"One Little Story"
Part I

Stories and Parables

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

J.S. Bach midi
'Jesus bleibet meine Freude'
'Swami, you are my Joy'


| 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 |



55. The Lord cares for the feeling behind the act

Abdullah was sleeping in a corner of a mosque in Mecca, when he was awakened by the conversation of two angels above his head. They were preparing a list of the blessed and one angel was telling the other that a certain Mahbub of Sikandar City deserved to be ranked first, even though he had not come on pilgrimage to the Holy City. Hearing this Abdullah went to Sikandar City and found that he [Mahbub] was a cobbler, repairing the shoes of people. He was famished and poor; for, his earnings barely sufficed to keep flesh and bone together. He had by severe sacrifice piled up a few coppers during the course of years. One day, he spent the entire treasure to prepare a special dish, which he proposed to place before his enceinte wife as a surprise gift. When he was proceeding home with the gift he heard the cry of a starving beggar who seemed to be in the throes of extreme hunger. Mahbub could not proceed any further; he gave the pot containing the costly delicacy to the man and sat by his side, enjoying the blossoming of satisfaction on his haggard face. That act gave him a place of honor in the register of the Blessed, a place which pilgrims to Mecca who had spent millions of dinars in charity could not secure. The Lord cares for the feeling behind the act, not the fanfare and the fuss.

56. Guru - The Last Resort 

An aspirant after spiritual realization went off into a jungle and was plodding across the infested region, through the thick undergrowth, when he heard the angry roar of a lion; he climbed a tree to escape from the beast, but, the lion saw him among the branches and roamed round and round the trunk in terrific rage. On the tree he was attacked by a bear and so, he slid down the roots that descended from one of the branches of the Banyan tree. Luckily, there were two roots hanging from the branch, so that he could hang on in mid-air clinging to them, one in each hand. Just then, he saw two rats, one white and the other black, which were gnawing at the base of the roots, endangering his life with every bite. While in this perilous state, a honeycomb, which was full of sweet nectar situated on one of the top branches leaked a few drops, which fell his way; so, the unfortunate man put out his tongue to catch a drop so that he may taste the delicious honey. But, no drop reached his tongue.

In despair and terror, he called on his guru: "O Guruji. Come and save me". The guru who was passing by heard his appeal; he sped to the rescue; he brought a bow and arrow and slew the lion and bear, frightened off the rats and saved the disciple from the fear of death. Then he led the man to his own âs'ram and taught him the path of liberation.

This is a story of every one of you. This world is the jungle on which you roam; fear is the lion, which drives you up the tree of sâmsara, world activities; anxiety is the bear that terrifies you and dogs your steps in sâmsara; so, you slide down into attachments and binding deeds, through the twin roots of hope and despair. The two rats are the day and night, which eat away the span of life. Meanwhile, you try to snatch a little joy from sweet drops of egoism and mind feeling. Finding at last that the drops are trivial and out of reach, you shout in the agony of renunciation, calling on the Guru; the guru appears, whether from within or without, and saves you from fear and anxiety.

57. Freedom from Egoism: First Qualification of a Bhakta 

Worry and grief, there will always be, of one type or other - in the past and future; while walking, dreaming and sleeping. But place faith in the Lord and do your tasks dedicated to Him and they will vanish. Nârada one day boasted before Vishnu that no devotee could excel him; but this boast was against the very first qualification of a bhakta - freedom from egoism. So, Vishnu spoke of a ryot who was tilling his little plot of land as a greater devotee and recommended that Nârada should visit and learn the art of devotion from him! Nârada felt very much humiliated and he proceeded to the village indicated in great chagrin. He found the ryot engrossed in his round of duties on the field and in the cattle shed and at home and in spite of the most vigilant watch, he could not hear him speak the name of the Lord more than thrice a day; once when he woke up from bed, another time when he took his midday meal and the last when he retired for the night. Nârada was naturally incensed that he was deemed inferior to his very poor specimen of a bhakta. He was always singing melodiously the lîlâs of the Lord and spreading everywhere the message of Namasankirtanam (singing the names of the Lord) and here was a horny-handed son of the soil who remembered the Lord just three times a day, whom Vishnu judged superior to him. He hurried to heaven; his face flushed with anger and ignominy, Vishnu only laughed at his plight. He gave him a pot full to the brim with water and asked him to carry it on his head and go round a certain course without spilling even a drop. Nârada did so, but when asked how often he had remembered the Name of the Lord, he admitted that his anxiety to walk without shaking the pot and spilling the water, he had forgotten the Name completely. Then Vishnu told him that the ryot who was carrying on his head more precious and more spoilable burdens than a pot of water and who had to be careful not bring harm to any of them, must perforce be admired remembering the Lord at least three times a day!

Therefore it will be great gain of you remembering the Lord with thankfulness at least thrice or even twice a day; that will give you great peace. Do not give up your worldly duties, but do them with the Name of God on your lips inviting the Grace of God on you.

58. Desire Binds Us 

Those who catch monkeys prepare a pot with a small opening and fill it with some sweets. The monkey, who desires the food, will put its hand inside that pot and take a big handful of the food. Thus, the monkey becomes unable to draw its hand out through the opening. Only on releasing the grip will the monkey be able to take its hands out. It is its desire for the food that has bound its hands. Because it took with its hand some food to fulfill its desire, it was bound there. This wide world is like that pot and our 'samsaras' or families are like the narrow top. Our desires are the sweet in the pot. The world being the pot, containing the desires, sweets, man put his hand in the pot. When he sheds his desires, he will be able to live in the world freely. To get freedom, the first thing to do is to sacrifice. In philosophical terms, this is called renunciation. We think that the world is binding us but the world is lifeless. It is the desire that binds us.  


