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Amma’s stories on the Power of Love – (3 stories)

1. The lonely child

[Amma: If there is some thing that can rid us of fear and give us the power to move forward overcoming all hurdles, it is love.]

Once there lived in a village a widowed milkmaid with her little daughter. She sold milk to the residents of a kingdom who lived inside a well guarded fort. The fort was on top of a small hill and her village was situated outside, at the foothills.

One evening, after she finished selling milk inside the fort, she got delayed. As she returned to the exit gate, she found the gates locked. She appealed to the guards to open the gates for her, saying, “I have left my little child alone in my hut. It is already late in the evening. If I don’t return before dark, my daughter would be gripped in fear and start crying; if something happens to my daughter, there is no point in my living any more; please take pity on me; please allow me to go out!”

But the guards were extremely rigid and they refused to open the gate for security reasons. They told her to stay somewhere inside for the night and leave once the gates open early at sun-rise.

Overwhelmed by disappointment and grief, the woman left the place and started frantically searching for some way or means to escape from the walls of the fort.

In the next day morning, the guards opened the gates. They were surprised to see the milkmaid waiting outside the gate with her milk cans to enter into the fort! They were taken aback. How on earth did she manage to sneak out of the walls of the well protected fort on the previous evening?

The took her to the king.Upon inquiry, the milkmaid explained her predicament and anguish on the previous evening. She told the king that after a thorough search, she found out a small crack on the wall of the fort through which she escaped. The king was curious to know where the weak spot was and he went along with the maid to see the location.

The king was extremely surprised to notice that it was almost impossible to notice the existence of such a small crack in the wall through which a person can escape with difficulty. It was indeed a very dangerous endeavor to climb the wall to that cracked area; further, on the other side, the slope of the hills were really treacherous and it was indeed a very dangerous task to descend the hills that way. It really looked to be a superhuman effort to accomplish it.

The king asked her, “Were you not gripped by fear to escape through this extremely dangerous path in darkness?”

The milkmaid replied, “There was only one thought in my mind last evening. I have got to got out somehow or other from here and reach my little daughter. I know how scared she would be if I were not to reach her before night. I totally forgot about the safety of my own life; there was no place for fear in my heart at that time”.

2.  Tuned mind

[Amma: “True love or relationship depends on the depth of inseparable sense of togetherness. Such a deep emotional bond happens in the mind and hence it cannot be measured. In proportion to that feeling of togetherness, it manifests in the outer physical plane too. People having such a deep love on each other will have resonating thoughts too. A husband will understand the wife thoughts even before she expresses them; so does the wife.”]

Once a husband was sitting in his room at his house deeply engrossed in some office work that he had brought home on a holiday. He was feeling tired and wanted to relax for a while. However the work was so urgent that he had to finish it off and hand over it to the office the next day.

He was fighting sleep and trying hard to concentrate. He thought, “If only I get a good cup of coffee”. He knew his wife was busy cooking at the kitchen. It was an odd time when he did not normally drink coffee. He did not want to disturb his wife.

As he resumed work, his wife appeared in his room with a hot cup of coffee in her hand! The husband was surprised! “How come you know that I longed for a cup of coffee?”. The wife said, “I just felt you needed a cup of coffee; that’s all!”

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

3. For her sake

One young man used to go by his motorbike to meet his lover regularly.  Driven by the urge to meet his beloved girl, the young man used to drive rashly, without bothering to obey traffic rules. Even if he sees Red light at traffic signals, he would just ignore it drive ahead without stopping. Many times he met with small accidents on account of his rash driving.  But he never bothered about them.

One day, he was driving his bike with one of his friends sitting at the pillion. His friend knew about the man’s rash driving habits. On that day, the young man stopped his bike at one of the traffic junctions when he noticed red signal. He took out his girl friend’s photo from his pocket and looked at it lovingly while waiting for the signal to turn green.

His friend was really surprised. ! “Hey! What happened to you? I have never seen you stopping your bike at signals?”

The young man replied, “All these days, due to my excitement to meet her, I drove fast, ignoring signals. I never bothered about traffic rules or other vehicles. The only thought that occupied my mind was to meet her as fast as possible. But of late I have started thinking: ‘If, because of my rash driving, I were to meet with an accident, will it not throw her into grief?’. Now, with such a thought arising in me, I have started to drive responsibly, obeying traffic rules!”

[Amma: “Like this, if we are driven only by our selfish likes and dislikes, we feel rules and regulations are unnecessary. But when we take into consideration others’ interests and concerns, we get awareness and patience; then we understand the need to follow rules and regulations.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

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)

Amma’s stories on nature of the human mind – Part 1 (20 stories)

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)

[To continue reading  little stories of Amma under the same topic, you can proceed to:  Amma’s stories on the nature of human mind – Part 2 ]

 

Amma’s stories on Unselfishness, Compassion & Sacrifice – Part 3 ( 15 more stories )

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: “Discipling 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.”]

 

 

Amma’s stories on Discrimination and dispassion – Part 2 (16 stories)

1.  Nothing can come with you

A great emperor who lived in yesteryears wanted to conquer the entire world. With a huge army, he attacked one country after another, won the wars and brought the countries under his rule. He raided the wealths of those countries and took the loot to his country.  He heavily taxed the people of the countries that were brought under his control. Just as he possessed mighty power, he also possessed utter selfishness and totally uncouth, tyrannical mindset.

On account of his greedy wars, he became the richest emperor in the whole world.  But death does not allow anybody to be a permanent victor always.  His last days neared.

He thought, “I have done countless evil acts goaded by a single thought of becoming the emperor of this world and possessor of all the wealth on earth. Now death is nearing me. I cannot take with me even a single item from whatever wealth I have earned hard across this entire life. I, who wanted to make the entire world dance to my tunes, now have to go all alone, leaving everything behind…”

He took a resolution.

He called his ministers and said, “After my death, when you put my body in the coffin and take it out on a procession, make sure to make two holes in the coffin and make my empty hands protrude outside through them. It will teach a lesson to the people that even their most powerful and wealthy emperor cannot take anything with him once he dies”.

[Amma: Children, this is the reality of the world. Whoever you are, whatever you possess, death will rob everything from you. Knowing this, surrender to God”.]

(From Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

2.   Priceless than diamond?

[Amma: “Spiritual knowledge is real wealth. When this inner wealth is obtained, exterior wealth becomes meaningless. Spirituality thus helps to renounce outer wealth. By such renunciation, one becomes richer than the richest of all the wealthy people of the world”.]

Once a devotee of Lord Shiva was suffering from unbearable poverty. One night, Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and said, “Go to the outskirt of your village where a you will meet a Sanyasi. He is in possession of an extremely costly diamond. Ask for it and he will give it to you. It will make you the richest person”.

The poor man woke up immediately and he could not sleep afterward. He was very excited about the fortune he was to receive the next day. He waited eagerly for the dawn.

He rushed to the outskirt of the village after dawn. There a Sanyasi came and he was about to spread his seat under a tree. THe poor villager ran to him and said, “Swami, I heard you have a piece of diamond with you. Please gift it to me?”

Sanyasi looked up at him and said, “Oh! That piece of diamond stone?” He searched inside his bag and gave a large piece of diamond to him nonchalantly.

The villager collected the diamond piece and looked at it this way and that way. It was quite huge; he could not believe  his eyes. It looked as if it could even be the largest piece of diamond ever found on earth. Dazed with surprise and excitement he came back to his, even forgetting to thank the Sanyasi who gave him the stone!

His mind started floating in numerous dreams of desire. He could not sleep peacefully the whole night. He tossed and turned in his bed, disturbed mentally.

Next day, immediately after dawn he rushed to the outskirt of the village where he had met the Sanyasi the previous day. He woke up the sanyasi who was sleeping and said, “Swami, if you could simply give such a priceless stone of diamond to me without any hesitation, it means you are in possession of something far more priceless kept in your heart. Please give THAT to me!”

(From Arul Mozhigal-5 Tamil)

3.   Do it before mind changes

[Amma: “Children, Human mind is fickle; it always tend to be lowly.  Here is a story from Mahabharat to show this”.]

Once Karna, known to be very compassionate to poor and forthcoming in giving donations generously, was applying oil to his head before taking bath. In his left hand, he was holding oil in a beautiful golden cup studded with costly gem stones  and taking oil from it into his right hand, he was applying it to his head.

At that time, Lord Krishna came to see him. He wanted to test Karna’s mindset in donating things. He asked Karna to give him the golden cup containing the oil. Karna was surprised. He said, My lord, I am really surprised why you want such a lowly thing from me! Anyway, who am I to judge your motives? Please take it right now”. Saying so , he extended his left hand with the cup.

Giving something to others with the left hand is considered very inauspicious. Hence Krishna said in a stern voice, “Karna, don’t you know that you should not give away things with left hand?”

Karna said, “Kindly bear with me for this act of mine, Lord!  Do you know why I did so? My right hand is oily. If I have to use it, I have to first get up, wash it and then give you the cup. Who can ever rely on the fickleness of mind? By the time I wash my hand, my very resolution to give the cup as a gift to you might change! That’s why I opted to give it to you immediately without any delay so that my mind does not change”.

(From Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

4.   Fire in the factory

[Amma: “Neither the mind nor the past happenings are the problems. It is our association with the mind or the past that creates problem. That is, the illogical attachment to “me and mine” is the problem. If you can get freed from this attachment and accept everything as a witness, our entire outlook about the world changes.”]

Once there was a massive fire in a factory. The owner of the factory, upon knowing about the accident, became mad with grief; he cried, “Oh! I have lost everything. All my hard labor through all these years to bring up this factory have become a naught; My life is in ruins…”. He kept blabbering and crying like this.

At that time, his close friend came to him and said, “Why are you crying unnecessarily? Your son has sold this factory yesterday. It is no longer yours!”. The factory was still burning, but the fire in the owner’s heart got extinguished instantly! He wiped off his tears and breathed peacefully.

A that time, his son came running and shouted, “Father! Why are you sitting here? The factory is burning there and you are doing nothing about it? What is wrong with you?”

The father asked, “My son, why bother? Haven’t you sold the factory yesterday itself?”

The son said, “No father, the deal was almost through, but before we signed the papers, there was a last minute hurdle and the buyer backed off”.

Hearing this, the owner started crying again!

[Amma: “The cause of the owners grief is not really the burning of the factory, but his attachment to the factory. His reactions were totally different based on his sense of ownership to the factory. So, if one gets rid of attachment, there is no grief.”]

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

5.  Bondage is only in imagination

A cowherd used to take the cows for grazing early in the morning. He will bring back the cows to the cow shed in the evening and tie them to their posts.

On one evening the rope for tying one of the cows was missing. If he left the cow without tying, it may roam around and get lost. It was already dark and he could not get any rope in nearby localities. The cowshed belonged to an Ashram and he met the Sadhu who was heading the ashram to seek his counsel.

The Sadhu said, “Don’t worry! You just go through the actions of tying the cow to the pole. The cow will not move afterward”.

The boy did the actions as told by the sadhu and went to his home. He came back early morning the next day and the cow was very much there at its place! He untied all the cows and released them. Since this cow had not been really tied, he pulled the cow to get up from its place  to join the herd. But the cow would not move! The boy started wondering what was wrong.

The sadhu came to his rescue again. He said, “This cow thinks she has been tied and  expects you to untie  her from the post! Now do the action of untying it and she will start coming with you”. The boy did so and the cow got up and came along with him!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

6.  Guru’s note on wisdom

Once there lived a Sadguru who had thousands of followers across the world. He was worshiped by so many people. His purity, guilelessness, and pinnacle of wisdom were matters of great admiration to people. Through his teachings and activities he set right the course of lives of numerous people.

People were curious to know the source of his wisdom and purity. How did he acquire his spiritual greatness? Whomsoever asked this question, he would say “After I leave my body, you will receive a book of my teaching as my spiritual property. You will get answer to this question there”.

One day he attained samadhi. After his last rites were over, his disciples started searching for the book of his teachings. When they located it, they were surprised to notice that it contained just a single sheet of paper. In it, it was written, “My children, know the difference between the container and its content. Once you know it, you too will attain the wisdom that I attained and the darkness of ignorance will get dispelled”.

[Amma: “Children, What the sage said as ‘container’ is the human body and the content is Atman. Atman is different from the body. Milk is different from its container. The container is not the milk. Knowing this truth, our life will be freed of all unwanted fears”.]

(From Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

7.  Renunciation – not easy

[Amma: “When a true spiritual seeker gives up his family. he is doing that for the common good. Only if one is free from all kinds of attachments including family cannot love or serve the world selflessly. Family members will not die because renunciates have abandoned them for the sake of God; they will live on”.]

Rama Tirtha was in the grip of extreme dispassion and he took a decision to leave his hearth and home. However his wife said, “I am also coming with you”.

At that time, he said, “Alright, I will take you with me provided you fulfill three conditions”.

“What are they?” asked his wife.

“First of all, you should consider your husband as dead” he said.

“Agreed” said his wife.

“Secondly, take all your children to the marketplace and openly declare that these children are God’s and not yours”.

His wife could not agree to this condition.

He said, “Then how can I take you?” and left. He did not even have to state his third condition.

[Amma: “However much they may try, mothers cannot develop such an attitude of detachment with their children”.]

(From Awaken Children-2)

8. Counting stones?

[Amma: “What is that we can claim our own? What we believe to be our own today may not be owned by us tomorrow. All belong to God only. If at all we can claim something as our own, it is our desires and anger! Relatives, money, name, fame — none of these can give us peace of mind. Only when we realize this,  true detachment would come to us”.]

Once there lived a very rich man who had a servant to assist him.

One day a couple of friends of the rich man came to meet him. They inquired the servant, “Is your master available? Can we meet him?”

The servant went inside and saw what his master was doing. He came out and said to the visitors, “My master is busy counting stones”. The friends were surprised; they wondered whether such a rich person would be engaged in counting stones.

After a while, the rich man came out to meet the friends. They inquired, “Your servant said you were counting stones; is that true?”

The rich man felt offended. He started wondering whether his servant was a fool to notice him counting money  but reporting that he was counting stones. “If you were hurt by such crude talk from my servant, please excuse me” said the rich man. After the friends departed, he called his servant and chided him for his foolish talk.

A few days passed. Another friend came one day to meet the rich man. He asked the servant, “Can I meet your master now?” The servant went inside, came back and said, “My master is engaged now in loving his enemies”. On that day too, the rich man was actually counting his money and was safely keeping it locked in cupboard. Coming to know of the servant’s remarks, he felt very angry. He beat the servant black and blue and ordered him to vacate the place immediately. As the servant was moving out he called him, gave him a doll and said, “If you find a person more foolish than you, give this doll to him”. The servant did not utter a word and he went away, taking the doll.

Several months passed.

One night, robbers came to his house and attacked him. They swindled all his money and other valuable possession from him. When he tried to resist them, they threw him down from the first floor and escaped with the booty.

When the relatives came the next day, the saw him lying on the floor, unable to move his limbs. He could not even get up. He was given different medical treatments but he could not recover. Huge amount of money was spent on his treatments and his properties were lost in the process. His wife and children deserted him. He remained in bed, bearing all the pain and suffering, without food and care. If some neighbors took pity on him and brought food, he would eat it. There was no one to take care of him.

The old servant came to know of the pitiable status of his previous master. One day he came to see him. He brought the doll too with him. The moment he saw the master, he handed over the doll to him. The rich man understood immediately. But he nevertheless felt humiliated. In a pitiable voice, he said, “Are you adding fuel to the fire?”

The servant said, “I hope you are now in a fit condition to understand my old statements; aren’t you? You madly went behind money and hoarded them. Did you get even something worth a stone from your money? Is it not true that your wealth that you loved so much  indeed turned to be your enemy? Is it not your wealth that has brought you to this pitiable state? Is it not because of it you have now lost everything? Who else could be a more foolish than you who has lost everything on account of money? All the people who expressed love to you all along actually loved only your money! One the money is gone, you were only like a corpse to them! Today all of them hate you and have discarded you. At least from now onward grasp the fact that God alone is your permanent relative and seek Him”.

Even though the servant spoke such blunt words, he however he stayed with the master and lovingly served him. The rich man felt extremely bad about himself. He lamented: “I don’t know where I will go; I don’t know why I lived all along. I was imagining that wife, children and wealth are permanent and lived for them. But they have all ditched me. I have never thought of God even for a minute all these years. Those who had called me “lord” and bowed to me earlier don’t even turn towards my direction nowadays; they hate and discard me…”

The servant consoled the master saying, “Don’t lament any longer that there is none to take care of you. God is always there”. He continued to stay with the master and served him.

(Source: Upadesamritam-1 Tamil)

9.  Real Sacrifice

Once a king went to meet a sanyasi.  The king prostrated humbly before the sanyasi.

The sanyasi asked, “Why are you giving me so much respect?”

The king said, “Weren’t you a king before becoming a sanyasi? You have relinquished your country and all the comforts of a king’s life and took up sanyas. For such a grand sacrifice, I bow before you”.

The sanyasi said, “But you are a greater renunciate than me”.

The king was surprised. “Me? A greater renunciate? How?”

The sanyasi smile and said, “Suppose a person owns a huge palace. If the palace is cleaned and all the unwanted rubbish are thrown away, will it be considered a sacrifice?”

“No. It can never be said so”.

“Suppose, on the other hand, if the person starts safeguarding all the dust and rubbish, but relinquishes the palace, what will you call it?”

“He must be called a great thyagi (one who relinquished)”

The sanyasi said, “It it were true, then you are such a thyagi; you have sacrificed the bliss of the knowledge of Self which is greater than the country and the palace; buy you enjoy the pleasures of kingdom just like the person who keeps rubbish with them and find enjoyment in it”.

The sanyasi was not mocking at the king. What he was trying to communicate was that all the material pleasures of the world are not really worthy and they would vanish any time.

[Amma:Once we grasp that material pleasures are unworthy, it becomes easier to relinquish them. If we make use of viveka (discrimination) properly, we won’t find it difficult to understand what to relinquish at what point of time in life.  This is the straight path to taste success in life.“]

(Source: Tamil Matruvani July 2019)

10.  Always happy?

Once a kingdom was being ruled by a great king who was morally very upright and ruled his subjects with fatherly love and care. He was always working for his people’s welfare. Because of his stellar qualities, the people of his country too loved him dearly; they considered him as if he was God in human form.

