
As he moved away towards the entrance, the proprietor called him and asked him, “Hey, before you go, tell me what did that customer want so that I can order the stocks”.
The salesman said, “He asked ‘Do you get rains here in this time of the month?’ ”
(Amma US Satsang 17/6/2017)
7. Doing what Guru says
Amma: A disciple should have enough discrimination to understand what Guru instructs and do accordingly in letter and spirit. Blindly taking the words of Guru and acting without using common sense would only lead to disaster.
Once a guru was travelling along with his disciple in a bullock cart. They have their belongings too loaded in the cart. The Guru said “I am feeling tired as I could not sleep well last night; let me have a nap; please keep an eye on the belongings”. “Yes, Maharaj. Don’t worry; I will be watchful; please take rest” assured the disciple.
As the cart moved on a bumpy path, the guru heard something falling. However he did not open his eyes as he though the disciple would take action. However, as the cart kept moving, guru opened his eyes and said “I heard the noise of something falling down. What was it? “
The disciple replied “It was your yoga Danda master (The wooden staff the guru uses to support his hand).
“I told you to be watchful. Have you picked up the stick?” asked the guru.
“No Maharaj, as advised by you I was quite watchful and saw how the danda fell down”.
Exasperated, the guru said “You idiot! Hereafter you should pick up anything that falls down from the cart”. “Agreed” said the disciple.
The guru closed his eyes and dozed off for a while. Suddenly he woke up as something fell on his face, smelling foul.
“Hey? What is this? What happened?” asked the guru, sitting up, confused.
“Master, don’t worry. I sincerely followed your instructions. A while ago, the bullock eased his bowels and the dung fell on the road. Remembering your instruction that if anything falls down I should pick it up, I stopped the cart, picked up the dung and threw it back into the cart!”
The guru went speechless. Controlling his anger, he said “Okay. I now understand how difficult it is to make you develop some common sense. Let me at least do my best. I will write down a list of things that you should pick up if any of them happens to fall down from the cart. He wrote a list and gave it to the disciple. He relaxed again.
The road was turning bumpier. There were many pot holes in the road. The cart’s wheel got into one large pothole and the guru fell down from the cart. However the cart managed to move forward. The disciple noticed falling of his guru. He immediately took out the list of items that the guru had given to him and checked it. As the Guru’s name was not given in the list, the disciple decided to move ahead. The guru who fell on the road was shouting aloud for help but the bullock cart moved away farther and soon went out of sight.
Fortunately, heeding to the guru’s cries some people came running around and picked him up from the pothole. They helped him to get back to his residence.
The guru was burning with rage, seeing his disciple relaxing there. “You idiot! I fell down from the cart and I was crying aloud. You never bothered to come and pick me up. Why, why?”
The disciple said, “I was strictly following your instructions, Maharaj. The moment you fell down, I checked whether you have mentioned your name in the list; since it was not there, I did not find it necessary to pick you up. Master, at least I hope you now understand how meticulous I am in following your instructions”
8. Short vision!
Amma: Most of us are concerned with issues and problems within our closer circle; we do not look beyond and think about what is the real goal of life.
Once a scientists and a Nambudiri were staying together in a lodge. The lodge room was very hot and they could not get sleep. They decided to go to the terrace and sleep there in the natural coolness of air. They took sleeping mats and a mosquito net with them, went to the terrace and lied down. Both soon went to sleep.
When it was midnight, the scientist suddenly woke up. Right in front of his eye, dark and vast sky above was clear without any clouds and myriad stars were blinking with beauty. The scientist was deeply immersed in thinking. He suddenly noticed that the Namboodiri too was awake.
The nambudiri asked him “You too are awake? What are you staring at?”
“I am really feeling amazed at the vastness of the sky and the millions of stars and galaxies above our head. I was thinking that there would surely be planets with living beings like us in some of the stars over there. I was wondering whether we could see the beings from other galaxies one day. By the way, what were you thinking?”
The nambudiri said “I too noticed the clear skies first. But I have not gone that far as you did. I was concerned about this: our mosquito net has been stolen when we were in deep sleep some time ago!”
(Amma Onam Satsang – Monday 4/9/17)
Amma: Total surrender to god or Satguru can come only through faith. It is not easy to get cent percent faith as our mind keeps on doubting. It is the nature of the mind.
Once a person went to a psychiatrist with a problem. He explained “Somehow I have a feeling that I am just a mouse. I am so scared of seeing cats”.
The psychiatrist showed a mirror in front of him and started counseling him “Just look at your image. You are a strong human being; you have all the features of a human being and nothing whatsoever to resemble a mouse. You are so big and strong and why should you think you are a mouse?”
After a long counseling session, the man got some confidence and conviction that he was a man and not a mouse. He thanked the doctor, paid his fees and came out. On his way to the parking lot, he saw a cat coming in front of him. Forgetting all his newly found convictions, he got scared and went running back to the psychiatrist’s clinic.
“Why are you so scared? What happened?” asked the psychiatrist.
“Doctor, I saw a cat on my way!”
“Why afraid of it? You know pretty well now that you are a human being and not a mouse. Don’t you? Are you still not convinced?”
The man said, “I know I am not a mouse; but what if the cat thinks I am only a mouse?”
(Friday Satsang 25.8.17)
10. Relief from bad times?
A person was suffering from one hardship after another in life and got very much dejected. He went to consult an astrologer to know what he holds for the futute.
The astrologer, after going through the horoscope said “ Your planetary positions are too unfavorable.You will have to go through sufferings till your age of 55”.
