"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
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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 |


19. The Unique Treasures of Mankind


It is said that during the Kurukshetra battle which lasted for 18 days, Vyâsa had his mind torn with contrition, for, the contestants were both of his lineage. So, he could not cast his eyes on the fratricidal carnage! One day, he was so overcome by remorse that he hastened beyond the blood-soaked plain, where another day's holocaust was about to begin. Hurrying along, he saw a spider scurrying forward on the ground! "Why so fast?" inquired the sage; the spider ran off the road, climbed up an ant hill by its side and from that eminence, it replied, "Know you not that the war chariot of Arjuna is about to pass this way! If I am caught under its wheels, I am done". Vyâsa laughed at this reply, he said, "No eye gets wet when you die! The world suffers no loss when you are killed! You leave no vacuum when you disappear".
The spider was touched to the quick by this insult. It was shaking with rage. It ejaculated, "How is that? You are a bloated sage! You feel that if you die, it will be a great loss, whereas I will not be missed at all. I too have a wife and children whom I love. I too have a home and a store of food. I too cling to life with as much tenacity as you folk. I have hunger, thirst, grief, pain, joy, delight and the agony of separation from kith and kin. The world is as much in me and for me, as in and for human beings and other."

Vyâsa hung his head and moved on in silence, muttering the line, Saamaanyam ethath pasubhir naraani; for man and beast and insect and worm, these things are common, but, he told himself, "Inquiry into the Ultimate, yearning for Beauty, Truth and Goodness, Awareness of the underlying Unity, these attributes of Wisdom are the unique treasures of mankind", and went his way.

20. Adi Sankara's Pithru Bhakti brings Divine Grace

Sankara knew the real meaning of the Vedic words "mathru devo bhava, pithru devo bhava - let the mother be your god, let the father be your god". Once when his father left the house, he told his son: "My dear son, I am daily worshipping God and distributing naiveidya [offering eatables to the deity or idol; prasâdam] to all the people. So also in my absence and in the absence of your mother, you will please do like that". Sankara promised too so without fail. He poured some milk in a cup, put it before the Idol of the Goddess and prayed to her: "Mother! Take this milk which I am offering". Though he prayed for a long time, the mother did not take the milk, nor did she appear. He was very disappointed.
He said again, "Mother! Mother! You are daily taking the offerings that are given to you by my father. What sins have these hands of mine committed that you are not accepting the offering which I am giving to you?" He prayed to her earnestly from the innermost depths of his heart. He prepared to sacrifice even his life and told himself, "My father asked me to offer this milk to the goddess but I am not able to do so because the goddess is not receiving the offering, which is made. It is better that I die". He went out and brought a big stone to kill himself. The Mother of the Universe is very compassionate and she was very moved and touched by Sankara's sincerity. She at once appeared before him and drank the milk that he offered. She drank the whole milk and placed the empty cup before him. The boy was very glad that the Mother of the Universe came and drank the milk but there was nothing in the cup.

He thought that his father would certainly ask for the naiveidya of the God after his return. He feared that the father may thought that he drank away all the milk and may be angry with him. Therefore he prayed to the Goddess. "Goddess, give me at least one drop of milk so that I may be able to give it to my father". But the goddess did not come. He again sincerely continued to pray; the goddess was moved and she appeared. Because she was not able to give the milk that she drank, she gave her own milk and filled the cup. There is a belief that because Sankara tasted the divine milk, he was able to attain the highest learning, knowledge and wisdom that are ever possible. So the essence of the grace of the goddess became the essence of learning of Sankara. In order to please his father, he tried hard and was able to get the Goddess of the Universe to manifest Herself before him. From this story, we must learn to revere and obey the orders of our fathers implicitly and sincerely.