The kings of adjacent countries became very envious of him. All of them joined together and they explored ways and means to defeat the king and occupy his nation. They somehow made a connection with the minister of the king and corrupted him through money and wealth.  Through the evil designs of the minister, they got the secrets of the countries defence. Through vicious planning, they attacked the country one day and through a coup, they seized the king and put him behind the bars.

They did not offer any special facilities for the arrested king. He was put among the other criminals already in the jail.

However, the king was least perturbed by all these happenings. He lead a life of joy with no care or worry whatsoever in the jail.

Watching his carefree behavior inside the jail, the enemy kings felt very disappointed. They were also surprised how a defeated king, devoid of any royal power, could lead a happy life inside the jail. They came to meet him one day and asked him how such a behavior was possible for him.

The king said, “You people can defeat me, put me in jail and deny me any comfort; you can do only that much. But it is totally within my freedom either to be sad or be happy. I possess that wisdom which can make all my worries to nothingness. I know who I am. I know the nature of the world. With that knowledge, I keep my mind totally under my control. You can never conquer me in that aspect!”

[Amma:What we have to seek first is the knowledge about our own true Self and the nature of the outer world. If this knowledge is obtained, we can face any calamity in life and live unperturbed “.]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam- Vol 1)

11.  Discrimination must come at right time

[Amma:There is a limit and a measure for everything. Our life should be in tune with it. Everything has an inherent nature and we should understand it and live accordingly. God has given us not only the five sense organs but also the capacity of discrimination. If we do not discriminate but run behind satisfying the sense organs madly, we will never get true happiness and peace; we will end up only in misery“.]

A man once went on a pilgrimage to distant holy places.

As part of his travels, he went to a new country for the first time which was quite unfamiliar to him. He neither knew the language nor the culture and food habits of that country.  As he roamed in one of the market places, he saw for the first time, a shop selling a red coloured fruits which was not familiar to him. Lots of people were seen buying it along with other provisions in the shop.

The man thought that it must be a nice and sweet fruit unique to that country which many people seem to enjoy. He too bought those reddish fruits and continued with his sightseeing. After wandering for a few hours, he felt tired and took rest under a tree. He opened the packet of fruit, took one and bit it at its tip.

It was very hot and spicy and not sweet at all. With doubt, he bit the middle portion too and it remained hot.  He thought “Perhaps this particular piece is spoiled; let me try another one”. He took out another fruit and bit it. There was no change. It tasted hot only. Frustrated, he took out the remaining fruits one after another and continued to taste them hoping that at least one of them will taste sweet, but he was disappointed. His tongue was burning unbearably and he ended up shedding copious tears.

Poor fellow! He never knew that that it was chilli and not any sweet-tasting fruit.  After biting one or two, he should have realized that it was not a fruit at all.  But having got attracted by its attractive red color that looked like a real sweet fruit, the man could not get rid of his delusion and an idiotic hope that at least one in the pack would taste sweet; it was due to his total lack of discrimination that he ended up biting every piece in the pack only to get his tongue burned and end up in unbearable suffering.

(From Oliyai Nokki -Tamil Vol 1)

12.  The miser

Once there lived a rich man who, despite possessing plentiful wealth, had no peace of mind. He came to know that if he could reach heaven after death, he could really enjoy a very peaceful and joyful life. He asked many people to know the ways and means to reach heaven.  Finally he went to a sanyasi for consultation.

The sanyasi said, “If you liberally donate money, you can reach heaven. When you donate, you should not differentiate receivers on the basis of caste, religion or creed. You should not count your money and give, but donate in plenty.”

The rich man agreed. He set out for buying lots of cows for donating to others. Being a very stingy person by nature, he was hesitant to buy good, milk-yielding cows which were usually costly. Instead he bought old cows which had stopped giving milk.

He converted some money into 5 paise and 10 paise coins. His idea was that if we donate in coins, they would look very sizable, but would not cause him too much expenditure. Since he was instructed not to count money and donate, he could now give away bundles of coins without counting!

He announced a date for disbursing his donations. Many beggars swarmed his house on the day of donation. The sanyasi came to know of the intent of the rich man. He felt bad that the rich man would only end up in hell instead of heaven if he donated that way. So, in order to teach a lesson to him, he too went there in the guise of a poor beggar and joined the others in the crowd.

When his turn came, he too received a bundle of coins and an old, skinny cow as gift. The sanyasi immediately took out a golden bowl from his bag and gave it to the rich man. The rich man was astounded to receive the golden bowl; he knew that the worth of the bowl was several times more than what he had donated. he felt very happy that his act of goodwill had brought him an instant reward. As he stood stupefied,  the sanyasi said to him, “As I am giving this golden bowl to you, I have a small request. I want you to return this to me when you come to heaven”.

The rich man was surprised to hear this request. He thought, ‘What a strange request! How can I ever give this back when I reach heaven? Reaching heaven is possible only after death and I know pretty well that I cannot carry anything with me after my death!’  This thought rose up again and again in his mind — ‘Nothing can be carried with me after death’.

Then the truth suddenly dawned in him. ‘When nothing from my possessions could be taken with me once I die, why should I be so stingy in donating money to these poor people? Oh! What a sinner I am to donate these old cows and bundles of coins which are of no value to the receivers!’

He fell at the feet of the sanyasi and begged pardon for his sinful behavior. He took an instant resolution to donate all his money for the welfare of the poor. He felt immense sense of happiness once he took the decision.

[Amma:Children, most of us are like this rich man when it comes to give any donation to others. We should contemplate on this. However rich one may be, not a single paisa can be taken along with us when we die. Such being the truth, why should we be miserly? We must extend help to others to the extent possible. That is the real sign of wealth. It is the way to mental peace and satisfaction”.]

(From Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 2)

12.  Self restraint

Once  a man went to meet his friend at his house.

The friend’s wife opened the door and being familiar with each other, she welcomed him in. She told him that her husband had gone out on some work and was expected to return any time. She asked him to wait and went to the bathroom to take bath.

When she returned from bathroom, she was somewhat scantily dressed. Upon looking at her, the man’s mind got very disturbed.  Amorous thoughts welled up in his mind and he felt a deep urge to go and hug her.

At the same time, his discriminating mind voice warned him: “This woman is the wife of your close friend. If you get tempted and do any mistake, it would be an act of betrayal done to a friend. If he comes to know of it, then the two families will face emotional wreck. Control your mind, however difficult it may be”.

Thus wisdom awakened in the man and he regained his composure.

(From Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

13. Misguided self-rightism

Once a traveller went inside a Devi temple. Adjacent to the temple courtyard, there was a tree. Standing under the shade of the tree, the traveller started smoking  cigarette.

Noticing it, the temple priest came to him and said, “This is a holy place; please don’t smoke here”.

Hearing this, the traveller felt offended. In an angry voice, he said, “Look, I am not under the command of anybody. I am the boss for myself. I won’t allow anybody to control me or give directions to me. I know what to do and what not to do very well. Whatever fire that is burning in the wick lamp adjacent to Devi inside the sanctum sanctorum and the fire at the tip of my cigarette are one and the same. I see Devi in both of them.  In such a state, what is wrong in smoking a cigarette?”

Listening to his lecture, the pujari replied:

“If you are so evolved to see Devi in everything, then there won’t be any need for you to find joy in smoking! Right now you are addicted to cigarette. Our scriptures say that there is no joy inherent in any object and you have not been able to grasp the truth of it so far. The true bliss resides inside us.  There is another thing. A person who is so evolved to see God in everything, will not be smoking inside a temple like this. Such an evolved person will always, in all his actions will lead a life which will be an example for others to emulate.  Whatever he speaks or does will be such that others can learn from him what is right and good.  What you are doing right now is to twist  and distort spiritual principles in order to justify your own faults and weaknesses. First of all, we must strive to identify and accept our own faults and shortcomings and then overcome them successfully through discrimination. Only then you are fit ti claim ‘I am my own boss’.”

(From Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

14.  Significance is gone

Once a Guru was giving a lecture to his disciples. During the discourse, he narrated a funny story and everyone laughed loud hearing it.  After a minute, the guru repeated the funny story again. This time only a few laughed.  After a while the guru repeated the same story all over again. This time no one laughed.

Smilingly, the guru said, “When we hear the same joke again and again, we don’t laugh. It means, it has lost its significance. It has no more value. If this is a fact of life, consider this: most of us keep thinking about a mistake we did in the past again and again and keep on feeling bad about it. What value does it serve?”

[Amma:Children, instead of  repeatedly brooding over our past mistakes and failures in life and feeling depressed over them, we must be able to open a new chapter in our life.”]

(From Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

15.  What did he gain?

Once a young prince was taken around his country for sightseeing. One of the places he was advised to visit was a hill considered holy for the royal family. When the prince visited the hill, the minister who accompanied the prince explained to him a belief about the holy hill.  The belief was that it was accessible only to the souls of great emperors who conquered and ruled many countries. Upon their death, the souls of a great emperors can ascend to the hill’s top and were given the privilege of establishing their country’s flag at the summit of the hill. It was considered a very rare privilege and it was to be the dream of every king to aspire for such a honor.

The young prince was very impressed. He felt a deep urge in him that he too should become a great emperor and acquire the privilege of establishing his country’s flag at the hill’s summit.

As the prince grew up and he became the king of the country, he was fully gripped with a desire to be a great emperor. He spent his time and resources in  building a huge and powerful army. He started attacking his neighboring countries and won one after another in gory wars.  His army went about mercilessly killing enemy kings and soldiers. The countries won by him came under his rule. He ruled the countries he had captured with an iron hand; people were subjected to lots of hardship; his army looted people’s wealth and possessions. His army marched ahead further and further to conquer many other nations. His very name became synonymous with terror and violence in the continent.

After virtually spending his entire life this way, the emperor passed away.  His soul drifted towards the holy hill. It was carrying his country’s flag. The spirits guarding the hill welcomed him royally and permitted him to climb up the hill. As he reached the hilltop, he saw a huge gate, guarded by an old spirit.  After verifying his antecedents and the details of the countries he had conquered, the old spirit opened the gate and permitted him to go inside.

The emperor was dumbfounded by what he saw there! The entire area of the summit was full of flags of so many countries and there was not even an inch of space for him to establish his flag. He asked the old spirit what to do. The spirit said, “I have been guarding this gate from time immemorial. I have seen thousands of emperors from across every nook and corner of the world coming here to plant their nation’s flag in memory of their conquering many other countries! You are not the first person to find no space here either! If you want to establish your flag here, simply remove any one of the existing flags, throw it away and plant your flag post there. That’s what all the others did!”

The emperor’s soul sank with disappointment.  What a fool he was in wasting his entire life in waging wars on other countries, just for the dubious merit of planting his flag here, where countless other emperors had already done the same thing across thousands of years! He thought of the gory acts of violence he had done; the extent of pain and suffering he imposed on the people he ruled. He felt extremely ashamed of his life. He was now gripped with the fear of what sort of hell now awaited him.

(From Amma’s 67th birth day satsang 27/9/2020)

16.  Remaining thankful

Once two beggars were walking on an isolated path. Suddenly they noticed two shining coins lying in the path.  Each of them picked up a coin and checked it. “Ah! this is a gold coin! Thank god. If we sell it, we can lead a happy life hereafter” said one of them.

The other one inspected the coin and said, “This is a very ancient gold coin. It bears the seal of a king who ruled our land some 2000 years ago. This is indeed a very precious and rare coin and it is very rare indeed. It is not something to be sold. It must be given to the king for safely preserving it as this coin represents our long tradition and rich cultural heritage”.

“If it is so valuable, so much good. Then we will sell it to a treasure collector and get lot more money” said the first beggar.

“No. I won’t like to sell it. It should rightly belong to the king” said the second beggar.

“If you want to be a fool, so be it. You do whatever you want with your coin. Let me go on my way. I will find a rich person to buy it” so saying the first beggar parted ways.

The second  beggar proceeded to the king’s palace. He was stopped by the guard. “I want to meet the king and offer him something very valuable”. The guard laughed at him and said, “You look like a beggar. What can you offer to the king? No one can meet the king just like that. We cannot permit you inside”.

The beggar said, “I have a rare gold coin which belongs to a period of a couple of thousand years of our kingdom. I thought it is very precious and it should be kept safely in the king’s treasury. I don’t have to meet the king. It is enough if you safely hand it over to the king”. He gave the coin to the guard and started walking away.

The guard was very surprised to see the coin. He thought if he handed it over to the king, the king may give him some reward. So, he went inside, met the king and gave it to him.

The king was very surprised to see the coin. He knew it originally belonged to his treasury and it was stolen by someone some time ago. “From where did you get this?” asked the king. The guard told the king about the beggar who brought it. The king said, “Go and bring him here immediately!”

The guard rushed out. The beggar was not there. He went around in search of the beggar and soon located him at a distance. He brought him to the king.

“Where did you get this coin? Why did you bring it to me?”

The beggar explained. The king asked, “Are you not expecting any reward from me?”

“No your majesty! I know this coin is precious and it is worth preserving in the treasury as a mark of respect to our long cultural tradition. That’s why I brought it here to give it to you. I had no other motive” said the beggar.

The king was extremely moved. He was totally awestruck seeing the honesty and the patriotism of the poor beggar.

The king immediately appointed him as the Minister in charge for his treasury and ordered necessary facilities to be provided to him for his stay and other comforts. The other ministers did not like the king’s decision. They did not like a beggar being given such a responsible and prestigious post. They became envious of him.

A few days passed. Some ministers joined together and met the king with a complaint. They said, “Your majesty, we suspect the former beggar who is the present minister of treasury to be indulging in stealing. We notice that every day he is bringing a briefcase with him while getting into the treasury and leaving with it in the evening. He is surely taking some valuables daily in his briefcase”.

The king did not believe them immediately. He wanted to personally verify. The next day, he hid himself at a nook near the treasury. He too noticed that the new minister was indeed bringing a briefcase with him and then leaving with it in the evening. The king felt very disturbed. Should he arrest him based on suspicion? Should he hang him if he was indeed smuggling valuables? Should he engage his guards to stop him and thoroughly check the briefcase? That will be too insulting to the minister if it did not contain any valuables. What to do? The king could not sleep well that night.

Next day, he decided to watch the minister once again stealthily. The king hid himself inside the treasury in the morning. The minister entered there with his briefcase. He stood in front of a mirror and removed his ministerial dress. He opened the briefcase and what he took out from there was his old ragged and torn cloth and his begging bowl. He wore the old clothes, held the begging bowl in his hand and spoke to his own image in the mirror.

“Oh my Atman! Look at yourself. This is how you were before you got the fortune of becoming the minister of the treasury.  Be ever thankful to God for having blessed a poor beggar like you to hold such a prestigious post. Never get tempted to the riches in this treasury.  If you lose your honesty, you will lose everything. When you came to the world, you brought nothing; when you die and leave the world, you cannot take anything with you. So be thankful to God always for all the goodness he has endowed to you.”

The king watched all these from his hiding place. He was extremely moved. He came running towards the minister and embraced him.  With eyes shedding tears, he said, “I am so proud of you, my minister! Please forgive your king. The other ministers who were envious of you came and complained to me that you are stealing valuables from the treasury and taking them our in your briefcase. Initially I too felt disturbed and suspicious. I even thought of jailing you and also executing you if you were really stealing valuables.  Now I really understood what a gem of a person you are! I am getting old and I have no son to rule this country. I have decided to appoint you as the next king of this country!”

The minister bowed to the king with all humility.

Soon a guard came and informed the king that a couple of persons have been arrested when they found valuable gold and other objects that belonged to the treasury in their possession. They were brought to the court. The beggar who had retained the other gold coin was also one of the persons arrested. Upon inquiry, the king came to know that some of the ministers who were jealous of the new minister were indeed behind the theft.

(From Amma’s satsang 10/10/2020)

 

 

Amma’s stories on Nature of the World / People – Part 5 (15 more stories)

1.  Being in the present

[Amma: “Only the present is in our hands. We have no control on what is going to happen in future. The past is like a cancelled cheque. What is important is the present and we should think good thoughts and do good deeds in the present. That’s why, training the mind to be in the present is always recommended as a good spiritual practice.

“Children, don’t think that it is not possible to remain in the present at all times, without drifting to thoughts of the past or the future. Everyone has the potential for it. Listen to the following story carefully:”] 

Once the only child of a couple became extremely sick. The child’s life was in grave danger. The doctor injected a medicine to the child and said, “This is my last ditch effort. I can’t say for sure whether the medicine will work or not. Recovery of your child rests only with the grace of God. Please pray to God. It is only by His will that the child caan recover.”

The parents were not rery theistic so far in their lives. But, in the present critical juncture, they decided to do what the doctor said. Why? Simply because they had no other alternative.

Both of them praying feverishly to God to save their child, Their entire mind was occupied in the present — to see their only child alive — that was their only wish now.

As husband and wife, the couple had so many fights in the past; they were not seeing eye to eye on many matters. Forgetting all their past bickerings, they now prayed together with mutual love for saving their child;  they had no thought of what would happen the next day.

They look at the child; touch and caress his face and body;  they watch weather the child is breathing normally; they eagerly look forward for some movement in the child’s body; they look at his eyes eagerly to see whether they would open and look at them. When they see no progress, they pray more feverishly.

Their relatives come to see them. The couple might have had some bitter experiences with some of them in the past. Yet, at this critical situation, they speak to them politely without any hatred. It is because they are in the present — gripped with their only desire of seeing the child alive, they are able to behave nicely with them. They sincerely think that they need God’s grace as well as the blessings and good will of the visitors too. They tell them, “Please pray for saving our child.”

Thus, despite what the past was and future could be, the couple live in the present and it has made them polite and loving people. Presently they are freed from hatred and bitterness.

It is likely that the couple would behave so till the child is either saved or dead. Afterwards all their past old habits and idiosyncrasies might return. Yet, as long as they are in the present, their condition is sober and amenable.

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

2.  Be happy with what you have

[Amma: “Children, be contented with what you have. Never aspire for what others have. Don’t desire for what you don’t have. Don’t think that you will be happier if you live your life like someone else. Don’t think your sorrow is more painful than others. Everyone has his/her share of pain and sorrows in life. None can share the burden of others or exchange with others.”]

Long ago, people living in a land were very unhappy about the state of their lives. No one was happy. Everybody thought that the next person was better off then him/her. By constantly thinking like this, they felt very agitated and furlorn. They could no longer bear their sorrows and burdens.

They got together to pray and cry to God to save them from their miserable lives. Moved by the intensity of their prayers, God appeared before them. He asked them to gather together in a meadow.

