"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 |


37. Nârada Bhakti Sutras

Nârada asked Vishnu once: "The rishis or sages who had attained the purest wisdom relating to the universal âtmâ, could not win Your grace; but the illiterate milk-maids of Gokul who were charmed by Your beauty, Your sport, Your music, Your prattle, Your sweetness, Your inscrutable novelty - they won Your grace. How did this happen?"
But, Nârada himself came to know later that the gopîs had Krishna (the Lord) as the very breath of their lives, as the very sight of their eyes, the very sound of their ears, the very taste of their tongues, the very touch of their skin. While tending the cows and calves, attending to their husbands and children, doing the thousand and one chores of worldly life, they lived in Krishna, with Krishna, and by means of Krishna only; sarvada sarva kaleshu Hari chintanam - under all conditions, at all times, in all places, their minds dwelt on Hari (Krishna, the Lord, the Supreme Personality). How then can God deny them grace?

When Nârada went to Gokul and called the gopîs to gather around him so they could listen to his teachings about the attainment of jñâna, the gopîs gave no heed; they said, they did not like to waste precious minutes: "The hours of day and night are not enough for us to dwell on the name of the Lord. We do not require your verbal acrobatics to convince us that God is sat-chit-ânanda-swarupa; we know, we feel, we experience the bliss every moment". It was after this revelations of the supremacy of bhakti that Nârada composed the Bhakti Sutras, which have become the guiding lamps for aspirants.

[see the Nârada Bkakti Sutras & First chapter of the NBS translated and commented by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupâda in pdf]

38. Playing marbles with the Name of God

There was once a boy, who picked up a precious gem, bright and round, and used it for playing marbles on the road, with his comrades. A merchant dealing in precious stones chanced to pass along that road, and his discerning eye fell on the gem. He approached the boy, took him aside and offered to pay him fifty rupees in exchange. If the boy could know the value of fifty rupees he would have known the value of the gem! He went to his mother and told her that a stranger had tempted him with fifty rupees in return for the marble he played with. She was surprised that it was so costly and she said, "Do not go at the compound with it; play in the garden with your friend". When the value was revealed, limits were set.

The merchant had no sleep that night, he was planning to secure the gem from those simple folk, so that he could sell it at a huge profit to some millionaire or mahârâja. He discovered the house of the boy and moved up and down that road hoping to see the boy. When he saw the boy play with it, as it was as cheap as a marble, his heart was wrung in agony. The boy threw it on the floor; his mother emerged just at the moment from the inner apartments and it struck her foot and fell under the bush. He spoke to the boy asking for the gem in exchange for a hundred rupees, and again for five hundred rupees! The son ran into the house in tears, complaining about the stranger who would not let him alone. The mother came out into the garden and begged the merchant to go away.

The merchant grasped the chance; he told the mother that he was ready to give a thousand rupees on the spot, if the marble was placed in his hand! On hearing this, she forbade the child to play with it outside the house; he could play only within the rooms. The merchant could not be shooed off like that; he appeared the next day in front of the house; he held out ten thousand rupees as his offer for the marble. The mother refused to part with it but kept it now in an iron safe, under lock and key! When the merchant came the next day with fifty thousand rupees she took it to a bank and deposited it in their safety vaults.

You are also playing marbles with the name of God unaware of its value. Once you realize its worth, you will keep it in your heart of hearts as the most precious treasure. Know that the name is the key to success in your search for consolation, confidence, courage, illumination and liberation.