The man felt somewhat relieved. He asked eagerly, “It means I will lead a smooth and happy life after that, right?”
The astrologer said, “No. You will get used to facing troubles!”.
Amma : ‘para sthithi’ (external circumstances) cannot be changed easily, but with effort, it is possible to change our ‘mana sthithi’ (state of mind). When, by spiritual effort, we manage to acquire mental strength and balance, we will be able to face joys and sorrows with lots of equanimity. We will not get over joyed in moments of fortune, nor get too disturbed and depressed against adversities.
11. God’s call
Once God knocked at the door of the devotee. The devotee came out. The God said “I have come to grant you liberation; will you come with me right now?”
The devotee replied: “God, not immediately please. I am watching my favorite TV show; will you come back after some time please?” God went way smiling.
A few days later, God came back and knocked at the door again. The devotee opened. The God said in an excited voice: “Your house is on fire!”
The devotee, who was watching TV, immediately rushed out of the house forgetting everything!
12. Just a simple test paper!
Once four rich boys, on the day before their exams, went on a jolly trip to an adjacent town in a car. They took a room in a lodge and drank heavily. By the time they woke up the next morning, it was already too late to return to the college and attend the exam.
However they vacated their room and rushed back in their car to their college. They went straight to the examiner. They said, “We went to the next town on an urgent personal work yesterday. We got held up there and could not return yesterday. Today we started early, but on our way, our car tyre got punctured on the midway. We did not know what to do. We had to search around for a car mechanic and finally we located one mechanic shop and brought the person to replace the punctured wheel;. That’s how we got so much delayed to reach here and attend the exam. Kindly excuse us; please permit us take the exam as a special case; otherwise our future will be spoiled”.
The examiner, who knew about the background of the boys, listened to them patiently and then said, “Since the exams have already started and we are nearing the closing time now, there is no point in allowing you to write the exams. I will conduct a special exam exclusively for you four boys tomorrow and if you pass the paper, then I will take those marks for today’s exam and settle your case”.
The boys were very happy that their drama had worked.
The next day, they came to attend the special exam at the appointed hour. The examiner put each of them in 4 separate rooms and handed over the question paper to them. The paper contained only two questions:
1) What is your name (2 marks)
2) Which wheel of the car got punctured yesterday? (98 marks).
No need to mention that the boys wrote different wheels in their replies that would, on immediate comparison, would expose them of their blatant lie! Thus the intelligent examiner taught an apt lesson to the undisciplined and irresponsible boys!
13. The patient and his patience!
[Amma: Why has God given two ears and one mouth? What is the purpose? God expects us to listen twice as much as we speak. But what we do is just the opposite. Without bothering to listen properly, we keep on talking.]
Once there was a busy merchant who was always thinking about his business all the time.Once he had to visit a hospital to meet his friend who was lying on a sick bed.
Sitting next the the bed, the merchant asked the usual question: “How are you feeling now?”
“Very bad” said the patient; “Everyday I seem to sinking from bad to worse”
The merchant did not listen to the reply at all. He presumed the normal response that people give when asked such a question (“yes, feeling better”) and said, “Oh! Glad to hear that. Which medicines are you taking?”
The patient got irritated. He said, “Poison. Just poison is what I am taking”.
Again the merchant never bothered to listen to the words of the patient and mechanically proceeded: “That’s really a powerful medicine! Well, who is the doctor attending to you?”
The patient got fed up; he shouted “Doctor? Lord Yama. Yes, it is Lord Yama (The lord of death) who is treating me!”
The merchant said nonchalantly, “He is indeed the best doctor in the town; you don’t have to have any worry!”
Seething in anger, the patient pulled out the various tubes inserted in his nose and ankle, rose up from his bed, caught the merchant’s neck by hand pushed him out of the room!
14. The split second decision!
[Amma: We should always go to root cause of the problem and try to remove it. Mostly what we do in order to obviate a current problem is to replace it with another problem]
Once a person working in a press met with a serious accident. His left hand got almost cut. He was immediately rushed to the hospital; almost half-cut, his left hand was hanging precariously as he was taken to the operation theatre. The doctors attended to his case immediately; they joined and stiched the hand together and fortunately, he was saved from totally losing the hand. However, he would have to go through a long haul of treatment before he could be fully active with his left hand.
After he regained consciousness, the doctor was talking him to him as a way of consolation: “Thank God! It is only a left hand. You would have felt extremely miserable if you had cut your right hand, isn’t it?”
The man said, “Yes, doctor! That’s where my presence of mind and intelligence came to my rescue! As I was working in the machine, I noticed that the huge mechanical blade was falling down. At that point of time, actually, my right hand was inside the machine. I immediately withdrew my right hand and put my left hand instead! That’s how I saved my right hand!”
(Amma 2003 Birthday Satsang)
15. In search of the the perfect mate
[Amma: If one makes himself/ herself perfect, then one will be in perfect harmony with the partner, whether perfect or imperfect]
Once a man was looking for a perfect woman to get married. He had his specifications: she must be five ft six inches tall, slim, with curly dark hair, blue eyes, white skin and so on. He was searching for such a partner everywhere, but he could not succeed for long.
One day, he saw a woman who was perfectly fitting into his specifications and he got very excited. He went and met her, somehow befriended her and kept meeting her once a while.
Finally, when they became comfortable with each other, he proposed to her.
The next day, his friends saw him in a sullen mood. They knew about the man’s interest in the new girl and asked him what happened. He said, “I proposed to her alright, but she rejected me saying that she is looking for a perfect man!”.
(Beach Satsang Fri 6/2/2015)