I have come after hearing your prayers. Now all of you unload your pains, sorrows, sickness, mental disturbances, physical handicaps etc in bundles in this meadow. People happily unloaded their every problem and pains. Soom the meadow got filled up and grew to be a mountain!

God said, “Now, in lieu of what  you have unburdened, each of you can pick up the bundle unloaded by someone else that you may feel as more bearable to you.”

The people vied with each other to take the burden of someone else that they thought to be ‘less heavy’ than theirs.  The beggar took up the problems and pains of a rich person. A barren woman took up the problems of a woman who had problems due to multiple children. Thus took up alternative problems and they appeared to be happy. God disappeared from the scene.

People too returned to their homes. From the very next day, people started crying and complaining once again! This time, their their prayers and crying appeared 100 times more powerful than the previous occasion!

God appeared before them and asked them to gather at the meadow once again. They all cried to God saying that they could not handle their new worries and sorrows. They unanimously felt that their previous problems were far more tolerable than the present ones and they wanted their old worries to be given back!

The God permitted them to do so and disappeared.

The people seemed to be relieved and went back to their homes. Bur very soon, they started complaining as usual!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

3.  There is purpose behind inequality

[Amma: “Why doesn’t God make everyone live happily?  Why is it that he has made some people suffer in life? People ask such questions. It is not God’s will that some people should go without food or some people to suffer more. God has given everyone what is basic and essential for them. Everything just to meet the need”.]

Once a sage with occult powers visited a village. The village people went and requested him to make all the people in the village happy and prosperous. The sage, in deference to their wishes. used his occult powers to give them all lots of money, jewelry, new houses and so on.  The people of the village received everything with joy and bid farewell to him after expressing their thanks to him.

After a few months, the Sage visited the same village again. This time, he found the village totally different from what he saw last time.

In fact it was even difficult to walk through the village. Dirt, waste and garbage were found strewn everywhere.  The whole village was stinking. There was absolutely no cleanliness anywhere. Consequently, people of the village were suffering under different ailments. Cattles were not being reared, lands were not ploughed; no agricultural activity was going on.

When he inquired why, he came to know that ever since he gave lot of money to all the villagers, provided houses to stay and so on, no one was coming forward to do any work. There were no laborers to do farming. None came forward to clean the streets and surroundings as none was dependant on work to earn money to run their livelihood.

The people now begged the sage to reverse what he had done so that they can return to the old, healthy way of leading their lives!

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

4.  “My life is best”

[Amma: “Everyone lives in his own world and thinks of himself to be great. Even a mosquito may feel its world is better than anyone else’s!”]

Once there lived two astrologers who were very good friends. They were very good in predicting future from horoscopes. Once they got curious to know of their next birth. After going through their horoscopes in depth, they concluded that one of them will be born as a mosquito and the other a bullock. They also predicted that they would meet in the next birth too.

The astrologer destined to be born as mosquito said to his friend, “Please do me a favour when we meet in our next birth. Please crush and kill me to death when you see me.That way, you will shorten my pitiable life of being born as a lowly mosquito. That way, I can hasten to take a better higher birth so as to reach God faster”. His friend agreed.

After their death, they took their fresh births as a bullock and a mosquito as predicted. THe bullock remembered its promise and kept looking for locating his mosquito friend. One day, he noticed that one mosquito living with a swarm of other mosquitos in an adjacent pool of extremely dirty sewage water amid a mound of filth was indeed his friend of the previous birth.

The bullock did not even feel like walking through the filth to reach out to his friend. However in order to fulfil his promise, he reluctantly walked through the filth. His friend mosquito was sitting over some dirt. The bullock lifted up his front leg to crush the mosquito. Noticing the intent of the bullock, the mosquito cried aloud, “Hey you! Stop, stop! What a cruel act you are trying to do? What harm have I done to you?”

The bullock said, “Don’t you remember me, your old friend of previous birth? Have you forgotten your request to me in the last birth to kill you the moment we meet in this birth? Haven’t you told me that you did not wish to live the worthless, lowly birth of a mosquito, but wanted to quickly die and take higher births?”

Hearing this, the mosquito laughed and said, “What do you mean by saying this life of mine is lowly and worthless? You just don’t know how beautiful and comfortable this life of mine is! I have a beautiful wife and nice kids; I have no desire to leave this heavenly location and take any higher birth or to reach God. I simply don’t think any other world would be any better than this! I am quite contented to live here and I request you to allow me to live in peace!”

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

5.   Ignoring sane advice (1)

[Amma: “God is full of compassion. A mother who gives birth to her children also tells them dos and don’ts  for leading a trouble-free life. If we follow them, our life will be smooth. Likewise, God, the creator, gives and knowledge and power to discriminate what is permanent and what is transitory. Without using discrimination if we do wrong, we have to suffer the consequences. There is no point in blaming God for it”.]

Once in a village a mother had two sons named Viveki and Aviveki. One day, she sent the boys to the adjacent town to buy so milk. As they were going to the town for the first time, she gave detailed instructions to them.

She said, “My dear children, on your way to the town, you will find two bridges. The one on the eastern side is made of teakwood and the other on the western side is made of a low quality wood. The teakwood bridge is strong and sturdy, but is far off from here to cross. On the other hand, the other bridge on the western side is closer by, but it is very old, rickety and shaky. If you use that bridge, you have to walk extremely carefully as it will shake and crack. If you are not careful, you can falter your steps and fall into the river. The bridge may even collapse.

“So, I advise you to take the longer distance path and cross the river using the teakwood bridge in your onward journey to the town. At the house where you have to buy the milk, they would give you a wooden staff. On your return journey, you can cross the river by the old, creaky bridge. Now the wooden staff will be very handy for you to support and stabilize yourself to  safely cross the bridge without falling down and reach home faster on your return.

“So, remember — never use the old bridge on your onward journey and take the risk of falling down”.

As the brothers started their long walk to the town, they first noticed the old, rickety bridge. Seeing it, Aviveki got tempted to cross the river quickly using it. He said, “Why should we walk unnecessarily to such a long distance to reach the Teakwood bridge? We will just cross the bridge very carefully using this bridge itself. It will save lot of time”.

Hearing this, Viveki said, “No. Mother has given us very specific and clear instructions that we should use this bridge only on our return journey and not on the onward journey. She has told us that it is very risky. So, drop the idea and come along with me”. However, Aviveki was adamant. “I know all that. I can be very careful and manage without using any stick. I will go alone if you are not joining me”. Viveki refused to give him company and he proceeded further to go to the east side Teakwood bridge.

He reached the town, located the house, collected the milk as well as the wooden staff given by them. He walked back and reached the west side rickety bridge. There he saw his brother lying in waist deep water, unable to move because of broken leg.

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

6.   Ignoring sane advice (2)

[Amma: “When God created the world, he has also taught people how to conduct themselves in this world. If people got into trouble and hardship by not heeding to his words of wisdom, how can God be blamed for it? God never punishes; even what you perceive as punishment too is God’s way of correcting and improving you”.]

Once a boy wanted to go to the neighbor’s house to play. The mother said, “There are two ways to go to the neighbor’s house. One is to go to the front of our our house, open the gate, go to the neighbor’s gate and enter it and reach the house. There is another shortcut about which I will not tell you. I would only want you to go by the gates”.

The boy came out of the house and he became curious to find out where the short cut was. He inspected the fence separating the two houses and there he noticed a small opening. He decided to sneak through the gap. When he entered through it, the sharp thorns in the fence pieced his skin and he started bleeding. Hearing his cry, the mother came out and retrieved him back to the house. Without telling a word, she applied medicines on his skin and soon it became alright.

Within a couple of days, the boy again got permission to go the neighbor’s house for playing. This time too, he decided to sneak through the opening in the fence, with a determination that he would be careful enough not to wound himself. But, his manoeuvres did not work and he got injured once again by the thorns. Again, without a word, his mother came forward to help him, cleaned the wound and applied the medicine.

Same thing repeated after a couple of days. This time, the thorn made a deep scratch on his skin and he bled. His mother noticed his mischief but did not come forward to help him. She left the wound to remain as it was. The wound did not cure; pus formed in it and the boy was suffering in severe pain.

The mother now said, “Last two times, I came to your rescue and you did not get the wound septic. Since you did not experience the pain, you decided to do the mistake again and again. This time, I intentionally did not apply medicine, because I wanted you to learn the hard way. Only when you feel the real pain, you would desist from committing the same mistake in future. You will not resort to going by shortcuts. It is not because I didn’t care about you that I ignored you the last time.  Since I truly care about you, I wanted you to come back to the right path and increase your awareness. That’s why I let you suffer”.

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

7.   Bad omen!

[Amma: “It is our good thoughts, good intentions and good prayers that we do in the morning as we get up that could lead to a happy and fruitful day. However, some people wrongly attribute the day’s happenings — good or bad, to the face of the person that they saw first in the morning”.]

Once a king, after waking up in the morning, came out of his room to the balcony and looked outside. There, on the street, he saw a beggar in tattered clothes. The beggar too looked at the king and bowed. The king immediately withdrew to his room with revulsion, thinking “Oh! What a bad sight to see first in the morning! It is so inauspicious to see a beggar first.I am worried what is going to happen today. Will there be any arrival of a war or any news of famine?” With such a thought troubling his mind and his heart welling up in hatred on the beggar, the king restlessly paced up and down in his room. Unexpectedly, he slipped, fell down and sprained his leg.

The king’s physicians attended to him immediately, wound a bandage to the king’s leg and prescribed complete bed rest for a few days.

Attributing this misfortune to the beggar whom he saw first in the morning, the king asked his minister to fetch the beggar from the street and ordered that he should be hanged.

The beggar was arrested and brought to the court. The minister conveyed to the beggar about the king’s order and the reason for the punishment.  Before he was taken to the gallows for hanging, the minister asked “Do you wish to say anything?”

The beggar said, “As the king saw my face first in the morning, he met with a small misfortune by spraining his leg. But see my misfortune. I too saw the king’s face as first thing in this morning and I am going to lose my life for it. Tell me whose face is more inauspicious? Mine or the king’s?”

(from Amma’s Vishu message 14/4/2017)

8.  Destructive mindset

Once upon a time there were three countries which were antagonistic to each other always and were fighting with each other. Each country wanted to destroy the other two and both the kings and peoples of the countries nurtured deep rooted hatred against the people of other nations.

God felt bad about such a mindset. He wanted to bring the antagonism to an end and he called for a meeting of the representatives of the three countries. He said to them, “My children, why are you always fighting with and hating each other? What do you want? I am here to fulfil your wishes; tell me your problems and I will solve them”.

The representative of the first country rose up and said with total disregard to God and said, “First of all, we don’t even believe Your existence. We believe only our leaders. If you really want us to believe you, then you should demonstrate your power to us”.

“What do you expect me to do, so that you will believe in my power?” asked God.

The representative of the first country pointed out the rep of the second country and said, “If you destroy his country fully, we will start believing in your power. We are even willing to build temples for you and worship you in our country.”

God was shocked to hear such a statement. He could not talk for a while. Seeing his silence, the first man said, “YOur silence proves that you are not capable of doing what I asked. It does not matter. We will do it ourselves; perhaps it might take a longer time, but it does not matter; we will do it.”

Without responding to him, God looked at the rep of the second country. He knew that the people of that country were theists. So, he thought the rep will speak more amicably. The rep said, “My lord! Our request is extremely simple: The first country should no longer be found in the world map. Let that place remain empty. Just in case you are not going to do it, our army will definitely do it with your blessings and grace”.

God was shocked much more when he heard this. If such was the state of people who believe in God, what to speak of non-believers? He sighed and looked at the face of the third person. He got up, bowed his head reverentially to God and smiled. God felt some hope seeing his gesture. ‘Oh! I hope at least this fellow understands me; let me at least save his country from destruction’ — thinking so, he asked, “My son, what is your wish?”

The representative of the the third country said, “My lord, I just have no separate opinion of my own. I will be happy if you concede to  the wishes of these two persons.”

(From Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

9.  Priceless indeed

Once there lived a beggar, who was quite healthy and looked young too. However, out of sheer laziness to work, he would beg at the passersby, saying, “Oh gentlemen, please look at my pitiable state; God has created me extremely poor and I am an orphan. There is no one to take care of me. Please have pity on me and give me a few coins.”

One day, a wise man was passing the street and the beggar begged money from him too.

The wise man said to him, “Why should you beg like this? I will give your ten lakh rupees. You give me both of your hands”.

The beggar was shocked. He said, “Sir, how can I live without hands; aren’t they priceless?”

“Fine; then give me both of your legs instead. I will give you the same amount” said the wiseman.

“Sir, are you mad? How can I ever give my legs? They are priceless”

“Then give my your eyes. I will give the same amount”.

The beggar got irritated. He said, “Not just eyes, I will not give any part of my body for a price”.

The wiseman smiled and said, “My dear friend, you have been begging by saying God had created you a pauper. But now you say your legs, hands, eyes and every organ in your body is priceless and you are not willing to give any of them for any money. Is it not now clear to you that God has given you a wonderful, priceless body? Using this body, why not you do work and earn your livelihood?  When you are quite healthy, don’t extend your hands for begging. It is nothing but utter laziness. God never loves anyone who wants to get everything given to him by charity. God does not like people who live like parasites in the society. Better find a job and live by earning.”

(From Arul Mozhigal-5 Tamil)

10.  The Solution!

[Amma: “Children, By serving others, you are blessed. In the same way, by doing evil to others, you will suffer. Let me tell you a story:”]

A person walking on the road, met a friend on the way. The friend looked a very agitated and disturbed. “What happened? Why do you look so disturbed?” he asked.

The friend said, “At the end of this street where taxi drivers park their cars, there is one driver who hits me at my back whenever he sees me. I have not been able to stop his behaviour. I am getting uncontrollably angry with him day by day. I want to teach him a fitting lesson one day”.

“Be careful; don’t do something hasty and get into trouble “ advised the person. But his friend said, “That driver’s behaviour has crossed the limits of my tolerance. I am going to give him a fitting punishment that he could not forget in his life”

What do you intend to do with him?”

“This is what I plan to do today. I am going to buy a country bomb and fit it on my back and cover it with my shirt. From tomorrow, that driver will not have a hand to hit me again. Haha!”

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

11.  The dress makes difference

[Amma: (When asked about her dressing up like Krishna and Devi during Bhava Darshans): “It helps people understand what bhava is. People have special preconceived ideas about Krishna and Devi and Their dress.  When one says “Devi” nobody will think of an ordinary girl. There must be a distinctive quality in the manner of dress. By wearing those beautiful sarees, crown and jewels, mother is planting an impression of Devi in the mind of the devotees and trying to help them to make their faith stronger in order to grow spiritually. Mother will make this point clear through a story:”]

One man was cutting down a tree which was growing by the side of the road. Another man who noticed it and said, “Don’t cut down the tree; it belongs to Government and cutting it down is against the law”. The first man not only did not listen but also started scolding the other severely. Actually, the person who tried to prevent the man from cutting down the tree was a policeman. He left the place immediately and soon returned in his official dress.

Even from a distance the man cutting the tree noticed that a policeman was approaching him. He stopped cutting and immediately fled from the place!

[Amma: “See the difference in the impact created when the policeman came in ordinary dress and later in the official dress! Therefore, special attire is needed to to teach ignorant people.”]

(From Awaken Children-2)

12.  Pride and its effect

Once a king who went to a forest for hunting, got separated from the rest of the party. As he was walking, tired and weary due to hunger, he saw some forest dwellers.

He asked them, “Which fruit is good to eat?”

They said, “Any fruit in this forest is good to eat. Even naturally bitter fruits are sweet here.”

The king was astounded and he inquired as to how it could be so. They said, “The king who rules this country is a repository of good qualities. Therefore the subjects are good-natured. Maybe it is because there is no one evil in this country that the trees give sweet fruits only. Nature is pleased with the good acts and qualities of the king and his subjects.”

The forest dwellers did not know that it was the king himself who was standing in front of him. Even so, they received him in a respectful way.

When the king returned to his place, he was brimming with pride. He was inflated with ego thinking that because of his greatness, even bitter fruits became sweet.  His manners changed; his pride made him arrogant. He started doing unrightful acts soon.

Later, the king went to the forest once again. The forest dwellers saw him while he was about to eat some fruits and said, “Don’t eat that fruit; it is very bitter. Everything is spoiled now due to the evil rule of the king of this country. Due to his wicked behavior, the subjects too are acting in a evil way; Nature has become displeased. None of the fruits here are good to eat.”

The king was shocked to hear this. He returned home thinking about all his evil actions with repentance.

[Amma: “Our character will be the cause of good and evil in this world. Knowing that, you should live cautiously. The actions of human beings are the basis of nature’s goodness”.]

(From Awaken Children-2)

13.  Too busy!

Once a man returned from office.

He found lots of letters delivered at the doors by the postman.  He collected them and started opening them one by one and began reading them.

Suddenly he remembered that it was the last date to pay the electric bills. He wanted to  write a cheque for the bill amount and he started looking for his cheque-book. As he started frantically searching for the missing cheque book,  he noticed that all the utensils, plates and glasses were lying unwashed after the dinner party he had at his house the previous night.

He started washing them one by one at his kitchen sink. While he was doing it, he noticed that the plants he had kept at the windows were withering because they had not been watered for the past couple of days. He stopped the cleaning work and started watering the plants. As he walked around to water various plants, he noticed that his car in the garage had gathered lots of dust as he had not bothered to clean it since a couple of days. He suspended watering the plants and went to the garage to wash his car.

Suddenly he remembered about the electric bill and his search for the cheque book! He also realized that he had not finished any of the tasks that he undertook that evening!

At that point of time, he received a phone call and it was his friend. The friend asked: “How was the day?”

The man sighed and said, “Don’t ask me. It is too busy a day!”

[Amma: “This is the state of affairs with most of us. Being busy has become a disease! Nowadays everyone including children say, “I am too busy”. But the reality is that there is no focus on the job at hand. Instead of living in the present, we live either in the past or in the future. Only when we learn to be in the present, we will be able to finish our tasks in hand effectively. Plan while you plan in the present. Once planning is over, undertake the task in the present. While planning don’t think and worry about future. “]

(Amma’s Monday Satsang 16/12/19)

14.  The hidden treasure

Once there lived a very rich man who had four sons. All the four sons were lazy and they lived an easy life rolling on  luxuries and spent money lavishly from their father’s earnings.

The richman who had come up in life in the hard way, was extremely worried about the future of his four sons. No amount of good counselling had any effect on them.

Worrying about his children, the richman got sick and soon he was in death bed.

