Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 4

[If you have not read the previous 15 little stories of Amma under this topic,  you can read them here: Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 3)

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1.  Bottled Krishna?

One day a Pundit came to see a Mahatma.

The pundit was famous for his scholarship and his knowledge of the scriptures. He was a very proud man. The pundit said to the Mahatma: “I am well versed in all the shastras of our religion. I came to you with an expectation that you may be able to teach me something extra that I don’t know of”.

The Mahatma smiled and said, “I am afraid I don’t have anything to tell you more than what you already  know.  But there is a shopkeeper in this village, who, I believe, has something to teach you”.

The pundit got curious. He inquired who the shopkeeper was and immediately proceeded to go and meet him. When the pundit reached the grocery shop, he noticed that he was in the process of supplying various grocery items to one of his clients.  He heard the shopkeeper telling the client, “You please read out the items one by one from your shopping list and my boy will weigh and pack them.”

Immediately, the Pundit understood that the shopkeeper was a simple, unlettered man. What could such a person teach a scholar like him? Anyway, having come all the way, he approached the shopkeeper and introduced himself. He said, “The Mahatma in this village asked me to meet you. He told me that you have a piece of wisdom that you can teach me”.

The shopkeeper was surprised. He said, “Revered Sir, I am an unlettered man. I have no knowledge whatsoever except selling provisions. What can I ever teach you? Anyway, having come all the way to meet me, I request you to sit with me for a while in the shop, relax yourself and then go back home”.

The Pundit sat in a chair next to the shopkeeper and looked around the shop. In one shelf nearby, there were several jars  painted  in different colors. The pundit became curious. “What do these jars contain? Why are they painted in different colors?”

The shopkeeper said, “Sir, it is for my easy identification of items, that I have colored them differently. The first jar in red contains pepper. The second one in yellow contains mustard. The third one in green contains cardamom. The next one contains cloves. The last one contains Krishna”.

What? Krishna? What do you mean?”

“Sir, actually the last one does not contain anything. It is empty. I call it the jar of Krishna”.

“Why?”

“You see, you cannot put anything in a  jar that already contains something. If you have to put something, it should be empty first. If our mind is filled with so many things, it has no space for the lord to come and reside inside. Only when we keep our mind empty without thoughts, God can come and occupy it. That’s why I call the empty jar as the jar of Krishna”.

The pundit was awestruck hearing the explanation from the unlettered shopkeeper. He immediately understood that his mind was full with ideas and concepts learned from scriptures and hence it does not have any space for God to enter and reside in him. He understood that knowing God and establishing God in his heart was far more important than stuffing himself with scriptural knowledge. He understood that he should get rid of all his pride and make his heart empty to have the vision of God.

(From Amma’s Krishna Janmashtami Satsang 10/9/2020)

2.  What you really lost

Once a group of travelers were going to a village. As they walked, they reached a place adjacent to a forest. There they saw a pond with clear water. They left their possessions at the bank of the pond and got into water to take bath. When they returned to the bank after taking bath, they were shocked to see their possessions missing. Thieves had indeed stolen them and run away.  The travelers immediately went around in search of the thieves.

They noticed a Sadhu sitting at the shade of a tree on their way. They asked him, “Did you notice any thieves running this way, carrying things? They have stolen our belongings”.

The Sadhu said, “You are all sad because you have lost your possessions. Aren’t you? Now think. You have lost your happiness now; the thieves who made you lose your happiness are outside you or inside you? Do you want only your lost possessions or want something that you will never ever lose? Think deeply on this.”

The travelers understood what the sadhu said. They understood that he was a Mahatma. They surrendered to him and requested him to take them as his disciples.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)

3.  Expansiveness matters

Once  there lived a householder who had the habit of visiting a  Mahatma frequently. He would always complain about the hardships and sorrows he was facing in his life. One day, when this devotee started to talk about his woes, the Mahatma cut him short and said, “You go and bring a glass of water and a handful of salt”.

The devotee brought them.  The saint said, “Put a  spoonful of salt in the glass of water, stir it well to dissolve it fully and then drink a little of that water”. The man did so.

“How does it taste?” asked the mahatma.

“Ah! Very salty; I can’t even swallow it” said the man.

Then the Mahatma took the man to a nearby pond. “Now put the handful of salt in the water and dissolve it fully” he said.

The man did so.

“Now taste a little of that pond water” said the Mahatma.

The man drank some water.

“Do you find it salty?” asked the Mahatma.  “No, Maharaj, not at all” said the man.

The mahatma said, “My son, the sorrows in our life too are similar to this. Pure water is like the natural, inner joy that we all have. If a little of salt is added to a glass of water, the water turns salty and you can’t even drink it. But the same salt, if put in a pond of water, does not make the water salty. Your mind, at present, is very small, like the glass. But if you make your heart very large like the pond and awaken the bliss inside it,  then no amount of sorrow will disturb you”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)

4.  The difference  (1)

Once a minister of a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country that needed right solutions.

When he reached his guru’s ashram, one of his guru’s main disciples stopped him. The minister said, “Excuse me, I need to meet the guru very urgently to discuss on some very important matters”.

The disciple said politely, “Sorry sir, our guru is sick; he is taking rest. He has given clear instruction to me not to allow anyone to disturb him.”

The minister was in a dilemma. While he badly wanted to discuss matters with his guru, he could not argue with the disciple too to meet the guru. He stood there for a while very confused and disturbed”.

“May I know why you want to meet our guru so desperately?” asked the disciple.

The minister felt that it would be fine to share his problems with the disciple and he narrated the various serious issues that he is facing as a minister and looking for the right guidance.

The disciple too was quite a learned person and he was serving the guru since long.  So, he spoke to the minister for the next half an hour doling out advice as to how to the problems can be managed. The minister was nodding and hearing all that the disciple said, but there was no full conviction in him to accept all of them and take steps to act on them.

In the meanwhile, hearing the voice of the minister outside his hut, the guru, despite being unwell, came out. The minister was surprised and glad to see the guru and he prostrated before him. The guru asked him what his problem was. Again, the minister narrated his woes to the guru. The guru spoke to him only a few words lasting hardly for five minutes and bid him goodbye.

The minister was extremely satisfied with the guru’s advice and he left the place with mental peace and clarity. In fact, what the guru instructed was only the essence of what the disciple had already instructed in detail earlier, but the conviction came to the minister only through the words of the guru.

[Amma: “In this story, what the guru said and what the disciple told earlier were essentially same, but the words of the disciple are nothing but bookish knowledge; whereas the words of the guru are based on his personal experience attained through self-realization. That’s why it creates so much conviction and trust in the listener.”]

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)

5.  The difference  (2)

Once the king a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country; he had lost all peace of mind and was gripped by a desire to relinquish the king’s role and escape from all the responsibilities. He felt if he could get some solution from his guru to enable him transfer all his responsibilities to someone else, he can have a breath of relief.

After listening to the king’s bag of woes and his final request, the guru said, “Fine. Do one thing. You make a vow to hand over the whole country to me”. The king gladly agreed and made a formal announcement to this effect.

Once it was done, the guru said, “Now, this country is mine. Now I appoint you as the caretaker of this country to govern it as my official representative.”

The king, as he was always obedient to his guru’s words, agreed. He went back to the palace and continued to rule the country. But now a sea of change had happened in his mindset. He felt a great mental relief. He was not the king any longer but only a servant to the guru who is now the real ruler of the country; he was just an instrument in the hands of his guru and felt totally free from the burden of all personal responsibilities that he was shouldering all along.

[Amma: “The sense of ownership is the cause of all tensions. If one becomes an instrument in the hands of God, then all tasks will be accomplished without mental agitation.”]

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)

5.  Mind control 

Once a young man from a rich family came to a guru and said, “Swamiji, I have no interest in worldly life; Will you please accept me as your disciple and give me sanyasa?” 

The guru felt that the young man had good potential to lead a spiritual life. He accepted him as his disciple and gave him sanyasa diksha too. The guru then said, “Normally, once I give sanyasa, you are supposed to go out and beg your food. But, I will not put you through such a difficulty immediately. I would suggest you to go to the house of a woman,  who is my disciple and she will offer you food. Go and have your lunch there daily”. He gave directions to reach the woman’s house.

As the young sanyasi walked towards the woman’s house, he was thinking like this: “Oh! I feel so hungry. If I were to be in my house, I will get a variety of tasty food, such and such curries and side dishes. I know, as a sanyasi, I should not think of such foods, yet, if the woman offers me a similar food, I will definitely love to eat it”.

Once he reached the devotee’s house, the woman welcomed him warmly and respectfully.  She made him seated comfortably and brought a plate full or variety of dishes. What a surprise! Whatever food items he was longing to eat as he walked towards the house were all present in the plate. The young sanyasi ate happily to his stomach-full. It was a hot noon. After eating the food, he felt a natural urge to have a noon nap. But he knew it would be inappropriate for him to rest in a devotee woman’s house. 

But the woman said, “Swami, please feel free to take some rest here. The sun is hot outside, you don’t have to hurry with a full stomach to the ashram”. The sanyasi was totally surprised. He started wondering: Does the woman read my thoughts?’ He brushed aside the idea and thought it must be another stray coincidence. The woman brought him a mat and a pillow. The young sanyasi laid down and soon went into a deep sleep.

It was about 4 PM when he woke up. He was wondering whether he should start immediately from there. The evening sun was still hot. At that time the woman said, “Swami, you can rest for a little while and then return to your ashram. The evening sun is really good for your health”.

The young sanyasi was shaken. His doubt that the lady read his thoughts became very strong. With a surprise in his voice, he asked her, “Do you have the power to read my thoughts?”

The woman said, “Yes, I have. Let me bring some refreshments for you now”.

The sanyasi said, “No, no! Please, I don’t want anything. Let me depart right away”. Despite the woman requesting him to rest for a while, he immediately left the house.

He felt very disturbed to know the fact that the woman had the powers to read his mind. 

On the next day, at the lunch time, the young sanyasi went to his guru and said, “Maharaj, I don’t want to go to that woman’s house for the lunch”. When the guru inquired him why, he narrated what happened on the previous day. He said further, “In fact I am scared that she reads every thought of mine. Sir, let me confess to you that some amorous thoughts too rose up in me when I was in that house alone with her”.

The guru said, “No, no. I want you to go to her house only to have your lunch until I give you any alternative instructions”.

The disciple, having no option but to obey his guru, was walking towards the woman’s house. This time, he was extremely watchful about the thoughts that rose up in his mind. He did not want any thoughts about eating rich and tasty food. He wanted to ensure that only good and noble thoughts rose up in his mind. This way, he was constantly watching his mind, as he did not want the woman to judge him by reading his thoughts.   As he did so assiduously, the number of thoughts passing through his mind gradually reduced. 

Day after day, he practiced to discipline his mind like this and gradually he became very meditative.  His awareness increased multifold. He could hear chirping of crickets even in day time which he normally heard only at night times. His mind remained still for longer and longer times. 

Thus the guru indirectly helped him to become adept in meditation and paved the way for the disciples’ spiritual progress.

(From Amma’s Vishu message 15/4/2022) 

6.  Acting with discernment and determination

Once upon a time, two disciples were living with a Guru for many years and learned the Vedas and other scriptures. The senior of the two disciples was always upset because the Guru showered more affection and  attention to the other disciple.

‘Though I am the senior, I don’t know why the guru entrusts him with many responsibilities’, he thought.

One day the Guru said, “I am in need of some rare medicinal herbs, to be brought  from a particular mountain”.

He called the first disciple and gave him the details of where to find them, how to identify the herb etc and sent him to bring the medicinal plant.

The disciple felt happy that this time at least the guru gave him the rightful importance, and left.

It was a long and tiring walk to the mountain. On his way, he felt very thirsty. Unfortunately, there were no streams anywhere nearby. Finally, he noticed a  deep well. Near it, he saw a pot to draw water, but there was no rope. He walked away helplessly and fell down unconscious on the way. After regaining consciousness, he felt he had no energy to complete the mission, and opted to return to the gurukula empty handed.

A few days later, the Guru sent the other disciple to get the herbs. He too went through the same path. When he felt thirsty,  he too saw the well and the pot without the rope. He looked around and finally saw some long grass. He decided to braid the grass  together to make a long rope. He patiently spent time preparing such a rope.  He tied it around the neck of the pot and drew out water from the well. Thus he could  quench his thirst and proceeded in his journey. He reached the mountain, located the herb and brought it to the gurukula.

Although the Guru had taught both the disciples equally, it was the second disciple who could put his knowledge and wisdom  to practical use. Further, he was determined to complete his goal for which overcoming hurdles with proper effort and awareness was important. 

As for the first disciple, though he had studied the scriptures, he did not have viveka [discernment]. Nor did he have the necessary jijñāsā. His focus on the goal was weak and he did not put in the necessary effort to accomplish it. He succumbed to physical weakness and opted to abort his mission..

So, for tasting success, effort on our part coupled with proper discernment to find solutions to impediments  is essential.

(From Amma’s Vishu message 15/4/2022)

7.  Faithful Dog

Once in a gurukula, a dog happened to come in. One of the disciples developed attraction towards the dog and he started pampering it.  The dog started frequenting the gurukula again and again as the disciple fed the dog and cuddled it regularly.

Watching this over a period of time, the guru called the disciple and said, “You are a spiritual seeker; if you develop attachment towards a dog and keep pampering it regularly, it will be bad for your spiritual progress”.

The disciple was a very obedient person and decided to stop pampering the dog immediately. When the dog visited next time, he totally ignored it. Yet the dog kept coming to him again, wagging its tails. The disciple avoided the dog and distanced himself from it. Yet the dog kept visiting him the next day too. This time, the disciple showed a stern face and drove away the dog from the place.  He did so a couple of more times, and the dog stopped coming to the gurukula once for all.

[Amma: “Our vasanas are exactly like dogs. As long as we keep pampering them, they will not leave us. One has to develop determination and practice vairagya strictly. Only then, we can get rid of out vasanas.”]

(From Amma’s Vishu message 15/4/2022)

8. One size  fits all!

Once there lived a famous mahatma whom many people Many people used to visit. They would disclose their sorrows to Him — like about their financial problems, their health or family problems. A few would would also approach Him seeking spiritual guidance. To all of them, the mahatma would say just one thing: “You must awaken!”

A disciple who was living with him had been hearing Him giving this advice for many years. He could not understand the point of giving the same advice to each and everyone. One day, mustering his courage, he asked his Guru, “Why areYou giving the same answer to all questions? Can’t You offer varied pieces of advice depending on the nature of problems?”

The Guru said, “Let me ask you a question: If 10,000 people came to you crying and told you that they were suffering from nightmares, what advice would you give them?”

“I would tell them to wake up,” said the disciple.

The Guru asked, “So, would you tell all of them the same thing or would you give different suggestions based on whether wild animals came, or ghosts came or poisonous snakes came in their dreams?”

“I would tell then the same suggestion only — to wake up from their dream world” replied the disciple.

Smiling sweetly, the Guru said, “That’s exactly what I’m doing!”

[Amma: “Our outer eyes, with which we behold and experience the world, usually serve only to deepen our sleep of ignorance. To awaken from that spiritual slumber, our inner eyes must open. At present, they are closed.“]

(From Amma’s Vishu message 15/4/2022)

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Humorous stories from Amma – Part 7 ( 20 more stories)

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  more such little stories:

(If you have not read the previous 15 stories in this series, please click here —> Part 6 (Humorous stories from Amma)

1. Exploiting the poor?!

Once a beggar went to a house for begging. It was one such house where the beggar had been receiving alms across several years. That day the householder gave him ten rupees. The beggar got angry and said to the householder: “In early days you used to give me hundred rupees once in a month; afterwards you reduced it to fifty rupees a month; then it turned out to be twenty five rupees in later periods. Now you are giving me a paltry ten Rupees. Is it not very unfair?”

The householder replied to him patiently: “When I was giving you, I was a bachelor and at that time I could afford to give you so much. Later I got married and my wife was not employed. That’s why I reduced the amount to fifty rupees. Later I had a child and naturally my family expenses increased considerably. At that point of time, I reduced the amount to twenty five rupees.  Now I have got a second child too.  Now, in reality, I have no money to spend. However, since I felt I should not send you back empty-handed, I somehow managed to give you ten Rupees”.

Hearing this, the beggar shouted angrily, “So, you are running your family using MY money?”

 [Amma: “In this story, instead of receiving the money given as charity with a sense of gratitude, the beggar reacts as if it is his birthright! We too may behave like this in many situations in life. All our dealings with Nature, family members, friends and fellow human beings too are many times like this done with utter selfishness. Instead of being thankful we behave as if we are rightfully entailed to demand and receive our cut.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2. Sound sense!

Once a boy came to the school without doing his homework.  The teacher asked him why he had not done it.

The boy said, “I could not concentrate and do my homework because of lots of noise in my house, Sir?”

“What is the reason for the noise?” asked the teacher.

“Well, the TV was continuously on and the noise from it kept on disturbing me from doing my homework”.

“You could have asked others to tone down the volume or switch off the TV till you finished your homework. Why  didn’t you do it?”

“Nobody will listen if I say so” said the boy.

“Why? Why not?”

“There was no one except me in the house, Sir” said the boy sheepishly.

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 25/7/2020)

3. Hence proved!

Once a man was frequently getting severe headache. As he could not get any relief from off the shelf medicines, he decided to consult a doctor.  The doctor prescribed a brain scan.

When he met the doctor with the scan report, the doctors’ face turned grim. “I am sorry to say this, but you have to face the reality. You have a large tumor in your brain and in all likelihood, it is cancerous too. You have to undergo a major brain surgery without delay. Else your life is under threat”.

Hearing this the man’ face brightened up. “Are you sure the tumor is in my brain?” he asked. “Yes, of course” said the doctor. The man threw up his hands and laughed heartily. The doctor was surprised.

“Why are you laughing, man? I am telling you that it is life threatening and you are taking it so casually?”

“Naturally doctor. You have given me a proof now for me to show to my wife. All these years, she has been humiliating me saying that I have no brain and she would never listen to whatever I say!”.

 [Amma: “For some people, pampering their ego is more important than their very life.”]

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

4. Hearty prayer!

Once a couple went to pray in the temple on their Marriage Day.

After the worship, as they came out of the temple, the husband asked his wife: “What did you pray for?”

The wife said, “I prayed to God that I should remain your wife in all our future births. Well; What did you pray for?”

The husband was silent for a moment and said, “I prayed to God not to give me any more births”.

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

5. Better recourse!

Once a man was having a psychosomatic problem. He could not sleep in the night because of a strong mental perception he had. He believed that some stranger was hiding under his cot every night. However he tried to brush the thought aside, he could not overcome that unfounded fear.

He decided to consult a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist after examining and interviewing him, said, “I can definitely cure you of this problem. But it requires a prolonged treatment. You have to have a counselling session with me once a week for at least 4 to 6 months. At the end of it, you will get totally freed from the fear and gain a sound sleep at night.”

The man said, “I will think over it and come back to you shortly”.

The doctor’s consultation fee was about Rs 1000 per session. It meant that the man had to spend Rs 16000 or more for his treatment. It was clear to him that he could not afford it. He was frantic so look for an alternative solution.

The patient never came back. The psychiatrist happened to see him at a restaurant some weeks after they had met. He asked, “What happened? Why didn’t you come for the treatment? How is your condition now?”

The man said, “Oh! I got totally cured within 4,5 days through an alternative treatment, doctor. Thank God. There was no need for any any prolonged treatment!”

“How was it possible? Which doctor cured you?” asked the curious psychiatrist.

The man said, “Frankly speaking, I did a calculation on how much I should spend on you for the treatment. It was far beyond my means. So, I called the local carpenter, paid him 100 rupees to cut off all the four legs of my cot. So, with no space under my cot, no one can come and lie under it, right? From that day onwards, I am sleeping peacefully, doctor!”

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

6. Can’t open!

Once a young man went to his village chief with a complaint about his family members; he wanted his intervention to set right matters.

He complained: “Sir, I am staying in a small room in my home; that room is stinking. This room is occupied by the pet dogs of my elder brother;  another brother has a few cats in it. My sister has a couple of rabbits in the room which are her pets. My mother has a couple of goats.  The room is horrible and dirty. I cannot breath any fresh air. If only you could do something I will be thankful to you. I am longing for a breath of fresh air!”

The village chief asked, “Don’t you have a window in your room?”

“Yes! there is a window; but it is kept closed”.

“Why don’t you, open it to get fresh air?”

“No I can’t. If I open the window, my pet pigeons will fly away!”

 [Amma: “This is how most of us behave when it comes to finding fault with others and complaining about them. We never recognize our own faults and limitations”.]

7. Easy role!

Once in a community, people wanted to celebrate Onam with several entertainment programs. A drama on Krishna Lila was  planned. A man was extremely interested in acting and he gave his name to the troup. He was very excited about it and was discussing with his wife as to what role he should take up in the drama.

His wife said, “If people offer you the role of Krishna, don’t take it up. It will be extremely difficult for you to act in that role and you have to put lots of efforts.  But if Kamsa’s role is available, take it immediately. It will suit you the best and you will need little effort to shine in that role!’

 

(From Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

8. Elevated state!

Once a drunkard got heavily drunk on a Onam day. He said to his friend, “You know, when I am drunk, I become same as Mahabali”

“How?” asked his friend.

“When I am drunk, I treat everyone equal — rich man – poor man, big man — small man; I don’t differentiate. Also when I am drunk. I speak only the truth.  Mahabali too did the same. Right?”

(From Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

9. Extrapolation!

 [Amma: “Our mind is always  full of thoughts. Our thoughts don’t stop even during our sleep many times.  The very nature of the mind is to keep brooding over the past happenings or keep worrying about future happenings.”]

Once a middle aged person was travelling in a train. A young man sitting next to him, asked “Sir, what is the time?”

The middle aged man said, “Shut up”. Noticing this, a man sitting next to him said, “Why are you getting so angry? After all he just asked what the time is!”

The man started to give a lecture: “He asked, alright; Suppose I tell him the time, what will happen next? He will then start talking about the climate. Then he will start discussing current affairs in the news paper. Then he will start talking about politics with me.  Then he will ask about my family members. It may lead to my asking about his family details. Once we talk so much and get to know about each other in so much in detail, I may have to invite him to my home out of courtesy, when I get down. Perhaps he would visit my house and who knows, he may even stay with us for a day! I have a beautiful daughter at home. What if she falls in love with this fellow? Or this fellow may fall in love with her.  If  situation comes to that, I will never agree to get my daughter married to a person who can’t even afford to have his own watch!  To avoid all these eventualities, I said ‘shut up’ and closed the chapter once for all!”

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 1)

10. Sunken hopes!

Once two friends were talking. One of them said, “I heard you have started drinking nowadays. What is the reason?”

The other said, “I have been facing lots of problems in life. I am trying to kill all my problems by sinking them in alcohol!”.

“Have you succeeded in your effort?”

“No, dear friend. All my problems have learned to swim in the alcohol and they could not be drowned”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 1)

11. One last hope!

 Once a farmer had a donkey and a dog in his farm house. While the dog, being a loving pet, got all the care and cuddling from the farmer, the donkey was not so fortunate. The farmer always thought that his donkey was slow, lazy and was not working hard. He hated it. He did not feed it enough and used to beat it often.  The donkey was constantly suffering. Taking pity on it, the dog once said to the donkey,” Why are you patiently bearing all the torture being meted out to you? Why don’t you run away from here and find a better course of life for you?’

The donkey said, “You are indeed right about my unbearable suffering. I have just one last hope here and that’s why I continue to stay here”.

“What is it?” asked the dog.

One day I happened to overhear the farmer talking to his daughter. You know his daughter is lazy and does not help her mother in the kitchen. She does not study well too. The other day he was telling his daughter, “If you are so lazy, who will ever marry you? I think I will have to marry you  off to our donkey only”. So, I am hoping that one day or other I will get married to the farmer’s daughter; once I become his son-in-law, then my life will be cozy; he will not ill treat me anymore. Right?”

[Amma: “Worldly life invariably gives us only pain and suffering. Yet, people always live with the hope that life would turn to be better and enjoyable at some time in future and continue to live with hope”.]

12. Modern technology!

 Once a ship in which a rich businessman travelled got into mechanical trouble. The ship was forced to reach the shores of a remote island, where the population consisted of simple rural people who were far cut off from the rest of the technologically advanced civilization in the world.