39. Caitanya - Incarnation of Krishna

Caitanya gave indication of His being an incarnation to his mother [S'rîmati S'acî devî], as a child. Caitanya was then a baby crawling on all fours. His mother had a guest in the house, an old orthodox brahmin, who was cooking his own lunch from the provisions given by her. He desired his food to be ceremonially pure, uncontaminated by the touch of other hands. He offered to God the food he prepared to eat; that was his vow. It was rather late when the offering was ready. Just when he sat before the idol of Krishna for worship. The child toddled forward and dipped his fingers in the vessel of food thus making it 'impure' as an offering to God. So, provisions were given again. Food was cooked again, and very late in the day the worship was resumed. This time, too, the child crawled in from somewhere and contaminated the sacred food! It repeated the mischief a third time. The mother dragged the child away and threatened to thrash the prank out of its head. But the child asked the mother, quite innocently; "He is calling on me to eat it, but when I go near it he gets angry". Thus did he reveal that He was Krishna again.

About Lord Caitanya:
S'rî Krishna Caitanya Mahâprabhu
Some excerpts about Krishna Caitanya, taken from the volumes of 'Sathya Sai Speaks".

40. The greater grief scours off the smaller

When Dasaratha, the emperor died, there was no one at hand to perform the obsequies and so, they sent word to the two younger sons, Bharata and Satrughna, who had left for their kinsman's capital. They were not informed of the death, and when they came and saw the body, they were too shocked at the inert silence of their dear father, that they ran to Kausalya, the queen, and their stepmother. She burst into tears when the two boys ran into her apartments. They were shocked at this and inquired why. It was then that she broke the sad news of the death of their father. Bharata was plunged in grief at this tragedy; he wept aloud beating his breast. It was inconsolable agony. Then amidst the distress he said,

"Mother, how unfortunate I am. I had no chance to nurse him in his illness, during his last days. Alas, dear brother, you too lost the precious chance of service", he said, patting Satrughna on the head. After some moments, he continued, "Mother, how fortunate are Râma and Lakshmana. They were with him. They nursed him and ran on little errands for him. They were with him when he breathed his last. Since we were far away, did father leave any command for us? What was his last wish regarding us? Did he remember us, ask that we should be sent for?"

Kausalya said, "Son, he had only one word on his lips, one form before his eye; that word was Râma, that form was Râma". Bharatha looked surprised. He asked, "How is it that he uttered the name and craved for the form of Râma, who was by his bedside, and did not yearn for me who was far away? O, how unlucky I am. I have lost the affection of my dear father."

Kausalya replied, "Well, if Râma had been by his bedside or near him, he would not have passed away". Bharatha ejaculated, "Mother, where had Râma gone? Why was he away? Where is he now? Did he go hunting to the forest? Was he on a pleasure trip on the Sarayu?" The mother said, "No, no, He was gone into the forest for fourteen years". Bharatha could hear it no longer. "Alas, what an outrageous tragedy, this. What crime, what sin did Râma commit to deserve this exile? Why had he to go?"
"Your mother wished that He should go, and so he went!" said the queen.

When Bharatha heard this, the grief that he sustained on hearing of the death of his father paled, and the grief that arose at his mother sending Râma into exile for fourteen years supervened overwhelming all else. The greater grief scours off the smaller. [see also Ramakatha Rasavahini I]

40. Compassion is a sign of the great

Once when Samartha Ramadas was moving about the countryside with his disciples, those behind, him seeing a fine field of juicy sugar cane entered it and started pulling out the cane, crunching it with great relish. The owner of the field naturally enraged at their behavior and at the loss, to which they were subjecting him, fell upon them with a stout cane. The Master was sorry that his disciples broke the discipline so objectionably drawn by the desire of the tongue for the sweet juice. Next day they reached Emperor Sivaji's place, where a great welcome awaited the guru and his followers. Sivaji offered to attend personally to the guru during his ceremonial bath; when Ramadas undressed, Sivaji was shocked to find broad red marks, indicating that he had been beaten! Such was the sensitive sympathy of the great saint, that he received on his back the blows meant for his pupils; Sivaji sent for the owner of the field of cane; and, when he stood shivering in fear before the emperor and his guru, Ramadas was requested by Sivaji to inflict on him any punishment he liked. But, Ramadas accepted the fact that wrong was committed by his disciples and blessed the farmer, granting him a boon that his lands would be tax-free for ever.