He was constantly thinking of ways to inculcate some value for working and earning into his children.

One day, he called his sons and said, “I am not going to live any longer. I am sharing this secret with you. Please listen; I have got a huge treasure containing lots of gold and diamonds earmarked for your inheritance, I have kept them buried in four huge pots under four different trees in our orchard. After my death, you may dig them out and make use of it for your future”. He breathed his last.

After doing his last rites, the four men went to the orchard enthusiastically. They started digging the land under the shade of each tree one after the other. There were several hundreds of  fruit trees in the orchard and they did the digging under all the trees. However they were disappointed that there was no treasure buried anywhere.

One of the four sons said “Our father has squarely cheated us. What to do now?  Having dug so many holes all around the orchard, let us at least do one thing. Let us put fertilizers and manures in them and fill them up again with soil”. The others agreed.

Six months passed by. The fruit season came and all the trees, having received lots of nourishment through the manure, gave bountiful yield of fruits. The brothers could make lots of money selling the fruits.

They understood the real secret behind the treasure their father had hinted to them.

[Amma: “There is no doubt that divine grace is always there for the sake of devotees. But one has to really put effort to become eligible for that grace”.]

(Amma’s Tuesday Satsang 7/1/2020)

15.  The nature of children

Once, in a village, two little children were playing a game with a stone. The game involved keeping a small stone at the back of a hand, throwing it up and catching it. It had to be done 100 times continuously without fail to get 100 points. Whatever number of times a player failed to catch the stone, that many points will be lost. In the game, one of the children scored hundred while the other scored only eighty. As per the rule of the game was that the winner would give 20  mild beatings in the palm of the loser for having scored less by 20 points.

On that day, the winning child happened to give harsh beatings in the hand of the loser that caused considerable pain. The child got angry and ran away to his home crying. He went and complained to his mother that the other child beat him severely while playing with him.

The mother got worked up. She went to the house of the other child and started scolding him harshly for having beaten her son. The mother or the other child got very angry on the lady who came and made a big issue of it. She started scolding the lady. Soon they started verbally fighting with each other on the streets. Hearing the matter, the husbands of the two women came to support their wives. They started shouting angrily against each other. In the process, they lost temper and started physically abusing each other. Seeing the men attacking each other, lots of  village people rushed in. Soon they got divided into two groups, each supporting one of the men and soon it evolved in to a group clash.

Someone reported the matter at the police station.

Policemen rushed to the scene and brought the mobs to control. Once a semblance of order was restored, the Policemen started inquiring the cause for the group clash. Finally they came to know that it all started with the fight between two children.

“Where are the children? I want to enquire them too” said the Sub Inspector.

Everyone started looking around but the children were not to be seen anywhere nearby. As the parents started searching for the children across the village, they found them at the river bank playing together joyfully.

[Amma: “Children, unlike the elders, don’t get entangled in the past or future. They live in the present and enjoy it.”]

(Amma’s Tuesday Satsang 7/1/2020)

 

 

Humorous stories from Amma – Part 4 (15 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:

1.     Surmountable Problem!

Once there were two colleagues – a male and a female – working in an office at adjacent seats. When some serious issues or crisis comes up in the office works causing them mental stress, both of them had a habit of opening their wallet and looking at a picture they had kept there. They would close their eyes and then start resuming their work with revived vigor.

Others in the office who have been watching this for long were curious to know what picture did they carry in their wallets that could give them mental peace in moments of tension.

When they inquired, the man showed the picture and said it was his wife.

“Oh! You love wife so much that when you look at her picture itself you feel energized?” they asked.

The man replied coolly, “No. At the moment of extreme problem at office, when I look at my wife’s photo, I think ‘when I have been facing such a huge problem in life, is it a big deal to face this problem in the office?’. Immediately I get the vigor to surmount any problem”.

They asked the woman colleague. The woman showed the picture which was her husband and said the same about her husband!

[Amma laughingly said, after narrating this story, “If I say the story of only a man looking at his wife’s photo, the woman folk here would come and fight with Amma that she is not fair! So, I added the woman character too in this story to escape from complaints of partiality!”

Br. Shubhamrita, who was the translator of Amma’s satsang from Malayalam to English, while translating this narrative added on his own: “Of course Amma is always partial towards men for justifiable reasons, but she added the woman character in the story today  just to ward off criticism only!” Amma too joined the laughter when Shubhamrita added his quip!]

(Beach Satsang Fri 6/2/2015)

2.  Experience

[Amma: “Rational thinking and proper understanding are same. When you can think rationally,  your understanding increases and vice versa.  If you can stay in the present wilfully, your awareness increases and you get clarity in thinking. When you get clarity,  you can foresee hints about dangers and problems that are going to come. Let Amma share with you a story she had heard:”]

Once a correspondent from a newspaper came to interview a very successful businessman. The conversation went on like this:

Correspondent: “Sir, what is the secret of your success?”

Businessman: “Just two words”.

C:  “What are they?”
B: “Right decisions”

C: “How do you take right decisions?”
B: “One word”.

C: “WHat is it?”
B: “Experience”.

C: “How do you gain experience?”
B: “Two words”.

C: “What are they?”
B: “Wrong decisions!”

(Source: From ‘Ammavin Anpu Ullaththilirunthu‘ Tamil)

3. Owning the Guru!

[Amma: “A disciple must make use of the external physical form of the guru to grasp his internal subtle form. To know the subtle form of the guru, the disciple should have a subtle mind. A disciple, instead of grasping the Guru’s real subtle form,  serves only the external physical body, it may lead to dangerous consequences. Let Amma tell you a story to narrate this:”]

Once a guru had two disciples. Both of them were always competing with each other to serve the guru. Once, while relaxing in the bed, the guru asked his disciples to massage his legs. Both came and sat on either side of the Guru. The disciple sitting on the right side said to the other, “Listen; this right leg of the guru belongs to me and the left leg is for you; Is that alright?”

The other disciple said, “OKay. But make sure to confine your services to the right leg only. Never attempt to encroach on “my” left leg of the guru. Is that clear?”

“Fine; I will take care of “my” right leg.  You should ensure that “your” left leg should never come on “my’ way. Right?”

Thus settled, both of them started to message their side of the leg of the guru.  As the guru had already dozed off, he did not hear the conversation between the disciples and their ‘property sharing agreement’.

During sleep, the Guru turned side wise. Now the right leg was lying over the left leg.  This made the second disciple very angry. He shouted at the first disciple “You have broken your agreement. I hust cannot tolerate the right leg resting over “my” left leg. Remove it immediately, else I will show you my true color. Don’t blame me for the consequences later”.

The first disciple got very angry on account of this provocation. He stood up and said, “you arrogant rascal! Don’t throw any hollow words. Come on! Show me what you can do; if anything happens to “my” right leg, that will be your end!”

Both got worked up. They took two wooden sticks in their hands. The second disciple was ready to break the right leg that has insulted the left leg by resting over it. The first disciple was also ready to break guru’s left leg, if only ‘his’ property of right leg was hit.

Hearing this commotion, the guru woke up from his slumber; he was shocked to see his disciples standing at his two sides with wooden sticks in hand, with their faces red with anger. “What happened? What are you up to?” asked the Guru.

The disciples replied, “Maharaj, you just lie down and continue with your sleep. This is something between the two of us and you don’t have to bother interfering in this matter. We will settle it ourselves!”

(From Arul Mozhigal- Part IV)

4. Going through the motion

[Amma: “Even in the path of bhakti (devotion), certain amount of jnanan (knowledge) is essential. Rituals have their place and purpose in the practice of Bhakthi but their significance must be properly understood. Blindly following rituals will not really help in one’s religious practices”.]

Once there lived a person who was very systematic in his daily worships. He would offer milk, panchamritam etc to the deity, light lamps, chant hymns and prayers daily.

He had a pet cat in his home. While he performed the pooja and chanted the hymns with closed eyes, his cat would sneak in and lick the milk kept in front of the deity. Having noticed this once, he felt bad that the milk meant for offering to God was defiled by the cat. To prevent it, the man would catch the cat before commencing the pooja,  put a basket over it to cover it and thus prevent it from roaming around.

His little son would watch his father doing pooja daily and also noticed his practice of covering the cat with the basket. However, he did not know why he was doing so.

Years passed. The father died. So did the cat. The family tradition of conducting daily pooja to the deity came on the shoulders of the son who had grown up now.

The son too arranged the materials for the pooja, prepared milk and panchamritam and did every minute details of the pooja exactly as his father used to do. Suddenly he remembered: “Oh! The cat is missing!” There ws no cat in the house, but their neighbor had one pet cat. He went to the neighbor’s house, got their permission and carried the cat to his house for the sake of puja; he placed the cat by his side and covered it with a basket! He started singing his hymns only after that.

He made this ‘ritual’ a regular one, so that the ‘traditional’ pooja procedures established by his father were practiced by him impeccably!

(Tuesday Satsang 28/3/2017)

5. The closed case

[Amma: “Most people don’t have true faith. They are only in the grip of blind faith. Instead of devotion to God, what they have is fear and doubt. Even educated people won’t accept in God, but they have lots of faith in their car, house, TV etc. These worldly things can perish at any time and yet they have faith in them; but they don’t have faith in the imperishable atman which is the indweller in all beings. What a pity! Let me tell you a story:”]

Once in a village, an aged patient lost consciousness and looked almost dead. Everyone thought he had died. As per rituals, they bathed his body, adored him with a new clothe, placed him in a coffin, conducted the last religious sermons and carried the coffin in a procession towards the cremation ground.

People carrying the coffin suddenly heard a knocking sound from inside the coffin. First they were scared. Then they stopped the procession, placed the coffin on the ground and opened it. The person inside the coffin spoke in a feeble voice, with his eyes still closed, “I am not dead; please take me out”.

But the people around did not believe what he said. They said, “The doctor checked your body and declared that you were dead; The priest too had finished the sermons and given permission to conduct your last rites and bury you. Sorry. We can’t help now”

They closed the coffin, carried to the burial ground, dug a pit, buried the coffin and returned home!

 

6. Willingness to Share

[Amma: “Most people can talk eloquently about unselfishness and sacrifice. But when it comes to putting them practically in life, they would never do it wholeheartedly”.]

Once a man was telling his friend “I really want to serve the world unselfishly and become a renunciate”.

Noticing that his voice was dry and lacked any true emotion, the friend asked, “Do you really understand what unselfishness and renunciation mean?”

“Oh, definitely” said the man.

“If so, you should be prepared to share one of your TV Sets if you have two, to a poor person who does not have TV”.

“Yes. I am ready for it”

“If you have two cars, you should give your car free to one who does not have a car”.

“No doubt about it. I will surely give”.

“If you have two cows, you should give one to a poor person who does not have a cow”.

Now the man said, “Sorry! I cannot give the cow”.

His friend got  surprised. He asked, “Why can’t you give a cow? When you can share a TV set and a car with others, will not the same logic apply to cows too?

The man said, “No. That logic would now apply. In reality, I don’t have two TV sets or two cars. But I do possess two cows!”

[Amma: “Children! This is how our renunciation truly is! If someone comes to us for help, we would wriggle out saying, ‘I could have helped you if only I had this or had that’. But in reality, even if we are in a position to help others, we really don’t wish to do it. We will invent reasons for not helping them and turn them away”.]

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

7. Where did God hide?

Long long ago, when God decided to create the world, his idea was to create a nice place for him to reside. So,  he created this earth with beautiful mountains, meadows, forests, rivers, seas, birds and animals. He lived happily in it. Everything was going fine.

Unfortunately, God made a blunder one day. He created the human beings too!

From that day onwards, he was in trouble! Day and night people started complaining to him. They prayed for something or other. Not allowing him to eat, rest or sleep, people were constantly knocking at the doors, demanding something or other from him.

God lost all his peace of mind by the never ending demands of human beings.Once he solved one problem, another problem came up. The solution he gave to one person became a problem to another person.One person prays for bountiful rains. Another person complaints that his crops get affected by rain, his roof leaks and hence he wants the raining to stop. Whatever God did brought fresh problems to him and people ceaselessly complained.

God got fed up. He called his advisors and sought a solution to escape from people. One advisor told him to retire to Himalayas. God said people would find him there and soon come chasing him. Another person suggested God to move his residence to the moon. God said, “Dear friends; the problem with you is that you cannot foresee future, while I can. In future man will travel to moon too and find me there”.

His advisors fell silent. After a while, an old advisor came close to God and murmured something in his ears. God’s face brightened up hearing his suggestion. His suggestion was: “Dear lord, you hide yourself in the hearts of the people”. God said, “Yes. This is the right suggestion. Man will never search God  within himself and hence he will never find me out there!”

[Amma: “Children! God resides in the deepest recess of our hearts. He resides there in the form of guilelessness and pure love; Our mind and our ego hide his presence there; he is always there; we have forgotten that he is ever there”.]

8.  He is cured!

Once a physician came late to his dispensary to attend to the patients. As he entered into his dispensary, he saw a man with a miserable expression on his face, as if he was trying to control something with extreme difficulty. He was standing with his back tightly pressed against the compound and legs tightly close.

Before going to his cabin he asked the compounder cum assistant who was already there at his desk as to who the person standing against the compound wall was.

The compounder said, “Oh! That man has been waiting for you for the past one hour. He came here with uncontrollable cough. Since you were late, he wanted me to give him some cough syrup for his relief. I told him that cough syrup is presently presently out of stock. But he kept on insisting me for some relief till you come and attend to him. I took pity on him and gave him a purgative syrup for relief”.

The physician got extremely angry hearing it. “Are you a fool? Are you mad to give him a purgative instead of a cough syrup?”

The compounder said coolly, “Sir, my treatment has really worked. Look at him! He is not coughing at all!”

[Amma: “Sometimes certain wrong decisions we take in life might look might deceptively look right in the short run”.]

(Amma Singapore Satsang 2/5/19)

9. Cause and effect!

Once a man with a bandage on his forehead went to meet his friend.

His friend asked: “What happened? How did you get injured?”

The man said, “Yesterday my wife fell down”.

“If she fell down, how come you have injury on your forehead?”

“When she fell down I laughed. She got angry”.

10. Searching – for what?

Once a person called up his relative over phone. It was a child voice that answered “Hello”. The person knew that it was the little son of his relative. He said, “Hi my little boy, How are you? Please call your father”.

The boy said in a very hushed tone: “Father is very busy”.

“Then call your mother”.

“Mother is quite busy”

“Both are really busy? Right. Call your elder brother”.

“Elder brother is also busy” said the boy in hushed voice.

“What my dear son! How come everyone is busy? Who else is there in the house?”

“Some policemen are there”.

The caller was intrigued. He said, “Then call one of the policeman”.

“No. They are also busy!”

“Whaaat?  Then who else is there in the house?”

“Fire service men are there”.

“I wonder what is wrong there. Call one of them”

“They are also very busy”

The caller came to his wit’s end. “What is the nonsense happening there my son? Why are so many people there? what are they busy about?”

The boy said in a hushed tone: “They are all busy searching for me!”

[Amma: “People search for happiness everywhere, but the real source of happiness is within us”.]

11.  Identify yourself!

Once a new teacher came to the Biology class. He was teaching about different birds, their features, food and hunting habits etc. He announced: “Tomorrow there will be a midterm test on this subject. You have to do more self-study on this subject yourself. Let me tell you beforehand that the test could be somewhat unconventional so as to test how well you have grasped the subject.”

One student studied the textbook and also memorized the standard questions and answers on the subject.  He was quite confident to score good mark in the crucial test.

The next day, the new teacher had kept some five curated and stuffed models of birds on the table, with their bodies fully covered and only their legs and claws exposed.

The question paper read: “Identify the birds by their legs and write salient details of each bird giving their features, habitats, flying capacity and food habits”.

The student, who was all along used to only conventional exams was very upset and angry because he could never imagine such an unconventional way of testing the students. He felt it was not at all fair to conduct a test like this.

He walked angrily towards the new teacher, threw his empty answer paper on his table and said, “Sir, we are not used to these types of exams. It is not right to force such a surprise test on us. I am sorry to tell you that it is very unfair to make us fail or lose marks this way. I am protesting against this test and I am going to walkout without writing this test”.

He stomped out of the room. When he was near the entrance, the new teacher shouted, “Hey! What is your name and roll number?”

The boy promptly turned back, lifted up his pants up to his knees and said, “Sir, Look at my legs and find out yourself!”

 

12.  You get what you deserve

Once a rishi was taking bath in a river. A little mouse that somehow fell into the river got drifted towards the sage by the river stream. The sage picked up the mouse and brought it to his hut. He somehow developed a liking for the mouse which interacted with him with love. Using his yogic powers, he blessed the mouse to become the  a beautiful princess of the country.

The princess grew up and the king started looking for the right match for her. One day the king brought the princess to the sage and sought his blessings and guidance for getting the right husband for her.

The mouse in the form of the princess fell at the feet of her erstwhile savior. The sage asked her affectionately, “What sort of husband do you wish? I will bless you accordingly”.

The princess said, “My husband must be the most powerful personality in the whole world”.

The sage said, “The entire world’s survival depends on the sun. He is indeed the most powerful ruler of this world. Shall I ask the sun God to marry you?”

The princess thought for a while and said, “But the clouds can cover the sun from shining on the earth; is not the cloud more powerful than the sun?”

“Well; then I will arrange your marriage with the God of rains” said the sage.

The princess thought for a while and said, “But the clouds can be blown over and dispersed by the wind; is not the  wind more powerful than the cloud?”

“Well; If you think so, I will arrange your marriage with Vayu, the wind God” said the sage.

The princess thought for a while and said, “But I am afraid the mountain is more powerful than the wind, because it  can stop the movement of wind.  Is not the mountain  more powerful than the wind?”

The sage chuckled within himself and said, “Well; in fact there is something more powerful than the mountain too”.

“Who is it? I would be glad to marry him!” said the princess.

“A mouse. A mouse can dig a hole even through a mountain. Is it not more powerful than the mountain?”

The princess jumped with joy! “Yes, yes! I will marry the mouse!”

The sage laughed aloud; he sprinkled some holy water on the princess and converted her back to a mouse, so that she could marry a male mouse and live happily thereafter!

[Amma: “Every one of us are in fact the Atman which is essentially divine and beyond birth and death. Yet, because of maya, we tend to lower our real status by identifying ourselves with our body and mind and thus limit ourselves”.]