The island people were very kind hearted. A family consisting of a father, mother and son volunteered to take care of the businessman and offered him fruits, simple food and shelter till the ship got somehow repaired.

The businessman was overwhelmed with gratitude to the family that took good care of him. He wanted them to come with him to his country as tourists to see how other advanced countries looked like. The family gladly agreed. The business men thus took him to his country and offered them good hospitality. He engaged his personal secretary to take them around the city for sightseeing and other entertainments.

The visitors were wonderstruck to look around the city. The secretary took them to theatre show. It was a grand show in which all the great film stars, musicians and other performing artists participated. The program was scheduled to be conducted at the 24th floor of a multistoried building.

The secretary took the visitors near the elevator. He asked them to wait there and said he would return in a few minutes and then take them to the program venue.

The visiting family was looking all around with wonder. At that time, they noticed that a very old lady with wrinkled skin and sick looks was brought there in a wheelchair.  The attendant who came with the lady pressed a button on the wall. After a while, the wall split open. The old lady in wheelchair was taken into a small chamber inside the wall and the wall closed immediately.

The visitors saw some arrow symbols blinking on the wall. One upward arrow got lit. After some time, they noticed that the downward arrow started blinking. After a while, they were surprised to see the wall splitting open again. This time, a very young and attractive girl in her twenties came out from the chamber in the wall and went out.

The father from the island was wonder struck and over awed!  He shouted to his son immediately, “Hey! You take your mother immediately into this chamber! I never knew such wonders are possible in this part of earth! I too love to convert your mother to be a young and beautiful girl  in her twenties!”

[Amma: “People of present days expect all wonderful things to happen magically in life”.]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

13. Order what!

Once a lawsuit was filed against a man for a crime he had committed. He received a summon to appear in the court. It was the first time in his life that the man was attending any court proceeding. The man came and stood in front of the judge for inquiry. As there was some commotion in the gathering, the judge knocked his gavel on the table and said in a loud voice”Order, Order!”

The man immediately said, “Two masala dosas, two vadas and one filter coffee!”

Presently, the man is behind the gallows and still awaiting the arrival of masala dosas and the rest!

[Amma: “This is our world! Even when people are about to face the dark and hopeless situations in their life, somehow they expect masala dosas and coffee to be served to them! They do not wish to emerge from the darkness into the world of light and freedom.”]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

 

14. Quick fix methods!

Once a obese man was frantically looking for ways to reduce his weight. He wanted some shortcut methods to achieve his intention. He was going through various advertisements offering short term solutions to reduce his weight.

He was impressed by an advertisement that offered a 30-day “deluxe” package to reduce his weight. He paid the prescribed fees and joined the program. 

When the program started, an extremely beautiful girl was introduced. The trainer announced “This girl is a good runner. If any of you can run and catch her, you can possess the girl at the end of the 30-day program”.  The offer was extremely attractive to the obese man. It was so with many others who had joined the program. 

Once the whistle was blown, the girl started running. All the participants started chasing her. After running behind her in vain for several minutes, the participants got exhausted. The coordinator  came and announced : “We will repeat this process thrice a day. This is our program package and the weight loss regimen that you will follow for the next 30 days”. 

Several days passed. No one could catch the girl. The obese man felt thoroughly exhausted and tired. He felt that this program was just not suitable for him.

“Is there any alternative program for me to choose?” He asked the coordinator.

The coordinator said, “Yes! We have s super-deluxe weight loss program that lasts only for 15 days”.

The obese man opted to switch over it by paying the additional fees.

When the program started, an extremely ugly woman was brought to the stage.   The coordinator announced, “In this package, this woman will run to catch you. If she catches you she will possess you. If you don’t like her, it is up to you to run fast and escape from her!”

[Amma: “This is precisely the state of affairs with our likes and dislikes in life. If we madly keep running behind our likes, we get very exhausted without achieving what we liked. On the contrary, if we run away from our dislikes without the courage to face them, we get equally exhausted in our lives!” ]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

15. Jolly good trip ?  (Version 1)

Once a husband and wife were sleeping in their open courtyard on a cot. Suddenly a tornado hit the locality. It sucked the couple along with the cot and threw them at some hundred kilometers away. Very surprisingly, they landed safely without any injuries. 

The wife started sobbing uncontrollably. The husband consoled her saying, “Why are you crying? See, we are so fortunate that we have landed without even a scratch on our body. There is no reason to cry!”

The wife said, “I am not crying out of sadness. I am crying out of joy, really”

“What is there to feel so happy?” asked the husband.

She said, “Across so many years of our married life, this is the first journey to a distant place that we both have travelled together! That made me so happy and I started crying!”

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil Vol 2)

16. Jolly good trip ?  (Version 2)

Once a husband and wife were sleeping in their open courtyard on a cot, hugging each other. Suddenly a tornado hit the locality. It sucked the couple along with the cot and threw them at some hundred kilometers away. The couple were hugging each other tightly out of fear, when this was happening. Very surprisingly, they landed safely without any injuries. 

The wife started laughing aloud and so was the husband.

The husband asked , “Why are you laughing?”

The wife said, “We have travelled together in the past to many places; but we would always be  arguing or fighting with each other on some issue or other. This is the first time in life that we have travelled together hugging each other! As I thought of it, I could not control my laugh. Now tell me why you laughed.”

“I too thought of the same thing!” said the husband.

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami satsang 25/10/2020)

17.  Your ‘chai’ce please?

[Amma: “Nowadays we have plenty of  information, but we do not know the nature of the world. We have umpteen choices to improve our life’s comforts. Changes are happening all around, but there are certain fundamental needs that don’t change.”]

Once an Indian, a simpleton by nature,  went to USA upon invitation. He was given a luxurious accommodation. The lady in charge of receiving him and taking care of his needs, asked him, “Would you like to have something to drink?”

The man was indeed longing to have a cup of tea and he said gladly, “Yes, a cup of tea please!”

The lady asked “Would you prefer tea with caffeine or without? Would you like to add ginger?”

The simple man had all along been used to have simple tea and he never knew about these options. Why is this lady asking such questions? “A simple tea is good enough” he said.

The lady left and returned within a minute. “Excuse me, would you like to have tea with sugar or without sugar? Would you want herbal tea?”

The man was losing his patience. “Just a simple tea” he said curtly.

The lady continued: “Tea with milk or without milk? If you want with milk do you want it with fat or free from fat? What percentage of fat would be okay for you?”

The man got exasperated. “Stop. I don’t want any tea. Please just bring me a glass of water to drink”.

The lady asked, “Do you want mineral water or spring water? Should it be a filtered water? Hot or cold?”

The man lost all his patience. He went inside and drank a mug of water right from the washbasin tap!

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

18. Not for us! 

[Amma: “Nowadays children are turning out to be very adamant and disobedient. Parents are increasingly finding it difficult to discipline their children.”]

In a family, there were three children who were very adamant by nature and disobedient to parents.  The mother tried her best always to discipline them by various means.  One night, she called her children to the dining table for  dinner. It was a particularly tiring day for her in disciplining the children and she thought she could teach a tough lesson to them that day in the dining table.

When the children gathered there, they were too happy to see their most favourite food — Pizza kept ready on the table. They jumped in joy.

But the mother said in a stern voice: “We have pizza alright, but it will be given only to those who are obedient to me, have some fear on me and be willing to listen to my instructions and advice and obey without fighting or objecting. Now tell me who is going to come forward and eat the pizza?”

The children looked at each others face. They shook their heads in disappointment.

The eldest one said, “Look guys, it’s quite obvious. Mummy has already decided that this pizza is only meant for daddy and not for us. Let’s vacate this place”. So saying all the three children tromped out!

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami satsang 25/10/2020)

19. Just wait! 

[Amma: ” To get divine grace for getting goodness in life, good deeds must be done by us.  But people nowadays want to get all their desires fulfilled without doing good things. It is said that one crore of rupees in earth is valued as one paisa in heaven. Also one minute in heaven is said to be equal to one crore years in earth. Amma remembers this funny story:”]

Once a man desirous of amassing wealth decided to make intense prayer to God  and get His boon. Soon God appeared before him and asked him what he wanted. 

The man said, “Bhagwan, aren’t you the embodiment of compassion? I don’t want anything big. If you give just one paisa of the heaven to me, I will be happy”.

The god smiled and said, “No problem. Just wait for a minute”.

[Amma: ” This is what happens if we want to deceive God. God is not a dull head. He is the source of all knowledge in creation.  Never forget this. Doing good things in life and becoming eligible to receive his grace is the only easy way for success in life.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

20.  Let it go to the source!

Once a man felt very sick. He went to consult his family doctor. The doctor arranged to get several tests done on him.  After studying the reports, the doctor said, “Your ailment is such that it is not possible to cure it totally through medication and treatment. Actually, this is a hereditary disease that has come to you from your parents. What to do?”

The man said, “If it is so, then, Doctor, please send your bill for my treatment to my parents. I will give you the address”.

[Amma: “When something unfortunate happens to us, most of us have the tendency to argue that we are not responsible for it; we would also blame others for our misfortune.  By putting the blame on others, we are in no way better off in tackling the problem.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

 

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Amma’s stories on Karma / Fate – Part 1 (7 more stories)

1.  The fruit of Karma returns anyway

[Amma: “The fate or the fruit of your past karma is like an arrow that you shot to hit a target and return. When the arrow comes back, invariably, you fail to catch it and it attacks you too. The only difference may that the return of the arrow (the fruit of your karma) may not happen immediately. It may come late, but sure it will.”]

Once a farmer worked very hard in order to own a big farm, so that he, his sons and grandchildren could live very comfortably. He bought a barren land and toiled very hard to make the soil fertile. Fighting against draught, pests and storms, he protected his crop. He could get great yields. After years of hard work, he could really become quite rich. He got old. He thought the time has come for him to rest and he handed over the responsibility of managing the form to his son,

Once the son took charge, the old man felt very relaxed. He used to lie down in front of his farm in an easy chair and enjoyed his rest and leisure.

The son who took full charge of the farm initially felt very happy and proud. He too worked hard. But as days passed, his enthusiasm waned. He started feeling unhappy about his father. “While I am working so hard and straining every nerve and muscle of mine in the farm, how come this old man is spending the whole day idling and playing with grand children? This is so unfair” thought he.

As he was frequently gripped by such thinking, he started hating his father. ‘This old man is simply eating, doing nothing and enjoying his life from my hard labor’. He started feeling that his father was a burden on his head. ‘He might have worked hard in the past; so what? Times are changing; I must ensure well being of my family and my children. Why should I take care of this idle old man?’ so thinking, he was overpowered by a desire to get rid of his father once for all.

He made one large wooden box that can fit his father. He placed it on a cart. “Go and lie inside the box” he ordered his father. The old man obeyed without any protest. The son closed the box and drove the cart up over an adjacent hill. Upon reaching the summit, his plan was to push the box down a steep cliff to kill his father once for all.

When he was trying to push and and roll the box, he heard heard a knocking sound from the box. He shouted, “What do you want?”. The father replied from the box, “I can understand what your intention is. You are thinking I am old, and useless and you want to get rid of me once for all. Fine. But open the box. I will come out and you can push me from the cliff. Thus you need not waste this wooden box. Keep it safe and it could be handy for your son in in future!”

[Amma: “In this story, when the old man said that the box could be useful for his son in future, he meant that the account of karma for his present act would be tallied by his son in the future. You should also note that the old man too must be reaping what he sowed. He must have treated his own father or someone else like that in the distant past.”]

2.  The lost wealth

Once a building contractor at a project at site temporarily engaged an accountant locally to handle the money matters. Every month end, he used to give  a small bunch of currency to the accountant and ask him to keep it safe under a separate account-head. First time, the accountant asked, “For whom is the payment meant?”

The contractor said, “I am setting off this money for a good cause — something like giving to an orphanage, or for educating the poor children which I will decide at the end of this project”.

The accountant thought: ‘Why give away the money to unknown beneficiaries? Let me misappropriate the money and enjoy life’. Without following the instruction of the contractor, the accountant pocketed the money himself every month and wasted it away in drinking and gambling at week ends. He was otherwise an efficient man at his duty.

Over a period of time, the specific contract work came to an end. The contractor wanted to settle the accounts of temporary employees at the site and move to the next project.

He called the accountant and said, “It is time for us to part; you have done your job well; I want to reward you specifically for your efficient work. You know I was giving you an unspecified amount every month to put it in a separate account for donating to a good cause. Actually, I had planned that money as a bonus for you. You can bring that money and take it as a gift from me; please get that money and we will settle and close that account.”

The accountant was shocked to hear it.

[Amma: “By engaging in bad karma, we ourselves block the way of good karma in reaching us in future”]

3.  What is the real cause?

[Amma: “Karma and its effects are very complicated to comprehend. There could be so many indecipherable causes behind effects and it is beyond the comprehension of common people. One should not jump into conclusion in passing judgement about others. “]

One a very benevolent king was ruling a small country.  He had great respects for sannyasins and mendicants. He built a huge dining hall to feed renunciates and brahmacharis on a daily basis. He would personally visit the place and even serve food with his own hands with reverence and  humility to the travelling mendicants. This practice was going on for long.

One day, after partaking the food in the dining hall, many of the mendicants fell sick and several of them died.

The king was shocked beyond measure when such a calamity happened. He could not grasp why such a calamity would strike for a benevolent act that he had been doing with utter sincerity and commitment. He felt that a great sin would befall on him for causing death to somany pious sannyasins. He started to undertake a fast and he was even prepared to die as  atonement of the sin.

Nobody could find out how the food poisoning happened.

In order to find out the truth and apportion the sin of  killing so many innocent mendicants, the God sent a messenger for investigation.

The messenger conducted a thorough inquiry amidst the working staff, the cooks and other servants working in the dining hall. He also did a thorough physical inspection of the dining hall. In this investigation, as directed by the messenger, a workman was made to climb up to the ceilings of the tiled hall and check the tiles and the beams. There, right above the place where food used to be kept ready just before serving, a dead snake was found in between some tiles and the beam.

From further inquiries done on eye witnesses, he came to know that on the fateful day, an eagle was found attacking a poisonous snake above the roof of the building. The wounded snake seemed to have escaped the clutches of the eagle and somehow sneaked through the gaps in the tiles and entered into the underside of the hall roof.

The snake was almost dying and just before it breathed its last, it had opened its mouth and ejected poison. It was exactly at that moment the lids of the vessels carrying the food items were opened for serving right below and the droplets of poison fell into the food and got mixed with the food.  It was by eating that poisonous food that the mendicants died.

The messenger made a mental analysis: The king was not definitely responsible for this happening. The sin cannot be apportioned to the eagle because it is its basic nature to attack and kill snakes. It was not responsible for the snake’s escape. The snake too was not responsible because it was not spitting venom intentionally. The servers were not responsible for they were not knowledgeable about a snake right above vessels spitting venom at the  point of opening of the food vessels.

The messenger was at a loss. God had given him the responsibility of  apportioning the sin of the death of the mendicants on the right recipient. Whom to give it?

Thinking deeply, he was walking at the outskirts of the city. He saw a group of travelling mendicants coming into the city. They were inquiring a woman vendor at the street about the location of the king’s dining hall where mendicants were served free food.

The woman said to them: “Oh! No, no. Please never go there to take your food. The king is evil and very wily. He is poisoning and killing saintly people who come and take food there!”

The messenger heard the conversation. He decided to assign the sin of killing of the mendicants to the lady vendor who was spreading rumor by unjustly blaming the king without any basis of truth.

(Amma US Tour Satsang June 2016)

4.  Escaping death?

[Amma: “Death is always stalking us. It is always behind us like our shadow. If one can clearly understand that death is inevitable and it can come at any time, then one can get the determination to know God before the body falls. No one can ever predict at which moment one would die.”]

Once a king was very curious to know when he would die. He called an expert astrologer, who was extremely reputed for correct predictions about future, to his court for this purpose. The astrologer analysed the king’s horoscope in detail and finally said, “I am sorry to say this, your majesty! As per my calculations and observations, you are bound to die today itself immediately after sunset.”

The king felt devastated hearing this shocking revelation. He could not digest it. He frantically wanted to escape death and immediately called learned pundits and experts in Shastra to his court. He asked them to suggest ways and means to escape death.

The pundits started brainstorming to find out ways to escape death. One pundit suggested to perform a particular ritual and chanting of mantras. Another pundit would oppose it and suggest some other means.  That suggestion would get vetoed by a third pundit. Thus arguments and counter arguments went on and on amid the learned pundits and the clock was running too. It was already past noon. Unfortunately, the pundits could not come to any consensus on the right method to escape death by the king. The king was getting more and more tensed up and desperate to get a solution.

Watching this, one old, wise man in the king’s court came and whispered in his ears: “YOur majesty, Never trust these pundits. They are incapable of finding any solution to your problem. If you want to save your life, fetch a strong horse that can run the fastest, mount on it and leave from the capital as far off as possible. Don’t waste your time! Quick!”

For the confused king, that advice appeared to be a good solution. He fetched his best horse from his stable, and rode on it as fast as possible, as far as possible from his palace so as to escape death. By evening, the king had travelled many miles away from his capital. Both the horse and the king were extremely tired. He stopped the horse and lied down under a tree for rest.

All the happenings of the day ran through his mind. He felt relieved that he could travel so much far away from his palace before sunset. He felt confident that by doing so, he had managed to hoodwink death. He closed his eyes peacefully and soon dozed off.

The sun set at the west and soon darkness started engulfing the place. Suddenly the king woke up. At that very moment, up from the branches of the tree, the messenger of death jumped down and landed adjacent to the king.  Laughing aloud, he said, “I know you will come here; I was waiting in this tree for your arrival for quite some time. I was even wondering whether, by any chance, you may not end up at this place!  Any way, thank you, you have arrived in time!”

He caught hold of the king and instantly the king fell dead!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-4 Tamil)

5. Destined to happen

Amma narrated the following real incidence.

During the time of tsunami disaster,  a group of Ashram brahmacharis were engaged in relief and rehabilitation work at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. One of the brahmacharis wanted to visit and pray at the famous Shaneshwara temple at Thirunallar nearby. When he went to the temple, it was extremely crowded. A very long queue was waiting to have the darshan of Lord Shani at the temple.

The brahmachari too joined the queue.  He was rather impatient and was getting exasperated by the slow moving queue. Restlessly, he was looking this way and that way, getting out of the queue and joining the queue and causing disturbance to others due to his impatience. The policemen on duty to control the crowd somehow felt suspicious of the brahmachari’s movements; they suspected that he could be a pickpocket! They grabbed him and started enquiring him. Somehow they were not convinced; they took him to the police station and retained him in the lockup overnight.

The other brahmacharis who noticed that this person was missing in the night, got worried. After inquiring here and there, they came to know that the person had ended up in the lock up at the police station. They met the sub-inspector and explained to him about the brahmachari and the purpose of their staying in Nagapattinam. The sub-inspector immediately released the Brahmachari from the lock up and allowed him to go.

The Brahmacharis reported the matter to Amma. They were somewhat restive and asked Amma why a person, engaged in good social service and also visiting a temple for prayers get into trouble like this.

[Amma: “There are certain untoward incidents that are destined to happen will happen, even when one is engaged in actions with good intentions. If you ask why should it happen to such a good person at such a time, we could only say that there are certain unfavorable positions of planets in one’s life when such things do happen. The destiny might be that he should end up in jail for long. But an unknown divine grace on account of his punya may also behind it in such a way that the evil effects of his prarabdha are lessened and he is relieved by just a night of stay and suffering in a police lockup.”]

6.  Pitying the queen!

Once a new servant maid was engaged in cleaning the Queens’ room in the palace. The servant maid who was seeing the queen’s room for the first time was awestruck at the grandiose furnishings seen in the room. The furniture were finely carved, smooth and impeccably polished; the carpets, the window drapes, and other artefacts were extremely fine. The servant maid touched them and felt thrilled. She pressed the queen’s bed and wondered how soft it was.

Suddenly she had an unstoppable urge to lie down at the bed and have a feel of it. She looked around to ensure that there was none else in the room. She lied down on the bed and felt exhilarated.  Suddenly, quite unexpectedly the queen opened the door and entered into the bedroom.  She saw the servant maid lying in her bed.

The queen got extremely angry.  The servant maid was shocked to the core. She jumped up from the bed and stood there shivering. The queen took the broomstick and started beating the servant maid left and right. She called out her guards and commanded to them to arrest the maid and put her behind the bars.

Instead of crying for the beating she received and the punishment meted out to her, the servant maid started laughing. The queen was surprised. “Why are you laughing?” she shouted.

The servant maid said, “Your highness, just for the small mistake I did, you have beaten me so hard and also ordered to put me in jail. If such a severe punishment is meted out to me for such a small mistake, I thought what sort of punishment God will be giving you later, for all the various acts of arrogance and hatred you would have committed in life on account of your royal status as a queen. I could not control laughing!”

(From Amma’s Krishna Janmashtami Satsang 10/9/2020)

7.  Cyclic reaction!

Once a Court Jester was telling some funny stories in the king’s court. There were a couple of jokes for which everyone was laughing but the king could not understand them. He thought that the Court Jester was mocking at him; out of anger, the king slapped the jester. The jester felt an unbearable pain. Anger rose up in him but he had to control it with difficulty. He gritted his teeth in frustration as he could not question the king’s action.

In order to vent out his anger, the jester slapped a person standing next to him. That man asked “Why are you hitting me? I have not done anything to you”.

The Court Jester replied,”It doesn’t matter. You can give a slap to the person next to you. This world is like a huge wheel. When it revolves, everyone gets his due share. Now don’t hesitate; give a slap to the person next to you!”

[Amma: Every good or bad action done by us can affect many people. Nowadays we see similar things happening around us. People tend to vent out their frustrated anger and enmity on people around them.  In reality, the person affected by our outburst of anger might not have anything to do with it.  Anyway, whatever we do unto others will come back to us one day or other.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil  Vol 2)

7.  The ropes

Once a businessman was traveling across a dense forest where dacoits usually roam about.  The businessman was unfortunately caught by a group of dacoits.  They robbed him of all his possessions. To ensure that he would not make any trouble, they bound his libs and threw him inside a dried up well.

Fortunately, the well was not too deep and there was a thick growth of bush inside the well. So, he was not injured. After the dacoits left, he started shouting in full throat asking for help.

After a while another traveler came along the path. He heard the shouts of the man and started looking around. He noticed that the voice was coming from the well. As he peeped into the well, he saw the man shouting from inside. He noticed that the man was bound by ropes. The traveler had a big rope with him. Tying its one end to a tree, he got down into the well. He untied the ropes from the man’s limbs and both of them climbed up using the other rope hung from the tree.

Thus the businessman’s life was saved by the traveler.

[Amma: “In this story, the businessman got tied by a rope; but he was also saved by another rope.  Our karmas are just like ropes. Our selfish actions bind us. Actions done with unselfishness and compassion, with dedication to God unbind and release us. “]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

8. The end? Not yet

Once a man was walking along the beach. He found a human skull on the way. Out of curiosity, he took it and inspected it. Surprisingly he found something written on the forehead of the skull — “This is not the end”.  The man got curious. 

He had heard elders saying that everyone’s fate is written on their heads. The man thought ‘If so, is this the fate of this man? He is already dead, but the skull still contains the words “This is not the end”. Does it mean something more is still pending?’

With that curiosity, the man took the skull with him back home. He kept it inside a box and placed it under his cot.

Every day, he would secretly open the box and look at the skull to find whether any change had happened in it. 

His wife noticed the man’s stealthy action of  opening the box and looking inside. She got suspicious. She was also curious to know what was inside the box. One day, when the man was not at home, she opened the box and was surprised to see a skull inside. 

She thought, “Why is my husband keeping this skull inside? Could it perhaps be the skull of his ex-lover? Is he still re-running his memories of her love, by looking at her skull daily?” She got disturbed and angry.

She brought a pestle from her kitchen and banged at the skull again and again till it was broken to pieces. She closed the box, kept it back under his cot and felt very relieved.

After a couple of days, when the man opened the box, he was very surprised to see only its broken pieces.

He thought to himself ‘Oh! This must be the ‘end’ that had been written on the skull! The writing seems to be true indeed!” 

(Source: From one of Amma’s satsangs)

9. Useful, at last

Once there was a very narrow pass way adjacent to a house which many people used.  A l branch of a tree from the house’s backyard had grown outward, interfering with the pathway. People found it difficult to cross the passage and many of them requested the householder to cut the branch.