21. The blanket of Mâyâ and the bear 

The Atma Tattwam is one and indivisible. On the bank of a river, once a group of children were tending their cows. It was the monsoon and all of a sudden a furious current of water developed. Because it was a fast current, one bear, which slipped into the water, was drawn into the midstream and was being carried away. One of the boys looked at the floating mass, and from a distance, it appeared to him to be a bundle of blankets floating in the water. He said to his companion. "I shall jump into the water and get the blanket out", and he jumped into the water. With the mistaken idea that it is a bundle of blankets, the boy embraced with his hands the bear. Then the bear also embraced him with its own hands. However much the boy tried to extricate himself, the bear did not leave him. It held him fast. The boys on the shore shouted: "Oh my dear companion, leave the bundle and you come away." The boy in the water, struggling to escape, cried out: "Though I want to escape from it, it does not allow me to escape."

So in this river of life, mâyâ plays like the bear and we mistake it to be a bundle of blankets. Hoping that it would offer us solace, comfort and happiness, we jump into the river and try to catch it. At a later stage when we want to extricate ourselves from it, we find it impossible to do so. This illusion is created by mâyâ but the divine principle is always one. Visistadvaita has been teaching from time immemorial that though the forms are different, there is only one Purusha, which is the unity in the diversity and multiplicity of forms.

22. Tenali Râmakrishna's Tanesha Bharatam 

With a view to use the sacred story of the Pândavas for some material purpose the Tanesha of Delhi once invited to his court the eight renowned poets of Vijayanagara. These poets were asked to describe the distinctiveness of the Mahâbhâratha. They did so in a beautiful and attractive manner.
After hearing the story Tanesha wanted them to write a fresh epic in which he would figure as Dharmarâja [
Yudhishthhira]the eldest of the Pândavas, all the ministers whom he liked would figure as the other Pândavas and all his enemies would figure as the Kauravas. In other words, he asked them to write a Tanesha Bharata(m). These poets were not inclined to produce an epic of this kind and were discussing among themselves as to how they could tackle the situation. Amongst them a clever poet by name Tenali Râmakrishna came forward and said that he would undertake preparing this book. He wanted to teach a good lesson to the Tanesha.
The Tanesha then asked him to prepare the text in a week's time. The week was coming to a close and Râmakrishna had not even started writing and the other poets were afraid that the Tanesha would punish them. By the end of the agreed period, Râmakrishna took a few pieces of paper and went to the Tanesha who in turn had invited many friends to listen to this great text. Tanesha asked Râmakrishna if the Bharatam was completed. Râmakrishna told that it was nearly complete but that there were one or two minor doubts, which required clarification from the Tanesha. Then the Tanesha asked him what these doubts were so he could clarify them. Râmakrishna replied that he had some hesitation to raise these doubts in public and he would wish to do so when both of them were alone. Tanesha and Râmakrishna went inside and Râmakrishna said that he had a doubt as to who would be fit in the role of Draupadî. Since Draupadî was wife to all the five Pândavas, the person in this role would have to be wife for the five Pândavas in the story. This means that Tanesha's wife would be a wife to the ministers as well. Râmakrishna asked Tanesha if he would agree to give this role to his wife. Tanesha not at all liked this and he told Râmakrishna that there was no need to write such a Bharatam and asked him to clear out after giving him suitable gifts.
Thus we see here that the Tanesha wanted to have a reputation of the Pândavas but he did not want to accept the sacred terms under which the five Pândavas took Draupadî as their wife. Today, if we want to establish the nobility of our culture, we should realize and accept as a fact that the basis for it is respect for morality and truth. We should follow the path of morality and truth. If we want to have the reputation alone but not follow the path followed by our ancestors, we will only be doing what the Tanesha wanted to do. This will be leading an artificial life. We should not hanker after getting a name and cheep popularity. We should look for the fulfillment of life.

23. Sabari's Sâdhana   

Sabari had a very tender, compassionate heart. How she came to Mathanga rishi and stayed at his hermitage is a very interesting story. Her parents arranged her marriage, and as was the custom among the Adivasis a goat was to be offered to the tribal goddess, on the night previous to the ceremony, in order to win the grace for the couple. When Sabari came to know about this slaughter, she wept, and fell at the feet of her parents, praying them to save the goat. She asked, "How can our married life be happy, when the dying bleat of this goat is the prologue?" But, the father pushed her aside and proceeded with the cruel rite. That night, Sabari stole out of the den of torture and hid herself in the depths of the jungle that was not far off [see also RRV-3b & PV-24].