(Amma Satsang on 1.6.19)

12.  As you interpret, so you understand

Once two boys got a bunch of nuts to eat.  They went to sit under a huge shady tree at the back end of a cemetery. They took out the pack and decided to share them equally. Picking the nuts one by one they said, “This one is for you, this one is for me” and started dividing them. As they picked up the nuts some of them rolled out and fell close to the fence of the cemetery.  The boys noticed it and yet they continued with their job of dividing, leaving those nuts at the fence to be picked up at the end.

Just behind the fence, there was a road. A boy from the nearby locality came by bicycle towards that place. He heard some voices from inside the cemetery; he was curious to know what was going on. He stopped there, went close to the fence and sharpened his ears to hear the conversation inside. He heard “This one is for you and this one is for me” again and again. He was shocked.

With pounding heart, he rushed in his bicycle to share what he found out to the first person he encountered. An old man was walking by that side and the boy said, “Uncle! I heard the weirdest conversation between God and Satan inside the cemetery!”

The old man laughed and asked, “What did you hear?”

“I heard God and Satan sharing the the souls between them in the cemetery  saying “this one is for you and this one is for me!”.

“Whh..at? That is nonsense!” said the old man.

“But uncle, believe me! I heard it; please come with me; perhaps we can still hear it”.

Out of curiosity, the old man rushed to the spot along with the boy. Sure he could also hear “This one is for you and this one is for me” from inside the cemetery!

The old man was very curious to investigate. He went close to the fence and see whether there are any gaps through which they can peep in and see what was going on.  He found a small gap in the fence and when he looked in he could see a wide tree trunk and nothing more.  With difficulty he widened the gap so that both of them could look inside.

But they could still not notice the two boys there inside, as the tree trunk was hiding them. They heard, “Okay. This one is for you and this one is for me. We are almost finished. Let us pick those nuts at the fence and share between us. Then we are done!”

Hearing this the old man and the boy had the shock of their lives. Instantly they took to heels and ran like mad from the spot!

[Amma: “Limited by our own preconceived ideas and intellectual limitations, we misinterpret many things in life and suffer out of it”.]

13.  Perks?

Once, when the monthly phone bill came for the landline phone in the house, the husband felt shocked. The amount was exorbitantly high. ‘Someone is excessively using the phone here; it must be my wife’ he thought.

He called his wife and showed her the bill. “I am afraid you are excessively talking in the phone; it’s time you stopped it immediately” he said.

The wife felt offended. “No! I am hardly using this phone; whatever personal calls I make, I do it from my office phone and not from here! It must be our son who is doing this” she said.

The father called his son and inquired. “No papa! I don’t use our landline phone for my personal calls. I only make use of office phone for this purpose”. Then, after thinking for  while, he said in a subdued voice, “I think it is our new servant maid, who is using our phone. I have noticed her talking from our phone on a few occasions when none of us are in the hall!”

The father was shocked to hear this. He immediately called the new servant maid and inquired.  She admitted that she was indeed using the phone and added, “What’s wrong in it? I am also using the office phone, no?”

[Amma: “All of us nurture double standards in our life; whatever we do is perfectly normal but if others do it it is wrong!”]

13.  What’s the time?

Once, a person went to the house of an old friend. They were meeting after a very long time. The friends talked happily for hours reminiscing many old incidents across a couple of drinks. It became late at night. Suddenly the visitor said, “Oh! It is already late! Wonder how time just flew by talking about our good old days! What is the time like? My wife will be waiting for me and she will get worried; My mobile has no charge…” Saying so, he looked around for a wall clock.

The host said, “Sorry, I don’t have a wall clock or a timepiece. My mobile too is out of order… Wait! Let me find out the time for you…”

So saying, he took out a hammer from his tool box and started hitting the wall. After a while, there was a loud voice shouting from the adjacent flat: “You idiot!  Don’t you have sense that others are sleeping? What are you breaking at midnight 12 o’clock?”

The man smiled gleefully and said to his friend, “Got it? It is 12 o’clock now!”

[Amma: “Some people are so selfish and insensitive that they don’t care causing inconvenience to others in order to fulfil their selfish motives.”]

15. New Year Resolution

A group of friends were celebrating New Year Day. A youngster asked for a cigarette from his friend. His friend said, “Didn’t you tell me that you have taken a resolution not to smoke from this New Year?”

The youngster replied, “Yes. I am indeed stopping it stage by stage. The first stage is this”.

“What do you mean by first stage?”

“In the first stage, I have resolved not to buy cigarettes from my own money and I will smoke only by getting cigarettes from my friends”.

[Amma: “Children, our resolutions should never be like what this youngster did! Once we take a resolution, we should implement it, come what may”.]

 

 

 

Amma’s stories on Nature of the World / People – Part 4 (15 more stories)

1.  Who knows?

One day, a man came out of his house very early in the morning well before dawn and started walking alone in the darkness of the road. There were no other people on the road. A police van on night patrol came by. Noticing the man walking alone in darkness, the policeman stopped the vehicle.

“Where are you going?” asked the policeman.

The man said, “How do I know?”

“What do you mean?” insisted the policeman.

“I mean, How can I ever say for sure?”

The policeman got very suspicious. Is this fellow a criminal who is out to do some mischief and trying to evade questions? He ordered the man to climb into the vehicle, took him to the police station and locked him up. The policeman said, “Don’t try to play dirty tricks with police. Tell the truth or you will not be released”.

The man laughed and said, “How can I ever be sure of where I am going to end up? You see, early this morning I wanted to go to the temple and have a darshan of the Lord; but see what has happened? I have ended up in the jail. That’s why I said ‘how can I ever say for sure?’ ”

[Amma: There are many things in life that happen beyond our control. We may want to something and end up doing something else in life.”]

(Amma’s Tuesday Satsang 15/5/2018)

 

2. The lost key

[Amma: “You are searching for joy in  place where you can’t find it; Joy is within you and you are searching it in the outside world. All your worldly beliefs and hopes are bound to become naught one day. Only when they leave, you will get the true yearning for knowing your atman, your own inner Self.”]

Once an old man was kneeling down and searching for something outside his house. A passer-by asked, “What are you searching for, Sir?” The old man replied, “I have lost my key; I am searching for it”. The passerby too started searching for the key.

After searching for long, they could not find it. The man asked, “Are you sure you lost the key here in this vicinity?”

The old man said, “I lost it inside the house”.

“Oh God! Then why are you searching here?”

The old man said, “There is no light inside the house; Here streetlight is available; that’s why I searched here”.

3. The lost watch

Once an old man, possessing an old model watch misplaced it somewhere inside his house and was frantically searching for it.  He called a couple of neighborhood boys and sought their help to search and locate the watch.

The boys asked, “Grandpa, are you sure you lost the watch inside your house?”

The old man said, “Yes, yes! I remember seeing my watch this morning and also winding it. I remember wearing it before I went for the bath.”

All the boys were searching here and there and they were also talking aloud and making some fun and frolic. However they could not locate it.

One of the boys who was smarter than others  asked, “Grandpa, where do you normally keep your watch?”

The old man said, “I keep it mostly in my bed room. Occasionally I may keep it in the kitchen or in the cupboard in the hall”.

Then the boy said to his companions: “You please go out of this room and search for the watch in the kitchen and the hall. I will do the search inside the bedroom”.

As soon as the other boys went out, the smart boy locked the bedroom from inside, closed the windows and went close to the bed, near the pillows, at the wardrobe and so on very silently sharpening his ears to hear any sound, since the room was very silent now. At a corner of the cupboard, hidden under a bunch of books, the boy located the watch!

“How did you manage to get it?” asked the old man appreciatively.

“The boy said, “Instead of ‘looking’ for your watch, I started my search by ‘hearing’; now that this room is silent, I was   seeking the ‘tick-tick’ sound that your old watch produces and thus located it”.

[Amma: “Truth of the Self gets revealed in the silence of the mind.”]

4. The neighbor’s wood

[Amma: “People experience extreme happiness or extreme dissatisfaction on two occasions; if their enemy or the person they hate to the core undergoes severe suffering, they become extremely happy; if their enemy is living a grand or happy life, they become extremely forlorn! This is unfortunately the state of mind of many people.”]

Once there lived two neighbors who were extremely antagonistic towards each other. One day, one of them went to a wood mart and bought two logs of wood for doing some carpentry works at his house. When he brought the material and started cutting on it, he noticed that both the logs had been eaten by termites inside and they were unfit for any woodwork. The wood mart did not offer any guarantee and hence he was forlorn on account of the loss. For a change of mood, he went out of the house for a walk.

After some time, he returned the house; his face looked bright and he was laughing. His wife was surprised to see his change of mood; she asked: “What happened? Why are you laughing?”

The man replied: “How can’t I be laughing? Have I not bought two termite eaten logs of wood? You see, it is not a big loss at all! Our neighbor has bought 20 such logs from the same mart and all of them are spoiled!”. He continued to laugh aloud!

(Amma’s Arul Mozhigal (Tamil) -Part 4)

5.  Give or Take?!

Once a person was walking along a forest alone. Suddenly, he heard a voice — someone shouting “Help, help!”. The man looked around and at a distance, he saw a pit from where the voice seemed to come.

He ran towards the pit and there he noticed that a man had fallen into the pit and was not able to climb up. It was he who was shouting for help.

The passerby lied down at the edge of the pit, extended his hand into the pit and shouted “Give me your hand”.

The man inside the pit saw the passerby trying to help him. But he was hesitating to grip the hand. The passerby shouted again: “Come on, don’t delay; give me your hand!” Still the person in the pit was hesitating.

The passerby wondered what was wrong. He thought for a while and then changed his call; “Come on, take my hand! Take my hand and grip it well; I will pull you out of the pit”.

Hearing this, the person in the pit immediately came forward to grip the helper’s hand and soon he was pulled out of the pit.

[Amma: “That’s the nature of the world! Most of the people are so selfish that they are not willing to give anything to others; but when it comes to taking something from others, they willingly comes forward. The world has become so selfish nowadays!”]

(Amma satsang 16/2/17)

6.  End of greed

Once in kingdom, there was a river that contained lots of corals and gemstones in its bed. The king one day announced that whosoever rowed a boat upstream and downstream along the river across 16 hours and come back to the starting point can possess all the gemstones lying in the river bed that he covered by rowing.

As 16 hours of rowing was physically a very demanding task, no many came forward to take the challenge. However, one greedy person came forward to take up the challenge. He resolved within himself to cover as much distance as possible so as to accumulate a real huge wealth. Lots of people including his friends and wellwishers crowded the river bank to witness the feat. He started rowing the boat continuously for 8 hours and covered a long distance.

He thought, “If I can manage to row for one more hour in the forward direction, then I can speed up my return so that I will be able to accumulate that much of extra treasure”. He rowed for one more hour. Again greed clouded his mind and he rowed for one more hour. At the end of each hour, he was prompted by greed and finally he ended up rowing for 12 hours in the forward direction. It meant that he had only 4 hours left for his return journey.

He reversed the direction and started rowing fast. However, as he had been rowing continuously for 12 hours, he was already feeling quite tired. However, his greed prompted him to row faster, for, if he missed reaching the starting point, all his effort would be futile.  Breathing heavily and sweating profusely, the man kept on rowing, straining his every muscle and nerve in the process.

He lost so much energy that he could not even sit and row. He lied down and still kept rowing. Exhaustion took him over completely. Still his hands kept moving albeit very slowly.

He started hearing voices. He raised his head up and noticed that people were standing in the river bank and shouting at him “Come on! Faster, faster! Only a few minutes are left!”. Gathering whatever little energy left in him, he rowed with all his might. He vomited blood and fell unconscious as the boat touched the starting point.

When the king’s messengers came to the boat to take him to the king, they found only his dead body there.

(Amma satsang 13/3/17)

7. The trees that weren’t

[Amma: “In Karma yoga, when it is said that one must work without expecting results, it does not mean that one can be careless and purposeless in carrying out a task. Every action must be done with total ‘shraddha’ (ernest awareness), only leaving the end result to God’s will.”]

Once a landlord wanted to grow lots of trees in his land; he engaged four workmen for this purpose and assigned them specific tasks that each one should carry out. The first person should dig holes on the earth; the second person should do the seeding, the third person  should cover the holes again with soil after adding some fertilizer and the fourth person should do the watering. This way, he thought that the works would go on serially and also faster.

After the project was over, several weeks passed, but no saplings sprang forth from the soil. The landlord was surprised. He called the workmen and inquired what happened.

The first worker said, “Sir, I have been dutifully digging the holes on the earth; I have not faltered in my duty”.

The next worker said, “I have sincerely done my assigned work of filling up the holes with the soil after adding fertilizer”.

The next worker said, “I have done my duty of watering them; I have not faltered”.

The landlord asked, “Where is the person in-charge of doing the seeding?”

All the other three said in unison; “We have no idea; We did our assigned work; that’s all; it is not our responsibility to find out whether the person meant to do the seeding turned up or not”.

8.  Being in the present

[Amma: “Only the present is in our hands. We have no control on what is going to happen in future. The past is like a cancelled cheque. What is important is the present and we should think good thoughts and do good deeds in the present. That’s why, training the mind to be in the present is always recommended as a good spiritual practice.

“Children, don’t think that it is not possible to remain in the present at all times, without drifting to thoughts of the past or the future. Everyone has the potential for it. Listen to the following story carefully:”] 

Once the only child of a couple became extremely sick. The child’s life was in grave danger. The doctor injected a medicine to the child and said, “This is my last ditch effort. I can’t say for sure whether the medicine will work or not. Recovery of your child rests only with the grace of God. Please pray to God. It is only by His will that the child caan recover.”

The parents were not rery theistic so far in their lives. But, in the present critical juncture, they decided to do what the doctor said. Why? Simply because they had no other alternative.

Both of them praying feverishly to God to save their child, Their entire mind was occupied in the present — to see their only child alive — that was their only wish now.

As husband and wife, the couple had so many fights in the past; they were not seeing eye to eye on many matters. Forgetting all their past bickerings, they now prayed together with mutual love for saving their child;  they had no thought of what would happen the next day.

They look at the child; touch and caress his face and body;  they watch weather the child is breathing normally; they eagerly look forward for some movement in the child’s body; they look at his eyes eagerly to see whether they would open and look at them. When they see no progress, they pray more feverishly.

Their relatives come to see them. The couple might have had some bitter experiences with some of them in the past. Yet, at this critical situation, they speak to them politely without any hatred. It is because they are in the present — gripped with their only desire of seeing the child alive, they are able to behave nicely with them. They sincerely think that they need God’s grace as well as the blessings and good will of the visitors too. They tell them, “Please pray for saving our child.”

Thus, despite what the past was and future could be, the couple live in the present and it has made them polite and loving people. Presently they are freed from hatred and bitterness.

It is likely that the couple would behave so till the child is either saved or dead. Afterwards all their past old habits and idiosyncrasies might return. Yet, as long as they are in the present, their condition is sober and amenable.

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

9.  Be happy with what you have

[Amma: “Children, be contented with what you have. Never aspire for what others have. Don’t desire for what you don’t have. Don’t think that you will be happier if you live your life like someone else. Don’t think your sorrow is more painful than others. Everyone has his/her share of pain and sorrows in life. None can share the burden of others or exchange with others.”]

Long ago, people living in a land were very unhappy about the state of their lives. No one was happy. Everybody thought that the next person was better off then him/her. By constantly thinking like this, they felt very agitated and furlorn. They could no longer bear their sorrows and burdens.

They got together to pray and cry to God to save them from their miserable lives. Moved by the intensity of their prayers, God appeared before them. He asked them to gather together in a meadow.

I have come after hearing your prayers. Now all of you unload your pains, sorrows, sickness, mental disturbances, physical handicaps etc in bundles in this meadow. People happily unloaded their every problem and pains. Soom the meadow got filled up and grew to be a mountain!

God said, “Now, in lieu of what  you have unburdened, each of you can pick up the bundle unloaded by someone else that you may feel as more bearable to you.”

The people vied with each other to take the burden of someone else that they thought to be ‘less heavy’ than theirs.  The beggar took up the problems and pains of a rich person. A barren woman took up the problems of a woman who had problems due to multiple children. Thus took up alternative problems and they appeared to be happy. God disappeared from the scene.

People too returned to their homes. From the very next day, people started crying and complaining once again! This time, their their prayers and crying appeared 100 times more powerful than the previous occasion!

God appeared before them and asked them to gather at the meadow once again. They all cried to God saying that they could not handle their new worries and sorrows. They unanimously felt that their previous problems were far more tolerable than the present ones and they wanted their old worries to be given back!

The God permitted them to do so and disappeared.

The people seemed to be relieved and went back to their homes. Bur very soon, they started complaining as usual!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

10.  There is purpose behind inequality

[Amma: “Why doesn’t God make everyone live happily?  Why is it that he has made some people suffer in life? People ask such questions. It is not God’s will that some people should go without food or some people to suffer more. God has given everyone what is basic and essential for them. Everything just to meet the need”.]

Once a sage with occult powers visited a village. The village people went and requested him to make all the people in the village happy and prosperous. The sage, in deference to their wishes. used his occult powers to give them all lots of money, jewelry, new houses and so on.  The people of the village received everything with joy and bid farewell to him after expressing their thanks to him.

After a few months, the Sage visited the same village again. This time, he found the village totally different from what he saw last time.

In fact it was even difficult to walk through the village. Dirt, waste and garbage were found strewn everywhere.  The whole village was stinking. There was absolutely no cleanliness anywhere. Consequently, people of the village were suffering under different ailments. Cattles were not being reared, lands were not ploughed; no agricultural activity was going on.

When he inquired why, he came to know that ever since he gave lot of money to all the villagers, provided houses to stay and so on, no one was coming forward to do any work. There were no laborers to do farming. None came forward to clean the streets and surroundings as none was dependant on work to earn money to run their livelihood.

The people now begged the sage to reverse what he had done so that they can return to the old, healthy way of leading their lives!

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

11.  “My life is best”

[Amma: “Everyone lives in his own world and thinks of himself to be great. Even a mosquito may feel its world is better than anyone else’s!”]

Once there lived two astrologers who were very good friends. They were very good in predicting future from horoscopes. Once they got curious to know of their next birth. After going through their horoscopes in depth, they concluded that one of them will be born as a mosquito and the other a bullock. They also predicted that they would meet in the next birth too.

The astrologer destined to be born as mosquito said to his friend, “Please do me a favour when we meet in our next birth. Please crush and kill me to death when you see me.That way, you will shorten my pitiable life of being born as a lowly mosquito. That way, I can hasten to take a better higher birth so as to reach God faster”. His friend agreed.

