"One Little Story"
Part I

Stories and Parables

Quoted from the Divine Discourses of
Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba


| Part I-a Part I-b Part I-c |
Part I-a
Stories 1-90
ck1 - ck2 - ck3 - ck4 - ck5
Part I-b
Stories 91-180
ck6 - ck7 - ck8 - ck9 - ck10
Part I-c
Stories 181-262
ck11 - ck12 - ck13 - ck14

| ck1 - ck2 - ck3 - ck4 - ck5 || ck6  - ck7 - ck8 - ck9 - ck10 || ck11 - ck12 - ck13 - ck14 |



166. Two Letters Remained

There is a story in the Classics to illustrate the worth of the name Râma. Sage Prachetas once composed a text with verses numbering hundred crores! The three worlds competed among themselves to take the entire text. The struggle assumed calamitous proportions and so God brought them together and persuaded them to accept a third each, that is to say, each world (Heaven, Earth and the Underworld) received thirty-three crores, thirty-three lakhs, thirty-three-thousand and three-hundred-thirty-three verses each. One verse remained undivided. It had thirty-two syllables in all. So, when it too was allotted among three co-sharers, at the rate of ten syllables each, two syllables were left over. How could two be divided among three? So, God decided that they be adored and received by all three worlds equally -- the syllables were 'Ra' and 'Ma', making up the priceless key to salvation: Râma!

Râma is the bee that sucks the honey of devotion from the lotus of the heart. The bee loosens the petals of the flower it sits upon; bur Râma adds to its beauty and fragrance. He is like the Sun, which draws the water to itself by its rays and accumulating it as cloud, sends it back as rain to quench the thirst of earth. Râma, the mystic potent sound, is born in the navel and it rises up to the tongue and dances gladly thereon.

The Vedic declaration 'thath-thvam-asi' (That-thou-art) is enshrined in the word Râma, which consists of three sounds: 'Raa' - 'aa' and 'ma'. Of these 'Ra' is the symbol of 'Thath' (That; Brahman, God); 'Ma' is the symbol of 'Thvam' (Thou; jîvî, individual) and 'aa' that connects the two is the symbol of the identity of the two.

Prasanthi Ram
'Pahimamprabho S'rî Râma'

167. His Own Rock

There was a monk near Haridwar who had given up since years both hearth and home and was living on alms; he used to heap all the food he collected on a flat rock that jutted out of the Ganga and used it as a plate from which he took his meal. One day he came to his rock and found another monk sitting there, taking food! He got enraged at this trespass on his 'property'. Then the new-comer said: "Alas! you have renounced all sense of "I and mine"; you have shaved your head, so that you may not be recognised by erstwhile companions; you yearn to be free from all bonds; but, you have tied yourself up with this rock! How can you swim across this Sea of Samsara with this rock around your neck? You are leading a life of hypocrisy". That opened his eyes to the error.



168. The Repentent Dog 

When S'rî Râma decided to end His Avatâra career and walked into the flooded Sarayu river [see also RRV-ch14], a dog too followed the concourse. When asked why it had attached itself to the entourage, it said: "I desire to enter heaven with you all. I was, in my previous life, a full-fledged yogi; but I slipped and fell from the straight path of self-control, I became the slave of conceit; I expounded the Vedas as my fancy dictated, in strange but attractive ways. So, I have now become this animal that takes delight in barking, biting and baying. The persons who encouraged me then by praise, are now the fleas and flies that crowd on my skin and pester me. Help me Lord to escape from this disgrace; I have worked out my karma; I have lived out my sentence". That is the consequence of irreverence shown to the Vedas; study them reverentially and with a view to practise what they teach. Desisting from practice is itself irreverence.

169. Rukminî's Marriage   

Rukminikalyana is not simply the story of a marriage. It is the union of Purusha (the male principle) with Prakriti (the material nature) itself. The brahmin intermediary is the symbol of vedic authority through which the merging of the two is known. Rukminî is the Jîva (the individual soul) and Krishna is the Paramâtmâ (the supersoul). She is suffering from the rules and restrictions imposed by prakriti, ahamkâra (false ego derived from being identified with the body) is her brother and worldliness is her father. But on account of her sadâchâra (good conduct), her mind rested on God. So she was able to plan a method of reaching God. Her prayers, repentance, yearning and steadfastness were rewarded. Her observance of the age-old code of good conduct at last saved her, for, she went out for the Girijâ (Ambikâ) puja, before the marriage rite. In that temple she was immersed in the worship of God and so she was liberated from the bonds by the God who was lying in wait! The parents and the brother and all the relatives objected but, an individual is born to work out its destiny, not to live out the days according to the plans laid down by others, however dear or near they may be [see for this story S.B. 10.52 & 10.53]