When day dawned, Sabari's parents as well as the groom's party were plunged in grief and anxiety; they combed the area, even amidst the thick bushes, but they went back, saying among themselves, "she could not have gone to the hermitage, for no woman would be given asylum there". Sabari heard those words and so she concluded that the hermitage was the safest place for her. She felt that some monk would take pity on her, and not send her back. Mathanga rishi espied her and gave her permission to be in his habitation. He told her that God in the form of S'rî Râma was coming to the hermitage some day, since He had been exiled into the forests for 14 years and He is eager to save the monks and the seekers doing tapas in the forests, from the ravage of the demonic enemies of peace! Râma, he said, was proceeding from one region to another, with His consort Sîtâ and His brother Lakshmana.

From that day Sabari had no other thoughts than of Râma, no other desire than the desire to have the darshan of Râma, the chance to touch His Feet and the opportunity to speak with Him. Her heart was saturated with the Râmarasa, the sweetness of the Râma principle. She had no other japam or dhyana or spiritual exercise. She spent her time, preparing for the visit of Râma to the hermitage; just as she cleaned the paths, she cleaned her heart, too. Pebbles and thorns disappeared from both through her efforts. She walked through the under growth and removed overhanging creepers and briars, for she imagined Râma would not have combed His hair and it might get caught. She broke the lumps of earth, for she feared the tender soles of Sîtâ would be hurt when she walked over them. She gathered fruits and tubers from the jungle trees and plants and kept them by every day, for no one knew when Râma would arrive! And she took no risks. She tasted every fruit, whether it was bitter, sour or sweet, so that Râma could eat the best. She smoothed the surface of all stones that lay by the side of the tracks in the jungle for, she expected Râma, Lakshmana or Sîtâ to sit upon one of them when they got tired of walking. She hoped that one of them would rest awhile on one of the rocks she polished with great care. Thus, her heart became Râma Hridaya! (Lord Râma became the resident of Sabari's heart).

Sabari was so immersed in Râma that the ascetics lost all awareness of her sex; they allowed her to remain in the hermitage, after Mathanga related to them her high level of sâdhana. Mathanga left his body and gave up his hermitage to Sabari, saying, you alone deserve to be here when Râma arrives!

The sâdhana that Sabari did to earn the bliss of serving Râma, you can do, when you serve Sai Râma in the poor. By this service, you realize the Self of Râma.

24. The World Conference of Animals     

Man is the noblest of all animals, the final product of untold ages of progressive evolution; but he is not consciously striving to live up to his heritage. The beasts held a World Conference, to confabulate on the authenticity of man's claim to be the acme of creation and the monarch of all that walks the earth.

The Lion presided over the deliberation. The tiger questioned the claims of man; the leopard seconded the resolution of emphatic protest. It made a devastating speech, condemning man: "He is a standing disgrace to animals everywhere. He manufactures and drinks merrily fatal poisons and is proud of his utter foolishness. He cheats his own kind and spends all his energies and resources in devising diabolic weapons to wipe out his sisters and brothers; he prods horses and dogs to run in desperate haste and gambles his earnings away, while they gallop along the track; he is cruel, greedy, immortal, insatiable and unashamed. He sets a bad example to the animal world. Though endowed with superior emotions and intelligence, his behavior is disgusting and demeaning", he said. "We do not know if and where we will get our next meal; we have no sure place to rest. We have nothing to wrap round ourselves, except the skin. But, yet the least of us is far worthier child of God than this monster called man." He concluded.

The fox rose and added: "We have a reason when we mate, but, man, I am ashamed to say, has broken all regulations and cares for no restraint. He is a law unto himself and a disaster to the rest".

The lion rose, to sum up the arguments. He agreed with the general trend of the tirade against man, provoked by his undeserved claim to supremacy. But, he refused to tar all with the same brush. He distinguished between men who are bestial and worse, and men who have transcended their bestial past by the proper use of the special gifts of discrimination and detachment. The latter, he said, ought to be received by all beasts as masters, while the former deserved severe reprisals and condemnation.