41. Reward for sincere yearning

There was a Sultan once, ruling over the region of Mathurâ, Vrindâvana and other places, on the Yamunâ. During his reign the emperor of Vijayanagara came on pilgrimage and stayed at Vrindâvana for some days, where he paid homage to Krishna in the temple. The sultan argued that he must have come so only to pay respects to someone greater than himself. He was determined to see that One, come what may. So late one night he went and called out before the closed doors of the temple, "Who is inside?" He heard a voice, which gave the reply. "Govinda Mahârâj and Râdhârânî!" The Sultan was now sure that there were two persons living inside, a Super-Emperor and His Super-Empress. He was filled with an agonizing yearning to see the distinguished occupants of the temple. He waited outside the door, without food or drink for three full days. He was overcome with hunger and thirst; but he did not stir, for he was afraid the Imperial Couple may emerge any moment and he might miss the Darshan ('the seeing' - the presence of the guru; the favor of saints and great sages to their followers to enjoy their presence).

That night, when the town was asleep, just before midnight Govinda Mahârâj and Râdhârânî emerged from the temple. They signed him to follow them. They were magnificently dressed and had elaborately bejeweled headgear, necklaces, wristlets and ornaments for the hands and feet. They moved on until they reached the banks of the Yamunâ, where thousands of Gopas and Gopîs were gathered to welcome them. There was music and dance in the bright moonlight, heavenly joy shone on every face. At 4 A.M. They returned to the temple and before they passed through the closed door, they gave into his hands the Kankanas they wore on the wrists, for safekeeping. Before he could say anything, they had gone.

A party of priests came along at that time, and seeing him, asked him, why he was standing there and what he had in his hands. They had come to open the locks of the outer and inner doors and inaugurate the ceremonials of the day, with Suprabhatam (morningprayer) and Nagara-Sankirtan (Awakening hymn and moving choirs - gathering together in the hours before dawn, and walk slowly along the streets, singing Bhajans glorifying God). The Sultan said, "Govinda Mahârâj and Râdhârânî have just gone in; I was with them at the Yamunâ bank from midnight till a few minutes ago. They gave me these kankanas for safekeeping. I don't know why." They surmised he was a thief who, caught in the act, was spinning a yarn and so bound and beaten him. But they found the locks unbroken, everything intact. Only the idol of Krishna had no gold kankanas! Now they were convinced that the man outside was a great bhakta, who had the unique vision of the Lord. They honored him and craved pardon for the wrong perpetrated in ignorance. Such is the reward for sincere yearning. Unlimited ananda can be earned through implicit faith in God.

42. The Most amazing thing on Earth

When once Brahmâ asked sage Nârada, what was the most amazing thing he noticed on earth, Nârada replied, "The most amazing thing I saw was this: The dying are weeping over the dead. Those who are themselves nearing death every moment are weeping over those who have died, as if their weeping has any effect, either to revive the dead or prevent their own death"! Brahmâ asked him to tell another. Nârada said, "Another amazing thing is: Everyone fears the consequences of sin, but goes on sinning nevertheless! Everyone craves for the consequence of punya (meritorious acts), but everyone is reluctant to do any meritorious act!"

43. The Best Friend in Life

Friendship rampant these days can be illustrated by a story. A person had three friends. He had taken to several bad ways and consequently had to face a court case. He went to a friend and sought his help. The friend blankly told him that he would not like to associate himself with the crime committed by him. He refused to give evidence to rescue him. The second friend, when approached, told him that he would only go up to the court but would not be a witness in a witness box. Thereafter he approached the third friend for help. He immediately responded and said, "Yes, your troubles are mine, my troubles are yours and I shall help you in whatever manner you wish me to help". It is quite clear that amongst these three the third is the best kind of friend. For your life also we have three such friends. At the time of death, one has to leave behind all that one owns. Wealth and status do not accompany you. Your friends and relations may come to the burial ground to bury or cremate the body, and thereafter all will return home. Only the good and bad acts that you have performed in your life will accompany you. Your next birth will be carved out according to your deeds in this life. In order to remain good, you must cultivate respect for truth, which is permanent, whereas everything else including your body is subject to change, decay and death.