The householder refused to oblige saying, “In another 20 years, that branch will grow thick and strong; If I cut it then, I can sell it for 30,000 rupees. Am I a fool to cut it off, for your convenience sake?” 

Years passed. The householder started suffering from diabetes. He developed gangrene in his toes. He refused amputation, and soon it spread to his foot. As he refused to heed to his doctors advice, the gangrene spread to his leg. Doctors advised him to amputate his leg, but he did not agree. Soon, it spread further up and he died.

When he died, 20 years had passed  from the time he refused to cut the tree branch. His family members arranged to cut the tree branch so as to use the wood for his pyre.

 

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Amma’s stories on nature of the human mind – Part 1

1.  Living in the present

Once a businessman, who not really running his business successfully went to a shopping mall.Sitting at a restaurant there, he ordered ice-cream and started eating it.

His mind was crowded with so many thoughts: “….Since last night I am having this headache and it’s is not going away. There must be something wrong with the food I at the roadside hotel last night. Perhaps a lizard had fallen dead in that food or perhaps some of lizard droppings have fallen into the food. It must be on account of such food poisoning I am having this headache…”

Just then he saw an extremely rich person arriving in a latest model premium car. He was extremely well dressed and was wearing a thick gold chain and also diamond rings. He was going into the shopping mall.

The businessman thought, “Ah! How rich that guy is! How much I wish I could lead a life like him! But what a horrible state I am in now. Right from my childhood, what I have seen was only poverty. My parents could not bequeath any wealth for me. my business is in bad shape and I am burdened with debts. I am really worried where I will end up in future. Will I ever be able to get rich and enjoy life like this person?”

Thus his mind was so crowded with the thoughts of his past and future while he ate the ice-cream that suddenly he realized that his his ice-cream cup got empty but he had not enjoyed the taste of it at all!

[Amma: “We should learn to live in the present and enjoy what we have in hand.Lamenting about the past or worrying about the future will not help in in anyway to change the present.”]

2.   On a cold night

[Amma: “Religion and spirituality are really the keys to open human hearts to look others with compassion. Unfortunately, blinded by selfishness, people are unable to see things rationally through their hearts and eyes. The above keys, instead of opening the heart, are used to close the heart and create darkness. That seems to be the current mentality.”]

Once four people from different religions went to a distant island and stayed there overnight to attend a religious conference. It was a very cold night. All the four persons had matchboxes and pieces of wood with them, but each one thought that he only possessed it and not others.

The first man thought, “From the pendant that hangs in his neck chain, the person next to me looks to be a man of different religion from me. Why should I light fire for him too?”

The second person thought, “The person on my left is from my enemy country; they are always inciting war against us. Why should I share my fire with him?”

The third person thought, “I know this guy on  my right is from that religion which is always critical of my religion and keeps creating problem to our religious people. I should never share my fire with him”.

Look at that skin color of that fellow. I hate that colored people; I will never ignite a fire to share with him”.

Thus all the four persons did not ignite fire despite having the materials with them. As night progressed, it became so cold that all of them were frozen to death.

[Amma: “In fact, they did not die on account of the freezing cold; it is because of their frozen heart that did not melt, they met with their death. We too are becoming like that.We are at loggerheads with others due to divisive tendencies on account of country, religion, color and creed.”]

3.  Regret – either way!

Two friends were at a riverside park enjoying the peace, when they noticed a strange signboard. ‘Pot of Untold Surprises Ahead!’ it proclaimed, pointing down a rickety path. The next sentence in the sign was darkly mysterious. ‘Beware! He who takes from it will regret! He who does not take will also regret!’

Curious to see what this was, the two friends quickly walked down the path. But by the time they reached the spot, it was already dark. Nevertheless, they located the pot there. One of them gathered a handful from the pot and bundled it in a cloth. In the semi darkness, he could not see what it was. The other friend declined to take anything, saying, “The board says that the one who takes it, as well as the one who does not take it will be disappointed. Let’s see what happens.”

They both reached back home and the first man opened his cloth bundle. To their shock and surprise, there lay a heap of gold dust.

“Oh no!” said the second man, aghast. “I should have taken some!”

“Oh no!” said the first man. “I should have taken more!”

So both of them were disappointed.

[Amma: “This is the state of our mind. Whether we get it or don’t get it, we will be sad. This is the nature of our mind.”]

(From Amma’s Covid-19 Satsang 10/5/2020)

4.  As you think

Once a there was a magical swimming pool at a place. It’s wonder was such that when a man jumps into it, it would get filled up with whatever thing the person imagines in his mind at the moment of jumping in.

Once three friends went to that swimming pool and they wanted to test whether whatever stated about the pool was indeed true.  The first person said, “Let this pool get filled with money…” and jumped into it. What a surprise! The whole swimming pool got filled up with currencies!

The second man thought of ice creams and jumped into it. At that very moment the pool got filled with ice cream.

When the third person was about to jump a crow flying above his head pooped on his head. The man thought disgustingly: “Oh crow’s poop” and lo when jumped into the pool it was filled with crow’s excreta!

[Amma: “Whatever thought that is deeply etched in one’s mind gives shape to his life. Whatever desire one strengthens in his mind becomes a goal for his life. Knowing this psychological fact, our ancestors gave lots of prominence to truth and dharma in social life. Those who grow up learning the importance of values right from young age, will nurture and practice these values even when they grow up.”]

(Source: Tamil Oliyai Nokki- VOl 3)

5.  Wisdom from parrot

Once day, a person went to meet his friend. As he entered the front yard of the house, he noticed the pet parrot of his friend inside a cage. It was a talking parrot.

Seeing the man, the parrot called him out. “Hey! If you release me, I will teach you three great pieces of wisdom which will be worthy across your entire life”.

The man got very much interested. He opened the cage and the parrot flew out. It sat on a tree branch nearby and said, “My first piece of advice is that you should never regret your past actions. What is done is done and there is absolutely no point in regretting over it. My second piece of wisdom is that you should not believe all that others say”.

“Before telling you my third piece of wisdom to you, let me tell you one thing” said the parrot. “Do you know why your friend kept me safely in a cage? I have two big pieces of precious gems which are worth millions of rupees. Without knowing this secret, you have let me free!”

The man felt very bad. He immediately regretted for having set the parrot free. Had he known the secret, he would have killed the parrot and took away the precious gems from its stomach.

Seeing his disappointment, the parrot said, “See! You have not put into practice the wisdom I taught you just now.  I told you not to believe anyone blindly but you simply believed when I lied to you that I had two precious gems in my stomach.  Then you forgot my first advice too and you started regretting your action of having released me from the cage!”

“Oh! I am sorry. Well. May I know your third piece of wisdom?” said the friend.

The parrot said, “You are a fool. What is the use of knowing the third wisdom too when you cannot make use of my previous two?” saying so, the parrot flew away.

(From Amma’s Guru purnima satsang 5/7/20)

6.  The subtle aspect of dharma

[Amma: An act of killing an animal or creature with a larger interest for welfare of the people is not a sin. An act of violence, done with a selfish motive, is a sin.]

Long ago, there lived two Brahmins in a village. Both of them were inflicted with the same disease suddenly. When the consulted the Vaidya (physician) he said, “This is a strange disease and it has got only one cure. If you eat fish, this will get cured. Otherwise, it may prove to be fatal”.

Since both the Brahmins were strict vegetarians, they got very disturbed to hear the cure. They were at at a loss as to what to do. They consulted their family members. Both the family members said that it was better to eat the fish to save the life. The first Brahmin agreed and started eating fish and soon he got cured of his illness.

On the other hand, the second Brahmin did not want to eat fish as he felt it was against his principles and achara (cleanliness habit). He was very adamant and he did not heed to the repeated appeals of his family members. Soon his health deteriorated and he died.

He was the only breadwinner of the family; on account of his death, his wife and children suffered under poverty for long.

[Amma: “In this story, the first Brahmin compromised to eat fish and on account of it, he lived to protect his family. Eating fish is not to be taken as an act of cruelty in this case. The second Brahmin’s family had to suffer on account of his adamancy. Protecting his family is more important a dharma than non-killing of fish. An act is to be treated as violent or sin only if done with hatred or vengeance”].

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-1 Tamil)

7.  Wrong choices

[Amma: “One has to be extremely careful on what one chooses in life; it is extremely important to avoid bad company”.]

Once a man went to a strange place where there were 3 chambers with a notice board saying “You are free to take possession of any one of them, at your own risk”.

He opened the door of the first chamber and there were some narcotic drugs kept there. He opened the second chamber and saw golden ornaments stacked there. When he opened the third chamber, he saw an extremely beautiful woman sitting there.

The man thought; “If I take away the gold, I may get chased by the police. If I take possession of the girl, I don’t know what problems I would get into; she could be the wife of another man. So, the safest thing is to consume some drugs and enjoy it”.

He went into the first chamber and consumed the narcotic drug. In the intoxicated state, he went into the third chamber and raped the woman. Then he opened the second chamber, collected all the golden ornaments and walked away.

(Tuesday Satsang 15/9/2015)

8.  What is natural is easy

[Amma: “Accepting certain things as natural makes life smoother. Intellectual analysis can make such things very complicated.”]

Once a rabbit saw a centipede walking nearby and suddenly a question came up in its mind. “I wonder how you manage to walk with hundreds of legs like this? Can you explain me which legs you put forward first and in which order and sequence you move the other legs to walk around?” asked the rabbit to the centipede.

The centipede stopped to think. As it analysed and tried to explain how it does walking, it got stupified by the magnitude of the problem! It could not just walk nor explain how it does it!

9.  The costly gift

[Amma: “Is the love we get from the world a real love? Is it possible for us to love anyone totally selflessly? In fact, worldly love is not love but cheating; we are simply loving in the name of desires”.]

Once there was a girl who loved her friend so much that she wanted to buy a beautiful birthday gift for her. She searched and searched and finally found one, but she did not buy it.

On the day of birthday, the girl sent a letter to the friend in which she wrote: “My dearest friend, my love for you is  inexpressible. I wanted to send you a beautiful birthday present for you. I found one, but did not buy it because its cost was hundred and sixty rupees!”

This is the kind of love that most of us have!

(Source: ‘Awaken Children’)

10.  Day dreaming

[Amma: “Man has a tendency to indulge in daydreaming. It is mostly imagining something about the future. Rewinding the past deeds or dreaming about the future are natures of human mind. Even very active people can get caught in day dreaming once in a while. Man does not know how much of energy is wasted this way. When one is actively engaged in some work, it is outright wrong and also dangerous to indulge in daydreaming”.]

Once a village woman went to the market to sell the eggs laid by her hens. She earned her livelihood this way. She carried a basketful of eggs on her head and started walking.

While going, she started thinking: “I will sell all the eggs at a good price today. Using that money, I will buy more hens. They too would lay lots of eggs. I would sell them more and more and and earn quite good money to buy a cow. By selling the cow’s milk, I will be able to buy many more cows. In due course, I will own a big farm, build a bungalow and live their lavishly.

“Many young men would vie with each other to marry me; if I see one of such handsome men, I will feign shyness and walk shaking my waist like this…” With this imagination, she started swaying her waist while walking; she lost the balance of the basket on her head; the basket fell down and all the eggs in the basket broke to pieces!

11.  The right place

[Amma: “There are certain time tested traditions and practices in a society, religion or culture that are best left untampered. If at all a change is a must, it must be well thought out by the people concerned and connected with the change.”

Once the eyes, nose and mouth of a person started discussing among themselves. The eye said, “It is a known fact that out of all the 5 sense organs, I have the most coveted position, because life will be most difficult for a person without eyesight. That’s why God has given me my position in the face above the mouth and nose”.

The eye said further, “What irks me is the presence of eyebrow above me. Eyebrows are just a insignificant bunch of hair having no worthwhile purpose whatsoever. How arrogant it is for them to sit above the eyes? What do you think?”

Both nose and mouth agreed with what the eye said. Hearing the conversation, the eyebrows spoke humbly: “We agree. We are not in anyway worthy when compared to eyes. We will shift our position below the eyes”. So saying, they moved themselves below the eyes.

The eyes felt triumphant for a while. But there were comments that the face looked ugly when eyebrows shifted below the eyes.

Now the nose got disturbed too. It felt that its significance too is far above that of eyebrows and hence it wanted the eyebrows to occupy a level below it. The eyebrows agreed and shifted their position below the nose.

Now it is the turn of the mouth to raise its objections saying its importance too is high above the eyebrows. Eyebrows again shifted their position to come below the mouth! Women started vehemently complaining that their faces look the ugliest due to the transformation!

Finally, the compromise arrived. The eyebrows got shifted to their original position once again!

12.  What the mind cannot avoid

[Amma: “The very nature of mind id to think what we constantly want to avoid thinking.”]

Once a king became bald-headed at a much young age. He became very unhappy about it.  He frantically wanted to have a bountiful of hair on his head, but none of the medicines and remedies he undertook based on the advice of Royal physicians could solve his problem. He became extremely worried and desperate.

The king badly wanted to consult a real expert in herbal medicines who could permanently solve his problem of bald head. He sent messengers across the country to interact with people to locate the best physician in his country.

Finally, the messengers located an old and  very famous herbal physician from a remote village of his country and brought him to the king’s palace. The king told him curtly, “I want you to prepare the right medicine that can grow hair on my bald head. I have tried so many oils, medicines and concoctions but none of them worked. I am totally fed up. Now I am giving you a last chance. If your medicine works, you will be rewarded far beyond your expectations. But if it fails, I will hang you. Remember this and concoct a sure-fire medicine to solve my problem permanently”.

The poor physician felt as if he was hit by a thunderbolt when he heard the king’s threat to his life. He knew for sure that in his school of medicine, there was absolutely no solution to treat baldness. How could he say this to the arrogant king? Will he ever understand?  The physician decided that he should handle this issue very tactfully and escape punishment. He said, “Your majesty! I am extremely glad that you have given me this opportunity to be at your service and solve your bald head problem permanently. Please give me two weeks time to prepare this rare medicine involving the combination of very sparsely available rare herbs.”

The king readily agreed.

After two weeks, the physician came to meet the king carrying a bottle of herbal oil and gave it to the king. He said, “Your majesty! With lot of difficulty, I have prepared this medicine referring to secret, sacred texts. This medicine will surely work and there is no doubt about it, but ….”

The king impatiently asked, “What is this but? Tell me what it is.”

The physician said, “It is not a big issue, Maharaja. It is just a small matter mentioned in our medical scriptures. At the time of applying the herbal oil, you should never think of a rat. That’s all. Nothing else”.

The king sighed with relief. “Oh! It is not anything big.” He presented lots of gifts to the physician, reminding him about the condition that if the medicine failed, he would be executed. The physician said, “I have no worry Maharaja; My medicine is sure to work; but remember — never ever think of rat while applying the oil on your hair. If you do, the medicine will not work”.

The next day, at the auspicious time, the king removed the cap of the bottle, put a spoonful of oil in his palm and was about to apply it on his head. Suddenly he remembered what the physician told. Along with it came the thought of a rat! Not just a rat, it was rather a procession of rats!

He aborted the idea of applying the oil for the time being. He tried to apply it after after a few hours, but promptly, the thought of rats too came in his mind. He tried several times on that day and on several following days; he tried indoors, outdoors, in the garden, in the bedroom, in the Puja room — whatever and wherever he tried, thoughts of rats came automatically! Dejected, the king threw away the bottle once for all!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-4 Tamil)

13.  Trusting falsehood

[Amma: “The tendency of people is always to get attracted to falsehood rather than the truth. They seek what is external rather than what is internal. People are very adamant in clutching to their own opinions and not easily ready to know, weigh and alternative concepts, particularly in matters related to religion. They are content to live within whatever limited extent of their understanding of religion. But true spirituality is far away from it.”]

Once a group of tourists were traveling in a bus. On their way, the bus broke down while passing a village. It took lot of time to set right the problem and many of the tourists were hungry.

The village people came forward to help them; they brought their local home made food and offered it to the tourists. The foodstuff they brought and offered looked very different from what the tourists were normally familiar with. Hence a doubt arose in them whether the foodstuff had turned bad. Even though they were very hungry, they hesitated to eat that food.

At that time, one of the tourists suggested that they can offer some of that food to a dog and if it relishes it, then it may be safe for them to consume the food. A stray dog came that way and they placed a little of that food before it. The dog ate it with relish and was roaming around the area; nothing happened to it. The travellers then ate the food and felt satisfied.

Next morning, the travellers heard a news that a stray dog was found dead. They were shocked. They thought the food they gave to the dog must have been infected poisonously leading to the dog’s death.

In no time, most of the tourists started feeling sick. Some started vomiting. They rushed to a doctor in the locality and told him about the suspected food poisoning.

The doctor wanted to see the dead dog first and ascertain the cause of its death. WHen he inquired, he met a person who was a witness to the dog’s death. He said, “The dog was hit by a speeding car on the road and it died. I was the one who removed its body from the road and threw it into an adjacent ditch.”

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-7 Tamil)

14. Different perspective

[Amma: “Change is the only reality of life. Both good and bad happen in life; facing the happenings with a laugh or with crying is within our capacity. Spirituality helps us in accepting life with a positive mindset. Being thankful is a very essential quality in life.”]

Once an old man, on  the eve of New Year day, sat to write whatever happened in the whole of the previous year.

He wrote:

  • “Last year was a year of suffering and misery for me. I had to undergo the pain of getting my Gall bladder operated upon and I was hospitalized and bedridden for many days.
  • “My father passed away and I went through lot of emotional pain on account of his death.
  • “I served my company with lots of enthusiasm for the 30 years and I was all along active and busy. Unfortunately, as I crossed 60 years, I had to undergo retirement.
  • “My son met with a car accident and was severely injured; he underwent treatment. On account of the accident, he had to miss his medical entrance examination.
  • “Our car was totally damaged….”

As he thought about all these negative happenings, he felt depressed; he bent over the table and dozed off.

His wife came that way and saw her husband lying over the table; she noticed the piece of paper he was writing; she took it and went through it. Taking the paper along with her, she went in and returned after a while. She kept another piece of paper on the table and left.

After some time, the old man woke up. He wanted to continue with his writing. But he noticed that the paper lying on the table was different and it contained something in his wife’s handwriting. He started reading it.

  • “At last, after several months of suffering from a problem in my gallbladder,  I took the right decision to undergo an operation and it brought an end to the prolonged suffering.
  • “My father lived up to a ripe old age of 93 and died peacefully. It was heartening that till his last days, he was active and was managing his chores all himself.
  • “After working and earning for 30 years, I got my retirement so that I can enjoy a well deserved rest and relaxation. I feel happy that I served my company well and I can now have my own time to relax and pursue my hobbies
  • “Though my son went through a car accident, it was indeed a divine grace that he is alive.
  • “Though the car was severely damaged, it was indeed a miracle that our son did not get any fracture.”

15.  The power of thoughts

[Amma: “In sacred places like temples and ashrams,  the ambience will be filled with good vibrations caused by good thoughts. When we visit such places, unknowingly our mind calms down. If we spend more time in places where the thought vibrations are good, our own thoughts will bet a positive boost.”]

Once a king and his minister were going in royal chariot across a market place. There was one shop selling sandalwood. The king happened to see the owner of the shop who was looking at the king. The king said to the minister, “When I look at the sandalwood seller, I somehow get angry and disturbed and I don’t know why”.

The minister was keen to probe into this. He inquired others to know more about the sandalwood seller. He came back and said to the king, “It appears this sandalwood seller’ business is in a very bad shape and he is deeply disturbed about it. Your majesty, may I make  humble request? You were telling me earlier that you wanted to make a new wooden cot for you. I request you to kindly order the requisite sandalwood for that purpose from this shop owner so that he will get some financial benefit through your grace”.

The king at first did not feel like yielding to this request. However, after a while he conceded.

The minister arranged to give the order for the supply of sandalwood to the shop owner. Being a prestigious order, the shop owner came personally to the the palace to deliver the consignment of sandalwood.  He met the king and paid his respects.

At that time the kind said to the minister,”I don’t know why; to day I feel quite comfortable and friendly with the sandalwood seller”.

The minister smiled and said, “When you saw the sandalwood seller at the market last time, his financial condition was extremely bad.  When he saw you there, his thoughts went like this: ‘if only this king dies, his ministers would by lots of sandalwood in order to burn his body in the pyre and I would get some business’. Such a selfish and negative thought in his mind created bad vibes in your mind too and that’s why you felt disturbed and angry at him at that time. Now, after getting a good business from you, his thoughts have changed. He now thinks: ‘let our king live long with prosperity so that I continue to get more and more business from him’. Such a positive thought in his mind has created positive vibrations about him in your mind too!”

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2 )

16. When reality dawns

Once  there were two neighboring countries which were at enmity with each other. The enmity was due to the dispute about the ownership of a huge lake that lay at their common border.  While the enmity continued, both the countrymen however made use of the lake for the purpose of fishing, agriculture and also for boat rides for entertainment.

One day, several boats from both the countries were having joy ride in the lake when suddenly a thunderstorm struck at the lake. The wind was blowing so powerfully that several boats capsized. One of the travellers who did not know to swim got trapped in the water currents and was struggling to survive. Seeing his pitiable condition, another traveller jumped into the water and swam towards the sinking man. He caught hold of him and swam to the shore. Finally both of them landed safely on the shore.

The person who was saved was brimming with emotions and he was extremely thankful to the person who saved him. He embraced him lovingly and expressed his indebtedness to him. The savior too felt very happy and he too expressed pleasantries.

As they talked further, the savior came to know that the person he saved was actually from the other side — their enemy country.   Suddenly his face turned grim. He was not too happy in saving an enemy’s life!  Similar expression came in the face of the other person. He felt ashamed and angry for having survived by the mercy of  an enemy! All the camaraderie they felt towards each other moments ago instantly vanished and they turned angry towards each other!

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

17. The beloved puppy

Once there was a boy who was very fond of his pet puppy. Daily, after returning from his school he would play with it.

One day, he came home from school and found the puppy dead. He got upset and started crying. His mother said, “Don’t worry, my son. Let’s bury the puppy in our backyard. I will build a lawn decorated with flowers around its grave. Also we can buy a seesaw and a swing-set. Your friends will visit you, and you guys can have a nice time every evening playing there.”

The boy stopped crying and he started smiling.

Then, suddenly, to his surprise, he saw the puppy rushing towards him. The puppy hadn’t died after all. It had merely inhaled some poisonous gas and fainted. 

Now that the puppy was alive, the boy realized it meant that he wouldn’t get the lawn, seesaw or swing-set. His friends wouldn’t visit him to play. So, the boy got angry at the puppy and started throwing stones at it!

[Amma:  “This is the nature of worldly love. Worldly love is limited and selfish. People love the cow for the milk she gives. Once she stops giving milk, they won’t hesitate to sell her to the butcher. “]

18.  Yielding to temptations

[Amma:  “In Mahabharata, major character’s lives portrayed and the experiences they had gone through are all meant to serve as guides for us to lead a rightful life by learning from their right and wrong behaviors. If Yudhishthira played the dice game, lost all his possessions and experienced humiliation and countless hardships in life, it is a teaching for us not to play any gambling games. Yudhishthira did not want to antagonize Duryodhana and the other Kauravas by declining their invitation to play the dice game. He wanted to avoid any possible war with them and he decided to please them by playing it. Since Kauravas used Shakuni to play the game on their behalf and he skillfully cheated Pandavas, what could have been a possible win for Yudhisthira was lost by him. Thus yielding to others’ whims just to please them could cost us heavily. Where a firm no should be said, one should not be weak and say yes.”  ]

Once there was a young man in a village, who was liked by everyone in the village. He was very kind hearted and very compassionate with the poor and needy. If his parents gave him pocket money, he would generously give a major portion of it for the poor people who were without food. If he had 5 dresses, he would share 3 of them with others. He was a darling to his parents.

Once he went on a holiday trip to a tourist place along with his friends. While all of them had lots of fun, his friends engaged themselves with drugs during nights. They smoked ganja and they tempted the young man again and again to try it once. For 3, 4 days the youngman stoutly refused to yield to their temptations. They kept insisting: “Just take one puff. Nothing more. You must experience how it feels like. We don’t want you to keep indulging in it. Just one try”.

The young man felt that he should not displease his friends by being so stubborn.

He yielded. He just took one puff.  It was indeed exhilarating to him.