25. Seek the point of view of God   

Four friends once started dealing in cotton. They had a godown (warehouse) for the storage of the bales; finding that the cottonseeds attracted rats to the godown, a cat was introduced by them to scare the rodent throng. They tied jingles to her feet and since they loved it much, the jingles were gold! Once, when the cat jumped from the top of the bales, it started limping on one foot. So, they applied some balm and tied a long strip of bandage round the injured foot. The bandage got loose. And the cat, unaware of the long narrow cloth that was trailing behind her, sat near the fireplace, and when the cloth began to burn, she ran helter-skelter and fled into the godown itself, where the entire stock of cotton was reduced to ashes in a trice. The four friends had assigned to themselves each, one of the feet of joint cat and the injured foot belonged to one of them; so the other three charged him with the damages, which they claimed from him.

The matter went to the court and after hearing arguments on both sides, the judge said: "The injured leg has no responsibility, for it was taken into the godown with the trail of fire by the three healthy feet. So, damages have to be paid by the owners of the healthy feet to the owner of the limping foot". What may thus appear correct at first sight might prove wrong on second thoughts. There is a correctness from the wordly point of view and a correctness from God's. Find out what the point of view of God would be, by association with godly men; they can give you proper advice. You must seek and not avoid good men.


26. Atma Thathwa is one and the same in all 

There was a guru with a large number of disciples and the guru was telling them some good things. One day, when the lesson was going on, the teacher told the disciples that while they are engaged in puja and meditation, no matter what obstacles come their way, they must take care to see that their meditation is not disturbed. The disciples had great faith in the guru. There were also some disciples who were staying in the âs'ram itself. On a birthday of the guru, one disciple decided to offer special prayers to the guru by repeating the 108 names of the Lord. The disciple collected a photograph, 108 flowers and wanted to perform the puja in the traditional manner. One other disciple invited the guru and took him to his house. The guru while going told this other disciple, who wanted to do the worship at the âs'ram itself, to be careful and asked him to keep the front door closed. The day was very hot and the guru neither had slippers for his feet nor did he have sufficient hair on his head to protect him from the sun. When the guru came to the âs'ram and wanted the door to be opened, the disciple inside was engaged in offering puja. The guru knocked at the door and asked the disciple to open the door. The disciple replied that he was engaged in puja and that the guru must wait till the puja was over, as the puja was not to be interrupted. Today ninety-nine out of hundred people are like the disciple. They only worship the photograph of the person whose grace they long for, and continue to do so even when the latter is knocking at the very door of the worshipper.  

27. The one basis and different containers 

When a guru was sitting and teaching his disciples, one day he said: 'Guru Brahma, S'ishya Brahma, Sarvam Brahma'. Thus the guru was implying that everything in the universe was Brahman. Every day, one disciple was accustomed to greet the guru respectfully on his arrival, but after this particular event, he did not do so and he never got up from his seat. The guru questioned him on this strange behavior and the disciple replied that the previous day, the guru had said that everything was Brahman and therefore there was no difference between them.

Then the teacher felt that what he said came back to him as a boomerang and he wanted to teach the student a good lesson. He went to the board and wrote 'Guru Brahma' as two different words. He also wrote 'S'ishya Brahma', and 'Sarvam Brahma'. When you look at theses three, though Brahma is occurring as the same in all the three, the Guru, S'ishya and Sarvam are different. Only when these three words also become one, you can say that all are one. Thus, until you are able to experience this oneness of all in practice, the student will remain a student and a teacher will remain a teacher and there is no escape from the need for the student having to respect the teacher. The basis is one but the containers are different.

28. The right path to liberation

While devoting your life to worldly pleasures and ideas, it is not possible for you to realize God. There is a story of a king, who used to ask all people who came to his kingdom, to tell him the correct path for realization. Each one, basing himself either on some standard texts or on what elders told him, used to say that a particular path was the right one for liberation. While this was going on, a servant close to the king was listening to the many descriptions that were being given of the right path for liberation. He found that the king was listening continuously to various methods of attaining moksha but he was not putting any one of them into practice. With the intention of teaching the king a good lesson, one day when the king was sitting and talking to many people in the central hall, the servant came from outside shouting loudly. The king then got up and asked the servant what he was shouting about for. The servant replied with some anxiety in his face that all the palace camels were climbing up to the top of the terrace. The king asked how the camels could climb to the terrace. The servant then said that if the king, steeped in luxury, can aspire to climb up the path of spirituality and attain liberation and moksha, there need be no surprise at the camels climbing to the terrace, and then running off.