44. Worldly pleasures are like a serpent's grip

One person came to Me about thirty years ago and prayed that he should meet his examination with success and secure a high first class. I told him that there will have to be effort and the result will be according to God's will. I gave him My blessings and sent him away. He did secure a high first class and came to Me again after passing his examination and asked for My blessings so that he may get a job. He did get a job within a month. He again came to Me after a few months. He said he got a job, that he was happy, and he also said he wanted to marry a typist girl in his own office. I told him that if it is agreeable to his father and mother, he may do so but they may not like it. He was not inclined to listen to Me. He said that even if it meant transgressing the wishes of his parents, he was determined to marry that girl. He in fact suggested that he would even give up his life, if this marriage was not possible. I told him that he must convince his parents before entering into such an alliance. He brought a lot of pressure on his parents and they, finding no other alternative, agreed to the marriage. The marriage was over and after a year, both of them came to me again and said they wanted a son. After the birth of a son his expenses multiplied, his wife gave up the job, and he came to Me desiring a promotion. By his good luck, he got a promotion. Although he was somewhat foolish in regard to worldly matters, he had great faith in regard to matters relating to Swami. I gave him My blessings and he got a promotion. He did not turn up thereafter for over five years. They had four children. He came again to Me after five years and said that he was fed up with the family, said that he cannot bear the burden of the family and that he was looking for relief from all the mess. He said that he wanted a small job in the âs'ram itself and said that his family has now got a hold over him like a big serpent. I asked him if the serpent caught him on its own or whether he let the serpent came to him and catch him. [see also, for example, the story of Purañjana in S.B. Canto 4, ch. 25, 26, 27 and 28].

45. Sound is Sacred

One teacher, having about ten students, was teaching them some good things. To such an âs'ram came one who had some position and power. This teacher did not go to the door to welcome and receive him. This man who came there, because he had some position and authority, felt somewhat hurt and he went right into the class and asked the teacher: "Why is it you didn't care for me? You have not come and received me. What are you doing?" The teacher said, "I am busy teaching the children some good things." The person who came in asked, "Just because you are teaching them some good things, are the hearts of these children going to be changed and become more sacred?" The teacher took some courage and said, "Yes, of course, there is every possibility of their mind changing by my teaching". The intruder said, "No, I cannot believe it", and the teacher replied: "When you cannot believe it, it simply means that you have no faith in it. Because of that, I cannot give up teaching these boys some good things".

Then this person, who felt somewhat important, started arguing and said there is no possibility of changing a mind merely by words. The teacher who was clever and who had known these things, asked one of the youngest boys to stand up. In the hearing of this visitor the teacher told the young boy, "Look here, my dear boy! You just get hold of the neck of this visitor and throw him out of the door." Immediately on hearing these words, the visitor became completely excited; his eyes were red and he was very angry and came to beat the teacher. Then the teacher asked, "Sir, what is the reason for your becoming so angry? We did not beat you, we did not throw you out, and the only thing that has excited you to this stage of anger is the word, which I conveyed to this young boy. You, who said that you do not believe in changing the mind by mere words, what is the reason why these mere words, which I have uttered to this young boy, have changed your mind so much that you are so excited? So it is very wrong to say that with mere words you can cause any amount of affection. With mere words you can earn the grace of anyone else".

So, if in this world you want to promote friendship, you can do so by using sweet words, by talking in a very sweet manner and by speaking about sacred words. On the other hand if you use harsh words, you are not going to promote friendship in this world.

