[If you have not read the previous 15 little stories of Amma under this topic, you can read them here: Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 3)
1. Bottled Krishna?
One day a Pundit came to see a Mahatma.
The pundit was famous for his scholarship and his knowledge of the scriptures. He was a very proud man. The pundit said to the Mahatma: “I am well versed in all the shastras of our religion. I came to you with an expectation that you may be able to teach me something extra that I don’t know of”.
The Mahatma smiled and said, “I am afraid I don’t have anything to tell you more than what you already know. But there is a shopkeeper in this village, who, I believe, has something to teach you”.
The pundit got curious. He inquired who the shopkeeper was and immediately proceeded to go and meet him. When the pundit reached the grocery shop, he noticed that he was in the process of supplying various grocery items to one of his clients. He heard the shopkeeper telling the client, “You please read out the items one by one from your shopping list and my boy will weigh and pack them.”
Immediately, the Pundit understood that the shopkeeper was a simple, unlettered man. What could such a person teach a scholar like him? Anyway, having come all the way, he approached the shopkeeper and introduced himself. He said, “The Mahatma in this village asked me to meet you. He told me that you have a piece of wisdom that you can teach me”.
The shopkeeper was surprised. He said, “Revered Sir, I am an unlettered man. I have no knowledge whatsoever except selling provisions. What can I ever teach you? Anyway, having come all the way to meet me, I request you to sit with me for a while in the shop, relax yourself and then go back home”.
The Pundit sat in a chair next to the shopkeeper and looked around the shop. In one shelf nearby, there were several jars painted in different colors. The pundit became curious. “What do these jars contain? Why are they painted in different colors?”
The shopkeeper said, “Sir, it is for my easy identification of items, that I have colored them differently. The first jar in red contains pepper. The second one in yellow contains mustard. The third one in green contains cardamom. The next one contains cloves. The last one contains Krishna”.
What? Krishna? What do you mean?”
“Sir, actually the last one does not contain anything. It is empty. I call it the jar of Krishna”.
“You see, you cannot put anything in a jar that already contains something. If you have to put something, it should be empty first. If our mind is filled with so many things, it has no space for the lord to come and reside inside. Only when we keep our mind empty without thoughts, God can come and occupy it. That’s why I call the empty jar as the jar of Krishna”.
The pundit was awestruck hearing the explanation from the unlettered shopkeeper. He immediately understood that his mind was full with ideas and concepts learned from scriptures and hence it does not have any space for God to enter and reside in him. He understood that knowing God and establishing God in his heart was far more important than stuffing himself with scriptural knowledge. He understood that he should get rid of all his pride and make his heart empty to have the vision of God.
(From Amma’s Krishna Janmashtami Satsang 10/9/2020)
2. What you really lost
Once a group of travellers were going to a village. As they walked, they reached a place adjacent to a forest. There they saw a pond with clear water. They left their possessions at the bank of the pond and got into water to take bath. When they returned to the bank after taking bath, they were shocked to see their possessions missing. Thieves had indeed stolen them and run away. The travellers immediately went around in search of the thieves.
They noticed a Sadhu sitting at the shade of a tree on their way. They asked him, “Did you notice any thieves running this way, carrying things? They have stolen our belongings”.
The Sadhu said, “You are all sad because you have lost your possessions. Aren’t you? Now think. You have lost your happiness now; the thieves who made you lose your happiness are outside you or inside you? Do you want only your lost possessions or want something that you will never ever lose? Think deeply on this.”
The travellers understood what the sadhu said. They understood that he was a Mahatma. They surrendered to him and requested him to take them as his disciples.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)
3. Expansiveness matters
Once there lived a householder who had the habit of visiting a Mahatma frequently. He would always complain about the hardships and sorrows he was facing in his life. One day, when this devotee started to talk about his woes, the Mahatma cut him short and said, “You go and bring a glass of water and a handful of salt”.
The devotee brought them. The saint said, “Put a spoonful of salt in the glass of water, stir it well to dissolve it fully and then drink a little of that water”. The man did so.
“How does it taste?” asked the mahatma.
“Ah! Very salty; I can’t even swallow it” said the man.
Then the Mahatma took the man to a nearby pond. “Now put the handful of salt in the water and dissolve it fully” he said.
The man did so.
“Now taste a little of that pond water” said the Mahatma.
The man drank some water.
“Do you find it salty?” asked the Mahatma. “No, Maharaj, not at all” said the man.
The mahatma said, “My son, the sorrows in our life too is similar to this. Pure water is ike the natural, inner joy that we all have. If a little of salt is added to a glass of water, the water turns salty and you can’t even drink it. But the same salt, if put in a pond of water, does not make the water salty. Your mind, at present, is very small, like the glass. But if you make your heart very large like the pond and awaken the bliss inside it, then no amount of sorrow will disturb you”.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)
4. The difference (1)
Once a minister of a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country that needed right solutions.
When he reached his guru’s ashram, one of his guru’s main disciples stopped him. The minister said, “Excuse me, I need to meet the guru very urgently to discuss on some very important matters”.
The disciple said politely, “Sorry sir, our guru is sick; he is taking rest. He has given clear instruction to me not to allow anyone to disturb him.”
The minister was in a dilemma. While he badly wanted to discuss matters with his guru, he could not argue with the disciple too to meet the guru. He stood there for a while very confused and disturbed”.
“May I know why you want to meet our guru so desperately?” asked the disciple.
The minister felt that it would be fine to share his problems with the disciple and he narrated the various serious issues that he is facing as a minister and looking for the right guidance.
The disciple too was quite a learned person and he was serving the guru since long. So, he spoke to the minister for the next half an hour doling out advice as to how to the problems can be managed. The minister was nodding and hearing all that the disciple said, but there was no full conviction in him to accept all of them and take steps to act on them.
In the meanwhile, hearing the voice of the minister outside his hut, the guru, despite being unwell, came out. The minister was surprised and glad to see the guru and he prostrated before him. The guru asked him what his problem was. Again, the minister narrated his woes to the guru. The guru spoke to him only a few words lasting hardly for five minutes and bid him goodbye.
The minister was extremely satisfied with the guru’s advice and he left the place with mental peace and clarity. In fact, what the guru instructed was only the essence of what the disciple had already instructed in detail earlier, but the conviction came to the minister only through the words of the guru.
[Amma: “In this story, what the guru said and what the disciple told earlier were essentially same, but the words of the disciple are nothing but bookish knowledge; where as the words of the guru are based on his personal experience attained through self-realization. That’s why it creates so much conviction and trust in the listener.”]
(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)
5. The difference (2)
Once the king a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country; he had lost all peace of mind and was gripped by a desire to relinquish the king’s role and escape from all the responsibilities. He felt if he could get some solution from his guru to enable him transfer all his responsibilities to someone else, he can have a breath of relief.
After listening to the king’s bag of woes and his final request, the guru said, “Fine. Do one thing. You make a vow to hand over the whole country to me”. The king gladly agreed and made a formal announcement to this effect.
Once it was done, the guru said, “Now, this country is mine. Now I appoint you as the caretaker of this country to govern it as my official representative.”
The king, as he was always obedient to his guru’s words, agreed. He went back to the palace and continued to rule the country. But now a sea of change had happened in his mindset. He felt a great mental relief. He was not the king any longer but only a servant to the guru who is now the real ruler of the country; he was just an instrument in the hands of his guru and felt totally free from the burden of all personal responsibilities that he was shouldering all along.
[Amma: “The sense of ownership is the cause of all tensions. If one becomes an instrument in the hands of God, then all tasks will be accomplished without mental agitation.”]
(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)