29. Every act of the Lord has a significance

Krishna humbled Arjuna's pride during the war in an interesting manner. About the end of the war, one evening, Arjuna felt proud that Krishna was his charioteer and his 'servant'. He felt that as master, he should get down from the chariot after Krishna and not before Him. So, that day he insisted that Krishna should get down first. But, Krishna was adamant: Arjuna must come down first, He said. After wasting a long time, pleading and protesting and praying, Arjuna got down, very unwillingly, swallowing his pride. Krishna then came down, and, immediately the chariot went up in flames! Krishna explained the reason. The incendiary arrows and missiles that had struck on the chariot were powerless so long as He was on it; but, when His presence was no longer there, they set the chariot on fire. Thus, Krishna showed that every act and word of the Lord had significance and a purpose, which mortals cannot gauge. Egoism is a tough enemy and it requires constant vigilance to conquer it.

30. Hanumân's Devotion

After the coronation, one day, Sîtâ and the three brothers of Râma met and planned to exclude Hanumân from the seva of Râma and wanted that all the various services for Râma should be divided only among themselves. They felt that Hanumân had enough chances already. So, they drew up a list, as exhaustive as they could remember, of the services from dawn till dusk, down to the smallest minutiae and assigned each item to one among themselves. They presented the list of items and assignees to the Lord, while Hanumân was present. Râma heard about the new procedure, read the list and gave His approval, with a smile. He told Hanumân that all the tasks had been assigned to others and that he could now take rest. Hanumân prayed that the list might be read and when it was done, he noticed a task of omission - the task of 'snapping fingers when one yawns'. Of course, being an emperor, Râma should not be allowed to do it himself. It has to be done by a servant, he pleaded. Râma agreed to allot that task to Hanumân!

It was a great piece of good luck for Hanumân, for it entailed Hanumân's constant attendance on his Master, for how could anyone predict when the yawn would come? And, he had to be ready with a snap, as soon as the yawn was on! He could not be away for a minute nor could he relax for a moment. You must be happy that the seva of the Lord keeps you always in His presence and ever vigilant to carry out His behests [see for example also: S.B. 5:19, & RRV:12a].

31. Karna, the great Giver

There is a fine story about Karna. He was applying oil to his head, preliminary to his bath, from a jeweled cup. Karna had taken the oil in his right hand and rubbed it well into his hair, when Krishna appeared and Karna rose to revere Him. He said He had come to demand the cup from him as a gift! "I am surprised that You, the Master of the Universe, have a desire for this paltry thing but who am I to ask you questions? Here is the cup, I gift it to You", he said, and placed it in the Lord's right hand with his left hand. Krishna took him to ask for that error in dharma, offering a gift with the left hand. But Karna said, "Pardon me, o Lord! My right hand is smeared with oil; I was afraid, that if I take time to wash the hand and make it fit to give the cup, my wayward mind which now had agreed to the gift, might discover some argument not to accede to Your request; I might therefore be deprived of the unique fortune, by the fickle mind with which I am burdened. This is the reason why I acted immediately and passed it on to You, regardless of the breach of a rule of etiquette; please sympathize with me and pardon me", Karna pleaded. Karna knew that the mind is unsteady, but, as Krishna advised Arjuna, detachment and discipline can tame it. [photo of Krishna and Karna by radiosai.org]