46. Brahman is All Pervading

In the Upanishads, we have the story of one individual, a very learned man, who was himself a guru. His name is Uddalaka. He had a son by the name Swetaketu. This son made several attempts to get his education at the feet of his own father Uddalaka. But the father did not agree to such a procedure. The reason for this is, for a son who moves freely with his father, it is rather difficult for both himself and the father to deal with and abide by the right disciple-and-guru relationship. The son will always have the idea that the teacher is his father and the concept of father and son will persist. This is because of the affection that exists between the father and son. Here you will also have the justification for calling the son a 'Kama Putra', a son who was born out of affection. Where there is attachment, where there is affection and where there is a feeling of belonging to, then there will be lenience and it is not possible to impart education in its fullest measure and with the right discipline. Because Uddalaka understood and realized the situation, that education cannot be complete and proper when there is a relationship of attachment, so he sent his son Swetaketu to another guru and desired that his son be taught and given proper education.

Looking at this situation, Swetaketu being young and inexperienced, mistook and interpreted it to himself wrongly and got the feeling that perhaps his father is not quite learned and hence has no competence to teach him and so he was sent to another guru for studies. For some years Swetaketu stayed in the guru's house and completed his education and came back to his father's house with some conceit of high learning. Noticing this, the father asked the son, "What is it that you have learnt? What are the various systems that you have learnt? Have you learnt about Brahman? Have you learnt that particular branch of education which, if one has learnt, one needs not have to learn anything else and will be knowing all?" Such were the questions by the father. While the father was asking these questions, the son was behaving in a rather queer and funny way. He was still showing superior airs and conceit as if he was far more educated and learned than his father and that the latter would not understand at all if he started telling what he had learnt over those few years. The father could easily understand the false vanity and the immature state of his son. The son was trying to show off; replying to his father that God is like this, God is like that, and so on.

Uddalata felt that his son would not be able to grasp anything at all if he tried to tell him the truth about Brahman in words. He thought it better to teach the truth him by example. So he brought a pot filled with water. He brought also some sugar in his hand and he showed the sugar to his son. After showing him the sugar, he put all that sugar into the water in the pot. Then he stirred the sugar till it was completely dissolved in the water and then looked at the son and asked him; "I brought the sugar with me and you have seen the sugar yourself, I have put it into the vessel. Can you tell me where in this vessel does that sugar lie now?' The son looked into the vessel and of course did not find any sugar remaining as such in the vessel. The father put a few drops of the contents of the vessel from the bottom on the tongue of the son and asked, "how do you find the taste? You can take a drop from anywhere within the vessel and taste it." The son had to agree that the sugar was there now in every drop of the contents of the vessel and that it was present everywhere in that vessel. Then the father explained saying: "Just as you have now seen this sugar being present everywhere, so also Brahman assumes the form of a 'saguna' or One who has the attributes and comes into the world and resides in every being, in everything that you see around you in this world. It is not possible to see Him separately with your eyes; it is not possible to get hold of Him separately with your hands, but it is only possible to cognize Him by experiencing Him in the state of the world. You cannot do anything more with your gross body than to experience Brahman who is omnipresent and all pervading ".

It is only after you have attained this rich experience that you will be in a position to talk of Adwaita and give expressions to the nature of God and His omnipresence etc. It is only after such an experience will you have any claim, right and authority to talk about the omnipresence of God. Otherwise, with more book-knowledge, prattling like a parrot about God and His omnipresence, as if you truly know all, is all untruth. Only after the non-dual experience of divinity can you talk of Adwaita or nondualism.

47. Leave Everything to His Will

Yearning leads to surrender, and surrender gives highest joy. Leave everything to His Will, accept whatever happens whether pleasant or painful. There was a rich merchant once in Baghdad. He was leading a virtuous God-fearing life. He had a daughter whom he adored greatly, for she was the very embodiment of virtue. The father decided that he would give her in marriage only to a young man who was intimately bound with God, regarding of any other excellence or handicap. He searched for such a groom, in caravanserais, mosques and places where holy persons were likely to gather. One Friday, he noticed in the mosque a fair young man, on his knees even after all else had left, crying out to God most endearingly and with great sincerity. He approached him and asked whether he would marry his daughter. He said "I am the poorest of the poor; I have a leaky roof over my head, and a gravel floor whereon I sit. Who will wed such a beggar? I shall marry with some one who would not object to my spiritual sadhana, consents to share my poverty".

