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.
- “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 )