32. Vairagya - The story of Mohajith

Bhakti and the attitude of saranagathi (absolute self-surrender) that is its final fruit will give you great courage to meet any emergency; such courage is what is called vairagya. The story of Mohajith is a good example of this highest type of vairagya. Mohajith, the Prince, went to a sage in the forest and sought guidance in the spiritual path. The sage asked him whether he had conquered moha as his name indicated. The Prince said that not only he, but also every one in his kingdom had! So the sage started to test the truth of this claim. He took the Prince's robes, soaked them in blood and hastened to the palace gate with the gruesome story of the murder of the Prince by some ruffians in the jungle. The maid whom he met refused to hurry with the news to the Royal apartments because she said. "He was born, he died; what is the special urgency of this news that I should interrupt my regular routine and run to the King and Queen?" When at last he got an audience and was able to communicate the sad news to the father, he sat unruffled, whispering to himself: "The bird flew off the tree on which it had alighted to take rest." The Rani too was unmoved.

She told the sage that this earth is a caravanserai, where men come and stay for the night and when dawn breaks, one by one, they tramp their different ways. Kith and kin are the words we use for the attachment to the travelers cultivated in the caravanserai during the short term of acquaintance. The wife of the "dead" Prince was also unaffected; she said, "Husband and wife are like two pieces of wood drifting down a flooded river; they float near each other for some time and when some current comes between, they part; each must move on to the sea at its own rate and its own time. There is no need to grieve over the parting of the two; it is in the very nature of Nature that it should be so." The sage was overjoyed to see this steady and sincere vairagya in the rulers and the ruled. He came back to the forest and told the Prince that while he was away, a hostile army had invaded his kingdom and enslaved his subject. He took the news calmly and said, "All this is a bubble, impermanent, flimsy. Let it go the way of the bubble. Guide me to reach this Infinite, the Imperishable".

33. Never judge another's devotion

There is a widely prevalent habit now of judging others and labeling them as bhaktas (devotees) or nasthikas (atheists). What do you know, what can you know of the inner working of another's mind? There was once a queen who was a great devotee of Râma; she felt so sad that her husband, the Raja, never even uttered the name of Râma and had no bhakti. She had vowed that the first occasion, on which she got evidence of his bhakti or at least respect for Râma Nâma, she would conduct puja in all the temples and feed the poor on a lavish scale. Then, one night, while fast asleep, the Raja uttered the name of Râma thrice plaintively and prayerfully. She heard the namasmarana and was happy at the discovery of her husband's devotion to Râma; she ordered general rejoicing throughout the kingdom and the feeding of the poor. The Raja did not know the reason for the celebration for he was only told that it was an order of the Rani, which the officers carried out. Similarly, a husband may not be aware of the excellence of a wife's spiritual attainments.

There is the case of a couple who was proceeding through thick jungle on pilgrimage to an inaccessible shrine. The husband saw on the footpath a precious stone, shining brilliantly when the sun's rays fell upon it from between the 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.

The Raja who spoke in his sleep the sacred name of Râma felt very sorry, according to the story, that he let Râma Nâma out of his mouth, for he believed that no one should know of his 'love' for Râma. There are many who will not shout about their guru or their favorite nama and rûpa but, whether you declare them to others or not, keep them ever in your consciousness. Râma Nâma or any other name must be as constant as breathing. For this, practice is essential.

A person once told Dr. Johnson, the famous English thinker, that he could seldom get time to recite the name of God, with the hundreds of things he had to do from morning till nightfall and even far into the night. Dr. Johnson replied whit another question. He asked how millions of people found space to live upon the face of the earth, which is two thirds water and the rest too full of mountains, deserts, forests, icy regions, river-beds, marshes and similar impossible areas. The questioner said that man somehow struggled to find living space. So too, said Dr. Johnson, man must somehow find a few minutes a day for prayer to the Lord.

34. God on your side - world in your hold

You may have accumulated riches, acquired deep scholarship and achieved health and strength. But, unless you have gained, in addition, a vision of the supreme sovereign, and an aspiration to be ever in the ecstasy of that vision, all that has been garnered by you is mere lumber. India has a great epic, the Mahâbhâratha, which describes a war between the Kauravas and Pândavas. The Kauravas had superior financial and military resources. They approached Krishna, the Incarnation of the Lord, for help; but they were content to receive from Him a large army and a huge quantity of hardware. The Pândavas sought from Him only His grace! The Lord agreed, He came over to their side, alone and unarmed! He held just a whip and drove the horses of Arjuna's chariot! That was all, but that was all that was needed for victory. The Kauravas were defeated to the uttermost; the Pândavas won the empire and eternal fame.