The merchant felt that he was the most eligible groom and the wedding was celebrated soon. His daughter came to the fakir's residence and started cleaning the floor. She was happy that her husband was of her own heart; she too was a pilgrim on the road to God, a practitioner of spiritual exercises. While sweeping the floor, she found in a corner a plate with a piece of bread on it. She asked him why it was kept there, and he replied, "I kept it by, lest tomorrow, when I go my rounds, we may not get enough to eat".

At this, the wife replied. 'I am ashamed of you. You have so little faith in Allah. He who gives us hunger, will He not give us bread, too? I shall not live with a person of this nature. You have no faith in God and His Compassion', she said, and left the fakir to himself.

48. God makes Himself aware to beasts and birds

There are people who bring forth tears when they pass away; there are others who bring forth your tears, when they pass across your way! They are to be avoided. God makes himself aware to beasts and birds, rather than to man, who have strayed into the wilderness. Recently at Dharmavaram, a jutka full of men luggage was being driven towards the railway station, the driver beating the horse mercilessly in the back and neck so that it may run fast. A bearded old man, fair and rosy in health, was passing that way. He accosted the driver and said, "Here! Don't hold the reins so tight. Leave them free, hold them loose! The horse will then run fast." The driver retorted, "You keep quiet! I know my horse better". One of the men inside the jutka said, "Who do you think he is?" The driver said, "I don't care"! The driver then heard a voice (it was the horse that spoke): "He is Krishna, who drove the horses of Arjuna's chariot: He knows all about horses!" The driver thought that the voice belonged to someone among his fare. He replied looking into the jutka, "He may know all about Arjuna's horses: but what does He know about mine?"

49. The Gopîs' Messenger

The gopîs felt that a bee can sympathize with their pangs of separation from Krishna, more than any human messenger can. They asked the bee to intercede with the Lord, on their behalf. Pray to Him, to bear the garland of my adoration, one gopî asked the bee. Another wanted the bee to ask Krishna to illumine the darkness of her heart. Râdhâ asked the bee to pray to Krishna to make the desert sands of her heart sprout into green, so that His feet may tread thereon, light and soft. [see also S.B. Canto 10, chapter 47: The Gopî reveals her emotions: The Song of the Bee]

50. You cannot Paint the World Green

Before you experience the divine in every being in the universe and in every cell and atom, you have to experience it in yourself. Each act, words and thought must be charged with that awareness. There was a millionaire once who was bothered by two aches, one in his stomach and the other in his head! He was diagnosed and treated. He was examined and treated by a galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs, and underwent centuries of injections. But the aches persisted with greater vigor then ever before! At last, a svâmî (honorary title of spiritual teacher) arrived at the scene of his agony. He spoke very kindly to him, and pronounced the fault to be in his eyes! Set right the eye, and the head on top and the stomach below, would both behave very sweetly! To improve the eye, concentrate on only one color. Concentrate on green, he suggested. Do not let your eyes fall on red or yellow, or any other color.

The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object on which his eye was like to fall be painted thick green. Just as the ashtagraha calamity (the ominous astrological phenomenon of eight heavenly bodies reaching a straight line in space, which was sought to be avoided by superstitious persons through ceremonials of exorcism) resulted in a rich harvest for priests, the millionaire's malady resulted in a rich harvest for paint-craftsmen. When the svâmî came back to him after about ten days, the craftsmen ran toward him with a bucket of green paint for he wore a red gown! He wondered why, and got the answer that their master dare not cast his eye on any color other than green, lest the aches may return. The svâmî reprimanded the patient, and said that he had wasted lakhs of rupees as a result of his monumental stupidity. "If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth perhaps four rupees, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and pans, and chairs and sofas and also a pretty large share of your fortune! You cannot paint the world green".