After their death, they took their fresh births as a bullock and a mosquito as predicted. THe bullock remembered its promise and kept looking for locating his mosquito friend. One day, he noticed that one mosquito living with a swarm of other mosquitos in an adjacent pool of extremely dirty sewage water amid a mound of filth was indeed his friend of the previous birth.

The bullock did not even feel like walking through the filth to reach out to his friend. However in order to fulfil his promise, he reluctantly walked through the filth. His friend mosquito was sitting over some dirt. The bullock lifted up his front leg to crush the mosquito. Noticing the intent of the bullock, the mosquito cried aloud, “Hey you! Stop, stop! What a cruel act you are trying to do? What harm have I done to you?”

The bullock said, “Don’t you remember me, your old friend of previous birth? Have you forgotten your request to me in the last birth to kill you the moment we meet in this birth? Haven’t you told me that you did not wish to live the worthless, lowly birth of a mosquito, but wanted to quickly die and take higher births?”

Hearing this, the mosquito laughed and said, “What do you mean by saying this life of mine is lowly and worthless? You just don’t know how beautiful and comfortable this life of mine is! I have a beautiful wife and nice kids; I have no desire to leave this heavenly location and take any higher birth or to reach God. I simply don’t think any other world would be any better than this! I am quite contented to live here and I request you to allow me to live in peace!”

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

12.   Ignoring sane advice (1)

[Amma: “God is full of compassion. A mother who gives birth to her children also tells them dos and don’ts  for leading a trouble-free life. If we follow them, our life will be smooth. Likewise, God, the creator, gives and knowledge and power to discriminate what is permanent and what is transitory. Without using discrimination if we do wrong, we have to suffer the consequences. There is no point in blaming God for it”.]

Once in a village a mother had two sons named Viveki and Aviveki. One day, she sent the boys to the adjacent town to buy so milk. As they were going to the town for the first time, she gave detailed instructions to them.

She said, “My dear children, on your way to the town, you will find two bridges. The one on the eastern side is made of teakwood and the other on the western side is made of a low quality wood. The teakwood bridge is strong and sturdy, but is far off from here to cross. On the other hand, the other bridge on the western side is closer by, but it is very old, rickety and shaky. If you use that bridge, you have to walk extremely carefully as it will shake and crack. If you are not careful, you can falter your steps and fall into the river. The bridge may even collapse.

“So, I advise you to take the longer distance path and cross the river using the teakwood bridge in your onward journey to the town. At the house where you have to buy the milk, they would give you a wooden staff. On your return journey, you can cross the river by the old, creaky bridge. Now the wooden staff will be very handy for you to support and stabilize yourself to  safely cross the bridge without falling down and reach home faster on your return.

“So, remember — never use the old bridge on your onward journey and take the risk of falling down”.

As the brothers started their long walk to the town, they first noticed the old, rickety bridge. Seeing it, Aviveki got tempted to cross the river quickly using it. He said, “Why should we walk unnecessarily to such a long distance to reach the Teakwood bridge? We will just cross the bridge very carefully using this bridge itself. It will save lot of time”.

Hearing this, Viveki said, “No. Mother has given us very specific and clear instructions that we should use this bridge only on our return journey and not on the onward journey. She has told us that it is very risky. So, drop the idea and come along with me”. However, Aviveki was adamant. “I know all that. I can be very careful and manage without using any stick. I will go alone if you are not joining me”. Viveki refused to give him company and he proceeded further to go to the east side Teakwood bridge.

He reached the town, located the house, collected the milk as well as the wooden staff given by them. He walked back and reached the west side rickety bridge. There he saw his brother lying in waist deep water, unable to move because of broken leg.

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

13.   Ignoring sane advice (2)

[Amma: “When God created the world, he has also taught people how to conduct themselves in this world. If people got into trouble and hardship by not heeding to his words of wisdom, how can God be blamed for it? God never punishes; even what you perceive as punishment too is God’s way of correcting and improving you”.]

Once a boy wanted to go to the neighbor’s house to play. The mother said, “There are two ways to go to the neighbor’s house. One is to go to the front of our our house, open the gate, go to the neighbor’s gate and enter it and reach the house. There is another shortcut about which I will not tell you. I would only want you to go by the gates”.

The boy came out of the house and he became curious to find out where the short cut was. He inspected the fence separating the two houses and there he noticed a small opening. He decided to sneak through the gap. When he entered through it, the sharp thorns in the fence pieced his skin and he started bleeding. Hearing his cry, the mother came out and retrieved him back to the house. Without telling a word, she applied medicines on his skin and soon it became alright.

Within a couple of days, the boy again got permission to go the neighbor’s house for playing. This time too, he decided to sneak through the opening in the fence, with a determination that he would be careful enough not to wound himself. But, his manoeuvres did not work and he got injured once again by the thorns. Again, without a word, his mother came forward to help him, cleaned the wound and applied the medicine.

Same thing repeated after a couple of days. This time, the thorn made a deep scratch on his skin and he bled. His mother noticed his mischief but did not come forward to help him. She left the wound to remain as it was. The wound did not cure; pus formed in it and the boy was suffering in severe pain.

The mother now said, “Last two times, I came to your rescue and you did not get the wound septic. Since you did not experience the pain, you decided to do the mistake again and again. This time, I intentionally did not apply medicine, because I wanted you to learn the hard way. Only when you feel the real pain, you would desist from committing the same mistake in future. You will not resort to going by shortcuts. It is not because I didn’t care about you that I ignored you the last time.  Since I truly care about you, I wanted you to come back to the right path and increase your awareness. That’s why I let you suffer”.

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale- Malayalam)

14.   Bad omen!

[Amma: “It is our good thoughts, good intentions and good prayers that we do in the morning as we get up that could lead to a happy and fruitful day. However, some people wrongly attribute the day’s happenings — good or bad, to the face of the person that they saw first in the morning”.]

Once a king, after waking up in the morning, came out of his room to the balcony and looked outside. There, on the street, he saw a beggar in tattered clothes. The beggar too looked at the king and bowed. The king immediately withdrew to his room with revulsion, thinking “Oh! What a bad sight to see first in the morning! It is so inauspicious to see a beggar first.I am worried what is going to happen today. Will there be any arrival of a war or any news of famine?” With such a thought troubling his mind and his heart welling up in hatred on the beggar, the king restlessly paced up and down in his room. Unexpectedly, he slipped, fell down and sprained his leg.

The king’s physicians attended to him immediately, wound a bandage to the king’s leg and prescribed complete bed rest for a few days.

Attributing this misfortune to the beggar whom he saw first in the morning, the king asked his minister to fetch the beggar from the street and ordered that he should be hanged.

The beggar was arrested and brought to the court. The minister conveyed to the beggar about the king’s order and the reason for the punishment.  Before he was taken to the gallows for hanging, the minister asked “Do you wish to say anything?”

The beggar said, “As the king saw my face first in the morning, he met with a small misfortune by spraining his leg. But see my misfortune. I too saw the king’s face as first thing in this morning and I am going to lose my life for it. Tell me whose face is more inauspicious? Mine or the king’s?”

(from Amma’s Vishu message 14/4/2017)

15.  Proud of what?

A person borrowed large sums of money from many people and bought an island. With the loaned money, he also built a huge mansion that looked like a palace and lived there.

He would receive whoever that visits the island in his mansion and show them around the palace, boasting about his prosperity and greatness.

One day a Sanyasi visited the island. He went to the palace seeking alms. When the man came out to see the sanyasi, the latter did not  salute him. The man got angry. He said, “Do you know who I am? I am the owner of this island and also this palace. This is the first time anybody has ever failed to show respect to me”.

Hearing this, the Sanyasi asked, “Do you really mean that this entire island and the palace truly belong to you?”

“Yes. I am the owner of these”.

“Promise?”

“Yes. I vouch I am the owner”.

But the sanyasi was a knower of his past. He smiled and said, “Ask your own conscience as to how you got the money and the number of people who loaned you the money!”

Hearing this, the man was shaken to the core. His face paled. He realized his mistake immediately. He understood that there is nothing that he could claim as his own in that place. He immediately fell and the feet of the sanyasi.

[Amma: “Whatever spiritual knowledge we possess today is not something got by doing intense austerities. What we know has been acquired by reading the books written by others and we foolishly claim “I am the Brahman”. Except saying such hollow words, we don’t have a trace of humility, compassion towards others, or the mindset of sacrifice which are the qualities of knowers of Brahman.”]

(Source:  Upadesamritam-1)

 

 

Amma’s stories on Nature of the World / People – Part 3 (15 more stories)

1.  The simpler solution

[Amma: “Changing external things is extremely difficult; it is much easier to change our internal mindset to face the external circumstances.”]

Once a king went for a relaxed walk along with his minister barefooted. A sharp thorn pricked his foot and the king was hurt. Out of pain and instant anger the said, “Don’t you know that I take casual walk in this place? How can there be a thorn in the path I walk? The whole country is mine and I can opt to walk anywhere any time at my own convenience. I don’t want such a thing to happen again. By tomorrow, you shall have all the roads in this country to be carpeted; your head will roll if you don’t do this”.

The minister was furlorn to hear the command. He could not sleep over night. It was obvious to him that what the king ordered was not practical to implement and he was sure to get beheaded. He made up his mind to talk frankly to the king the next morning.

Early morning we went to meet the king and said, “Your majesty; I could not arrange to do carpeting of all the roads in the the entire country as per your order; consequently, you are free to behead me as per your dictum yesterday. Before I die, may I just make a suggestion? Instead of carpeting the whole city, will it not be prudent if you wear shoes before going for a walk?”

 

2.  Unwanted curiosity

[Amma: “Bringing useless and purposeless thoughts into the mind and indulging in them for long has become the habit of people today.”]

Once a man, putting on specs was reading a newspaper in the morning. He kept the newspaper very close to the eyes, then pushed it away from his eyes, kept it sideways etc and trying to read it. It looked obvious that he was struggling to read the newspaper. He bent himself over the newspaper, lifted it up above and still he was not able to read it properly.

His neighbor, who was observing all these for a while, asked him, “What happened? Aren’t your glasses alright? Perhaps your eyesight has deteriorated over the years and may be it is time for a checkup and change the glasses”.

The man said, “My eyesight is quite alright; in fact, I don’t even need glasses to read the paper. The glasses I am wearing now are not mine. When I went for the morning walk today, these specs were lying on the road; I picked up and brought with me; I am now wearing them and testing how they are!”

[Amma: “Most of us are like this man who is undergoing suffering by wearing the glasses that are in no way useful to him.”]

(Tamil Matruvani Nov 2015)

3.   The Patient listener – 2

Once a famous sadhu was invited by people to deliver a series of lectures on dharma, right conduct and living. The first day, some 200 people had gathered to listen to the talk. One the second day, most of them turned up again, but he repeated the same subjects that he talked about the previous day. On the third day, the audience had dropped down considerably but again he delivered his lecture exactly in the same way he did in the previous days. One the fourth day, there was just one person only in the hall to listen to the talk.

On that day, he changed the subject and talked about more things.

At the end of the session, the sole listener went to the sadhu and said, “Sir, why didn’t you change the subject on the second day itself? If you had done that, people would have continued to come to your lecture and got benefited by it. Why did you change the subject only today when I was the only listener?”

The sadhu said, “I not only give lectures but also watch people’s reactions; I know people did not follow the things that I taught them in their lives.  So, I felt compelled to repeat what I said again. However I was watching you and I understood that you are at least listening to my words and acting upon them. I saw you helping an extremely poor man with food and money yesterday. Today I saw you leaving your footwear at a wrong place as you entered the hall and the watchman scolded you for it; without arguing with him, you immediately removed your footwear and put it in a different place. It is precisely such behavioural changes that I was expecting from people when they listened to my lectures. I felt very glad that my teachings are working at least on one person like you. That’s why I changed the topic today!”

4.  Good intentions alone won’t help

[Amma: “One’s next birth depends on one’s thoughts arising in mind at the moment of death. But whatever thoughts that come out at the death bed depends on one’s innate nature developed and formed as mental impressions of one’s past life”.]

Once there lived an intelligent and rich businessman. He believed in the Hindu culture that uttering God’s name would lead one to good life. He named all his children with names of God. His plan was that at the time of death (like the infamous Ajamila** mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam)  he could call out any of his sons by name and thus attain moksha.

When he was in deathbed and felt his death was nearing, he called out his sons “Rama, Govinda, Narayana!” All his sons were taking care of the family business (a shop) and they came rushing in. When he saw all the three of them together. He became angry. He shouted angrily at them: “If all of you come like this together, who will look after our shop?” With such a worldly thought in mind and words, he breathed his last!

** [Ajamila was a normal worldly person, who had named his son ‘Narayana’. When he was at deathbed, he wanted to tell something to his son and called out Narayana. At that very moment, he breathed his last. The messengers of God of death (Yama) came to drag his soul; at the same time, hearing his call, Lord Narayana too sent his messengers to fetch the soul of Ajamila. Since Narayana was the supreme God, messengers of Yama could not take Ajamila’s soul to their destination where he would be judged based his sins and good deeds.  Lord Narayana’s messengers took him to Narayana and thus Ajamila was lucky to get the blessings of Lord Narayana, even though his calling out the lord’s name was totally inadvertent!]

(Source: ‘Sambhashanangal’-Malayalam- Part 2)

  1. 5.  Whither the market?

[Amma: “Even in nature, you will find plants and animals strive to live with optimism a life in full against all odds. It is human beings who lack faith and confidence. That’s why they get into sorrow. Amma will tell you a story she has heard”]

Long ago, a footwear manufacturing company sent two salesmen to a distant island where tribal people were living. The company wanted to explore sales opportunities in that island for their footwear products.

The two salesmen went by boat to reach the island and went around in two directions to make their independent assessments. They returned to the mainland by evening and sent telegrams to their company giving their individual feedback.The first salesman messaged: “No one in this island know what a footwear is; they had never worn any nor have any need for it as they were living like this for centuries. There is no scope to pitch a sales to them and convince them. Hence I am returning to head quarters“.

The second salesman messaged: “People have never worn footwears here in this island nor know its use. Hence there is a great potential to sell footwear here. Please send a large lot of footwear by sea freight immediately and I shall start selling them right away“.

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-9 Tamil)

6.  The true colors

[Amma: “Habits and vasanas being carried by us across several births are very strong indeed. It is not easy to get rid of them. They are very powerful. When an appropriate moment comes, they raise up their heads strongly however much we try and keep them under check”.]

Once there were two young and charming children — a brother and sister, who used to go to their neighbor’s house for playing. The neighbors were very fond of these children and enjoyed spending their time playing with them. One day, these children dressed themselves like a king and queen. They had cardboard crowns decorated with silvery and golden shaded papers to adore their heads.

They went to the neighbor’s house and knocked at the door. “The lady in the house asked: “Who is it?”

The children said, “We are the king and queen of the country; we have come to visit your house”.

The amused lady decided to play with them in the same tune; She opened the door, bowed before the children and said, “Oh, welcome your majesty! How fortunate I am to have you as a guest in my house! Had I known earlier that you are coming, I would have arranged a red-carpet welcome for you!”

The children said, “It is okay; It is enough if you take us inside and offer us refreshments”.

The lady respectfully took the children inside, arranged two chairs for them and said, “Respected king and queen may please be seated in this golden throne please!” The ‘king’ and ‘queen’ took their seats.

The lade went inside and brought a plate containing biscuits and two cups of milk. She placed them on a stool in front of the children and said, “I humbly request the king and queen to take my offering please!”

The biscuits in the plate were made in the shapes of various animals — lions, tigers, deers, cows, goats, crocodiles, oxen, dogs, fish, ducks and so on. The king and queen vied with each other two pick up the various biscuits; if the ‘king’ picked one lion, the ‘queen’ too would pick one. If the queen piked one dog, the king too would search frantically to locate a dog and pick it. Finally there was one elephant shaped biscuit only lying in the plate and there was no duplicate piece available. Both the king and queen wanted to possess that piece and they jumped over the plate to grab that piece! But the queen was smart enough to grab it first!

The king could not tolerate the defeat! He got angry. He tried to forcefully remove the elephant from the queen’s hand and could not succeed. Seething in anger, he picked up the glass of milk and poured it on the queen; the queen too retaliated. The king started attacking the queen by throwing the ‘wild animals’ on her!  Soon both of them were rolling on the floor fiercely engaging in wrestling. In the melee, their cardboard crowns fell away. Their royal dresses were getting torn!

Thus the ‘royal couple’ who were dignity personified at the time of entering the house became normal children in fighting for the biscuit pieces!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-9 Tamil)

7.  The right solution

[Amma: “If you clearly perceive your own mistakes, then you will take steps to remove them. Only when you become aware of them, you realize how bad they are. Recently Amma came to know of this real life story….”]

The manager of a hospital was facing a problem of keeping their elevator clean. Many visitors to the hospital had the habit of chewing tobacco/gutka. They get the urge to spit their saliva and many people shamelessly spat inside the elevator too at the corners. Thus cleaning the elevators frequently became a problem for the administration.

In a meeting of the hospital administrators, this issue was discussed, in order to find a workable solution to prevent people from spitting inside elevator.

Finally, a novel idea was implemented. 4 mirrors were placed on the 4 corners of the elevator. People who get the urge to spit inside the elevator will have to necessarily see their faces in the mirror and they could realize that it looks distasteful to do it! Hence people stopped spitting inside the elevator and the cleaning issue was solved once for all!

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8  Tamil)

8.  Like Whom?

Once a traveller was walking along a street in a small town. He saw an extremely beautiful mansion in the street. Attracted by its grandeur, he stood in front of it and gazed it with admiration for a while.

A person from the house came out and asked the on-looker: “What are you looking at?”

The traveller said, “It is a very beautiful mansion! I am just marvelling at it!”

The man said, “Well, I am the lucky owner of the house”.

“Is that so? Very glad to know”.

“You know how I got it? I have an elder brother who presented this mansion for me”.

“Ah, fantastic”.

“Now Sir, please be frank. Are you not thinking right now ‘How wonderful it would be if only I have an elder brother like him’ ?” asked the owner of the house.

The traveller smiled and said, “No. I was thinking: ‘How wonderful it would be if I were like the elder brother’!”

[Amma: “True joy comes by giving; not in receiving”]

9.  Reforming the world?

[Amma (Addressing a pseudo-sanyasin): “My son, Before correcting yourself, if you try to correct others or the world, nothing would come out of it. The saffron cloth you are wearing is not meant to give you good looks nor to fetch you respect from others. It is meant to remind you constantly of your true goal in life; it should not contribute to boost your ego. Rather it should destroy your ego.”]