170. This will not Last     

The senses are the villains, they instil the delusion that you are the upadhi (container, disguise, encasement, limitation). Curb them as tbe bull is curbed by the nose-ring, the horse by the bit in the mouth, the elephant by the goad. When the Pândavas were traversing the Himalayas towards the end of their careers, Dharmaraja [Yudhishthhira] was still affected by mental anxieties and so he prayed to Lord Krishna to spend some time with them. On His departure from their dwelling, Krishna gave Dharmaraja a note, which he was to read to himself whenever he was affected by joy or grief. The note read "eppudoo undadu" - 'it will not last forever'. That is one method by which mental agitations can be calmed. [see also S.B. 1.15 - The Pândavas Retire]

171. His Dharma Changes

Man is journeying through the stream of life from one act to another; it is continuous activity, marked by karma throughout. There was a consummate actor who went to the darbar of a king in the role of a sannyâsî. The king honored him as a great monk and asked him various questions on sâdhana and philosophy which he answered using profound vocabulary and appropriate terms. The King was very pleased and he ordered his Minister to bring a plate of gold coins as offerings to the saint. The sannyâsî spurned the gift. He said that as a sarvasanga-parithyogi - one who has renounced all attachment and desire -, he could not even glance at it and left in a huff.

The next day, the same actor came to the palace as a female artist of dance, very orthodox and restrained. The king appreciated it highly and the Minister brought forth the plate full of gold coins. The dancer refused to accept it, because it was too small a recompense for the skill exhibited. The King suspected from the voice that it was the sannyâsî of the day previous that was standing before him as the female artist. Finding that his surmise was correct, he asked him why he was asking for more today, when he had refused to take the same gift the previous day. The actor replied, "Yesterday, I was a sannyâsî and so, it was my dharma to refuse. Today I am a dancer and so it is my dharma to earn as much remuneration as I can from my fans."


172. The Wiser Wife

A husband may not be aware of the excellence of his wife's spiritual attainments. There is the case of a couple who were proceeding through a thick jungle on pilgrimage to an inaccessible shrine. The husband saw on the footpath a precious stone, shining brilliantly when the rays of the sun fell upon it from between leaves. He hastily threw some sand over it with a movement of his foot so that his wife may not be tempted to pick it up and become a slave to the tinsel. The wife saw the gesture and chided the husband for still retaining in his mind a distinction between sand and diamond. For her, both were the same.

173. Returned with Thanks

Buddha was seated alone one day, and later, some men gathered around him. One among them who did not like his teachings and the effect it had on the people, got up and started a tirade in very vulger terms against him. Buddha sat smiling listening to all that calumny, without a single gesture of disapproval. The man got frothy in the mouth through rage, his vocabulary was getting exhausted fast, his tongue began to show signs of overwork, but, Buddha only asked him with a smile: "Brother, have you finished"? The man said: "You have no sense of shame; you do not even react when I abuse you. You are thickskinned; you are a log of wood". Buddha asked him: "If a person does not accept a gift, what happens to it?" The man said: "It remains with the giver". Buddha replied: "Well, keep these gifts of abusive words with you, brother! I do not accept and react".

174. The Daughter in law's Dictum

There was a beggar who once wailed before a rich house for a mouthful. The master, reclining in an easy chair, drove him away with harsh words. But, the beggar persisted. He asked for some stale food, at least! At this, the daughter-in-law who was at her meals in the inner apartments, replied: "My dear fellow! We are at present eating stale food. The fresh dishes are now being cooked". The beggar knew what she meant; he understood that the woman was pointing out that the father-in-law by his insolence and cruelty was preparing for a miserable future, while his present high standard of living was made possible by the merit he acquired through charity in previous lives! We eat stale food, that is to say, the result of the acts in past lives. We are also cooking our future meals.

175. Mâladâsa

There was a cowherd called Mâladâsa who was determined to see the Lord the way He was described in the sacred texts he had heard expounding in the village temple by a pundit. So he prayed and prayed to the 'Dark Lord riding on the white bird' all the time his cows were pasturing in the fields. Eleven days passed, but there was no sign of the 'Dark Lord riding on the white bird'. He had forgotten to take food and drink during all those days and so had become weak, too weak to walk or talk. At last, the Lord melted at his entreaties and presented Himself before him as an old brahmin. But the brahmin was not riding a white bird, nor was he dark, beautifully dark, as the pundit had described. So, he asked the brahmin to come the next day at seven in the morning so that he may bring the pundit and verify whether He was the Lord Himself.

The pundit laughed at the whole affair and refused to take part in it; but, Mâladâsa was so importunate that he agreed. The entire village turned out on the river bank the next day, long before seven o'clock. The brahmin was there, exactly as he had promised and Mâladâsa showed Him to all. But they could not see him. They began to laugh at the cowherd's antics and threatened him with severe beating, for bringing them all along as butts for his joke. Mâladâsa could see the brahmin clearly but no one else could. At last, Mâladâsa got so enraged that he walked up to the old brahmin and gave him a whacking blow on the cheek, saying: "Why don't you show Yourself to all?"