The next day, when they invited him again to try one puff, he took two puffs. He was captivated by the experience he got. On the third day, he joined with them voluntarily and took 3 puffs.  That hooked him. Soon he got addicted to it.

As days passed, his dependence on drugs became too strong. Whatever pocket money he had, he spent them on buying the narcotics. Soon the money he had become insufficient to meet his increasing needs of indulgence. He started stealing money from home. His family members became suspicious. They came  to know of his addiction and they were shocked. They stopped all source of money to him and kept on pressing him to come out of the habit.

But his addiction was so strong that his life became miserable without his daily dose of drugs. He was frantic to get money. One day, he tried to steal a gold chain from a woman.  The woman started shouting immediately for help. In order to silence her, the young man closed her mouth forcefully and tried to strangulate her. In the process she suffocated and died.

Soon police arrested him and put him behind bars.

Thus, the life of one nice young man turned totally topsy turvy on account of his yielding to his friends’ pressure in order to be in their good books. Instead of saying a firm ‘no’, the young man said a weak ‘yes’ and he ended up facing all the evil consequences of it.

(Amma’s Tuesday Satsang 8/9/2020)

19.  Being careful

Once a man went to meet his friend. The friend was furiously searching for his pen. “Only recently I saw you buying a few ballpoint pens. What happened to them?” the man asked.

His friend said, “I have the habit of losing my pens very frequently. I don’t have a count of the number of pens I have lost in my life. I don’t know how to get rid of this bad nature”.

The man went out and returned to his friend soon. He had gone to buy a pen for his friend.  He presented a very nice looking pen to his friend and said, “This is a very very costly pen. Please keep it safely with you”.

After several days, when he went again to meet his friend, he was surprised to notice that the friend was still keeping the pen presented by him earlier. “How come you did not lose this pen?” he asked.

“Did you not tell me that this pen is very costly?  I didn’t want to lose a costly pen and that made me careful and attentive enough”.

[Amma:  “If we truly understand that something is really valuable or precious, we will not waste it indiscriminately. Time is precious. If we waste the present moment, we will not be able to get it back. Spiritual seekers should understand this and ensure that not a second is wasted on unnecessary things.”]

(From Amma’s Onam satsang 31/8/2020)

20. Habits die hard

Once there was a boy who developed a habit of pickpocketing to earn money for his pleasures.  His mother came to know of it and she felt very bad and disturbed about her son.  She wanted him to turn a new leaf. She told her son to go and meet the priest in the local church and confess to him about his habit and seek pardon from the Lord.  The boy simply listened to her.

On that day, he pickpocketed the purse of a businessman. The next day, he went to the church, met the priest and confessed him about what he did.  The priest said, “It is a great sin to steal money from other’s pocket like this. You please go and meet the businessman and return his purse in tact.”  The boy nodded.

He went to meet the businessman and returned the purse to him. That night his mother noticed that the boy was counting a bunch of currencies. She was shocked. “Where from did you get so much of money?” she asked her son.

The boy said, “The priest advised me that pickpocketing is a sin and I should return the purse with all the money to the businessman. I agreed. Before leaving the church,  I noticed this currency lying in a box next to him. I skillfully stole it from there!”

[Amma:  “Once we identify our blunder, we should make a firm resolution  to correct ourselves and not to repeat it again. Sometimes people commit sins without understanding. God will pardon us once for our ignorance. But if we keep repeating it, God will no longer pardon us.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 1)

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Amma’s stories on Devotion, Faith, Effort, Surrender and Divine Grace – Part 3

1.  How golden shower tree came in to being

[Amma: “The ‘Vishu’ signifies beginning of a new year when we submit all that we have to God and  pray for his blessings. Surrendering to God brings us all prosperities. The golden-shower flowers (Konnai), cucumber and a pot full of coins represent beauty and prosperity. The blooming of golden shower trees everywhere during this period is such a feast for eyes. When nature is rich, it reflects richness in our lives too. There is a folklore associated with the Golden shower tree and the Vishu festival:”.]

Long ago, there lived a brahmin boy who was deeply devoted to Lord Krishna. He would get up early in the morning and go to a nearby temple daily for worship of his beloved lord. He would do archana with flowers.

The boy’s family lived in utter poverty. His mother was always sick and bedridden. Some times, he would cry his heart out to Lord Krishna about the pitiable state of his family.  One day he returned home after completing his prayers in the temple. He was feeling very hungry and was extremely tired too.  He lied down on a mat for resting and soon went into deep sleep.

He had a dream. Lord Krishna came to him and smiled at him enchantingly. He played the flute to entertain the boy. He stroked the boy’s face and back with his hands to soothe him. Then Krishna took out a little bell from his golden waistband and put it in the boy’s palms. Krishna disappeared immediately.

The boy woke up immediately. He was surprised to see a little golden bell in his palm. He could not believe his eyes. With unabated excitement, he ran to his mother and said. “Ma, Krishna came to me in my dreams and gave me this golden bell!”

His mother did not believe him. She was angry at him thinking that he might have stolen the golden chime from the ornaments of lord Krishna at the temple and chided him for his misdeed.

The boy felt extremely upset and he threw away the bell. It fell under a tree in their courtyard.  What a surprise! The tree immediately blossomed.  It bore bunches of flowers in golden color, each looking exactly like the little golden bell that the boy threw away. It was indeed the ‘Konna’ tree (Sarakkondrai – Golden Shower tree)!

Seeing this, the mother was struck with wonder. Then a divine voice was heard. It said: “From now onward this tree will bear these golden yellow flowers every year on this same day. Those who look at it first in the morning will be bestowed with all prosperity. “

From that day, the boy’s family started prospering. The mother got cured of her illness.  The day was called ‘Vishu’ and this day signifies the arrival of divine blessings to those who pray with sincere and pure heart.

(Source: Tamil Oliyai Nokki – Vol 3)

2.  Real devotion (1)

Once a king, who was a great devotee of Shiva built a magnificent temple for Lord Shiva. He made elaborate arrangements for the ritualistic consecration of the main deity. The date was also set for the ceremony.

On the day before the consecration ceremony, Lord Shiva appeared in the king’s dream and said, “My son, I am very satisfied with your devotion and all the efforts you have put to construct a nice temple for me.  However, I am sorry that I will not be available in your temple tomorrow at the time of the consecration ceremony.  I have to go to another temple’s consecration ceremony arranged at the same auspicious hours tomorrow, because that temple and all the preparations done for the ceremony are far more grander than yours”.

Lord Shiva also told the king the name of the devotee (Poosalar Nayanar) and his address in a village where the consecration of the temple built by him was to take place the next day.

The king woke up at that moment. He thought, ‘Is that temple far more grander than what I have built? Then I must have a look at it’.

The next day morning, surrounded by his royal entourage the king went to the village. To his surprise, he did not find any new temple there. He inquired about the person (Poosalar)  that Lord Shiva had mentioned to him in the dream and went in search of his house. Another surprise awaited him there. It was actually a very dilapidated hut.  As the king peeped inside, he saw a poor man in tattered clothes sitting there and immersed in deep meditation.

The king felt amused. “Oh! Is this poor man the great devotee that built a temple?” he thought. He prayed to Lord Shiva to clarify his doubt.

At that time,  Lord Shiva blessed him with a vision by which he could get a projection of what was going in the poor man’s mind in his deep meditation.

What he saw in the vision was a great, grand temple, far more wonderful than the temple built by the king. People holding thousands of pots of Ganga water were performing abhishekam to the deity in the temple. He could here blowing of conches and loud chanting of vedic mantras. Many saints and sages and celestial Gods were present there to watch the holy ceremony. In the Shivalinga being consecrated, Lord Shiva was present and he was blessing all the devotees gathered there.

On seeing it, the king’s pride crumbled.  He understood the intensity of devotion the poor villager had on Lord Shiva. He fell at the feet of Poosalar with reverence and humility.

[Amma: “Children, we must indeed establish and consecrate God in our heart. Not understanding this, most of us give too much importance to external austerities and aggrandisement of worships and rituals. Our heart must be filled with devotion and purity. Mind should become one pointed on God; then God will shine there for ever.”]

3.  True faith

Once a man was travelling with his wife in a ship.  Oneday, there was a sudden change in climate. The sky was covered with thick dark clouds. It started raining and soon the wind started blowing very powerfully. The ship started swaying dangerously on account of the storm.

All the travellers in the ship got extremely scared. They started shouting and crying.  While the man’s wife too started weiling out of fear, the man was keeping his cool.  He was trying his best to comfort his wife but he could not succeed. All his efforts to assuage her anxiety and tension did not yield any result. The man lost all his patience.  He opened his baggage, took out a pistol and holding it at her temple he shouted, “I am fed up with your cries. If you don’t stop immediately, I will shoot you”.

The wife was least disturbed by seeing the pistol nor by his threat.  She said, “Do you really think I will get scared by your threat? No way!”

“Are you not afraid seeing this pistol, with my finger ready to press the trigger?” asked the husband.

She said, “I know that with a single shot the pistol can kill me. But as long as it is in the hand of my beloved husband, I have the least fear about it. I know pretty well that you will not think of doing even a minor harm to me!”

The man said, “In the same way, I know pretty well that the control of this storm is in the hands of God whom I always worship.  I have complete faith that God will not do anything harmful to me. That’s why I am least disturbed about this storm; whatever comes I will face it boldly, because I am under His protection always”.

[Amma: “Children, whatever difficult situations we come across life, we must have the firm faith that God’s hands are behind it; if we have that conviction, then we can face the situation without any fear. This does not mean that we don’t have to make any effort on our part. Whatever we could do within our capacity, let us do it; anything beyond it, leave them to God’s will and accept whatever He deems fit. If we develop such an attitude, we can always live with mental peace in our life”.]

 (Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

4.  Real devotion (2)

Once a king, went to a forest for hunting, along with his soldiers. While chasing some wild animals, he lost his way and got separated from the accompanying soldiers. As he started searching for the path. it started raining heavily. The king got drenched fully; he started shivering in cold. Finally, after walking for long, he located a small Krishna Temple. There was also a hut adjacent to it.  He went to the hut; an old priest and his wife were staying alone in the hut.

They welcomed the guest and offered him a towel to dry himself. They offered him simple clothing so that he could remove his dress soaked in rain.  They offered food to the king and offered him bed to sleep for the night.

Early next morning, the soldiers came there in search of the king and were very happy to see him there in the hut safe and alive. The king was extremely pleased with the care and comfort offered to him by the old couple. He wanted to present them with 100 gold coins. The old priest politely refused to accept it.  He said, “God is giving us whatever is essential for us to lead a peaceful life.”

The king was extremely surprised to hear this. He said, “You both are now old. What will happen if you fall sick? I will do one thing. Let me build a new house for you. I will engage someone to take care of you and serve you”.

But the old priest again refused to accept any of them. He said, “We have no thought or worries about falling sick.  Our God, who is verily Dhanvantri (Vishnu’s form as God of Medicines)  is always with us and protecting us.”

Despite being poor, the face of the old couple glowed with contentment and unfailing devotion to God. The king bowed his head in admiration of their conduct and took leave of them.

 (Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

5.  Not from books

Once there lived a doctor, who was quite an experienced person who commanded lots of respect from the his patients for his treating skills.

One of his junior doctors called him over phone and said in a frantic voice, “Doctor, I need your urgent advice. Here is a boy who has swallowed a small ball; he is in deep trouble and find it difficult to breathe. I have tried my best to pull out the ball but I could not succeed. Please suggest me some solution; it is very urgent”.

The doctor said, “Do one thing; pick up a feather of a peacock and start tickling him”.

The junior could not believe his ears. “Doctor, are you sure this is the treatment?  I have never studied such a thing in the medical books!”

The doctor said, “Go ahead and try what I said. Don’t delay” and he hung the phone.

Having no other recourse, the junior doctor did what the senior advised.

After a while the senior doctor’ phone rang again. The junior spoke in an excited voice: “Doctor! What a wonder! I did as you said; initially the boy was looking scared; then once I started tickling him, he started giggling and laughing and gradually the ball came out! Doctor! Where did you read about such a treatment?”

The Doctor said, “If I have no other recourse to solve the problem, I always try something simple and also out of the way. It is my maxim” .

[Amma: “Even if we are not able to do any great things, just as the boy was saved by a little thing in this story, we can always do something small within our capacity and it can lead to great things”.]

(Source: ‘Amrit Ganga’ Telecast – Season 1 episode 6)

6.  Unconditional compassion

Once a man was walking across a dense forest alone. The man saw a tiger watching him from a distance. He got scared and started running. The tiger too started chasing him. In order to save himself, the man quickly climbed over a tree.

The tiger came near the tree and stayed put there, hoping to catch hold of the man somehow or other.

There was another shock waiting for the man at the treetop. He saw a huge bear sitting there! He was extremely scared. What to do now? Should he remain on the tree and get eaten by the bear or jump down from the tree to escape the bear but get caught by the tiger?

Seeing him shaking in fear, the bear spoke to him: “O man! Don’t be scared. I will not kill you. You are my guest.”

The tiger was still waiting below. The man felt very tired and was about to fall asleep. It was getting cold too.  The bear said, “If you sleep off sitting there in the branch, you may fall down and the tiger will eat you. Come and hug me to ward off the cold and then sleep. I will keep awake across half of the night. Then during the second half of the night, you keep the vigil and I will sleep.”

The man had no option but to agree. He hugged the bear and felt very warm. He slept off peacefully.

Noticing this, the tiger said to the bear, “ Never trust a human being. Humans are highly selfish and have no sense of dharma.  They never hesitate to kill ferocious animals like us for the fun of it. At least we animals kill only for the sake of food and it is our dharma. So, I suggest you to drop the man. I will eat him and satiate my hunger.”

But the bear refused. It said, “He has taken refuge in me. I cannot betray him. You better go away.”

The tiger did not move. It opted to wait.

During the second half of the night, the bear woke up the man and then it started sleeping.

The tiger, noticing it, said to the man: “You are a fool. Never believe this bear. He is not feeling hungry now and that’s why he has not killed and eaten you. But he is sure to consume you for breakfast tomorrow. I suggest you roll the bear down; I will eat him for dinner. I will go away from here after eating him so that you can run away safely from here”.

The man believed what the tiger said. Without any hesitation, he rolled the sleeping bear from the tree top. But the bear woke up mid fall and held on to a branch and started climbing back towards the man. The man, who saw this, was extremely frightened; however,  the bear said to him “You had sought refuge in me, I wouldn’t harm you. Even though you betrayed me, I forgive you. You can leave from here tomorrow after the tiger moves away“.

[Amma: “This is the nature of mahatmas.  Once they offer refuge to someone, it is unconditional.  Even if the person who came into his fold by surrendering to him betrays him, the Mahatma does not forsake him. He bears no ill will. “]

7.  What’s God doing?

[ Amma: “We should have śraddha in each action. That śraddha is a part of the prayer; it makes the prayer complete—śraddha as well as proper effort.”]

Once a devotee of God was driving his car on a country side. The road was in a bad condition with lots of potholes and also very narrow.  The car’s wheels got stuck in a muddy pit.

The man came out of the car.  He did not know what to do. He decided to pray to God for help. He took out his meditation mat from the car and walked up to the top of a small hill nearby. He spread his mat on a flat rock, sat in padmasana posture and started praying to God with closed eyes. He prayed deeply to get the car out of the pit.

After a while, he opened his eyes a little  to see whether the car has come out of the pit by God’s grace. Seeing it had not, he immediately began blaming God, “What’s the point of praying to you?” he said angrily.

Suddenly, a voice resounded from the skies, “Son, try pushing the vehicle as you pray.”

(From Amma’s New Year Satsang 2021)

8. The new Mandapa

There was one very famous Temple complex in  a town, which was a holy place of pilgrimage and also historically very old.

There was a mandapa (multi-pillared pavilion) in the temple complex which was centuries old and was in a very dilapidated condition.   The temple administrative committee was concerned that it was becoming an unsafe place for people to use it as the structure may fall at any time and cause damage.  However, considering the holiness of the place and its archaeological significance of the structures, there were differences of opinion amid the committee members on what to do with it.  Finally, a draft resolution was made by the committee taking into account all the view points of the members. It read:

1) It is decided that as the existing Mandapa is very dilapidated, it will be demolished.

2) A new mandapa will be built in the same place in line with the architectural features of the old mandapa.

3) The stone pillars, statues and carvings from the old mandapa will be carefully dismantled and they will be utilized for the new structure.

4) Considering the holiness and history of this sacred place, the old mandapa shall not be disturbed.

So, it became obvious that no purposeful action could be taken based on the resolution of the committee!

[ Amma: “There is no point in making grand resolutions unless the hurdles in implementing them are removed.”]

(From Amma’s New Year Satsang 2021)

9. Guru’s grace

Once there lived a family of flower vender in a village. Unfortunately, both the parents died leaving the three little children to fend for themselves.  The eldest boy took the responsibility of taking care of his two younger siblings by continuing with flower vending. He used to pluck the flowers from their garden daily and sell them in front of the temple.

 They had a family Guru, who was a mendicant, always travelling from place to place.  One day the Guru visited the village and came to the temple.  The boy was extremely happy to see the  Guru there. With the basket of flowers that he plucked in the morning, he rushed to see the Guru, fell at his feet and offered the full basket of flowers at his feet.

 The guru was very happy to see the boy and inquired about the well being of the family. He said to the boy, “I am very happy to know that you are taking care of your younger brothers and feeding them by selling the flowers.  Please take back the basket of flowers with you and sell them in the market.  I don’t want you children go hungry today because of your offering all the flowers to me.”

 the boy replied, “Maharaj,  we are quite used to going without food now and then;   fresh flowers will bloom anyway tomorrow morning and I can continue with my business. Flowers bloom daily, but it is so rare to see you and get your blessings. “

 The guru was extremely pleased to hear the the boys words and his surrender.  He blessed the boy, retaining the the flower basket with him.

 After a while,  the king and queen of the country came to meet the Guru at the temple.  The queen said to the Guru,  “Maharaj,  very unfortunately my husband fell sick recently and when  he recovered, he lost his eyesight. We have no progeny;  The king is very disturbed because he is not able to rule the country properly without eyesight.”

 The Guru said, “Please take the the flowers in the basket,  Crush them to extract a juice from them and apply it  to king’s eyes three times a day. Take this boy along with you and raise him up  as your own son.”

The king and queen agreed happily. By applying the extract from the flowers as medicine, the king got back his eyesight.  They adopted the flower vending boy and his brothers.  Soon, they also crowned the  boy as the  Prince. 

After the king’s death, the boy became the the king of the country.

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Humorous stories from Amma – Part 6

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  more such little stories:

1.  In times of Corona!

Once a man, who was confined to his house on account of Corona Virus lockdown for weeks together got terribly bored and frustrated. He was longing to go out and roam in the streets freely.

He heard the voice of a vegetable seller outside his house. The man rushed out. There a vegetable seller was on the street and was pushing his cart-load of vegetables to sell door to door. The man went near him and asked: “Do you have the licence to sell like this?”

“Yes; of course. I have got the permission letter from the municipal corporation” said the vendor.

The man spoke to him nicely: “Good. Now I will make an offer to you. I invite you into my house and you can relax under the fan and watch TV. I will ask my wife  to serve you food and refreshments.  Instead of roaming in the hot sun like this, you can take rest. I will take the cart on your behalf and sell your vegetables for the next two hours. I will hand over all the collections to you without any commission for me.  Will you please agree?”

The vendor said: “No. Sorry. I will not. I cannot”.

The man said, “Why, why? I am only trying to help you in good will. If you want I can even pay extra to you from my pocket over and above the sales proceeds”.

The vendor said: “You see, I live in the next street. I am not the vegetable seller. The original vegetable seller is relaxing in my house. I have taken this cart from him for hire for a couple of hours!”

(From Amma’s Covid-19 message-2 dt 30/5/2020)

2.  An useful tip to handle Corona!

Once a town under the care of a municipal Corporation was heavily infested with rats. People were suffering a lot and whatever they did in their homes to eradicate the rats did not work out. Pressure was mounting on the Municipality to tackle the issue on war footing to eliminate the rat menace.

The municipal administration formed a committee named “Task force for elimination of rats”. The committee members met frequently and initiated several measures to eradicate the rats. As time passed none of their techniques worked and the rate menace continued.

The municipality then renamed the comittee;” Taske force for containment of rat menace”. They continued to take steps but the rat problem continued to increase unabated.

Finally, the committee was renamed: “Task force for peaceful co-existence with rats” !

(From Amma’s Covid-19 message-2 dt 30/5/2020)

 

3.  Wrong way to learn

Once a man was very keen to learn yoga. But he was too lazy to  look for a Yoga Guru and he was also not willing to spend money for learning. He came to know that someone was teaching yoga in a local FM radio broadcast.

He tuned his radio to the radio station. A teacher was giving detailed stage by stage instruction for a particular yoga. The man decided to try it right away.

The voice said. ” Sit comfortably on a mat on floor in cross legged posture”. The man already knew how to sit so and he did.

“Now bend down, carefully lift your left leg and place your ankle behind your neck” said the voice.

It was rather difficult to do it, but the man was enthusiastic enough to try and succeed in placing his leg as instructed.

“Now carefully lift your right leg and place right ankle too behind your neck” said the voice.

The man found it even more difficult to do it. His neck and left leg were already aching. But he did not want to call it quits so quickly. With lots of effort he managed to place his right leg too as instructed. Every part of his body was aching now. He found it difficult to breath. He was desperate to unlock his legs but he could not do it easily. He was frantically waiting for the next instruction.

“The next step for this yoga will continue same time, tomorrow. Please stay tuned to Fitness for Health FM Channel at 84.7 FM. Have a good day!” said the voice the the program ended!

[Amma: “Yoga should always be learned in person from a qualified yoga teacher.”]

(From Amma’s talk on International Yoga Day 21/6/2020)

4.  Poor memory!

[Amma: “It is not just enough if we develop skills. We should also have the capacity to keep our mind in peace under all circumstances. If not, even the existing skills will not be useful at crucial junctures.”]

Once a young man who was a graduate, went to attend a job interview. Since it was his first job interview, he was extremely under tension.

The interviewer started the conversation with  simple question: “What is your name?”

Because of his tension, the youngman was dumbstruck for some time. Then he started biting his nails. The interviewer noticed that he was singing a song in an inaudible voice to himself.

He asked: “Why aren’t you saying anything? I asked just your name!”

The youngman said, “Just a moment sir. I am singing ‘Happy birth day to you…” song inside. I know my name will come at the end of the song and I can tell you then” .

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

6.  Right words, wrong time!

Once a husband and wife used to fight with each other almost on a daily basis. The fight normally would start at night when the husband took his dinner. The husband never liked any of the dishes cooked by the wife and he was always vocally critical about it. The wife would get very upset with his remarks and that would trigger the fight between them.

One day, the husband was talking with his neighbor. The neighbor gave a friendly counselling: “You see, I am hearing you and your wife fighting daily. This is too bad. Rest of your life would become totally miserable if you go on and on like this. Don’t keep on criticizing your wife’s cooking. Just for  change, you throw some appreciation on her cooking one day. That will make her happy and perhaps she would start cooking with much more care in order to get more appreciation from you. This way, you will regain mental peace”.

The idea appealed to him. That night, when he sat for his dinner, he remembered the friend’s advice. As he tasted one item after other, he kept on saying “Oh! This dish tastes very nice; this one is so good; this is wonderful…” and so on.

But instead of brightening up, his wife’s  face turned red in anger.

But the husband did not notice her facial expressions. As he was about to finish, he asked “Can you serve some more of these stuff; I really enjoy eating them today”.

That was the last straw. The wife blew up in anger. She started throwing all the vessels here and there. The husband was totally taken aback by her reaction.  He asked, “What is wrong with you? All along I have been criticizing your cooking, but today appreciated every food stuff that you served; I ate them all and even asked for more. Still why are so so angry? Why are you breaking the vessels?”

The wife said, “You have proved once again that you don’t like my cooking.  I was not feeling well today and I did not cook the food. Since you would come hungry from the office, I ordered food from the restaurant and kept them ready for you. You enjoyed every item bought from Hotel. It proves you don’t like my cooking at all”.

[Amma: “Children, our efforts have limits. It is divine grace that is essential to make the effort fruitful.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

7.  Hence proved!

[Amma: “Many people ask ‘Is there really a God or no?’. As long as one’s analysis is within the precepts of creation, one can never understand the secret behind creation. Only when we transcend beyond creation, we can understand the secret of the creation. For that a basic requisite is a faith in a Creator (God)  who is beyond creation.”]