Once there lived an old man who loved to talk of his past to his friends.

He said, “In my youth, I was proud that I knew many things; I was confident that I could accomplish whatever I wanted.  I was trying my best to correct others and their ignorance. I prayed, “Oh God, give me the power to correct the world”. As days and years passed, I realized that I had reached my middle age and thus lost half of my life. I could clearly see that I had not achieved anything personally  in my life, nor could I correct anyone in my life.

“Then I prayed to God, “My lord, please give me the power to correct at least those who are close and dear to me”. I sincerely felt that it was my duty to correct the wrongs in others who are around me. Years have passed and now I have become old. Nowadays, my prayer is only this: “My lord, please give me enough powers at least to correct my own faults!”

(From Arul Mozhigal-6 – Tamil)

10. Outsmarting the opponent

[Amma: “In politics and business, the competition existing to outsmart the opposition is very strong and also problematic indeed. In order to gain upper hand, it becomes inevitable for them to overpower, control and manipulate the opponent. People even resort to unrighteous means, ignoring basic human values. “]

A rich man was once caught in a litigation. As the case was progressing, he felt that his side was weak and he may lose the case. He did not want it to happen; he wanted to win the case by hook or crook, even if it were to be by way of corrupting the judge and turning the judgement to his favor.

The rich man inquired about the judge’s habits and he came to know that the judge was very fond of playing golf. He suggested to his advocate to buy a very costly set of golf game accessories and present to the judge.  Shocked, the advocate said, “No! Never think of such ways. The judge is a very honest person; he takes pride in his honesty and would never accept any bribe. In fact, if you ever try to bribe him, the case could very well turn to be totally unfavorable to you”. Hearing this, the rich man became pensive.

After a few days, the judgement was announced. It was in favour of the rich man. He arranged a party to thank his advocate. The rich man said, ” I should really thank you for the timely warning you gave about the danger of bribing the judge. Actually, I did present the golf set to the judge, but I sent it across mentioning that it was a gift being sent by our opposite party!”

(From Arul Mozhigal-7 Tamil)

11.  No way!

[Amma: “In the present day husband and wife relationship,  there is no give and take. Both lack patience. Hence there is no progress in relationship; only repulsion is there! Only positive and negative poles in magnets can attract each other. If both poles are either positive or negative, they end up only in repulsing each other”.]

Once two cars came opposite to each other in a very narrow lane, where there was not enough width for two cars to pass side by side. Unless one car took reverse to the end of the lane so as to give way to the other car, there was no way they could move forward.

Both the drivers of the cars started arguing. Each one wanted the other driver to take reverse. Neither of them were willing to yield.

The first driver got out of the car, walked to a nearby teas stall and started sipping a cup of tea. Seeing this, the other driver too got out, bought a cigarette and started smoking. After finishing his tea, the first driver noticed that the second driver had not done anything; he bought a newspaper and started reading it.

After noticing that the first driver was not taking any action, the second driver finished his smoke,  came to the tea stall, ordered some snacks and started eating them leisurely!

Hours went by as both did not want to budge to the demand of the other. It was a matter of prestige for them. Thus they could not move forward in their path.

(Beach satsang Mon 16/1/2017)

12.  Ineffective treatment!

[Amma: “Life is a blessing. But instead of using our discrimination to choose the right, we choose the wrong and suffer”.]

Once a man was suffering from an eye disease as well as stomach pain.He went to consult a doctor. The doctor, after examining him, prescribed some eye drops and also a bottle of another medicine for his stomach pin.  He instructed him to apply a few drops of the medicine for the eye and take a spoonful of the  medicine for the stomach.

After coming home and the time came for taking the medicines, the patient got confused. Which bottle for which ailment?  He took an spoonful of eye drops and drank it. He dropped a few drops of the stomach medicine into his eyes! On account of this, both his ailments got accentuated and he had to suffer much more!

[Amma: “We are like the patient in this story,  confused always about our choices in life. The topmost priority to be given to our life is to realize our Atman — our real nature, through intense practice. We should give only a secondary importance to our boy and its needs. But we behave like changing the medicine! The effort needed to realize the atman is given to take care of the body!”]

13.  Impermanence is mithya

[Amma: “Mithya does not mean non-existent, but impermanent. Everything in life is constantly changing. Only Atman is real and unchanging. According to Vedanta, our life is dreamlike”.]

Once an extremely poor young man was suffering without food, shelter and clothing. He was sitting by the side of the road, feeling extremely depressed about his condition in life.

Suddenly there was a big commotion. An elephant was coming in the road with a garland in his trunk and lots of people including soldiers were following it.

The elephant came near the poor man and put the garland over his neck. There was a huge jubilation with this happened. He was told that the king of the country had died without a heir and it was decided, as per traditions followed in that country, to appoint whomsoever the king’s elephant garlands would be made the king.

The young man was carried with lot of fanfare to the palace. He was bathed, draped in the finest of royal clothes, adored with golden and diamond ornaments and crowned as the king of the country in a grand celebration.

Thus, overnight, the poor man’s life took an unpredictable and unimaginable turn! From utter poverty, he started rolling in royal luxury and he was enjoying every moment of it! Soon proposals came to get him married to a princess of another country too.

This is indeed what is known as mithya. The ways by which maya plays its delusive game is very unpredictable.

(Monday beach Satsang 23/1/2017)

14.  Selfish prayers

[Amma: “Amid theists, there are many people whose faith in God is just shallow. Their dealings with God are just for getting his grace for enjoying worldly pleasures.  They will always have their doubts  and also be unhappy and dissatisfied! Their prayers will be with selfish motive only — to get fleeting things or to complain about petty issues. True love and devotion would be missing; only selfishness, greed and hatred (against their adversaries) would dominate their prayers”.]

Once a man invited a Sadhu to his house. His wife had died recently and wanted the Sashu to conduct specific prayers for getting peace for the departed soul. The sadhu conducted worship to God and made his prayers saying, “Let everyone in this world live happily; let there not be suffering anywhere; let peace prevail everywhere; let prosperity swell everywhere; let every soul attain liberation”.

Hearing this, the householder intervened: “Swami, I was expecting you to pray for my wife’s soul to attain peace. But you did not utter even her name; can’t you pray for my wife exclusively?”

The sadhu said, “I cannot pray just for your wife alone. My guru has taught me that whatever and whenever I pray, it should be for the good of the entire universe. The scriptures of of the religious school that I belong to also teaches us the same way. In fact, when we pray for the wellbeing of all, naturally your wife’s soul will also benefited for sure. Sorry, I can’t pray just for an individual”.

The sadhu did not yield to the repeated appeals of the householder. Finally, with no other go, the householder said, “Okay Swami, Please go ahead in your own way. But just make sure that my neighbor is excluded from the benefits of your prayers!”

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-6 Tamil)

15. How human beings got 100 years as lifespan!

After one pralaya (dissolution of the universe), Lord Brahma  started another round of creation. He created different types of creatures — plants, insects, Animals and so on and he was about to finalize the lifespan of each creature.

He called man first and told him that he had decided to give him a lifespan of 30 years.  Hearing this, the man looked very unhappy. He prayed to Lord Brahma to increase his lifespan.  Brahma said, “I cannot show any special privilege to human beings alone. The lifespan for every creature has already been very meticulously planned and fixed”. But man kept on persisting. He was begging Lord Brahma for a longer lifespan, again and again.

Brahma then said, “Okay. You stand here by my side; I will call other creatures and inform them their lifespan. If any of them feel that their lifespan is too long and they don’t want that much, then I will add to human’s account whatever lifespan they want to reduce”. The man stood by the side of Brahma with anticipation.

Brahma called the bullock and said, “Your life span is 40 years”. The bullock said, “My lord, I can’t bear such a long lifespan. I pray to you to reduce it by half”.

Brahma agreed and added those 20 years to man. Man looked happy, but he was still standing there, hoping to get more.

Next Brahma called the donkey and granted 50 years to it. The donkey pleaded woefully, “My lord, why are you punishing me like this? I would rather be happy had you not created me at all; I have no wish for a long lifespan; Even half of it is long enough; Please don’t give me more than 25 years”.

25 more years were thus added to man, thus increasing it to 75. Though happy, the man was still willing to have more; he was eagerly waiting for the other animals.

Next Brahma called the dog and granted it 30 years. Even before he finished saying it, the dog started barking, vehemently protesting it. “My lord, I have no wish to live beyond 15 years” said the dog.

Man happily received another 15 years. Brahma looked at man’s face and he noticed that he was still not satisfied despite getting 90 years of age.

Brahma called the worm next and gave 10 years to it.  The worm almost swooned on hearing it. “My lord, I shudder in fear to learn such a long life span for me.  Please, please… I don’t want it at all. Please give just a few days as my lifespan; nothing more”.

Brahma transferred those 10 years of worms life too to man’s account. Now the man looked happy to receive 100 years as his lifespan. He started jumping and dancing in joy.

Amma: “Dear Children, Up to 30 years, man spends his life in education and employment with no major worries or responsibilities.  He leads a carefree life. By this time he gets married. Now like a bullock, he has to pull the ‘cart of his family life’ with all the responsibilities. His energy and health deteriorates. Thus he reaches middle age. He leads the remaining twenty five ‘donkey years of life’ carrying the burden of a thankless worldly life on his back. By 75, he becomes dead tired, totally losing energy. 

He spends the remaining 15 years like a dog, sitting at home to guard the house and the grandchildren, just for the sake of his food and shelter. By the time he reaches 90, everyone including his grandchildren discard him, He keeps living in the memories of the past.

The last 10 years that he got from the worm, he leads a pitiable life. Unable to walk, he moves like a worm. Advanced age and sickness make him unfit for anything. He spends his life lying in bed and squirming like worm. He dies like a worm, immersed in total disappointment, despair, sorrow and pain.”

 

 

Amma’s stories on the Nature of God, Avatars and Mahatmas – Part 1 (15 stories)

1. Hanuman’s Shivalinga

[Amma:   Mahatmas are sources of power. They are embodiments of divine consciousness. A magnitized piece of iron becomes capable of drawing other iron filings. In the same way, a Mahatma can even make inert objects sentient.]

Lord Rama instructed Hanuman to bring a Shivalinga to Rameshwaram so that He could install it there. Hanuman travelled everywhere in search of the best Shivalinga. He did not return even when the auspicious hour of installing was dawning. In order not to let the auspicious time pass uneventfully, Goddess Sita moulded a Shivalinga from mud, and lord Rama enlivened it with his Vital breath.

Just then, Hanuman returned with his Shivalainga. When he learned that the installation ceremoney was over, he became downcast. Seeing his sorrow, Lord Rama said, “Don’t give too much importance to the installation ceremony. Remove the shivalinga that has been installed and we will install the Linga that you have brought now”.

Hanuman then tried to remove the Shivalinga that Rama had installed, but he was unable to move it even an inch, no matter how hard he tried.

This shows the power of a Mahatma’s sankalpa (divine resolve). The sankalpa of a Mahatma is powerful enough to transform even a clod of mud into the divine. Because Mahatmas are one with the supreme consciousness, any sankalpa they make gets fulfilled.

(Matruvani – Eng – July 2018)

2.  Pray to God directly

[Amma: “At times of worry, we normally share our woes with friends and relatives. Instead, we should rather share our grievances with God. Don’t multiply your worries by speaking to people. Rather find solutions to your problem by praying to God”.]

One day, Lord Shiva and Parvathi were sitting together at Kailash, Suddenly Shiva got up and rushed out somewhere. Within a moment, he came back.

Surprised at his action, Parvathi asked the lord for the reason. Shiva said, “There was this devotee of me who would always pray to me for conveying his woes, big or small. He would never talk to anyone else about them. Today, as he was returning home, some people mistook him as a thief and started beating him severely. As I wanted to save him, I rushed out from here. As I went to the spot I saw the devotee speaking to someone saying, “These people are beating me for no fault of mine. Will you help me in beating them in retaliation?” I understood that the devotee is not in need of my help; hence I took a retreat!”

 (Source: Arul Mozhigal-1 – Tamil)

2.  The power of a blessing

A  woman who was grieving over the death of her husband went to a Mahatma and devotedly prostrated before him. The Mahatma blessed her by uttering the words ‘sumangali bhava‘ (‘May you remain happily married’).

Hearing this, the woman said, “O Lord, my husband passed away last night. In this life I will not marry another man. How then can I remain happily married?”

The mahatma replied, “Please return home. You will find your husband alive”.

When the woman returned home, she saw her husband sitting up on the deathbed.

[Amma: Such is the power of a mahatma’s words. It is not that they speak truth but that Truth rushes to fulfil their words. Hearing this, some might ask, “In that case, why can’t mahatmas resurrect all those who have died? People die even in their presence, don’t they?”  Life and deaths are laws of nature. Mahatmas do not act against the laws of nature. However, in certain situations, their compassion is aroused and their resolves bear fruit].

(Matruvani – Eng – July 2018)

3.   Success in one attempt

A boy used to fail four five times in each class. Finally, he reached up to his tenth standard. He felt that even if he wrote tenth standard exams ten times, he was most unlikely to pass. However, his class teacher made a mental resolve to make him pass the tenth exam in a single attempt.

He started coaching him day and night without rest. He was very particular not to allow his attention to get diverted anywhere else. Finally, the exams came and the boy exams and passed it in single attempt.

[Amma: “Even though the boy was aware of his limitations and felt for sure that he would not pass even after writing exams in 10 attempts, his teacher ensured that he passed it in one attempt. A Mahatma in the role of a Sadguru is like that teacher. For a disciple who may even need thousand births to realize himself, the Guru is capable of helping him to gain it in a single birth”].

(Matruvani – Tamil -Adi 2018)

4.   It is not easy to understand God’s ways!

Once there was a famous temple in a town where lots of devotees visited it regularly and made prayers. The deity was very famous as a wish fulfilling God and crowd was there all the time.

A sweeper working in the temple was very devoted to the lord of the temple. He was very guileless and soft-hearted.

He felt pained to see his God standing all the time in the sanctum sanctorum with His hands showing vara-abhaya-mudra (one hand showing blessings and another hand showing ‘don’t fear’) and endlessly hearing the prayers of the ever streaming devotees. He felt sorry for the lord. He wanted to offer his help to his God to get some rest to Him.

He went to the lord and said, “My dear God,  I feel extremely pained to see you standing like this all the time; you deserve a good rest. Please let me stand there in your position there for a few days till you feel relaxed and rejuvenated”.

Moved by the simple and heartfelt prayers of the sweeper, the lord said, “My son, it is a very difficult job indeed standing silent like this and listening to the people’s never ending grievances; I am quite used to doing it; it will be very difficult for you to do it; don’t worry; I will manage.”

The sweeper was adamant. He kept on insisting the Lord that he should take some rest. The lord finally said, “Okay, I will concede to your proposition for a few days one one condition that whatever happens in front of you, you should not react and stand like a statue only; you should remain patiently listening and witnessing all that happens without getting involved”.

The sweeper agreed.

He took up the place of the lord standing with vara abhaya mudra;  The lord moved away from the place for a while.

On that day, a very rich person came to the temple and stood in front of the ‘God’ for praying. He had brought  a huge bag of cash (which he was to drop into the temple Hundial as an offering) with him ;  he placed the bag at a corner and prayed: “My lord, please make me the richest person in this world”.   As he left, he forgot to pick up the cash bag. As he went to the temple office to drop the money in the Hundial, he noticed that his bag was missing.

In the meanwhile, a very poor beggar came to the lord and prayed: “My dear lord, I am dying day by day out of impoverishment; I don’t have anything more than a few coins to offer to you; please accept them and give me money for my survival and wellbeing”.

He placed the coins at the feet of God and turned back. His eyesight fell on the corner where the rich man had left his cash bag. The beggar picked it up, opened it and saw bundles of currency inside it! He turned towards God and shouted joyfully: “Oh God! I could never imagine that you will bless me so instantly! You are the most benevolent God in the whole world! Thank you so much, God, for giving this money!” he tucked the cash bag under his arm and walked away!

The sweeper posing as God was shocked to see the poor man lifting the cash bag and walking away! But he contained himself somehow from reacting.

Soon,  a captain of a ship came to the lord and prayed: “My dear God, I have to sail a long journey; please protect me from any hardships and bless me a safe journey”.

In the meanwhile, the richman who lost his cash bag complained to the security persons on duty at the temple. He came to the sanctum Sanctorum along with the security person in search of the bag.

Suddenly he remembered that he had kept his bag at the corner before praying; not finding the bag there and only noticing the sailor sitting and praying there, the rich man suspected whether the person would have taken the cash bag.

The security person started interrogating him. “We suspect you have taken the cash bag of this person; return it immediately or we will have to call the police and arrest you for suspected theft”. No amount of pleading by the sailor could stop the the rich man and the security person from harassing him for the theft.

The sweeper posing as Lord could not contain himself this time. He felt that it would be totally inappropriate for him if he did not interfere to save the innocent sailor.

He opened his mouth and said in a dignified voice: “Listen my children! I am the God speaking. This sailor is innocent. The cash bag was taken by a beggar who just left a few minutes ago”.

All the people inside got goose pimples hearing the God speaking! They prostrated with reverence; The security person and the rich man ran out immediately to locate and nab the beggar.

After a while, the God returned to the sanctum Sanctorum and said, “As per your wish, I have taken rest and I am back to take charge again. Did you do your job rightly by remaining a silent witness all the time, as I had instructed you?”

“No lord; I am sorry that I could not keep up my word. I had to break my silence to interfere in order that injustice does not happen in this holy premises” said the sweeper and explained what happened. He thought God would appreciate him for his intervention.

But the lord felt very upset. “Why did you open your mouth and spoiled my grace working on all the three people?”

“Lord! I believe I have done only dharma!” protested the sweeper.

The Lord said: “You human beings cannot understand My scheme of things; despite my advice, you did not keep quite and spoiled all the grace I had intended to bestow in those people.  I know the poor beggar who is an extremely compassionate person. I wanted him to make use of the rich man’s money; he will eat to his stomach full with that money daily and also help others who are starving by sharing the money with others. He is not greedy and I wanted to bless him like that. Whatever punya this poor man gains, a portion of it will go to the rich man too, who does not need that much money anyway and he, on his own, will not spend it for the poor and the needy…”

“Then how about the sailor whom I saved?”