51. Lakshmâna counsels Guha

The knowledge that you are architect of your fortune and that you can, by steady effort, rebuild it or foster it, that you are every day laying on or pulling down the structure of your career, will be a great inspiration provided you welcome it. It was the first night of Râma, Lakshmâna and Sîtâ in the thick jungle into which they were exiled. Guha, the chieftain of the fishermen, who had rowed them across the Ganges was engaged in subdued conversation with Lakshmâna, while Râma and Sîtâ were sleeping on the riverbank! Guha was sunk in sorrow, that the inheritor of the empire should be cast on the sands under the sky; he cursed the queen and her wicked accomplices for contriving this breathtaking tragedy. But, Lakshmâna prayed that he halt his tirade. "I too emitted fiery fury at the perpetrators of this tragedy. For, I did not know the inner purpose of this chapter of Râma's history. He has come in this human form to destroy the evil brood of demons, and so, He has himself contrived this exile, to be free from imperial responsibilities until that aim is accomplished! What do we know, dear Guha, of the mysteries of God or even of man, who is God in human attire? Or of any living being or non-living matter, for they are the entire inscrutable divine, appearing to our limited senses in the way they do. What their real nature is, how can we ever know, with these inefficient instruments of knowledge?" [see also: RRV: ch. 14]

52. Kalidasa's Bhakti greater than his Yukti

Senior poets and scholars who were jealous of his attainments insulted Kalidasa [Sanskrit dramatist and poet, ca. 5th century A.D.] in the court of Bhojarâja. He was poor and that was enough reason for them to look down upon him. When the tank is full, the frogs sit around its bank and croak; when it is dry no frog leaps by its side. The seniors spread scandals about Kalidasa and attempted to cast him out of court.

Kalidasa knew of only one person who was free from jealousy and pride and that was Kali [mother goddess associated with death], the Mother. So, he went to the Kali temple and prayed before the Mother to assure him of high status among poets. After a long time spent in intense prayer, Kalidasa heard a voice emanating from the shrine, which extolled Dandi and Bhavabhuthi as great geniuses and scholars. There was not even a whisper about his [Kalidasa's] attainments! So, he got hurt and even enraged; he gave vent to his ire in harsh words and insisted that she should declare the truth, however unpleasant. Then, the voice announced, "thwamevaham, thwamevaham, thwamevaham, na samsayah" - "you are myself, you are myself, you are myself, without doubt". What greater status did Kalidasa need than this? That is the reply that every seeker will get, for that is his truth, his prize, and his consummation.

There are many stories, which describe Kalidasa as a very resourceful poet who defeated the stratagem of his opponents by clever tricks; but his bhakti [devotional service to Lord Krishna, love of God] was much greater than his yukti [faculty of reason, inference, deduction]. I am reminded of the yukti of a householder when he heard at midnight the noise of his house being broken into by thieves. He guessed that they were within earshot and so, he asked his wife loud enough to be heard by the thieves, "Why are you torturing me thus, asking me to bring back all your jewels that I have pledged with the Marwari? I know that all your gold has gone to him and you know that I have not even a rupee with me; let good times come; I shall certainly recover them and give you. You need not be told that the thieves left, to enter some other house that night; they left the house that had "no gold, not even a rupee."

53. Bharatha's Adoration of Râma

The Ram Principle is the principle of love that descended from heaven, as the gift of the gods, as a result of the great sacrifice. Râma means delight! Nothing delights more than one's own innate self, and so, Râma is also known as Âtmâ Râma. How then could Bharatha agree to usurp the throne, of which Râma is the rightful heir? He and Satrughna were at the Kekaya capital, when Râma was exiled and Dasaratha died heartbroken at the separation. News was sent to him, and when he entered the palace, unaware of the double tragedy that had cast its gloom over the city, he sensed some calamity. Vasishta, the family preceptor, advised him to ascend the throne, for the empire was suffering an interregnum!