Once a teacher was teaching the theory of evolution to his students.

He called a student named David and asked: “David do you see the tree outside the class room through the window?”

“Yes, I see it” said David.

“Now, go out and look up. Let me know whether you see the sky”.

David went out, came back and said, “Yes, I saw the sky”.

“Did you see God there?”

“No”.

The teacher said beaming: “That is my concept. There is no God. How can you believe something that you can’t see?”

Hearing this, a girl stood up and said, “Teacher, may I ask a few more questions to David?”

The teacher agreed.

“David, do you see the trees outside?”

“Yes, I see them”

“Do you see the grass?”

“Yes. I see”.

“Do you see the sky?”

“Yes. I see”

“Do you see our teacher?”

“Yes, I see”

“Do you see his brain?”

“No,  I don’t see his brain”.

“Then, as per the concept taught by our teacher today, he does not have brain!”

[Amma: “Students of science first believe what the text books contain and what the teacher teaches. Then they can do experiments in lab and get first hand experience of what was taught to them. Likewise, we should first believe what our Rishis have told about god  based on their personal experience. Then we too should undertake sadhana based on the teachings received from Guru. Then we too can experience God. “]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

8.  Same place!

Once four villagers engaged a motor boat to go deep into a forest through the river to cut a few trees and bring them back to their place for sale.

After travelling into the forest, they got down at an appropriate place. While the boatman waited at the bank of the river, the villagers went into the forest to cut well grown trees of their choice. After clearing the leaves and branches, they carried huge logs of  four tree trunks one by one and brought it to the place where the boat was kept.

The boatman saw the logs and said, “These are too huge and heavy. I can at the best take three logs in the boat, along with you four people”.

But the villagers argued with him: “No, no! It won’t be a problem at all. Last year too we came to cut the trees and we transported four logs in a similar boat like this”.

“Are you sure? Were those logs of wood so big as these?” asked the boatman.

“Yeah, we are quite sure; don’t worry!”

The boatman reluctantly allowed them to load the four logs into the boat. He started the boat. They would have hardly moved by a kilometer or so, but the boat was unable to pull the load; it started to gradually sink in water and soon the boat capsized along with all the load.

With lot of difficulty, the four villagers along with the boatman managed to swim across the river and reach the bank nearby.

After resting for a while, one of the villagers asked “Do we know where we are now?”

One of them climbed over a huge rock nearby, looked around and exclaimed: “Hey! This place is quite familiar to me! We are hardly away by about hundred meters from the place where our boat capsized last year!”

[Amma: “Experiences are of no use if we do not learn our lessons from them”.]

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

9.  The lost key!

Once a man brought his young boy to the doctor and said, “Doctor, my son has swallowed my suitcase key! Please help”.

The doctor asked, “When did it happen?”

The man said, “He swallowed it some 10 days ago, doctor”.

“Wh…what? 10 days ago? Why are you bringing him only now?” asked the doctor in a shocked tone.

“We had a spare key with us and hence managing with it all these days, doctor. But today we lost the spare key too and could not locate it despite searching it everywhere. We are badly in need of opening the suitcase, doctor. Please, help us!”

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

10 .  Mala?!

Once a guru advised one of his new disciples to go to the top of the adjacent hill and spend a few days in seclusion totally dedicating himself to doing japa.  He added, “Make sure to take ‘mala’ with you”.  His intention was that the disciple should use his japa mala (rosary) to do his japa.

After a couple of days, the guru went up the hill to meet his disciple in order to check how well he had progressed in his austerities in seclusion.

The disciple saw his guru coming. He ran to him and fell at his feet. “Welcome my master!” he said.

“How are you? Are you doing fine? Did you face any difficulty?”

The disciple said, “No master; I am perfectly comfortable here thanks to Mala and the cups of tea I get”.

“Tea? Where from do you get your tea?”

“Mala is preparing it for me, Master” saying so, he called out loud. “Mala! Master too is here. Please bring two cups of tea!”

His girlfriend named Mala came out of the hut nearby with two cups of hot tea in her hands!

[Amma: “Some times, some disciples interpret their guru’s teachings to their own convenience”.]

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

11.   The problem with the intellect

Once 3 persons who entered in to the territory of a terrorist king’s land were caught by securities. They were suspected to be spies. The king ordered them to be killed, by crushing them under a huge falling log. The 3 intruders pleaded for mercy, saying that they were innocent and had no spying role. The king said, “Okay. Put one by one at  the killing spot and let the wooden log fall. If by chance the log does not fall and fail to crush a person, let him be released.”

All the three men were taken to the punishment arena. One of them was first made to lie down on the floor. A massive wooden  log was hanging right above him at a about 15 feet height, held by hooks. Once the bell rang, the operatives were to release the hooks and the log should fall down. The man was trembling with fear and he was praying feverishly for God’s help so that the log did not get released. What a surprise! Due to a mechanical fault, the hook did not release and the log never fell down. He was allowed to get up and go! The man ran from the spot with uncontrollable joy.

Now the second person was made to lie down. Again the hooks failed to release the log and he was also saved.

Finally the third person came and lied down. He happened to be an Engineer. Upon noticing that the hooks were not releasing, he immediately understood what the technical hitch was. He called the operatives and gave them instructions on  how to resolve it so that the hooks could release the log. The operatives did the correction and the log promptly  fell on the Engineer and crushed him to death!

12.   No problem!

[Amma: “When we face difficulties in life, we have the capacity to stand apart  and watch it without getting deeply agitated, but most of us are not able to practice it under all circumstances.  It is always easy for us to watch and analyse other’s problems dispassionately. But when it comes to our own problems, we invariably fail to step aside and look into them with an eye of a witness”.]

Once a businessman was in an important meeting. To avoid any disturbances, he left his personal mobile with his driver outside the office.

After a while the businessman’s mobile rang and the driver took the call. It was the voice of the businessman’s wife and she said, “Right now I am doing shopping and I am calling from the jewelry shop. I found an extremely beautiful necklace here; I have never seen such an attractive necklace anywhere else in my life. But it is too costly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting out of this jewelry shop without buying it. THe money I had brought for shopping was not adequate. So, I used the Credit Card that you had given to me and paid the bill….”

“Oh, That’s good” said the driver.

“There is something more. As I was returning home, I just dropped into the Showroom of Mercedes Benz Cars. One of their latest model cars was very appealing to me. Since I had no money, I had to sell of a portion of our company shares online and got the money. I have bought the car too…” said she.

“That’s fine” said the driver.

“Oh! My love! You had never been so loving and caring like to day. I feel really blessed that I have got such a considerate husband in my life!!” so saying she cut the phone, even before the driver could attempt to intervene and  reveal to her that he was only the driver and not her husband!

After the meeting was over, the businessman came out . He asked the driver, “Was there any call on my mobile?” .  The driver narrated the whole matter. By the time he finished it, his boss fell on to the ground losing consciousness!

Whether the credit card was burdened with huge amount or whether the company’s shares were sold off,  it was of no matter of concern for the driver. But as for the businessman, it was a calamity.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

13.   Smart Broker!

Once a young man who wanted to get married sought help from a marriage broker. One day, the broker told the man about a suitable girl for him and asked him to come along with him to the house of the prospective bride to see her in person.

After seeing the girl both of them were returning. The broker asked.”Now tell me, Do you like the girl?”

The man said, “Are you mad? How do you think I will agree to marry her? Didn’t you notice that her eyesight was so bad?”

“Oh! That’s really a good thing in her. After marriage, suppose you come home late in the night, she won’t notice”.

“Not only that. She stutters while talking”.

“That too is for good. Because of this weakness, she would talk far less, unlike all other women. It is a blessing for you”.

“I also noticed that she is hard of hearing”.

“Oh!Why don’t you understand that it is indeed very advantageous to marry such a girl. She will not hear any rumours about you!”

The young man lost his patience. He shouted, “Over and above all these, she has a hunch back too!”

The broker said: “Brother, I feel pity on you. As I explained, she has so many good things in her that makes her fit to be the best wife for you; yet if you want to reject her just for a small fault like a hunchback, where on earth will you get  better wife than her?”

[Amma: “Our mind is just like this broker. The mind will always try to convince our body and intellect to yield to its desires. We can never underestimate the power of our mind. But it is indeed possible for us to bring this powerful mind under our control.  Discrimination and practice are essential to get control over the mind”.]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

14.   There is a purpose!

Once a man went for haircut to his regular barber shop. When he sat on the chair for cutting his hair, the barber said, “I happened to meet your mother in law yesterday.  She was mentioning that you are possessing lots of black money”. The man got very angry when he heard this.  “Did she say so? She is a wretched woman. She borrows money left and right from so many people but never repay them.  It has become my burden to pay them from my pocket and yet she is talking ill of me? Lier!” his anger did not subside even after uttering these words. He kept on talking ill of her. The barber was deeply engrossed in cutting his hair during this time.

When the man came to the barber shop next time and sat in the chair ready for cutting, the barber said, “Yesterday your mother in law said to me that you are not giving a single paisa to the family”. The man got worked up again and said, “What right that Thataka has to utter such nasty lies about me? Actually it is me who takes care of all her expenses; I am the one giving money for her food and clothing…” he continued to say nasty things about his mother in law further. The barber kept him busy in cutting his hair.

When the man visited the barber the next time, the barber just started to make some comments about his mother in law once again. This time,  the man stopped him and asked, “Why are you always talking about my mother in law. I don’t want to hear any more word about her”.

The barber replied, “You see, whenever I broach the subject of your mother in law, you get very angry and all your hairs stand straight; it makes cutting your hair easier for me. That’s why I talk to you about your mother in law!”

[Amma: “Our mind is just like a play toy in the hands of others. Others know what makes us angry and agitated. When somebody appreciates us, we feel elated; when somebody criticizes us, we get worked up. This way, our life is tied to the lips of others. When we get angry, jump up and create hell around us, it becomes an entertainment for the others”.  ]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

15.   Trustworthy Husband?

[Amma: “To have amity in family life, an important factor is the capacity to listen to each other.  Nowadays, nobody seems to have the patience or time to actively listen to others’ talking.”]

Once a woman was telling her friend: “Whatever secrets I tell to my husband will not get shared by him with anyone else. I am very sure about it”.

“Oh! You have got such a trustworthy husband! You must be proud of it!” Said the friend.

The woman said, “No. It is not like that. Whatever I tell my husband, he never listens to them keenly”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

16. Nothing!

Once a king visited a temple; Standing in front of the sanctum sanctorum,  he prayed and finally ended his prayer saying loudly, “O God, you are everything; in front of you, I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing” saying so, he prostrated before God.

A moment later, another stray devotee, who too was standing there said, “O God, in front of you, I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing”.

Hearing it, the King got very angry, “Hey there! That was MY prayer; how dare you repeat it?” 

[Amma: “This is the nature of the ego that we all have.We unknowingly become entrapped in its net.”]

(From Amma’s Vishu message 15/4/2022)

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Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 3

1. What next?

Once a sage was conversing with a new visitor who came to meet him.

Sage: “What are you doing?”

Visitor: “I am working as a clerk in a Company”.

Sage: “If you get a promotion what will you become?”

Visitor: “I will become a Senior Clerk”

Sage: “What is the next post you will get?”

Visitor: “I will become Assistant to the Department Manager”.

Sage: “What next?”

Visitor: “If I really strive well, I can become the manager one day”

Sage: “Oh! That sounds very nice! What is the next position you can aspire to get?”

Visitor: “Oh! That is very hard to guess. Perhaps, if I have lots of luck, I may become the Vice President of the Company!”

Sage: “Wow! (He pats the shoulder of the visitor).  That will be wonderful. But still I am wondering what could be your next level…”

At this point of time, the visitor lost all his patience. In a loud and curt voice, he shot back :”If I put tons of effort, have lots of luck and  some political backing, I can become the President of the company! Enough?”

The sage did not leave him at that. “What next?” he continued.

That was the last straw. The visitor shouted: “What do you want me to become? A God?”

Now the sage laughed aloud and said, “My son! Now you have said the final and correct answer.  But there is a little difference. YOu don’t have to become God’ you are already God.  It is enough if that knowledge dawns in you.”

[Amma: “It is this knowledge that is true spirituality.  We are so much immersed in  the idea that what we call as “I” is this limited body, mind and intellect. We have to discard that idea and move forward, it will dawn to us that I am indeed that divine power that permeates everything outside and inside and we can experience the bliss of that reality.”]

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

2. Amma with a Vedantin

[Amma: “People can buy Books on Vedanta from Bookshop and read them. After reading them, some may declare “I am Brahman”. But Advaita Vedanta is not something contained in mere words. It is something to be experienced and then expressed in practice at every moment of life.  If someone merely repeats Vedanta verbally it is just ignorance. He is simply acting like a tape recorder or a parrot. Once one of Amma’s young disciple came to Amma and the conversation went like this: “]

Devotee: “Amma, I am a Vedantin.”

Amma said nothing.

Devotee: “Aham Brahmasmi….Aham Brahmasmi….Aham Brahmasmi”

Amma said nothing. He was silent for a while. Then

Devotee: “Shivoham…Shivoham….Shivoham”

Amma said nothing.

Devotee: “Amma, Why aren’t you saying anything?”

Amma: “Son, aren’t you the Brahman already? What is there for me to say to you?”

Devotee: “But, Amma, Why do I still have anger, hatred and desire in me?”

[Amma: “That’s the crux of the issue!  One cannot become a Vedantin by merely reading books.  Vedanta should become the lifeline in us. However, it is indeed good to read Books on Vedanta. Then one should contemplate and understand it deeply.  Through meditation, it should sink deep into our heart. With that, we should strive to get past our weaknesses like anger, desire, hatred and so on.”]

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

3.  Guru has his way

Once a guru and his disciple were returning to their Ashram by walk after a long and tiring pilgrimage.  They rested for a while under a tree. The guru got up and said, “Come, let us keep going; I want to reach the Ashram before sunset”.

But the disciple, who was much younger to the guru, felt too tired and dull to proceed further. He said, “Master, I am feeling too tired. I want to have a nap before we proceed further; I am left with little energy”.  But the guru was very particular to move on. He said, “Leave behind your laziness; you are young and you can definitely walk further; we are not too far from the Ashram. Come on!”

But the disciple was adamant. He lied down under the tree and said, “Master, if you want to proceed please go ahead; I will rest for a while and come a little later”.

The guru did not like the attitude of the disciple.  He walked alone. After a short while, he noticed some construction activity by the side of the road. Several men and women were working there as laborers.  A woman’s child was sleeping in a hammock under the shade of an adjacent tree.

The guru stealthily picked up the sleeping child and walked back before anyone could notice him. He went to the tree where his disciple was sleeping and left the child next to him.

He came back to the construction site, called one of the ladies working there and said, “Hello, have any one of you left your child in the hammock there? I happen to notice one young man picking up your child and rushing in this direction..” He pointed the direction where his disciple was sleeping under the tree at some far distance.

Hearing this, one woman started crying, saying that it was her child. All the laborers working in the site left their work and gathered immediately around the guru.

The guru said, “He would not have gone far off: run immediately and chase him” saying so, he coolly started walking towards his ashram.

The laborers picked up crowbars, sticks and stones and started running in the other direction. Soon they saw at a distance a man sleeping under a tree with a child next to him. Making loud cries, they started running towards the tree.
Their noisy shouts woke up the disciple. As he looked around confused, he noticed the child sleeping next to him. Then he noticed several laborers coming angrily towards him with weapons in their hands and shouting “There he is; catch him!”

The disciple immediately understood that there was something wrong and they mob was actually coming to attack him. Not thinking twice, he started running.  Before they could reach him he managed to run very fast from the place. He ran through lanes and bylanes to save himself from the fiery mob. Fortunately, the mob stopped once they saw that the child was safely sleeping under the tree.

When the guru reached the Ashram,  he chuckled within himself to see the disciple standing at the front gate sweating and panting, waiting for his arrival!

[Amma: “A guru knows the weaknesses of his disciple. He will create circumstances where in the disciple’s  undesirable tendencies are  corrected and his capabilities are stretched beyond limitations.”]

4.  Laughing at others

Once there were two disciples under a guru and both of them were very egoistic. It was their nature to speak ill of each other always.  However much the guru counseled them, there was no improvement in their behavior. One day the guru thought of a plan.

During the night, when both the disciples were in sound sleep, the guru brought some paints and painted their faces to look like clowns.

In the morning one of the disciples who got up first saw the face of the other and started laughing out loud. Hearing his laughter, the other disciple woke up. He saw the face of the first one and bursted out laughing.  Both of them continued to laugh by pointing fingers at each others’ face. One of the disciples got up and brought a mirror; he shouted it at the face of the other and said, “Look here O clown! This make up suits you perfectly!” and kept on laughing.

The other disciple grabbed the mirror and turning it at the face of the other said, “Look at your face! If you go and start performing tiger dance, you can earn lot of money!”

When it dawned to them that both of them had been painted on their faces to make them look funny, they stopped laughing instantly.

[Amma: “Children, It is always easy to laugh at the fault of others; everybody can do it. But only those endowed with the quality of discrimination can look into his own idiosyncrasies  and laugh at himself and go beyond them. Only then one can get real spiritual progress.”]

 

6.  Not too far away

Once a guru and his disciple were travelling to a holy place by foot. It was a long and arduous journey and the disciple was feeling very tired. He wanted to take a long rest before continuing with the journey, but the guru was particular to reach the holy place before dark.

“The place is not far off.  We have to walk only a small distance and we will reach the destination. Then you can relax there. Come on!” he encouraged the disciple to keep walking.

They walked for another half an hour. The disciple felt exasperated. “Master, you said it is only a short distance and yet we have not reached the place despite walking for so long”.

The guru said, “I know this route very well. We are on the right path and we have to walk just a little more. We are almost there;  Come on!”

Again they kept walking. Another half an hour was gone. The disciple felt very disappointed. “No master; I cannot walk anymore. I am dead tired. Please tell me the truth. How long should we walk?”

“Ah! We have almost reached. A little more walking and we will end up there. Be cheerful!” said the guru.

After walking for another twenty minutes, they finally reached their destination.

[Amma: “Spiritual journey is never short and sweet. A seeker has to tread a long and arduous path to reach his goal of self-realization. There is every possibility for a disciple to lose heart, get disillusioned and drop out from his quest. But a Sadguru does not allow an earnest seeker to slacken his efforts upon facing difficulties. He constantly goads him to strive for more through soothing and comforting words of encouragement; he helps his disciple to stretch himself beyond his limits in order to reach his goal.”]

(from Amma’s Guru purnima message 5/7/2020)

7.  Boundless compassion

Once a good hearted man brought an young boy to meet his guru at an ashram. “Master, this boy is an orphan. None of his relatives are willing to take care of him since he is very arrogant and mischievous. May I request you to show him some way?”

The guru said he would admit the boy into the ashram and take care of him.

The guru kept the boy under his direct observation and showered lot of love and care on him. The boy however continued to be very arrogant and indisciplined. He behaved roughly with other boys in the ashram and created trouble for every one. Other inmates in the Ashram felt very annoyed and they kept on complaining about the boy to the guru. However, the guru brushed aside all their complaints and continued to shower his love and affection to the orphan boy.

A few years passed by. The boy grew up. He frequently went out of the ashram and joined evil company. He started stealing money from the ashram and spend it on smoking and drinking with his friends outside the ashram.

One night, a group of ashram inmates came to the guru and said, “That boy is hopeless.  We feel he can never be straightened. You see, he is right now lying on the road outside the ashram fully drunk. He is bringing such a disgrace to the ashram.”

The guru went out to see what happened. The boy was lying near the road under a tree.  It was pretty cold outside.  The guru removed his shawl and wrapped it around the boy. He sighed seeing the pitiable state of the boy and returned to the Ashram.

The boy woke up from his slumber a couple of hours after dawn. He noticed that he was covered with a shawl and it was his guru’s shawl. He felt deeply disturbed and moved. The thought that despite his evil behavior across all these years, the guru still loved him and took care of him when he was lying totally drunk on the roadside.

He started crying.

With teary eyes, he entered into the ashram, came to the guru’s room and fell at his feet. He cried his heart out and sought forgiveness from the guru for all his misdeeds. He promised to turn a new leaf right from that moment.

Soon a dramatic change started happening in his behavior.  Within a couple of months he turned out to be one of the best young disciples in the ashram and he could stand as an example for others.

(from Amma’s Guru purnima message 5/7/2020)

8.  Four gurus

Once a disciple asked his guru, “Master, can you tell me about your guru?”

The guru said, “I have learned from so many gurus. But four of them stand apart. I will tell you about them…” and he continued:

“My first guru was a thief. Once I stayed together with him for a few days. Every night he would promptly wake up at 2 AM and go out. He would return after a few hours. When I asked him whether he could get anything by stealing that night, he would say, “No. I am not lucky today. Let me try again tomorrow night”.

The next day too he would promptly get up at 2 AM at night and go out. He chose that odd hour because he knew that all people would be in deep sleep at that time and that would be the best time to break into houses and steal. That night too he returned empty handed. It happened so on several days.

 I asked him, “You have not been able to succeed all these days. But still you are doing it again and again. Why?”

He said, “This is what I know for earning my living. I don’t have any other skill. I have to persevere like this and I ams sure I would get a big booty one day, if I could break into a rich man’s house”.

From him I learned the importance of perseverance in pursuing one’s spiritual goal.

My second guru is a young boy. One day, I saw a boy going in the night with a lantern in hand. I wanted to tease the boy and asked him, “Do you know where from the light comes?”

He immediately lifted up the glass of the lantern and blew air into the flame. The light immediately got extinguished and it became dark. The boy said to me, “The light came from the place where it is gone now”.

I was taken aback by his brilliant retort. That day I learned that it is wrong to underestimate or disrespect anyone and even boys deserve respect.

My third guru is a dog.

One day, I was to cross a river. I noticed a dog too which wanted to cross the river. It went close to the water, looked at it and barked. Then it came back. After a while it went to the water and barked again and returned. I understood that it was looking at its own reflection and getting scared of presence of another dog in water and that’s why it barked. But after a while, it jumped into the water, swam across and reached the other bank.

This dog taught me a lesson that we should be firm on our spiritual goals even though we may get distracted by fear and loss of self-confidence. At some point or other, we should gather ourselves and proceed firmly to reach our goal.

My fourth guru was a farmer. Once I went to a village where an old farmer lived. He was revered by everyone in the village and they considered him a saint. I met him and interacted with him. I asked him, “Why are you so special that people respect you so much?”

He said, “I see goodness and hope everywhere. When I see a egg, I think of the hen inside it. When I see a seed, I think of the tree that it contains. When I see, death I see life.  When I see the diversity in the world,  I see the unity behind them all”.

From him I understood what  non-duality is.”

(from Amma’s Guru purnima message 5/7/2020)

9.  Blessings for prosperity?

Once in an Ashram, many disciples lived with their Guru.  Depending on the extent of development of spiritual maturity in them, the guru used to sent them for serving the society in suitable ways.

One day the guru chose a disciple for deploying him in some charitable activity.  Before departing, the disciple fell at the feet of the guru and sought his blessings. The guru blessed him saying, “My son, may you always get the comforts of stay in a palace, may you always be served with the foods of best taste, may you always sleep well in a bed of roses”.

The disciple was very surprised to hear such blessings from the guru. He asked, “Master, all along as we lived in the ashram, you have always professed simple living devoid of all comforts and insisted on sacrifice; now you are blessing me of all sorts of royal comforts. May I know why?”

The guru smiled and said, “My son, the true meaning of my blessings are indeed to tell you that you should progress in the path of sacrifice. When you go out and serve the world, you are most unlikely to get any form of comfortable stay. You must develop such an attitude  that you shall gladly  accept whatever meager facilities you get for your stay as if it is  a royal palace. Then you should eat food only after you feel extremely hungry. If you eat like that, whatever type of food you may get will taste delicious.  You will have to physically exert yourself so much that by the time you go to sleep, you will be so tired that you will find even a surface of rock to lie down to be a bed of roses!”

[Amma: “One can attain deathless state only through renunciation. Renunciation does not mean reducing all comforts alone. It includes serving others without any selfish motive.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

10. A Parable

Once the Prince of the World of Light was conquered by The Lord of Darkness and was incarcerated  in a dark cell.  The lord of Darkness arranged several security guards around him to ensure that he did not attempt to escape.