The God said: “I wanted the sailor to be arrested and jailed for a few days, because the ship in which he is to sail is destined to sink into the deep seas in a storm. By opening your mouth and telling the truth about the theft of the cash bag, you have now paved the way for the death of the sailor!”

5.  Sense of Humility

Once sage Vishwamitra went to Lord Vishnu and complained: “My lord, I too have done lots of austerities and attained divine powers just like Sage Vasishta. But everyone seems to treat Vashishta to a greater regard than me and they don’t seem to have much of regard for me. This is very unfair. Why is it so?”

Lord Vishnu smiled and called Sage Vashishta to his abode. He then told both of them; “Viswamitra has a doubt and I have to give a reply to him. Before that, I want both of you to show your capabilities on a task I am going to give you and let me see who finishes off the task earlier. Each of you go independently and feed thousand people who are lower than you and come back”.

After a few hours, Viswamitra returned to Vaikunta and declared: “My lord! I have accomplished the task of feeding thousand people who are lower than me”.

Both of them waited for the return of Sage Vashishta. A couple of days passed. Vashishta came back at last and he reported to Lord: “I am sorry Lord! I could not locate any person lower than me. I only see God in each one of the people I meet and hence I could never consider tham lower than me”.

Lord looked at Vishwamitra and smiled. Vishvamitra understood immediately and he bowed down to Sage Vashishta.

6.  Acceptance – the great virtue

[Amma: “A self-realized person sees everyone as Atman in different forms; he cannot negate anything;  like the sky, river and sea, he accepts everything — good or bad, equally.”]

Once in a village, an unmarried woman became pregnant and gave birth to a child. She refused to say who the father of the child was. Everyone in the village condemned and criticized her. Her parents put pressure on her to declare who caused her pregnancy. Finally, in order to avoid further humiliation and save her face, she said one saint living in the hut at the outskirts of the village was the child’s father.

Hearing it, the parents and the villages got very agitated. They marched towards the hut where the sage was staying, called him names and abused him. They said he was a fraud and a man of meanest conduct. They thrust the child in his hands and said that he should take care of the child.

The saint smiled and said, “Fine, let it be so”. From that day onwards, he took care of the child very well, much more than a mother caring her child.

His name was tarnished. His disciples and other villagers who revered him earlier disowned him. Even then he said, “Well, let it be so”.

One year passed this way. The mother of the child felt tormented by her conscience. She told her parents that she had lied about the child’s father; it was actually the young man in the next house of hers with whom she had a physical relationship.

Hearing this, the parents felt very sad. The news spread across the village. Everyone in the village and the disciples felt very remorseful for having wrongly implicating the saint without deeply inquiring into the false accusation. The fell at the feet of the saint and sought his pardon. They requested that the child be returned to the mother. The saint smiled and said, “Fine! Let it be so” and blessed them.

(From Arul Mozhigal-7 Tamil)

7.   True detachment

[Amma: “A true sanyasi, even after self-realization and the state of total freedom from karma, has to work for the welfare of the world energetically and efficiently. Despite all the contradictions existing in the outer world, he does it, as he is still part and parcel of the outer world. But inwardly, he would remain in the total silence and actionless state of Atman, without any contradictions. A true sanyasi has no attachment or sense of possession. Despite being amidst hectic activity, he has really no attachment to actions and remains in total freedom.”]

Once a sanyasi was travelling in a train. Many co-passengers were there in the compartment. All the passengers had several luggages, bags and packs. The sanyasi too had a cloth bag containing some of his possessions. Noticing it, a passenger commented, “We are all family men and naturally we have so many possessions to carry. But you are a sanyasi; you are wearing ochre cloth too; I am surprised to see you carrying a bagful of possessions with you. In what way, you are different from us?”

The sanyasi heard it and remained silently smiling.

After a short while, the train was travelling over a river bridge. Smilingly, the sanyasi took his cloth bag and swiftly threw it out of the window into the river! Then he turned towards the co-passenger who was questioning him earlier and said, “Dear brother, I have thrown my bag; will you throw your baggage too like me?”

Shocked, the co-passenger retorted, “What do you mean?  I have several costly possessions in my baggages. How can I throw them away?”

The sanyasi said, “I too had a few costly things in my bag; I am able to throw them away without a trace of attachment or a sense of loss. YOu can’t do so because you are attached to your possessions. That is the difference between you and me”.

The passenger hung his head in shame on hearing the answer.

8.  Detach and Attach

Once a sanyasi was walking be, with a bag on his shoulders. Some youngsters, seeing his ochre cloth and tattered looks, made fun of him. In order to tease him, they asked, “What is sanyas?”

The sanyasi dropped his bag onto the ground and started walking away. Surprised, one youngster ran behind him and asked him, “I asked you, what is sanyas. Please tell me”.

The sanyasi smilingly came back, picked up his bag, put it onto his shoulders and started walking away. The youngsters now understood that the sanyasi was trying to teach them something through his actions. Now they came  running to him and asked more humbly “We understand you are teaching us something with your actions, but we could not understand; Will you kindly explain us?”

The sanyasi said, “Yes! I was indeed demonstrating to you what is sanyas. When you asked the question first, I dropped my bag and walked away. It means, ‘Leave behind what you consider as me and mine and walk free’. That is sacrifice”.

“Then what is the meaning of picking up the bag again?”

The sanyasi said, “A sanyasi first renounces me and mine. Then he picks up the burden of the world on his shoulders and starts working selflessly for the welfare of the world”.

(Monday beach satsang 16/1/2017)

8.  Let it sink first

[Amma: “A guru teaches higher truths to only such of those disciples who grasp and put into practice what the guru has taught them”.]

Once a famous saint was invited to give lectures on spirituality. A huge crowd comprising of some 2000 people had gathered there to listen to him. Impressed by his speech, the people spread words and the next day some 3000 people came to listen to his talk. The saint spoke on the same topic that day as done on the previous day. For the next day, the crowd got dwindled to some 1500. On the third day too he spoke on the same subject again. On the fourth day, the attendance had reduced to some 750 and still he spoke the same subject again.

As he continued the same way, the crowd dwindled to 400, 200, 100 and the subsequent day, there was just one person attending the talk. On that day, the Saint changed the topic!

The solitary person who was hearing the talk asked the saint, “Maharaj, if you had changed the subject several days ago, many people would have listened it and got benefitted like me. Why didn’t you do so?”

The saint said, “I knew that whatever I was preaching was not grasped by the people and they never made an attempt to put them into practice in their lives. So I kept repeating the same subject again and again so that it can sink into the people’s hearts. However I was watching you for the past couple of days. I taught about compassion and sacrifice and I saw you donating your dress to a poor and needy person. I taught patience and humility and I noticed you yesterday leaving your chappal at the wrong place before entering the hall and the watchman scolding you for your callousness. I noticed that you listened patiently to his abuses as a way of acknowledging your mistake. Thus you had absorbed another virtue from my lectures.  Since you are implementing my teachings in your life, I found you fit enough to receive higher teachings; that’s why I changed the topic today”.

9.  It is the dress that deserves it

[Amma: (About her dressing up like Devi during Devi Bhava darshan:) “When God comes in human form, each Avatar has a way and a purpose. When you see a lawyer in his characteristic attire, you are reminded of your court case and the hope of succeeding in it. Likewise, Amma takes Devi bhava with colorful saree and ornaments, you are reminded of that dressing up reminds you of Devi. Unfortunately the present world believes so much in exterior show, the dress and the makeup. In order to remove people’s attachment to fleeting things, Amma has tro come in disguise!”]

Once there was a great social leader who was invited to attend a big conference comprising of VVIPs and renowned specialists and bigwigs from various walks of life.  The leader intentionally dressed himself in a very simple attire to look like a common man. When he reached the conference avenue, no one took notice of him to extend a cordial welcome. The security persons and people in the reception committee did not permit him to enter into the conference hall.

The leader went back home, dressed himself well with coat and suit and went back to the avenue. This time, he was received very respectfully. He was taken in and and was guided to a dining hall where a grand feast was being served to the invitees.

As he was seated at the dining table, he started to remove his coat, tie, suite and shoes. He rolled them into a bundle and placed it on the dining table. People looked at him wondering what he was up to. When they asked him why he was doing so, he said, “A while ago, I came to the venue dressed like a common man. Nobody allowed me inside. Then I came back dressed in coat and suit, you people invited me with lots of respect and brought me to dine here. So, it is quite clear that the respect has been given only to my dress; that’s why I thought let my dress enjoy this feast!”

(Source: Unaruvin Makkale-Malayalam)

10.   Remaining ever in the state of  a witness

[Amma: ” Remaining in a state of witness (‘Sakshi bhava’) is nothing but remaining in a real state of real awareness — observing what is happening inside and outside and remaining unperturbed and unconnected. In reality there is nothing inside or outside. In Sakshi bhava, we are at the centre of everything and hence, whatever changes happening around us do not affect us. We are one with the universal power.

“However even a true jnani remaining in such a state may appear to be suffering externally. THough they may ‘appear’ to be so, they are in reality, not affected. On sakshi bhava, one can remain witness to one’s own death. All the pain and suffering of his body too will be observed by the sage as a witness”.]

Once a saint was living at the banks of the holy river Ganga. He was totally immersed in divine consciousness. He would always be chanting ‘Shivoham’, ‘Shivoham’. His sweet voice of chanting was audible to the other sadhus residing at the opposite bank of the river too.

One day, the saint was sitting at the bank of Ganges and chanting ‘Shivoham’ as usual with closed eyes. At that time a lion came out of the forests of the Adjacent Himalayan jungle. It was approaching the saint  behind his back.It was clear that the lion was hungry and it was approaching the saint to attack and eat him.

Sadhus living in the opposite bank saw this and they were extremely worried. They started shouting from their side: “Maharaj! A lion is approaching you and it is going to attack you! Please jump into the river and save yourself”.

Hearing their shouts the saint opened his eyes. He turned his head and saw the lion approaching him with hungry eyes. He did not move from his seat. He was ready to accept whatever was going to happen. He knew that the time has come for end to his bodily life in the earth. As he was immersed in the state of Supreme Consciousness, he had no sense of duality. He could not differentiate between himself and the lion. The person sitting and chanting Shivoham and the hungry lion were one and the same for him.  Unperturbed,  he sat there, motionless, chanting Shivoham.

The sadhus on the opposite bank saw, with pounding hearts, the lion pouncing on the Saint and clutching him with his powerful jaws. The saint kept chanting ‘Shivoham shivoham’ . The lion tore his body with his teeth and claws. Still the chanting of Shivoham did not stop! It appeared as though the saint was satiating his own hunger in the form of a lion by savoring his own body in the form of the saint. Till the life force in the body of the saint remained, the sound Shivoham was reverberating in the air.

11.   Accepting God’s will

Once there lived a sadhu who lived by alms. He would go door to door begging his food.  He traveled from place to place and lead his life carefree, in the contemplation of God. At nights, he would knock the door of some house and beg for providing him shelter for the night. Irrespective of whether he was provided with food or shelter by people, he was always pleasant and good mannered. He was spiritually quite evolved but people hardly ever noticed his saintly nature.

On a cold night, he went to a street in a village and knocked at the door of a house. People in the house were not willing to accommodate a stranger and a beggar like him in their house. He said, “Oh God! Thank you, thank you” and went to another house. Somehow, on that cold night, no one in the street came forward to accommodate him in their house. His loud utterance “Oh God! Thank you, thank you”was repeatedly being heard in the village.

Finally, he decided to walk up to the bank of a river flowing adjacent to the village and take shelter under a tree. It was cold and damp.

One of the villagers, who too denied accommodation to the sadhu felt bad after turning him away. He was impressed by the good manners and nature of the beggar. He came out of his house in search of the beggar. Finally he located him at the bank of the river. He approached him and said, “I am sorry that we village people did not give shelter to you on this cold night. I am curious to know — how come you were always saying thanks to God whenever anyone denied you accommodation? How come you did not get angry or dejected?”

The sadhu said, ” Just look around you, my friend. How beautiful the nature around us is!  The full moon is up in the sky making the whole area glow in the nature’s splendor. Observe the beauty of the river sparkling like silver and running with a melodious murmur; Look at the sponge-like clouds at the sky; Look at the array of trees waving their heads in the cool breeze on the opposite bank of the river! I would have been denied of enjoying such a beautiful art work of God at this cold night, had I been accommodated in your house. Whatever God has granted me to night is for my joy only!”

(From Amma’s Vishu message 14/4/2017)

12.  Vision of God

Surdas was an earnest devotee of God and a poet too. He was blind from birth. Once he was on a pilgrimage to Vrindavan. On his way, a young boy joined him and gave company to him on the long journey. The boy was very helpful, friendly, jovial and humorous. Surdas was extremely pleased to have such a boy accompanying him on his pilgrimage. When they reached the outskirts of Vrindavan, it suddenly occurred to Surdas that the boy must surely be his beloved Lord Krishna coming with him to take care of him out of his abundant compassion. Surdas, welling with love, called the boy to his side and embraced him joyfully. However the boy writhed himself free from Surdas’ grip and ran away.

Surdas said, “My dear Krishna! You can run away from the grip of my hands, but I have already confined you in my heart! How can you ever escape from there?”

Very pleased , the lord said, “SUrdas, I will grant you vision to your eyes. You can look at me now!” Surdas got vision and he looked at his beloved Krishna’s glorious divine form to his heart’s content. Then he said, “My lord! Now you can take back my vision. Having seen you, I have no desire to see the outer world. Let your vision alone remain  permanently etched in my memory!”

[Amma: “For a true devotee, once God’s vision is obtained, he has no interest in this world anymore”.]

(From Amma’s Vishu message 14/4/2017)

13.  Empty the mind first

[Amma: “My son, will you be able to remain a new (beginner) spiritual seeker always? Only if you are such a humble and guileless aspirant, it paves the way for opening of the heart. A new aspirant is aware of his lack of spiritual knowledge. Hence he openly and wholly grasps spiritual teachings.If he thinks ‘I know all these stuff’, then he cannot stand humbly and be receptive to the teachings. Even if he hears, it would not enter. It would just flow out.”]

Once in a deep forest, a saint lived alone.  A very learned scholar went to see him one day. Right from the time of his arrival, he was in a hurry to return. He said to the saint, “Sir, can you teach me quickly something about meditation?”

The saint replied smilingly, “Why all this hurry? Please take your seat; we will have a cup of tea and then speak about meditation. We have enough time for it”.

But the scholar was impatient. He said, “Why delay? We can speak right now. Please advise me on meditation”.

But the saint insisted: “Let us have some tea first; then talk”. He stood up and started preparing tea. The scholar sat there impatiently; that was perhaps his nature. His mind was thinking about many things.

The saint took his own sweet time to prepare the tea; he brought the tea in a vessel and also two cups. While the scholar waited restlessly, the saint placed one cup in front of the scholar and started pouring the tea. The cup became full and yet the saint kept pouring more tea. The tea started overflowing from the cup but still he did not stop.

“Stop, stop! What are you doing? It is already full! Why are you pouring more and more?” shouted the scholar.

The saint stopped and said smilingly, “Yes; you are right. You know pretty well that the cup is already full and it cannot take up even a drop of tea extra. Likewise, your mind is already full of so much scholarly matter including ideas about meditation that you have learned from scriptures. Whatever I am going to teach you will not enter into you. If at all my teaching about meditation has to absorbed by you, you have to first empty your mind and intellect first. Do it first and then I will talk to you. Also know one more thing.: Meditation is an experience. It cannot be explained like a theory.  Only when your mind is freed from all thoughts, you can really experience meditation”.

(From Arul Mozhigal-7 Tamil)

14.  The greatness of Mahatmas

Once there lived an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Even afgter several years of marriage, he was not having any children. Hence, praying for progeny, he undertook severe austerities. Still he was not blessed with a child.

One day, he saw sage Narada passing through his village. He went and prostrated himself in front of the sage. He came to know that Narada Maharshi was on his way to Vaikuntha to have a darshan of Lord Vishnu. He requested Narada to inquire Lord Vishnu as to when he would be blessed with a child. Narada agreed.

When Narada reached Vaikuntha, he conveyed the devotee’s request to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu replied that in the current birth of the devotee he had no scope for progeny. Since Narada did not want to convey the bad news to the earnest devotee, he avoided going back to meet the devotee.

Several years passed. It so happened that Narada had to pass through the same village of the devotee again.  As he went to the devotee’s house, he noticed that three children were playing at the courtyard of the house. Narada came to know that they were indeed the children of the devotee! He was extremely surprised. He inquired the devotee how he came to have children.

The devotee said, “Respected Maharshi! A few days after you came to our village last time, a Saint came here. I had the great fortune of seeing him and serving him. Having satisfied with my service to him, he volunteered to give me a boon. I prayed to him for giving me progeny. He blessed me saying that I will get three children. Purely through his blessings, my wife gave birth to three children”.

Narada went straight to Vaikuntha. He complained to Vishnu for not telling him the truth about the devotee: “A few years back, when I requested for blessing your devoree with children, you said that as per his fate he could not get progeny; but today, he has three children”.

Even before Narada told Him about the saint blessing the devotee with children, Lord Vishnu smiled and said, “If so, it must be due to the blessing of a Mahatma. Only Jnanis could change the destiny of a person”.

[Amma: “Children! Know that Mahatmas can can give what even God can’t. The saint has the power to alter the prarabdha (fate) of a person by the power of his sankapa (mental resolution)“.]

(Source: Amutha mozhigal-5 Tamil)

15. Depicting peace in art

Once in a king’s court, there were two very good artists.  There was always competition between them as to who the better artist was. THe king one day decided to conduct a competition between them  to judge who was better of the two. The king ordered them to make a painting for the title “Peace”.

The first artist drew a painting depicting a beautiful lake adjacent to a mountain.  The lake was shown in such a way that there was not even a ripple in its water. The very look of the painting had the capacity to calm one’s mind and bring peace.

The second artist drew a painting depicting a huge waterfall; the splashing of water and the foams it creates and the whirlpool it creates were wonderfully drawn. One could even feel the sound of water falling down with continuous thud by looking at the painting! In the same painting, there was a bush, in which a small bird had been shown sitting motionless with its eyes closed.  Thus it depicted peace amid noisy commotion. It gave a clue to the onlooker that even amidst hectic activity, one can find absolute peace.

[Amma: “The second picture indeed shows the wonderful mindset of a true Jnani. Amid all the turbulence existing in the world, a saint could be in utter peace; he remains in silence, unperturbed by the activities of the world.”]

(Source: Amutha mozhigal-5 Tamil)