If God is on your side, you have the world in your hold. This is the lesson driven home by the Hindu scriptures. "Give up all bonds of right and duty; surrender unreservedly to Me! I shall guard you from sin and liberate you from that sad cycle of 'entrances' and 'exits' on the stage of life. You can remain ever in your own reality of eternal calm", the Lord has assured. [see also Bhagavad Gîtâ, ch. 7 & ch. 18]

35. Dharmaraja's grief over Karna's death

Karna, the eldest born of the Pândavas, did not know that he was the brother of the other five. Nor did the five brothers know this fact. As a consequence of this ignorance, Karna was saturated with hatred towards the five; he longed to destroy them; he prepared himself for battle against them, with unabated vigor. The younger brothers too, planned to destroy him and behaved towards him as if he were their deadly enemy. When Dharmaraja, the eldest of the five, came to know - after the death of Karna, which they effected successfully - that Karna was his brother, his agony knew no bounds; he was struck disconsolate and was torn by despair. If only he had known the truth, all that grief could have been avoided isn't it? So, too, until you know that all are altars where the same God is installed, all are moved and motivated by the grace of the self-same God, you are afflicted by hate and pride; once you know it and experience it, you are full of love and reverence to all. The barbarous remedy of war will be given up when this basic brotherhood is felt in the deepest core of man.

36. Krishna is the visualization of the Âtmâ

The Krishna whose advent you should celebrate, is not the cowherd boy who charmed the village folk with His flute, but, the Krishna, the indefinable, inscrutable, divine principle that is born in the navel of the body (Mathurâ) as the product of the energy (Devakî), that is then transported to the mouth (Gokulam) and fostered by the tongue (Yas'odâ) as its source of sweetness. Krishna is the visualization of the âtmâ that the repetition of the name grants; the vision that was gained by Yas'odâ. You must foster that Krishna on your tongue; when he dances on it the poison of the tongue will be rejected completely, without harming any one, as happened when as a child He danced on the hoods of the serpent Kâliya.

Yas'odâ traces Krishna to the place He hides in, by the footprints He leaves, when He has broken the curdpot, which she was churning. This is a symbolic story to illustrate how the Lord breaks our identification with the body and leads us on to Himself, by signs and signals that He provides all-round us. These signs are ever present in the nature around each one of us, in the beauty of the rising sun, the ecstasy of the rainbow, the melody of the birds, the lotus- spangled surface of lakes, the silence of snow-crowned peaks - in fact, since god is rasa, sweetness, ecstasy, all nature, which is but Himself in action, is sweet and ecstatic. With or without form, it is ananda. Welcome it into the heart as Râma - He who is joy and grants joy, or as Krishna - He who draws you by means of the joy He imparts - and, live all your moments with it, offering your dhyana, your puja, your japa. That will open the doors of jñâna and of liberation. This is the mark of the wise, while those who are otherwise wander in the wilderness, filling their moments with meaningless trifles, toys and gew-gaws.

Purusha: the male principle; the Absolute Truth in its original form (mahâ-purusha). The lord as the purusha assumed the original form of the material world with her sixteen principles of material action (S.B. 1.3:1).
- The original person, the incorporeal godhead.
- (as cause and effect), The mind, the elements, false ego, the guna's, the senses, the Universal form or appearance (virath-rûpa) with the moving and nonmoving living entities and the complete independence all together.
- The living being, the person as the enjoyer.
- Krishna as the Supreme Enjoyer.
- Vishnu as the first avatâra (purusha-avatâra).
Yudhishthhira: the eldest of the Pândava-brothers who after the great war of Mahâbhârata ascended the throne as the victor.
Vairagya: detachment.
Bhakti: devotion, devotional service to Lord Krishna, love of God.
Moha: delusion caused by false identification, infatuation.

Painting of Lakshmî by Johannes Ptok





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