On the wall of the dark cell, there was a small hole and through the hole, sun light peeped in to the room. The light said to the Prince, “You give your royal crown and your royal dresses and jewels as bribe to the security guards. They are very greedy and they will help you to escape from this cell. Accordingly the Prince gave away his possessions and the guards helped him to escape.

As he came out, the Sun God presented him with a powerful sword. With that sword, the prince killed the Lord of Darkness.

He then returned to his World of Light. The aging king immediately crowned him as the new king.

[Amma: “In this parable,  the lord of Darkness is Ignorance (Ajnana).  The Sun God is the guru.  The crown and the jewels represent lust and other worldly desires. The sword given by Sun is Knowledge (Jnana).  This story tells us that by obeying the guru and relinquishing lust and worldly desires, one has to annihilate the ignorance using  the knowledge bestowed by the Guru.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

11. Love that too

[Amma: “If goodness exists in our hearts, then we will be able to see only goodness everywhere. When our heart is good, we will be able to enjoy the beauty of lotus flowers even if they are in a muddy pond. On the contrary, if our mind harps on the muddy pond, we won’t be able to enjoy or appreciate the beauty of lotus flowers.”]

Once a householder went to his spiritual master and paid his respects.  He wanted to speak his heart out. He said to the master: “Guruji, till this day in my life, I have never knowingly hurt any person; I have heard in my childhood a saying — ‘if your talk is good, your walk (i.e. behavior) too will be good’ and I have always followed it as a matter of principle right from my young age. I always take extra care to ensure that I don’t hurt anyone with my words…”

In order to explain how harsh words become so unpleasant to hear, he gave an example: “Master, whenever I come to this ashram and stay here, I hear lots of birds chirping in the mornings and evenings. I really enjoy hearing the singing of cuckoos and the chatting of parrots here which are so sweet to the ears. But amid all these, I also hear crows cawing and it really makes me cringe; It is so jarring to my ears and I don’t like it. So, speaking harsh words is similar to that, in my opinion…”

And he continued to speak of something that keeps disturbing him: “Master, despite my speaking nicely with others and never hurting anyone with my words, I find that my life is not smooth nor peaceful. What could be the reason for it?” He asked.

When he kept on talking, the guru, who was seated on the ground in front of him, was drawing something on the sand with his finger and patiently listening to him too.  Not lifting up his face from the picture he was drawing, the master said with a smile on his face: “I think you must try to love the crows too whose cawing  is unpleasant to you. If  your are able to like even the cawing of the crows, then you will be filled with joy in your heart. Further, you will become more eligible to receive God’s grace”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

12. Mother is the first guru

Once a group of scholars were discussing about the best commentaries and literary works based on Ramayana. 

One of the scholars said, “I consider such-and-such person’s work on Ramayana to be the best. He has thoroughly elaborated  out the spiritual aspects of Ramayana very well”.

Another person said, “I really love so-and-so’s Ramayana because it is poetry form and it is indeed a very commendable and lucid presentation of the emotions in Ramayana”.

Some other scholars were suggesting some other names.

One scholar said, “I consider my own mother’s version of Ramayana is the best”.

Others got curious. “Has she written a book elaborating Ramayana?” they asked.

“No” said the scholar. “When I was child, she narrated the Ramayana story so many times. I used to listen to her narration with rapture. Through her narration, I received so much valuable teachings for my life — the importance of dharmic conduct, valuing truth, adhering to truth, unselfishness and sacrifice, the importance of love between family members, respecting elders, fostering good friendship, surrendering to God and so many things.  My mother did not just told me Ramayana stories but she actually lived the various values taught by Ramayana in her own life and set an example to me. That’s why I say, her version of Ramayana is the best for me”.

(From Amma’s Ramayana month Satsang – 26/7/2020)

13. Finding God

Once a there was a young boy who was deeply devoted to Devi, the Divine Mother. He had a deep longing to have a vision of the Divine Mother. He approached his guru and expressed his desire.

The Guru said, “It is possible for you to see Devi, but not really in divine form. But you can definitely see Divine Mother coming in the guise of  of a normal woman. I will tell you an identification by which you will be able to know who that woman is. She will have a mole in the little toe of her right foot”.

From that day onwards the boy started looking at the right foot of every lady he came across. He would look for a mole in their small toe. Days and months passed; yet he did not come across any woman with that identity.

One day, his mother came towards him with a vessel in hand to give him something to eat. At that time, the vessel fell down. The boy bent down to pick the vessel from the floor and at that time, he noticed a mole in her right toe. He was overwhelmed by surprise. With devotion welling up in his heart he fell at the feet of his mother and prostrated again and again with tears flowing from his eyes.

[Amma: “If  we really want to see God, we should first see God amid people who are closest to us — mother, father, guru and friends. Then we should be able to see God  in whomsoever we meet. Then we should be able to recognize God inside each and every being. We should be able to love and serve everyone. That is what is needed. If this attitude comes, then in due course, we will be able to have the vision of God in each and every being in this earth.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

14. Creating Heaven and hell

Once a person visiting an ashram for the first time, met the guru and asked him a question: “Maharaj, Are heaven and hell really existing?”

The guru asked him, “Who are you?”

The man said with pride: “I am a soldier.”

The guru said, “A person like you, who is essentially very cruel and animal-like, is not qualified to ask this question to me. Don’t waste my time; Go away”.

The soldier could not bear such an insult thrown right on his face. He got very angry. He pulled out his sword from the sheath hanging on his waist and was about to slice the guru in one stroke.

The guru smiled at him without a trace of fear and said,”Aren’t you overwhelmed by anger? You are right now in hell!”

Hearing this, the soldier got bewildered. He felt ashamed to recognize his own fury. He slid back his sword into its sheath and fell at the feet of guru with humility.

The guru said, “You are now in heaven!”

[Amma: “Both heaven and hell are our own creation. If the mind is peaceful, even a gory hell would be like a heaven; If the mind is agitated, even the best heaven would be like a hell. Peace, equanimity and joy are all dependent on one’s mind. “]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

15. Acceptance

Once in  village, there lived a farmer who was facing lots of hardships in life. Some f his cattles met with untimely death. His farmland was attacked by pests. Heavy floods damaged his crops once. He had several family problems too. He felt sick of his life.

In his village, there lived a rich businessman who was also considered a very wiseman in the locality.  The farmer approached him for some financial help and and also sought counsel from him. He narrated in detail about his sufferings in life.

After patiently listening to him, the businessman said, “I will give you some job for you tonight.  Please do it well and  I will give you financial help to you and also give you some useful guidelines to face hardships in life.”

The  former nodded his head.

The businessman said, “I have got 100 horses in my stable. You have to ensure that all of them lie down and sleep together. Once you have finished it, come and see me”.

The former gladly accepted the job and went to the stable.

He went around and arranged to feed them all first. He thought that once they are well fed, they will sleep peacefully. Some of the horses ate well and after a while, they lied down to sleep. But several other horses did not eat. They were simply standing. The farmer went near each horse and cajoled it to eat. Some did and some did not.  He forcefully made some horses to lie down. Some of them yielded to his commands and some did not.  Past midnight, he somehow managed to  make 60 horses to lie down but the rest were not. By about 3 AM, when majority of the horses seem to be lying down, a few horses that had lied down earlier started standing up!

Even by dawn, the farmer could never succeed in making all the horses lie down together and sleep! The farmer lost his whole night’s sleep in this process!

Early morning he came and reported the matter to the businessman: “Sir, I could not succeed in making all the hundred horses to lie down and sleep together”.

The businessman smiled; he gave some money to the farmer and said, “You see, this is is how our life too is. You can never solve all your problems fully and enjoy a trouble free life. It is just not possible. Ups and downs will always be there. You have to bear with them, manage as best as you could and lead your life to the best of your ability. That’s  the only way.”

(Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

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Amma’s stories on Unselfishness & Compassion – Part 3

1.   Compassion is the measure

Long ago, an aged king was ruling his country. The king wanted to relinquish office and retire to forest; he had two sons. ‘Out of the two, Who should be made the king? It must be one who loves his countrymen’ — thought the king. But he could not come to any clear judgement. He decided to consult his guru on this matter. He knew his guru was the right person to predict the future. He took both the sons with him and went to meet his guru. He requested the guru’s help to give the right decision.

The guru said, “In a few days I will be in the island which is at the middle of the river. Kindly send both your sons separately  to come and meet me there. Please send them without a horse or any other vehicle. Just give them a pack of food to carry for eating on their way.”

On the set date, both the princes started their journey one after the other separately, without anyone accompanying them. The elder son, who proceeded first was encountered by a poor beggar on the way. The beggar said, “I am extremely hungry. It has been two days since I ate a morsel of food. Please give me something to eat”. The elder prince got irritated. He had a long journey ahead and he needed food to eat on the way. He was not supposed to ask anyone for food.  He called the nearby villagers and said, “You see, don’t you know that I am the elder prince of this country? Is it right on your part to allow such a beggar to disturb me on my long and crucial journey? Ensure that such a discourtesy is not done to the son of the king”. After commanding them like this, he proceeded with his journey.

After a while the second prince came by the same path. The beggar stopped him and requested him to give him food.  The second prince thought “I have had my share of sumptuous meals when I started my journey. This poor fellow says he had not eaten for two days. How unfortunate!” He gave his food packet to the beggar and proceeded in his way.

They reached the river bank. They had to wade through the river water to reach the island. At the bank of the river, a leper was standing. His whole body was afflicted with wounds and pus was oozing from them. A bad odor was emanating from his body; no one would dare to go close to him. The leper saw the elder prince and begged him to take him across the river to reach the island which was his place of stay. The elder prince felt only contempt for the leper; he could not bear the nasty odor coming from him. He closed his nose and stepped into the river in a hurry to wade through the waist deep water to reach the island.

But the second prince who too was intercepted by the leper felt pity on him. Despite the bad smell and the dirty wounds in the leper’s body, the second prince carried him on his shoulders and stepped into the river.

As they were wading through the waters, suddenly the water level in the river started rising. The water currents became too strong and it became increasingly difficult to wade through the waters. Soon the elder son could not manage and he was swept away by the strong currents.

It was equally difficult for the younger son too to cross the flooding river with the additional load on his shoulders. He and the leper too were soon were struggling in the forceful water current. At that point of time a huge tree trunk was floating nearby. The prince said to the leper, “Come on; let us catch hold of the tree”. With lots of difficulty, they managed to climb over the tree trunk.

Soon the tree floated towards the bank of the island. They safely got down there. Leaving the leper there, the younger prince went to meet the sage. The sage welcomed him with open hands. He was designated as the future king of the country.

[Amma:  “It was the compassion in the heart of the younger prince that caused divine grace to come to him in the form of the floating tree to save his life.  However well one knows to swim, it would not be of help when a torrential flow of waters occurs in the river.  Nothing but divine grace  could ever come to rescue in such a situation. Children! If divine grace has to come to us, we must do good karma.  Compassion should be the hallmark of each of our actions”.]

(Oliyai Nokki-Tamil-Vol 2)

2.   The lame puppy

A little boy went into  a shop where there was a sign board saying ‘Dogs for sale’. He wanted to buy a puppy. The shop owner said that he had puppies with price tags from Rs.2000 to Rs. 5000.

The boy said, “I don’t have that much money; but shall I just have a look at the puppies you have?” . The shop owner allowed him to do so.

A mother dog its several puppies came out from inside the shop.  The boy, with eyes wide open, looked at the puppies eagerly. Behind all the puppies, came a little one slowly and limping. “Oh God! Why is that puppy limping?” asked the boy.

The owner said, “It is lame by birth. It cannot walk normally”.

The boy looked at the puppy pitifully and asked the owner: “Will you give me that lame puppy to me for a reasonable price for me? I can’t give the full amount now; but I can give some money and pay the balance in installments every month”.

The shop owner looked at the boy with surprise. “Why do you want to buy a lame puppy? It cannot run with you or play with you. Why don’t you buy a healthy one?”

Thy boy said. “No. I want only that puppy”. Appreciating his nature, the owner came forward to give that lame puppy free of cost. But the boy said adamantly, “I will not accept it free. I will give the same price of a normal puppy to this one too”.

Again the shop owner was surprised. He asked the boy what the reason was. The boy placed one of his legs on a stool nearby and pointing it to the shop owner,  said, “Look! I too have a deformed leg. If I have this lame dog as my companion, we can exchange our hearts better; each can understand the pain of the other. That’s why I want that puppy”.

[Amma:  “Amma does not mean to say that only if we get the same calamity that another person undergoes we will be able to empathise with him.  Even without experiencing it personally, we are capable of understanding others’ sorrows.  It is possible to assume others’ difficulties as ours; we can grasp what is comforting to us will be comforting to others too and act accordingly. It is this sort of mindset that we should develop. It is indeed difficult to develop such a mindset but you should definitely strive for it”.]

(Oliyai Nokki-Tamil-Vol 2)

3.   Something more valuable

Once a saintly lady was undertaking a pilgrimage. On her way to a holy shrine up on a mountain, the lady rested at the bank of a river and took bath. As she was bathing there, she noticed a very bright object amid the pebbles in the stream. She picked it up and to her surprise, it was an unusually large piece of diamond. She put it in her bag and carried on with her travel.

On her way, she rested under a tree and cooked her food. It was her practice to share her meal with any poor beggar or villager nearby. She noticed an impoverished villager and invited him to share the food with her.

As she was arrange to serve food to him, she happened to take out the piece of diamond from her bab and keep it outside for a while. The poor man noticed it and his eyes widened in surprise. He thought, ‘If only I could get that diamond, all my poverty will come to an end; I will be the richest person in this locality and my generations can live comfortably’.

With some hesitation, he asked the old lady , “Mother, I am suffering under utter poverty.  The food you give now will appease my hunger only for a few hours. But if you could kindly give me this diamond, I can live without poverty for ever”. He said so, frankly expecting that the old lady would flatly refuse the request.

But to his great surprise, the lady immediately picked the diamond and put it in his hands and said smilingly, “Sure, you please take it with you. I am only too happy to give this to you”.

The poor man felt extremely surprised and he took it, profusely thanking the saintly lady for her gift. He ran to his home, very excited and happy.

The next day morning, the poor villager came searching for the lady.  He fell at her feet and said, “Mother, I don’t want this diamond piece. Last night, I thought it over again and again and I felt you have got something far more precious to give me than this and I want that”.

“What is it?” asked the lady, very surprised.

The man said, “It is your heart that gave away such a costly piece of  diamond without even thinking twice about it, without even a trace of attachment to such a priceless possession!”

4.   For the sake of others

Once a lonely traveller was walking on a hot day along a long and winding path across a dry land. The whole area was sparsely populated. There was no greenery and the sun was burning harsh over the sky. The traveller was feeling extremely thirsty. He started looking around for water. He could not see any stream or pond anywhere in the vicinity.  As he walked further suffering in the heat with a parched throat, he noticed a hand pump en route.

He rushed towards the hand pump. There was a pot too nearby and the pot contained some water that would be barely enough for quenching his thirst. When he was about to lift the pot to drink water, he noticed a board nearby where it was written: “If you pour the water into the hand pump and pump it, you will be able to get more water for your use. But ensure that you fill up the water again in the pot for the use of other travellers coming by”.

The traveller was now in a dilemma.  The water in the pot looked precious and alluring for him to drink and quench his thirst, though the quantity looked barely adequate. But if he pours it into the pump and start pumping, what was the surety that that the pump would yield more water? What if the entire water got drained while pumping and no fresh water came from earth. However,  there was also the possibility of the pump working and yielding more water for his own use and also for the use of others coming thirsty like him.

If he drank the water immediately, it would satisfy him immediately, but he would be depriving other passersby of their need of water out of his utter selfishness.

The man thought for a while. Then he decided that it would only be right if he did as per the instructions for the sake of others. He poured the little water into the pump and started pumping hard. After a few minutes of effort, fresh water stared gradually coming. The man filled the pot with water and then drank it happily to quench his thirst fully. He pumped again to fill the pot once again and kept it aside.

He walked away with satisfaction.

5.  Not official

Once a visitor from abroad went to meet Chanakya. It was late in the evening. Chanakya was writing something using the light of a wick lamp.  Before he started to converse with the visitor,  Chanakya stopped his writing, put off the wick lamp that he was using and lit another lamp.

Noticing this, the visitor asked, “May I know why you changed the lamp?”

Chanakya replied, “When you arrived here, I was busy with an official work for which the Government supplies oil for the lamp. But now my meeting with you is personal.  It is nothing to do with the Government. So, I put off the first lamp. The lamp now burning is mine and the oil used there is bought from my own earnings. It is my practice to use my personal things for personal works and not abuse my official perks”.

[Amma:  “Children,  it is such examples that the present day society needs. Relinquishing selfishness and ego, if a person carries out his duties, he will become a blessing for the world.”]

6.  How to have real enjoyment

Once a College professor arranged an excursion to his students and went accompanying them. On their way, they rested at a place for a while. Some construction work was in progress nearby. The students noticed that all the chappals used by the construction workers had been left by them at one place. Noticing it, some boys thought of a mischief. The collected all the chappals and hid them at a bush nearby. They wanted to witness how shocked the laborers would become if they did not find any of their chappals there which would be a good amusement for boys.

Noticing their act, the professor intervened and said, “I can suggest you a much greater amusement for you than this. Do as I say:  First, bring those chappals back and keep them at the old place. Then place a rupee coin on each of the chappals and then watch from a distance the faces of the laborers when they come back and look at their chappals! I tell you, you will really get an enjoyment that you would never have seen in your life by seeing their surprise!”

The students did the same and waited for the laborers to return.  After a while, the laborers started coming back one after another.  When they noticed rupee coins on their chappals, their faces lit up brightly and they all smiled; they started talking excitedly to each other wondering how such a wonder can happen.

Seeing this from a distance, the students felt extremely happy; they understood there is  real joy in giving.

[Amma:  “Not all spiritual sadakas could meditate on Self by self inquiry saying ‘I am not the body; I am not the mind; I am verily the Self”. But it is indeed possible for us to see others as we are. This way, our mindset will get lit up with proper discrimination and compassion. Only then all our actions would  help developing our own life as well as the life of others in the society towards goodness.”]

(Source:  Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

7.  It is with you

There was a poor child who attended church every day. A wealthy man saw this and asked him, “What are you going to church for?” “

I am going to pray,” he replied. “All my friends have good shoes. I don’t even have a pair of sandals. I am going to ask God to give me a new pair of shoes.”

The rich man chuckled to himself. A few days later he saw the boy again. “Oho!” he called out mockingly “Did you get that pair of shoes yet?”

“No,” replied the boy.

“Stop your stupid prayer, boy! God did not give you shoes, did he? Why are you praying to him?”

“Oh, but he did give the shoes!” replied the boy calmly. “

But I don’t see shoes on your feet,” said the rich man.

“No, because God gave them to people like you to give them to poor children like me. But people like you have not passed them on to us.”

[Amma: While on one side, people are heaping up riches, on the other side people are sitting beside deep holes. As the ups and downs increase, so will the conflicts between them.”]

(From Amma’s Covid-19 message Dt 10/5/2020)

8.  The story of Pakkanar, the saint

[Amma: “Many people donate without knowing the philosophy behind it.  Our real attitude behind donation matters the  most. People who donate tubelight to a temple write their names boldly over the tube to the extent of hiding considerable light coming from the tube!  It is this type of charity that we see widely around us. One should never donate for name and fame. Amma remembers a story: “]

Pakkanar was a saint who lived in Kerala long ago.  He earned his living by making winnowers (‘muram‘) from bamboo and selling them to people.  The money he earned by selling one winnower was sufficient enough for him for his one day’s expense. He was bent upon donating whatever extra winnowers he had but he was extremely particular that no one should come to know that he was indeed donating the rest. He found a way for it.

He will carry ten fans with him and go from house to house. He would declare a rather hefty price for the fans. Since it was too costly, the householder would not show interest in buying from him. Then he would tell them, “May I leave the fans here for a while? I will come back and take them afterwards”. People would generally oblige.

He would come back after a while and tell them, “Please give me back the nine numbers of winnowers I had left here”. The householder would count the quantity and find that there were indeed 10 pieces. They would think that the Poor Pakkanar does not know counting; they would keep one item with them and give him the nine numbers as he requested.

He would repeat the same technique with other householders that he visited. Finally, he would sell the last remaining winnower for the right price and take the money with him.

Thus Pakkanar was donating stealthily. It is a great example on how one should donate without any fanfare whatsoever.

9.  A helping hand

A few years back  100 meters running competition was arranged for physically handicapped and mentally retarded children by a charity organization.

The children taking part in the race were all set to go, waiting for the whistle to blow.

Once the whistle was blown all the children ran very enthusiastically. Every child was competing with another with a desire to grab the first prize. All of them had undergone repeated practice across several months in order to take oart in this race and win.

A few moments after the start, one of the boys stumbled and fell on the track. On account of the shame of falling and also due to pain, the boy started crying aloud. All the other children running in the race saw him falling down but they did not know what to do. But one little girl stopped. She ran towards the boy and helped him to get up. Then she hugged him and said, “Don’t worry, hold my hands and we will run together”. The other children saw these two children running with joined hands. Immediately they too came near them and joined their hands.  They started running in parallel, all together.

The entire audience was surprised and felt overwhelmed to see such a display of love and solidarity among the children and they clapped their hands. As the children crossed the finishing line together they got  a standing ovation from the onlookers.

[Amma: “Amma had heard this story from somewhere; it might be a real incidence or a fictional story. Whatever it may be, we all have a lesson to learn from the children in this story. Getting success in life is important but along with it we should have a heart to share the pain of the failure of others and extend a helping hand to them to succeed in their life”.]

10. Take only as much

[Amma: “Human beings are part and parcel of nature. Human life depends on nature and its sustenance.  Hence we should take from nature only that much which is just enough for our survival. While taking, we must ensure that we do not disturb the balance in nature, It is our responsibility.”]

Once a family living in a village near sea shore, ws gripped in utter poverty. The head of the family had lost his job and they had no money to buy foodstuff. At that time, the eldest boy in the family was walking along the sea shore and he located a pit where sea turtle had laid several eggs. Happily, he collected all the eggs and brought them home so that they can be cooked and eaten.

When the father saw so many eggs brought by his son, he asked what happened. The boy said that he picked up all the eggs that a turtle had laid. The father got very angry. He said, “Suppose you are married and someone takes away all your children will you not feel extremely sad? It is so for other creatures too. If the turtle finds that none of the eggs it laid was there to produce its offspring, will it not feel very sad? The eggs are essential for the lineage of the turtle to continue. Even though we are driven to such a sorry state because of our poverty, we should not totally become selfish and heartless. You better take half of these eggs and put them back where you picked them up.”

The boy understood and he immediately took some eggs and ran to the seashore.

(Source:  Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

11. Honesty to the core

[Amma: “In olden days, despite being impoverished, village people had mutual care, unity and cooperative mindset. They had cordial relationship with neighbors; whatever they could get on  daily basis, they had the generosity to share with others and live with contentment. Even amid poverty they nurtured high moral values. Amma remembers a story…”]

Once upon a time two farmers came to meet a judge with an issue.  One of the farmers said, “I recently bought a farm land from this man. When I started ploughing the field yesterday,  I stumbled upon a copper pot that got unearthed. When I opened it, it contained lots of gold coins and precious stones. You see, I bought only the land from him and I not the pot of gold and precious stones.  I told him to take the pot with its contents but this fellow is refusing I request you to hear the matter and give him necessary advice”.

The other farmer said, “What he says is true. But you see, when I sold the land, I sold it entirely which means anything found buried in the land too belongs to him.  So, I have nothing to do with the pot of wealth. This fellow has been pestering me to take it. I have nothing to do with it. Please save me from his pestering”.

The judge was very surprised and felt very happy to see two such honest and guileless persons.  But he has to solve the problem anyway. So, he did further inquiries. He came to know that one of them had a boy and the other a girl who were at marriageable age. The judge suggested that the two can be married and the wealth found from the land can be given to the couple as a marriage gift.

This solution was most acceptable to both the farmers and the strange adversaries returned home happily as new relatives.

(From Oliyai Nolli-Tamil-Vol 3)

12.  Unwanted poison

Once a young woman got married and came to live with her in laws.  Her mother in law was very short tempered, very demanding and authoritative.  After the passage of few days, the woman found it extremely difficult to bear with the moods of her mother in law. She started hating her to the core.