That blow changed the entire scene. The brahmin disappeared. Krishna appeared in resplendent robes, with a smiling face, in a captivating form on the white bird. As the astounded villagers were recovering from the amazement, a heavenly chariot, the vimâna, floated down from the sky and Lord Krishna asked Mâladâsa to sit inside. Then with the Lord by his side, Mâladâsa rose up and soon was out of sight.

176. Baby's Invitation

Krishna was only a few weeks old, when a certain ascetic came into the house of Nanda. Yas'odâ was having the baby in her lap. Of course this is an incident not found in any book; I Myself have tell you this. The maids ran in for they were afraid the child might start weeping at the sight of the uncouth figure. He walked in nevertheless, and Yas'odâ found that when he was sent away, the baby raised a cry, not when he was approaching. The Muni also announced himself as having come to see Krishnaparamâtmâ, a name that was new to the entire family. No wonder, the baby cried when that distinguished visitor was asked to go! Devakî had been given the vision of Krishna being the Lord Himself but this Muni had discovered the arrival of the Avatâr, by the Grace of the Almighty. It was the Baby who had invited the Muni for His Darshan.

177. Suguna

Then, there was Suguna another gopî. One day, when Krishna was with Satyâbhâma, He pretended to have severe ache in the stomach and in spite of all the remedies that she tried she could not afford relief. Of course, it was all acting, superb acting, such as the paralytic stroke I had for a week previous to Guru Pournima recently! Even Rukminî was not admitted into the house by her to inquire about Krishna's health. But, Rukminî found Suguna pining outside the door in great agony at the illness of the Lord. Rukminî gave her the articles and asked her to go in. Krishna welcomed Suguna and made her sit at His Feet and ate the fruits she had picked up from Satyâbhâma's own garden and suddenly, the ache had gone. It was her agony at the Lord's condition, her simple sincere devotion that was so effective.

There should be no artificiality in your attachment to the Lord, no affectation, no pride, no egoism left to soil the freshness of the flower you offer. Satyâbhâma protested when Krishna accepted the fruits, for, Krishna had brushed it aside as tasteless when she had herself offered them as the precious product of her assiduous gardening effort. They were tasteless, since her pride had entered into it. Now, when the simple rustic gopî picked them from the ground and saturated them with her devotion, they became tasty and attractive, for the Lord, cares for the bhâva (affection) not the bâhya (outer, exterior)!

In the Kuchela (Sudâmâ) episode, the wife of Kuchela plays a more important role than Kuchela himself. She has much more bhakti; in fact, women are more devotional than men, they can master their minds better. It was her maternal love that prompted her to send Kuchela to the Lord so that her children might get a full meal. She had faith in the Lord. Kuchela hesitated and argued that Krishna might not recognise him or invite him in or accept his homage [see for this story S.B. 10.80 - An Old Brahmin Friend Visits Krishna].


178. Follow the Wise Man

Some people were on the bank of the river and since they were strangers they sought information whether the river could be crossed at that point and how. A lame fellow said: "It is dangerous to cross at this point, go further down". They did not believe him, for he could not have waded through! A blind man said: "You can cross; only, keep more to the left for some distance and move to the right afterwards". They did not follow his advice either, for he could not have know; he must have been led by someone else. At last a man came, who volunteered to take them across. "I have crossed often; I live on the other bank and I own lands on this side". So, they followed him with confidence and they could reach the other bank safe.  

179. The Thorn on the Road

A young man got married one morning at 9 0'clock. In the evening the newly wedded couple left for a walk. On the first day of their wedded life, the mind of the young man was engrossed in the welfare of his wife. They walked side by side. The young man saw a thorn on the way. He did not want his wife to tread over it. So he pulled his wife away from the thorn well in time. Six months went by. While they were walking again, he saw another thorn on the way. In a very casual manner, the husband said: "There is a thorn in your way; try to avoid it." He was not as anxious as he was on the first day of their wedded life. One whole year went by. They were walking to some place again and he saw a thorn on the way. His wife was walking without noticing. He angrily reprimanded his wife saying: "There is a thorn, are you blind, can you not see?" Notice how within one year, the love of a husband to his wife has undergone transformation.

180. The Tender Feet

The influence of the divine is such that while you are contemplating it, all trace of envy and greed will disappear from the mind. The boy Krishna had entered a gopî's house and was just standing beneath the milk pot hung above when she discovered Him; Krishna ran out into the street and the gopî pursued Him, and wanted to catch Him. She wanted to catch Him fast, for she was so pained that the boy was running in the hot sun. She never worried about the loss of curds or milk or butter, but, the thought of Krishna's tender feet walking over the hard stones in the sun was something she could not bear.







Painting of Mother with Child by Frank Wesley
Vimâna: (of vi: apart from, order, increasingly, and mâna: building, altar, measure, but also: opinion, notion and idea) meaning palace, airplane, high in the sky rising building, elevated abode or means of transport and also temple. Also the idea of vimâna as a separate notion or opinion or a general idea of order standing apart should be considered in understanding this concept often used in the context of going to heaven.






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