Bharatha appealed that he be allowed going to "the God of my prayers, the Lord who receives the homage of my unceasing adoration". Vasishta told him that it was his father's command, and his preceptor's counsel that he sits enthroned as ruler. Bharatha replied that the request was proof of the extreme hatred that the parents, the people, the preceptor and everyone in Ayodhyâ had towards him, for, had they loved him, they would not have pressed him to commit such a mean sin. Bharatha stood before Vasistha with folded palms; he prayed, "Is it just, fair, that you should burden me with the sovereignty over a kingdom, which slew my father, widowed my mothers, exiled my dearest brother whom I value more than my very breath, to the demon-ridden jungle, with his dearly beloved queen and which finally brought indelible disgrace on my mother? My empire is the realm, which Râma rules over, namely, my heart, which is too small to contain His Glory." Bharatha's name itself signifies that he is saturated with love of Râma. (Bha ... means, Bhagavân - the Lord Râma; Ratha ... means, pleased by, happy over, attached to).

Let the love for the Lord grow in you, as it did in Bharatha. Let that sense of adoration, which discard even a throne, flourish in you. Then, you can be of great use to your country, your culture, your society, your religion and your community. Or else, all this bother that you have undergone, to attend sat-sanga, to listen to spiritual discourses, study spiritual texts, etc. will be a colossal exercise in futility. [see also RRV 16b and further]


54. Practise self-control with steady faith

Those who deny God are denying themselves and their glory. All have love in their hearts, in some form or other, either towards the children or the poor or their work or goal. That love is God, the spark of the Godly in them. They have ânanda however small or temporary and that is a spark of God and the Godly. They have santhi, detachment, and sympathy. All these are reflections of the divine on the mirror of their minds. These are all mental excellencies, revealed through an appreciation of the advantages of virtue. Shanthi or calmness practiced through helplessness, as in the case of the thief in the story of Tenali Ramakrishna is no good.

Noticing that a thief had come into his garden at night and that he was hiding under a "snake-gourd bush" near the well. Ramakrishna called his wife to his presence. He asked her to bring a rope and bucket so that he may draw water from the well. The wife drew the water and gave the bucket to him. The thief watched his movements and he crouched in the darkness, expecting that the man and his wife would go into the house soon. He planned that he should gain entry later and collect his loot without having caught. Meanwhile, Ramakrishna pretended that he had something in his throat. He poured the water into his mouth, gargled loud and spat underneath the "snake-gourd bush" right where the thief was crouching! He got it right on his face, and that was Ramakrishna's intention too. The poor fellow could not run away, he could not protest, he was afraid to move; he showed perfect fortitude. But, do you call it a virtue? Do you appreciate him for it? He was motivated by fear, not faith. Such shanthi and sâdhana are of no use at all. Practice self-control, with steady faith. Then it is a source of strength.





Jñâna (literally: knowledge): religious, spiritual knowledge or knowledge of which one is capable to discriminate between the physical encasement and the spiritual soul.
- Search of truth at a philosophical level.
- As a negative term: only theoretical knowledge.  
Sat-cit-ânanda: eternity, consciousness, bliss. Main qualities of Krishna relating to the three levels of realization: brahman, paramâtmâ and bhagavân: the impersonal spirit, the localized aspect, and His complete. What counts in selfrealization is the consecutive realization of the continuity of the impersonal spirit, the consciousness of the local aspect and the happiness of His opulence, His Person.
- The qualities of the spiritual and absolute form (vigraha) of the Supreme Lord; but also of the original form of the living beings, who so sure are part of His being.
- The qualities of spiritual existence on itself.
- The transcendental spirit soul exhibits his own qualities of eternality (sat), knowledge (cit) and bliss (ânanda) in bhakti called resp. the sandhinî, samvit and hlâdinî potencies of the Supreme Lord.




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