One day, her brother, a doctor by profession, came to see her. She told her brother. “I am fed up with my mother in law. I want to eliminate her somehow or other”.

Her brother said, “If she dies suddenly, then people would start suspecting you. I will give you a medicine, which is a slow poison. You should mix a little of it every day in the food that your mother in law eats.  After six months your wish will be fulfilled.  But you should be extremely careful about one thing. She should never suspect your evil motives. So, you must ensure that you interact with her  lovingly and be obedient to her always.”  She agreed.

As per her brother’s instructions, she mixed a little of the medicine that her brother gave every day when she served food to her mother in law. She also behaved very nicely with respect and obedience towards her.

Four months passed this way.  There came a palpable change in the atmosphere inside the home.  Being impressed by the nice behavior of her daughter in law. the mother in law’s attitude too started changing drastically. She started behaving very affectionately with her daughter in law.Gradually day by day, both of them started liking each other more and more.

One day, when her brother came to see her, the woman said, “I am afraid I made a big mistake in feeding my mother in law with poison daily. She is actually a very nice woman. She is extremely affectionate towards me nowadays.  Please give me some alternative medicine so that the evil effects the poison I gave her all these days is reversed”.

Her brother laughed and said, “What I have is not poison, but some vitamins only. I knew that the problems you were facing with your mother in law was in fact because of your behavior. I knew if you correct your attitude, your mother in law would behave nicely with you. That’s why I played this trick on you.”

[Amma: “As in this story, instead of trying to change others, we must strive to change ourselves.  If love is given, we are sure to get back love. We only need that patience to express love on others, to get love in return”.]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

13.  Cancelled pilgrimage

Once there lived a poor cobbler in a village.  He had a deep desire to go on a pilgrimage and visit holy places. By working very hard and also skipping meals on some days, he saved money little by little for this purpose.

One day at home, his wife, who was pregnant, felt the smell of roasting of green grams. The smell came from their neighbor’s house. The wife, who could not eat well on account of vomiting sensation, was somehow attracted to the smell and she longed to eat curry made of green gram. She expressed her desire to her husband. The husband thought of borrowing some green gram curry from the neighbor and he went to their house. He humbly requested them to give him a little curry, expressing his pregnant wife’s desire.

The neighboring woman was willing to share it, but she said, “I just want to forewarn you about one thing; the green gram which we have used for the curry is a very unclean one.  We are suffering from utter poverty and we have not eaten for almost a week. Unable to bear the pain of our children’s suffering, my husband went to the nearby graveyard and saw a few plants of green grams grown there. He plucked them and brought home and I have cooked them to appease our hunger”.

Hearing this, the cobbler felt extremely painful.  He was their neighbor all these years and yet he did not know that they were suffering in extreme hunger for the past one week. He felt ashamed that when their condition was like this, he was saving money for his pilgrimage.

He rushed to his house, took out his savings and returned to the neighbor’s house. He said, “I am extremely sorry that I never bothered to know about your difficulties. Please take this money and buy some food immediately”. The neighbors hesitated for a while, but as the cobbler kept on lovingly pressing them to take the money, they yielded.

That night, God came to him in his dream. He said, “My dear son, there is no need for you to take pilgrimage to come and see me. I have come to you to give my darshan. I am bestowing you right now whatever spiritual benefits you would gain by going on pilgrimage. My presence will be there in you forever”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Mal. – Vol 2)

14.  Compassionate boss

Once there was a famous garments shop in a town. The owner had worked hard in life in order to come up in life and reach his present status. As he had seen many ups and downs in life, he had a good experience in management and he was quite compassionate too.

His son too started to involve himself in the management of the garment shop. One day, the son said to his father, “Papa, look at that salesman. I have been observing him for days. He is extremely lazy. He sits there and dozes off frequently. It will be a waste of our money to keep such persons in our rolls. Shall I fire him?”

The father said, “No my son. He is from a very poor family and he has to take care of his family by working here. If you fire him, his family will come to streets. Be patient. I will find some way to fit him in some work that suits him better”.

Due to some reasons, the son could not come to the garment shop for a few days.  When he came to the shop after the break, he noticed the lazy salesman wearing just a pant and a banyan (vest) sitting at the front entrance of the shop on  stool and dozing off.  The son got very angry. He went inside to see his father and started complaining about the salesman once again.

The father said, “Oh! Didn’t you notice the advertisement I have kept above his head? he is now working as a model for our vests? Because of him, I have sold the entire stock of our vests just in a couple of days!”

The son went outside to see what the ad was: “Are you suffering from lack of sleep? Our new vests are sure to bring you to sleep within minutes of your wearing them!”. The ‘model’ was dozing off sitting below it!

(Amma’s Tuesday Satsang 14/7/2020)

15.  Awareness about wastage

Once there was a girl who habitually wasted lots of food whenever she ate. Her father advised her softly many times that it was a very bad habit and she should correct herself. But it did not work. The father then started warning her very sternly about her habit. But still it could not bring any significant change in her behavior.

The father was very conscious that he should somehow correct his daughter.  He thought deeply about it. One day he sat with his daughter and showed her a video.

In the video, in the first scene two young girls were eating chicken in a restaurant. They were talking joyfully and laughing without seriously engaging in eating. After consuming only a very little from their plates, they finished their eating; they took their plates and dropped the contents into the waste bin.

In the next scene, a very poor person comes near the waste bin and starts to search its contents. He locates the two chicken pieces which were hardly eaten. He puts them in a small plastic bag. He fishes out more eatables from the dustbin and puts them in another plastic bag and leaves.

In the next scene, the man is seen getting in to a hut. Two very impoverished girls rush towards their father and eagerly snatch the plastic bags from him. Retaining the small plastic bag with him, he allows the two girls to open the the other bag. The girls eagerly take out the eatables from them and start eating them in a hurry. Once they finished them, the father opens the small plastic bag and joyfully extends the two pieces of chicken to the girls. The girls are thrilled to see it and they start eating it with great relish. Within no time, they finish eating it. Their faces look as if they have still not eaten to their full. They turn the plastic bags inside out and start licking whatever remnants left there.

The girl who was watching this video was shedding tears as she saw the fate of the little girls groping in utter poverty. She said to her father: “Papa, I promise you, I will not waste food any more.”

[Amma: “Disciplining the children right at the young age is extremely essential. If the cement in a wall is not dried up, one can scribble something or draw something in it and it will stay there forever. You cannot do so if  the cement has dried up. Therefore parents, in addition to giving love and affection to their children, should also teach them good habits and inculcate good values in them. They should also live a life of example for them.”]

16.  More prayers?

Once there lived a devotee of God, who was undergoing a bad patch in his life. He had lost his job and was frantically searching for a job for a long time. His family was facing lots of financial problems. He used to pray to God sincerely to save him from crisis. Finally, he got a good, well paying job.

As thanks giving to God, he arranged a bhajan (devotional singing) and prayer program in his house. He invited several devotees and friends to attend the program. He also arranged for refreshments to be distributed to visitors at the end of the bhajan program.

The program went of well. The last song was sung and the arati was conducted to the deity’s picture with a prayer song. As the program ended and every one was getting up to move to the dining area to eat the refreshments, the young daughter of the host got up and shouted: “Wait, wait! Let us make a prayer, don’t go!”

Everyone got surprised. One of them said to her, “We have finished our prayers and did the arathi too! What more is there for praying?”

The little girl said, “All these prayers were done as a thanksgiving by my father as he got a job by God’s grace. But so many other people are still jobless; when my father was selected, all the others who had attended the interview with him did not get their jobs, did they? Those people too should get jobs and live happily. I want all of us to pray for their sake before leaving from here”.

(From Amma’s satsang dt 12/12/2020)

17. Little boy’s empathy

Once, a school for differently-abled children presented a play for its students’ entertainment. A little boy, who had never seen any play before, was eagerly watching the drama sitting in the first row.

In the play there was a scene where an old, lame beggar was walking in the rain. He was hungry and cold. He comes in front of a shop and decides to sleep at the entrance steps of the shop. The shop-owner is just shutting his shop and as he notices the beggar, he chases him away. 

Watching this scene unfolding, the little boy, who was slightly mentally retarded,  thought the scene to be real and and became very worried that the poor old man didn’t have food to eat and was being chased away. He was moved to tears. He immediately jumped up and ran up to the stage. He went to the old man, helped him to get up and said, “Don’t worry, grandpa, please come with me; you can eat in my house and sleep there” and dragged the old man out of the stage.

[Amma: “See the heartfelt empathy of that intellectually challenged child! Do we—the “intelligent” people of the world—have such empathy, towards any suffering old people?“]

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Amma’s stories on Nature of the World / People – Part 7

1. Finding fault with others

Once a ordered his subjects to make one statue from each family and bring them to him. On the due date, people brought the statues to meet him. The king ordered his minister to assess the quality of the statues and give prizes to people proportionately.

The minister could not find any appreciable quality in any of the statues. Each statue had some fault or other. The minister went to the king and said, “Nome of the statues look good. I don’t even find average ones”.

The king did not like what the minister said. He said, “Common people are not sculptors. They have made statues with whatever skills they possessed. There is nothing totally perfect in this world. There will be some fault or other in every creation. I really feel sorry for you as you are incapable of even finding one statue that you can consider reasonably acceptable, to give some little prize. You have no qualification to be my minister anymore. I am dismissing you from the minister’s post.”

Thus the man who could only find fault with others lost his job.

[Amma: “Children, every object in this world will have something good in it. We must have the eye to identify it. If you are a devotee of God, you must stop finding and speaking the faults of others. God can never live in the heart of those who find fault with everyone else. Strive not to find fault with others.   Since we have faults in us, we find faults in others. Never forget this truth. For a person who sees only goodness in others, chanting one japa will give the benefit of chanting it a crore times. Amma’s heart will melt at the thought of such a person. God will bless them with all their needs.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 2)

2. Being in tune with the world

Once a sanyasi went to a village. The village people ridiculed him.  The sanyasi was a man possessing miraculous powers but he was impatient and egoistic. He got infuriated by the villagers’ behavior. He took out some sacred ash, uttered a mantra and sprinkled it into the village common well, with a curse that all those who drink it would become mad.

There were two wells in the village. One was used by the people and the other by the king and his minister when they visited the village officially.

The villagers drank water from their well and all of them became mad. People started talking all sorts of nonsense. They started singing, dancing and shouting.

The king and the minister visited the village and were staying there on some time. As they drank water from their exclusive well which was not contaminated by the  curse of the Sanyasi, both of them remained normal.

However, the villagers observed that the king and the minister were behaving totally differently unlike all the other folks and hence they felt there was something seriously wrong with the duo. According to their perception, the king and the minister were mentally deranged! How can a country be ruled properly if both the king and minister are mad? The villagers felt that they were duty-bound to save the nation from the rule of mad people!

They decided to catch the king and the minister and tie them to a tree. Having come to know of their intentions, the king and minister started running; the people started chasing them.

As they were running to save their lives, the minister said to the king, “The whole of people of this village have become mad; in their eyes we two look to be mad people and that’s why they want to arrest us. I believe if we don’t  start behave exactly like these mad people, they will not leave us in peace. I am afraid the best way ahead of us is to start behaving madly like them; then we can think of finding some cure for these people to get relieved from their madness. It is like policemen disguising themselves as thieves to catch hold of thieves.” The king agreed.

Immediately, the king and the minister started shouting and dancing madly in the same way as others. The villagers felt happy. They thanked God for ‘saving’ the duo from a calamity!

[Amma: “Children, spiritual aspirants are like the king and the minister of this story. Spiritual practitioners would look like mad people in the eyes of common men. But the fact is, those who have no inclination at all in spirituality are indeed mad people. Saints have to come down to the level of common people to teach them dharma and lead them on the right path. They may have to do many things hand in hand with the common people; that is the way they could lead the people to know their true Self.’]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 2)

3. Dissecting a poetry!

Once the wife of a scientist who was in a poetic mood wrote a verse describing the beauty of a woman by comparing her face with the full moon and s on. She gave it to her husband to read. The husband had no poetic inclination and showed little interest in reading it. But since his wife insisted, he went through it. The wife was very eager to get her husband’s feedback.

The husband said, “What nonsense have you written? Man had spent millions of dollars to go to the moon and explore it. What’s there in the moon except rocks and craters? There is no air too. If such a moon is kept on the neck of a woman, will not her neck break?…” Like this, he kept on criticizing each and every line in the poem!

Exasperated, the wife snatched the paper from his hands and said, “You can never understand poetry; give that back to me”.

The husband had only an intellect that dissected the poetry scientifically. He could only see rocks and craters in the moon. He was devoid of the heart to appreciate the beauty of the poetry.

[Amma: “One who says that he would believe only those perceived with sense organs has lost the purity of heart.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 2)

4.  The protector

[Amma: “Diversity is the hallmark of  creation. Most creatures in earth accept this diversity and live in peaceful coexistence. But only man refuses to accept the diversity in creation and fight with each other in the name of country, language, religion, claste, creed and so on. Unfortunately, man looks with suspicion and fear at those who are different from him and develop hatred on them”.]

Once three persons were undertaking a long pilgrimage. After crossing several rivers and hills they arrived at the foot of a mountain. Their next destination was a holy shrine at the top of the the mountain. A sadhu whom they met there wanted to join their group so as to undertake the arduous journey with company. The sadhu had very strange looks and he was from a different country too. The three travellers did not develop a liking on him and were not too keen to take him along, but they nevertheless agreed out of basic human courtesy.

After the sadhu joined their group, somehow their onward journey up the mountain,  ceased to be a smooth one, unlike their earlier experiences. Their journey became more and more arduous as they proceeded. It started raining heavily. Thunder and lightning too was severe. There were no inhabitants on their way and they suffered from lack of food and drinking water.

The three travelers started thinking that the new Sadhu who joined them was the cause of all the hardship they were facing. The raining became more and more severe; thunders were deafening. They noticed a dilapidated hut en route and decided to take shelter under it till raining stopped.

One of the three persons said, “I am afraid the hardships we are facing now must be due to the evil fortune and sins of one of us in this group. God appears to be angry at him. That’s why we have been undergoing so much of hardship in this journey. Let us do one thing. One after another, let us go out of the hut and stand in the open at a distance from here.  When the person on whom God is angry stands alone in the open, God is sure to punish him. Then the rest of us can proceed with our journey without trouble”. All of them agreed.

The person who proposed the idea went first to stand alone in the open. He stood there for a while and nothing wrong happened to him. He returned to the hut and the second person went out. He too returned safely to the hut. Then the third person went out and stood alone. He too returned safely. Now it was the turn of the stranger. He walked out and stood in the open.

That very moment a lightning stuck at the hut where the three persons stood and within no time the hut turned into ashes, killing all the three.

Thus it turned out that the good fortune of the stranger was indeed saving the rest of the three from calamities all along their travel in the mountain!

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

5.  Earning a livelihood

[Amma: “If there is something that destroys all goodness in a human mind and makes all his capabilities to a naught, it is poverty. Poverty is the most unfortunate happening in any human life. When Amma tours to various countries abroad, children coming to meet Amma would bring with them pictures drawn by them to show to Amma. In one country, a group of children came to receive Amma’s darshan. They too brought pictures drawn by them to show to Amma. (Amma narrated further on what happened: “]

Practically all the pictures drawn by these children contained tanks, warships, bombs and guns. In one of the boy’s picture, he had drawn Jesus Christ with a gun in hand. Upon inquiring about those children, Amma came to know that there were all poor kids from the ghettos.

Amma asked them, “Why have you drawn a gun in Jesus Christ’s hand, my children?”

One boy replied: “If Jesus Christ feels hungry, doesn’t he need food? He has to earn it. isn’t it? That’s why he needs a gun”.

“Will people give food only if he shows a gun?” asked Amma.

The boy said, “Our father grew us up only by showing gun at the face of others to earn money” they said.

“Why? Doesn’t your father have good health to do some work and earn money?”

“He is quite healthy. But when our father searched for jobs, the employers asked him where he was living. When he mentioned that he lived in a ghetto, none would offer a job to him; then our father started earning money by threatening others with a gun.”

[Amma: “These sort of experiences go deeply into young children’s hearts. Thus poverty combined with bad examples in life kindle violent tendencies in them. This is where there comes the need for expression of love and compassion towards such people.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

6. Dawn of Wisdom!

Once there lived an young man, who was called an idiot by everyone. As he was rather dull headed right from his childhood, everyone considered him an idiot. Whatever he said or did, his father would call him an idiot. He received the same treatment from his mother and brothers too.  Since his own family members called him an idiot, all the villagers did the same.

The young man was very sad about it. He used to think, “Since everyone calls me idiot, it must be true that I am really an idiot”.  Yet, he  repeatedly tried his best to prove to others that he  did possess brain and intelligence, all his efforts never yielded any result. He was considered a worthless fellow both inside and outside his house.

As life went on like this for the young man, one day a Mahatma came to his village. The young man went to the Mahatma and prostrated before him; he conveyed his mental anguish and cried. The mahatma felt very compassionate towards him. He consoled him and instructed him  as follows:

“Don’t grieve. Do one thing from today onwards: Whosoever tells you anything, you should  object to their statement and oppose it. For example, if someone says, ‘Look at that flower. see how beautiful it is’, you must immediately say, ‘Nonsense! Who said that flower is beautiful? Can you explain what beauty is?”. Suppose somebody talks to you about the greatness of love, you should argue: “Love? What is really love? Is there anything really existing as love? Don’t simply say some nonsense about love. Where is the proof that love really exists?”. Likewise, without looking back or doubting, you confront everyone with a negative or counter argument; never waste any opportunity; question them, oppose them, criticize them, and demand their explanation! Nobody will be able to explain these sort of things coherently and consequently they will look like idiots! By questioning everything, you will become an intellectual….!”

The young man immediately agreed.

After a few years, the Mahatma came to the same village once again. Villagers who met him spoke to him with reverence and wonder, saying, “Maharaj, last time when you visited, you have really done a miracle in our village! By your sheer blessing, a rock-hard idiot in our village suddenly turned to be a brilliant fellow! He is now a very smart person and an intellectual! It is a wonder beyond words!”. The Mahatma immediately understood whom they are talking about. Soon the young man too came to meet the Mahatma. He said to the mahatma with heartfelt gratitude, “Maharaj, What you said did come through! Now everyone in this village consider me a very brilliant person!”

The mahatma said, “Fine. Make sure that you never reveal the secret to anybody!”

 [Amma: “Amma does not mean to say that logic and intelligence are not needed nor they are to be discarded. Amma only wants to convey that they alone cannot be considered the ‘be all and end all’ “. Where intelligence and logic are essential, do make use of them. But there are countless situations in life where the heart has to be given the prominence.  In such situations one must use the language of  love, faith, patience etc.” ]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

7. Demanding thankfulness?

Once a very rich man went to a temple to do worship. Once the puja was over, the rich man gave an unusually large some of money to the pujari.  But the pujari neither expressed thanks nor did he show any extraordinary courtesy or humility to the rich man. Noticing this, the rich man felt somewhat offended. He started loudly boasting to the priest saying that none would have ever given such a large amount of money to a pujari like him. He continued to boast about his largehearted-ness and his philanthropic mindset.

The priest kept listening it patiently for some time.  But since the rich man did not stop his self-boasting, he intervened and said, “Why are you explaining so much to me? Do you want me to say “thank you” for your donation?”

The rich man said, “Ah! Why not? What is wrong if  I expect a ‘thank you’ from you when I have given such a large amount to you?”

The priest said, “Actually, it must be you who should say ‘thank you’ for my accepting this amount from you. In fact, this is only a small amount when compared to the huge wealth you have amassed which truly belongs to God! Only if you could  surrender this amount without any  pride, you will become a recipient of God’s grace. YOu must in fact feel thankful that you have now got the opportunity to serve God and his devotee with your money. If you can’t do it, it will be better if you take back the money with you”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

8.  False pride

In the court of king Bhoja, a Congress of Poets was going on. Poets vied with one another to sing accolades about the king.  One poet sang a poem comparing king Bhoja with Lord Rama and his rule to be identical to Rama Rajya ( The rule of Rama which was considered a golden period).  Everyone in the assembly clapped their hands and king Bhoja was proudly acknowledging all the praises. Suddenly a crow flew into the court and defecated at the head of the poet who sang comparing King Bhoja with Lord Rama.

The poet felt very disturbed.  The king ordered his guards to catch the crow. The crow started speaking thus: “O Majesty, since this poet said falsehood, I defecated at his head. Neither you are  equal to Rama nor your kingdom equal to Rama Rajya. I can prove this to you, if you could kindly follow me.”

The king, minister and the poet decided to go behind the crow. The crow flew out and went to cave outside the city.  The crow flew inside it. Others followed. The crow wanted the soil inside the cave to be cleared. The minister and the poet engaged themselves in clearing the sand layer, there were thousands of gemstones underneath!

The crow said, “During Rama’s rule, there was a rich man who had no children. He prayed within his heart to Lord Rama to bless him with a son and he made a owe to donate a potful of gemstones to the king if his prayer was answered.  By God’s grace, a male child was born to the rich man. He felt extremely happy and went to meet king Rama with a pot of gemstones. When he told the matter and kept the pot under Rama’s feet, the Lord was not willing to receive it. He said, “I have no need for these gemstones in my treasury. You may please distribute it to the poor and the needy”. As the rich man went in search of poor people, he could not find anyone in the country. When the rich man reported this matter to Rama, the Lord asked him to freely distribute it to others.  But in the land of Rama, no one was willing to receive any free gifts saying that they cannot take anything for which they had not worked for.  The rich man finally left the gemstones in this cave. These are precisely the same gemstones”.

After narrating it, the crow said, “O king, will you now ask your minister and poet to open up their palms?”

When the king ordered so, the minister and the poet reluctantly opened their fists and each of them had handfuls of gemstones that they had collected secretly for themselves when they found the gemstones there! The crow said, “O king, isn’t it now absolutely clear that your kingdom is not equal to Rama rajya?”

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

9.  Reserved judgement!

 [Amma: “Children, most people, knowingly or unknowingly,  form opinions about others with preconceived notions. Because of this, one does not correctly understand another person.”]

Once, in a courtroom a case was in progress. The advocates of the plaintiff and the defendant were very strongly arguing the case in favor of their parties. Unfortunately, the magistrate was dozing off in his seat and he did not listen to the legal arguments from them. After a while, he woke up. Seeing his condition, the court clerk politely spoke to the magistrate, “Sir, I am afraid you dozed off; you have not listened to the arguments presented by the lawyers”.

The magistrate said coolly, “Oh! It does not really matter.  I have already decided the final ruling for this case”. So saying, he resumed his sleep!

 [Amma: “If we do things with preconceived notions, just as the magistrate in this story, we may sacrifice justice and truth. On account of it, sume people may get unjust advantages and some may be put into unjust difficulties.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

10.  What went wrong?

Once a rich man wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday on a grand scale.  He arranged to print very attractive  invitation cards by selecting a very costly design and quality of paper.

He got his whole house painted afresh. He bought a costly chandelier to decorate his reception room.  He kept himself very busy in making his house and surroundings clean and beautiful.  In order to project a rich look on his birthday,  he bought very costly dresses for himself. He bought a thick golden chain and a diamond ring.  In order to prepare a variety-rich and tasty feast, he engaged a very famous cook.

Finally his birthday arrived. As the time for arrival of the guests came, he dressed himself up with the new clothes and wore the chain and ring. The chief cook and his uniformed staff were busy readying a variety of tasty dishes and were all ready to do the serving.

The rich man came and sat in the reception awaiting the guests but surprisingly, no one turned up. The evening went pst and the night was advancing. Yet, no guest was at sight. The rich man started worrying and wondering. What happened? What went wrong? How come not a single fellow had turned up?

Impatiently, we walked to his table and he noticed something there. The big bundle of invitation cards was still lying there! Now it became obvious. He had been so busy and engrossed in making all the preparations for celebrating his birthday on a grand manner that he totally forgot to send the invitation cards to all his friends and relatives and acquaintances!

 [Amma: “Like this, in our pursuits behind all the petty things in life, we are engrossed so much that we have totally forgotten our goal of human birth.  Because of it, we are not able to enjoy the right peace and joy in our lives”.]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

11. Open heart?

Once there was a king who ruled his country very well and all the citizens loved him dearly.  Unfortunately, he fell sick. The doctors diagnosed that he had a very serious heart ailment and only a heart transplant could save his life.  Who would come forward to donate his or her heart voluntarily for the sake of saving the king?

The minister decided to call the citizens for a meeting and make an announcement about it. Thousands of people came and assembled in front of the palace, curious to know what the announcement was. The minister explained to the people about the seriousness of the health of the king and sought their help to save the king from death. He said, “I know how much you people love our king; I know, at a time of such a crisis, you would be willing to offer your service to save the king at all costs. The king needs a heart transplant and such of you who is willing to offer his heart may please throw up your hands. His family will be richly rewarded by way of land, gold and many other gifts for making this sacrifice”.

Immediately all the thousands of people gathered there lifted up their hands in unison. The minister was very impressed. He said, “Such a wonderful spirit can nowhere be seen anywhere in the world. However, we need the heart of just one person. To select that person, let me drop a feather from the top window of this palace. The person on whose head the feather falls, will be chosen for the sacrifice”.

He dropped a small, very light feather from the topmost window of the palace. The feather glided through the air and slowly coming down towards the crowd.  However, the minister standing at the window and watching the people down below noticed that as and when  the feather was about to descent on a person’s head, it mysteriously floated up up again.  Hours passed this way and the feather was still floating in the air, here and there, but it did not descent on anybody’s head.

Very surprised and shocked, the minister came down to find out what was happening.  He realized that whenever the feather above the head of any person and was about to land, the person looked up and blew air — “phoo, phoo” so that it drifted up and moved away!

 [Amma: “This indeed is the nature of people. What is acceptable in principle will not be acceptable if selfish interest is affected”]

12. Hidden treasure?

Once there lived a farmer in a village. The farmer owned a large farm grove where many coconut trees, mango and other trees were there.  The farmer also grew vegetables. He was a very hard working person; Day long he would work in his farm, watering the trees, putting manure, rearing new plants and so on. He would sell the coconuts and fruits from his farm in the market and earned very decently. He could lead a very comfortable life with his family in the village.

The farmer had three sons. He was extremely attached to them. He wanted them to get well educated, get good jobs in cities and become reputed citizens. Out of excess love on them, he pampered them a lot by buying and giving whatever they wanted. He gave them enough pocket money. He did not involve them in the physical labor at the farm grove and rather wanted them to study well.

Unfortunately his wife had a sudden death.  The farmer was immersed in grief. As he wanted to be a mother too to his children, his love and pampering increased multifold.

Unfortunately, his children evolved as spoiled kids. They got money from their father whenever they wanted. They cut classes in the school and went to movies. They ate all and sundry food at the hotels. They roamed around freely all the time without studying. As they grew up, they got into lot of bad company; Smoking, drinking and creating trouble in the village became habitual for them.

Unfortunately, the farmer realized his mistake only after they grew up as lazy, thoroughly spoiled and under-educated youth.  As they failed in their higher classes in school, they could not go to college. 

As the farmer’s worry about his children increased, he called them one day and said, “With no education and no worthy character, you won’t be able to get any job anywhere.  If you want to have any decent future, you have to start working hard right from now. You join me and assist me in the works in our farm.  Our farm can yield enough to ensure a comfortable life for you in future.”

But his sons, who were never used to physical labor all along, refused to heed to his words.

The farmer’s worry about his children affected his health seriously. He became bed ridden. No one was there to take care of the groves.

One day, he called his sons to his bed and said, “I don’t think I will live any longer. Two years ago, there were lots of robberies taking place at our village and surroundings. As I wanted to safeguard the money, gold jewels and other valuables in our possession, I decided to keep them hidden. I put them into 3 pots and buried them under three trees in our farm. I created some identifications too to know where I have buried them.  Unfortunately, due to my sickness, my memory has got affected. Now I just could not remember under which trees I buried the treasures.  My dear sons, I can die peacefully only when your future is safeguarded. You must dig those treasures and make use of the gold and other valuables to run a comfortable life.” So saying, he passed away.

The three sons were immersed in grief. They called their relatives and other villagers and conducted the last rights for their loving father.

After all the ceremonies were over, they sat together and discussing what to do next. 

The elder brother said, “We badly need the gold and money that are buried in our groves. Only with that we can resume our old, carefree life, smoking, drinking and enjoying life. For that, we have to necessarily dig out the pots, wherever they have been buried.  Unfortunately, we have got to do it ourselves only, as we cannot employ anybody for obvious reasons”. His brothers nodded their heads.

The next morning, with crow bars and shovels, each one of them went under a tree and started digging all around the tree. As they did not find the pots, they moved to another tree and started digging. They got tired easily and were sweating and panting profusely as they were not used to physical labor so far.

As days passed by, they had finished digging around all the trees in the grove, but could not find any treasure. They felt dejected. Anyway, the elder brother said, “So it is clear that we don’t have any treasure to rely on for leading easy life. Now our survival is at stake. The trees are not yielding fruits as they used to when our father was healthy and hard working. Now that we have dug the soil all around, let us do watering; let us put some manures too. Let us seed  some new vegetables. What else to do?”

Because of their hard physical labor in the past few days, they noticed that their laziness was gone; they felt some joy in exerting themselves. They felt good hunger and slept very well at nights. They noticed that their overall health and spirit were much better now. Hence, they started to work further in the farm grove the whole day. Soon, the coconut trees stared bearing lots of coconuts; the mango trees yielded lots of fruits. They could sell them in the market and earn good money for their comfortable living.

They finally understood that their father was indeed right; by working hard on their own of land, they could literally get gold and ensure a very comfortable living, though the gold was nut found buried in pots.

 

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Amma’s stories on humility and patience – Part 1

1.  Hanuman’s humility

After winning the war in Lanka, Rama returned to Ayodhya. Hanuman and a few other vanaras too came with him and attended his coronation ceremony. Out of their love and devotion to Rama, they opted to stay back with Rama.

After becoming the king, Rama allotted several jobs and responsibilities to his near and dear ones after seeking their opinion, willingness and tastes. Most of them took up respectable and responsible positions in the administration.

When Rama asked Hanuman, Hanuman opted to swat flies. He was humble enough not to seek any prestigious posts for him; he was quite content to do a mean job of swatting the flies! Rama smailed and allowed Hanuman to do such a job.

Everybody became busy with their jobs. People loved to take up their responsibilities and were quite serious in carrying them out. In the process, they were gradually getting distanced from Rama and hardly found time to visit Rama, meet him at his palace or enjoy his divine company.

On the other hand, Hanuman was happily swatting flies. He was keen to keep the palace of Rama free from the menace of flies;  hence he was mostly roaming inside Rama’s residence and being near Rama by fanning Him to ward off flies!

Thus by choosing such a mean job, Hanuman was blessed to be around Rama and enjoy his divine company most of the times!

(Amma satsang on 10/5/19)

2.  Fear of pride

Once there lived a farmer in a village. He was an extremely simple person, kind hearted and a man of virtues. He was loved and respected by other villagers. Pleased with his conduct, God appeared before him and said, “I am very happy about your behavior and I want to give you a boon; May I give you the a power by which if you touch a person with your hand, he will get cured of his diseases?”

The man said, “Oh, no. That will make me too proud and arrogant. I don’t want it”.

The God said, “Then I will make you a pundit so that you can teach others”. The man said, “No. It will make me a proud person who boasts about his knowledge. I don’t want it”.

The God said, “I will make you a Guru; you can be an example for others to emulate”.  The man refused it again and said “No. Others will start glorifying me and fall at my feet. I will get very proud if it happens”.

“Then choose what you want” said God. The farmer said, “Please bless me that wherever I am and whoever I meet, let goodness happen to others,  without my knowledge. Let people who get benefitted by my presence should not even know that it happened because of me”. God felt very pleased and he blessed him.

The man lived his life as usual. Wherever he went ane whomsoever he met good things happened around him. Neither he felt it nor anyone could sense that he radiated such a power.  But somehow people started calling him “shadow of compassion”.

[Amma: “However much a spiritual aspirant is advanced, he will have a seed of ego still existing deep inside him. Only he attains oneness with the Truth, that seed of ego will die. Till then it has the potential to sprout again. Every sadaka has to be very watchful to ensure that the ego does not sprout and grow to be a big tree”.]

(Amma Onam Satsang 11/09/19)

3.  The rounded stone

Once a man was on the lookout for a nice round stone for doing his puja.  He searched all around to locate such a stone. He climbed a large hill looking here and there for the type of round stone he was keen to get. Slowly he reached the top of the hill. No where could he locate a round stone; he got very frustrated.  He picked up a piece of rock and threw it down to vent out his frustration.

He climbed down the hill and reached its bottom. There, he suddenly noticed a nice piece of rock, neatly rounded and polished! He was sure that he did not notice that piece when he climbed up the hill earlier. He joyfully picked up the stone and took it along with him.

In fact it was the very piece of rock that he threw angrily from the top of the hill. That stone had fallen and rolled down again and again by hitting various rocks; in that process, it got all its sharp edges knocked off; repeated rolling and hitting caused abrasion on its surface making it smooth and round as it finally reached the foothill!

[Amma: “Children, had the stone remained at the top of the hill, it would never have had the chance to lose its sharp edges and become a stone worthy of puja. In the same way, only when we do our karma without attachment we attain humility. Our ego exists like the sharp edges of the stone; only when they are broken and smoothened, our mind will get the attitude of doing everything as God’s work without attachment. If we keep preserving our ego,  we can never get humility. Anything worthy is achievable in spirituality only through humility.”] 

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 1)

4.  Patience and forbearance

Once one of the stone slabs in the 18-steps of the Sabarimala temple was complaining: “I am a stone and the Lord Ayyappa’s idol in the sanctum sanctorum is also a stone. While people stamp over me with their feet and climb over, they worship the stone Ayyappa  there. Is it not unfair?”

Hearing this, Lord Ayyappa’s idol said, “You are just seeing people worshiping me now; but you don’t know my past when the sculptor hit me with his chisel lakhs of times so as to bring me to this shape. I patiently bore it and that’s why I have turned out to be an idol fit for worship by lakhs of people.”

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 1)

5.  Patient and pleasant Bus conductor

Once a person was travelling in a bus. He was very pleasantly surprised to see the behavior of the bus conductor. The conductor was  patient and had a smiling face. He behaved courteously with the travellers.  He stopped the bus at all bus stops and ensured that those who alight or get down do not face any inconvenience. He made sure that he gave back the correct change to those buying tickets.  His patience was not disturbed by large crowd nor by the unruly behavior of some of the passengers.

The person was highly impressed by the nature of the conductor. He inquired: “I have never seen such a conductor in any other bus. How is that you are so different? How do you keep your patience and speak with a smile despite the heavy crowd in the bus?”

The conductor smiled and said as follows:

“There is no big secret in it; My life taught this lesson.  Before I became a conductor, I was working in a factory.  I used to commute by bus. When I wait for the bus in my bus stop, many times it would go off without stopping. When it stops,  it will stop at a distance. When I run to catch it, it would start moving before I manage to get in. If I manage to get in with difficulty, the conductor won’t invariably pay the balance change when I buy the ticket. If I ask for it, he would flare up. Invariably I used to lose my patience and get worked up. But what to do? I had to travel by the same bus daily.  My frustrated anger will remain with me even when I reach my office. I will not smile at any of the coworkers nor will I move well with them. Because of it, I had no friends in the office;  I could not concentrate well on my work; because of this tension, I used to make mistakes in my job. It will lead to getting scolding from my boss.  I would carry all these and return home by evening…

“I would normally release all my pent up anger at home; I would shout at my wife and children unnecessarily. Hence there was no peace at home too. Thus I was getting isolated both at my home as well as at my office…

“One day, as I reached my bust stop, the bus had already started moving. As I ran to catch the bus, the conductor whistled and stopped the bus to enable me to get into the bus. There was a new conductor in the bus. There was no place to sit; the conductor allowed me to sit in his seat. As I was very tired, I dozed off there. The conductor did not wake me up till the bust stop at which I had to get down arrived. It was a totally new experience. The new conductor’s behavior was like getting cool water to drink for a person with a parched throat…

“With a joy that I had never felt before, I got down from the bus. I was a different, pleasant person when I reached my office. I smiled at my coworkers and they exchanged pleasantries with me. I did my  work with full concentration that day and my boss complimented me for the first time…

“In the evening I reached home with the same upbeat mood; I spoke pleasantly with my wife and joyfully with my children. They were so surprised to see my behavior and they showered their affection on me in return. I was very conscious of my different behavior and I could understand clearly that we get back only what we give to others. It became clear to me that it would not be possible for me to correct others’ faulty behavior but it is indeed within my capacity to change my own behavior for good. If I make a change in myself, it paves the way for triggering a change in others’ behavior towards me…

“Subsequently, I got the job of a conductor in this bus company. I immediately remembered that odd conductor who was behaving extremely patiently and nicely with the passengers. I decided to emulate him. I resolved to be patient pleasant and courteous to my passengers. I decided to do what little I could to foster friendship and brotherhood with others.”

[Amma: “Children, what we call as society evolves when all sorts of people live together in a community. The thoughts and actions of individuals give shape to the culture of the society. Instead of thinking “I will correct myself if everyone corrects himself”, we should strive to be good first ourselves. If our attitude changes, we will be able to see good all around the world”.]

(Source: Oliyi Nokki – Tamil – Part 2)

6.  The power of hatred

Once the king of Devas went to some far off place on some personal agenda.  He did not nominate anyone to rule his kingdom during his absence and the king’s throne was vacant for long.  Taking advantage of this a powerful Asura came into the kingdom and forcefully occupy the throne; he started ruling devas with an iron hand and there were no other powerful person who could thwart him in the kingdom.

The Devas were in deep trouble. The constantly cursed the new king and their hearts were full of hatred towards him; surprisingly, as the days passed on and the subjects’ hatred grew more and more, the new Asura King, who looked ugly earlier started becoming more and more handsome each day.  His power also grew more and more.  The devas were clueless as to how the new king was getting better looks and better power despite all the palpable negativity around him.

One fine day, the original Deva king was back at his palace.  He was immediately surrounded by the devas and all were vehemently complaining how an Asura managed to grab his throne and there were subjected to so much of hardship under his rule. All of them said they hated the new king from the depth of their hearts and they wanted the old king to overthrow the Asura and capture his throne back.

The old Deva king thought deeply about it.  Then he understood that the Asura king had indeed done a great penance and got a boon from God that whomsoever hates him and curses him would lose their good looks and energy and he would gain them from the haters. The old king understood that it was the secret of the Asura’ kings new handsome looks and ever growing power.

He went straight to the new king and prostrated at his feet and said, “Oh mighty king! I was the king of this country earlier. Now I totally understand how mighty you are and how you are the right person to rule this kingdom. Please take me as your servant. I will serve you sincerely with all my might and I pledge my love and loyalty to you”. Based on his gesture,  some of his astute followers too did the same and prostrated before the Asura king.

The asura king did not like this development. He thought it will be extremely dangerous to trust the old king and his henchmen. He shouted, ” No no! I don’t want any of you here. Go away immediately from here!”

But the old king was unperturbed. He again and again prostrated before the new king and kept on reassuring his outright surrender to him along with his love and loyalty.  Highly confused, the new king allowed the old king to stay.

As time passed, the new king started to look gradually less and less attractive. His power too started weakening. Taking the old king as an example, a lot more citizens curtailed their hatred towards the asura king.  Thus the new king, instead of gaining good looks and power from others, started losing his reserves.  He suspected that the new king is doing something secretly behind his backs. He started hating the old king more and more. He started hating all his subjects. Thus through his hatred, he kept on losing his good looks and powers.

In this process, he lost his self confidence to rule the kingdom.  The old king soon overthrew him and drove him out of the country. He reoccupied his throne and started ruling his country again.

[Amma: “Children, negative emotions like hatred drain our energy and we tend to lose our goodness gained through our spiritual practices through such negative emotions”.]

(Amma satsang on 29/4/20)

7.  Only God can help

After Mahabharata war,  Yudhishthira became the king.  Bheema, the powerful younger brother of Yudhishthira was held in very high esteem by the soldiers and the people alike on account of his physical power and prowess. As Bhima held the record of killing some of the most powerful people of his times like Bahasura, Keechaka, Duryodhana, Duschadana and Jarasandha, Bhima’s heart too swelled with pride. He started feeling that he was unassailable and his powers were unlimited.

Once Bhima was crossing a forest and was taking rest under a tree. At that time he noticed that there was a forest fire at the direction of East.  A pregnant deer was came running from the east which was obviously to escape from the raging forest fire. As the deer was planning to run further towards the west, it suddenly stopped. With its sharp instincts, it noticed that a hunter was sitting there with his bow and arrow, ready to shoot once the deer came close to him.

The deer turned direction and started moving towards south.  Unfortunately, a ferocious tiger was standing there behind a bush waiting to attack the deer. The deer noticed it and immediately back tracked. It moved towards the north and unfortunately there was a river there, flowing in full stream.

Bhima noticed that the deer was totally trapped and was at a loss to know how to survive. A deep sense of pity came to Bhima for the sake of the deer. He wanted to save the deer, but how?

The hunting the deer for his food was a basic need for the hunter as well as the tiger. He could not interfere in the ways of nature. He could not do anything to stop the river; he was totally powerless to put out the forest fire.  He could not take the deer to his custody too as it would get scared and run helter skelter if he tried to go near it.

At that moment, Bhima’s pride about his mighty power came to a naught. He felt humbled. He felt that only God could save the deer. He folded his hands closed his eyes and sincerely prayed to God to save the deer.

Very soon, dark clouds gathered at the sky and there was a severe thunder storm.  It started raining heavily with gusty winds.  The hunter dropped the idea of killing the deer and decided to run back to his hut in order to save himself from the rains.  The tiger too abandoned its plan to attack the deer and rushed back to the cave where it was residing.

The heavy rains quelled the forest fires completely.  The deer was now free to return to its forest from where it came.

(From Amma’s Vishu Satsang 14/4/2020)

8.  Bird in a ship

Once a Bird was sitting in the mast of a ship anchored in a port.  When the bird was resting and sleeping, the ship departed the port and moved in to the sea.

When the bird woke up, it was shocked to see only the sea all around and no land was in sight.  The bird got frightened. It wanted to return to the land. The bird left the ship and flew towards the east for a long time. It could not find any land. It returned to the ship and then started flying towards the west for a long time. Again there was no land at sight. Dejected, the bird flew back to the ship. After taking rest for a while, it flew towards south. Even after flying for long it could not locate and shore.  Then it flew towards north and got disappointed once again. The bird flew back to the ship.

It sat on the ship mast and rested. It dropped any more idea of flying in search of the shore.  It was resting and waiting peacefully. The ship journeyed further and within a couple of days, the ship returned to the port. Joyfully, the bird left the ship and flew to the land.

[Amma: “Human mind is like the bird in the story. The mind always goes behind desires and unfulfilled dreams. Once desire becomes ambition the mind loses all controls. Only compassionate and meditative mindset can  make the life smooth and meaningful. Never forget this truth when you are running all around with your desires.”]

9.  Borrowed stuff

Once a pundit went to a cobbler to stitch his footwear that got teared. The cobbler said “I will make it ready by tomorrow”. The pundit said, “Ensure that you will deliver it positively tomorrow”. The cobbler nodded. The pundit  left his footwear and returned home.

The next day, when the pundit went to the cobbler, the cobbler said, “The repair is still not over. Some stitches are still pending. I doubt whether I can complete it today. Please come tomorrow”.

The pundit got angry. “I have to go for a discourse this evening. Didn’t you promise to give my footwear mended by today itself?”

“Sorry sir, let us do one thing. I have got a pair of costly footwear with me. It is sparsely used. I will give it to you to meet your urgency. You can wear it for your today’s program” said the cobbler.

The pundit got worked up further when he heard this. He shouted: “What do you mean? Are you insulting me? Do you know who I am? Will I ever wear another person’s footwear?”

The cobbler smiled and said, “Sir, if you don’t get angry, may I tell you something? Are you not carrying the thoughts and ideas of so many other people on your head? When you make your living with that, what’s wrong in wearing the footwear used by another person?!”

[Amma: “Those who carry borrowed stuff from scriptures on their heads, do not necessarily get rid of desire, lust anger and such negative attitudes from their minds.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

10.  Valuing criticism

[Amma: “Children, most of us normally never like others criticizing us. Many people become very uneasy when hearing criticism; Some will feel bad; some will react vehemently; some will start doing counter attack. Everyone will start justifying himself. But these are not the right ways to face criticism. If we receive criticism with full awareness and evenness of mind, then the same criticisms will turn to be catalysts for our growth and excellence.”]

Once in a kingdom, there was a famous administrator in a province.  A news reporter started vehemently criticizing the Administrator and wrote articles in a secretly circulated yellow magazine. He  made serious accusations about the administrator and wrote lots of negative remarks about his activities.

When this came to the attention of the administrator, he engaged secret police to locate the person who was writing such negative criticism. The police located him and brought him in front of the administrator.

The administrator spoke to him: “I used to read your articles in that magazine regularly. I know how critically you analyse my a activities and motives and write so elaborately in detail.  I have noticed that you have identified even such of my own limitations and shortcomings that I have never bothered to cognize myself.  I wish if you could become my secretary,  it would be immensely helpful for me to correct my mistakes and improve my administration”.

The news reporter was shockingly surprised to hear these words. He immediately accepted the offer to join as a Secretary to the administrator.

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

11.  You can’t be equal!

Once a king went to a temple quite early in the morning for conducting his prayers. When he reached the temple there was no other devotee around.

 As there was no one around, he bowed in front of the deity and talked openly to God,” My Lord, I am just nobody in front of you; I am meaner than the dust at your feet…”

When the king uttered this and stopped, he heard someone else too praying loud.The king looked back and noticed that there was one more person, who was simply repeating the same words that the king uttered and doing his prayer. The king did not like it.

He asked in a loud voice, “Who is there repeating “I am just nobody”? Who on earth has the courage  to repeat what I said to God?”. The king wanted to know who the other person was. He got up and went near him and found a beggar there!

The king said to him in a commanding voice, “I am the king of this country and when I say, ‘I am nobody’, no one has the right to repeat it; especially so when you are a beggar”.

[Amma: “Children, many times if we think we are humble, it is just an imagination. Our humility itself is like a veil to cover our egoism and ignorance. Hence we have to be aware about it always”.]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

12. The way for acceptance

Once in ancient India, people belong to a particular kingdom were attacked by foreign invaders; the invaders were extremely cruel and they created unsurmountable hardship to common people.

Unable to bear the tyranny of the invaders, a large group of people ran away from their country and sought asylum in an adjacent country.  The king of the country received them in his court. He heard the woes of the people and their request for asylum in his country. He brought a silver vessel filled with milk to the brim and gave  it to the refugees and said, “This is an example of the status of our country. Now tell me how will I add more?”

The leader of the refugees took out a packet of sugar from his bag and added a spoonful of it to the milk. The sugar got dissolved in the milk and it did not cause any spillage of milk from the vessel. By this gesture the leader conveyed a message that the refugees will mingle with locals and add sweetness to others’ lives, without causing any disturbance or inconvenience to the natives.

The king was pleased by this gesture. He immediately ordered to give space for living and other essential facilities for the refugees to settle in his country.

[Amma: “We may have our own habits, cultures, beliefs and points of view, which are different from the local people when we are to life in a different state of our own country.  While maintaining our cultures and uniqueness, we must also have the awareness to live in unity with others with a national spirit. The culture of the nation as a whole forms the basis of this unity.”]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

13. Sustained effort

Once two laborers came to a wealthy man in search of work. The rich man engaged both of them to break huge rocks into pieces in his land. One of them was strongly built and the other was looking weak. Both of them went to the assigned site. While the weaker one started his work immediately, the stronger one rested for a while before beginning to work.

The employer suddenly visited the place to see how the work was progressing. He asked them to break the rock fast and he stood there, observing how they work.  As he watched, the strong one was hitting the rock with his sledge hammer again and again but the rock was not breaking. On the other hand, the weaker one broke the rock after a few hits with his sledge hammer.

The stronger one asked the other person with surprise, “How did you manage to break the rock so quickly right in front of the boss and caught his attention?”

The weaker one replied, “I had been hitting the rock many times earlier”.

[Amma: “Like this, we see some people finding their lives very hard while some others, it is easy. If it looks so, it is because of their karmas.  Whatever good fortunes we are enjoying today are due to the good acts we had done in the past.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)

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