59. Your Thoughts Affect the Food you Cook 

To purify the mind and the intellect for the correct reflection of the truth, the first caution is in regard to food. Instead, this is a very serious matter of sadhakas. There lived in Malur, Mysore State, a pious brahmin who was a great scholar. He had an equally pious wife. He was always intent on puja and japa dhyana and was known far and wide for his virtuous character. One day, a sannyasi called Nityananda came to his door seeking alms; so, he was happy beyond measure. He invited the monk to take dinner with him the next day so that he might honor him with due hospitality. He hung green festoons over his doors and made elaborate arrangements for the reception. But, at the eleventh hour, physical impurity rendered his wife unfit to prepare food for the honored guest or for any one else. A neighbor volunteered to cook the meal and she was brought in and introduced into the kitchen. Everything went off well and all were as happy as they could be, under the circumstances. Only, the sannyasi was wrong during meals by an overpowering desire to steal the silver cup, which the host had placed near the plate. In spite of his best efforts, the evil idea won and the sannyasi hurried to his abode with the cup hidden in the folds of his robe. He could not sleep that night, for his conscience pricked him so. He felt he had brought disgrace on his guru and on the rishis whom he invoked by the mantras he recited. He could not rest until he ran back into the brahmin's house and, falling at his feet, restored the article with tears of repentance trickling down his cheeks. Everyone wondered how such a saint could stoop so low. Then someone suggested it might be the fault transmitted to the food he ate, by the person who cooked it. And when they examined the history of the neighbor they found that she was an irrepressible thief! The thieving tendency had, by subtle contact, affected the food she prepared. This is the reason why sadhakas are advised to live on fruits and tubers only, when they reach a certain stage of spiritual achievement.  

60. Yajñas and Yagas are Highly Valuable

Good deeds done in dedicatory spirit do not add to the length of Yama's rope; they give shanthi and santosha in plenty. Why, you had a very good illustration of this just today. The final offering of sacred objects in the sacrificial fire of the Rudra Yaga was done here at 10 A.M. and, there was a welcome downpour of unexpected rain at 10:45 A.M.! Those who do not know the true values of Yajña and Yaga ridicule these rites and shout that they involve the loss of precious ghee and fuel, which could be put to better use. They do not realize that the food they themselves consume is a colossal waste, for, they do no good to the world or for themselves. The cigarettes are a waste, indeed, a dangerous waste; the bush coats, the films they see the radio-hours they listen to are all waste. You see a sculptor working away at a rock with his chisel and you condemn his work of chipping pieces as waste of precious time, and valuable stone. You do not know that one day a form of divine beauty will emerge. You see the ryot scatter valuable seeds on the mushy field; you blame him for wasting eatable stuff! You do not realize that he will harvest it a hundred folds in a few months. Your criticism is born of ignorance and short sight. The rain that fell this morning and surprised everyone did not surprise me, for it is the inevitable consequence of the Yaga. It is special sciences, which pundits know; honor them for it.

61. Steadfastness and Deep Faith win the Grace of God

When you have filled your heart with sympathy for the distressed, the Lord will shower His grace. Draupadî [daughter of king Drupada and wife of the Pândavas] had earned the grace through her devotion and virtues. Sîtâ, too, stuck to the highest ideal for life, in spite of the severe sufferings she underwent. Hanumân, who discovered her in the grove [see RRV-5] where she was kept as a prisoner by her abductor Râvana, offered to recross the ocean with her on his shoulders and take her safe to her Lord Râma. But, she replied that she will not allow herself to be abducted back from the custody of Râvana, since that will deprive Râma of the chance to punish him for his crime and retrieve her through his own heroism! Splendid words these! Quite in consonance with the dictates of dharma! No wonder, the Lord's Grace saved her in good time! If you have no steadfastness and no depth of faith, you can have no Grace.

62. Unconcern leads to the deepest yearning for God

S'rî Ramakrishna said that if you want to avoid that sticky fluid in the jackfruit from contacting your fingers when you peel it, you have to apply a few drops of oil on them. So, too, said he, "if you do not want the world and its reactions to stick to you, have a few drops of "unconcern applied on your mind".

The unconcern leads to the deepest yearning for God. Caitanya went to Vrindâvana, where every particle of dust was sacred for him, since Krishna trod that soil centuries ago. He did not see or hear or touch or smell or taste anything except Krishna at Vrindâvana. He was rendered so oblivious to the world around him that he ignored demands of hunger, thirst and social etiquette. He yearned for the consecrated food that was offered to Krishna in the temple. But, one night, the Lord appeared before him and admonished him for entertaining that one desire, too! When at last, he gave up the desire also and was overwhelmed with the thirst for Him and Him alone, Krishna manifested before him. The divine chaitanya (consciousness, intelligence, spirit) illumined the Caitanya in human form.

Learn therefore the discipline that can make the mind settle on God only and never waver therefore.

63. Superstition and Blind Imitation

In the years gone by, every village home was stocked full of paddy bags, and so, rats too inevitably infested every home. In one such home they were celebrating every full moon day, the rite called Satyanarayana Puja. This required the collection of a good quality of milk and ghee, the previous night itself. The rats attracted cats and the cats often preferred milk and ghee to the rodent food they are accustomed to. So, the milk and ghee were carefully kept in places, out of reach of the cats. But, during the celebrations on the sacred day, the milk and ghee had to be kept open and available for use, in vessels around the shrine. That was the chance for the deprecatory cat; so the master of the house caught the cat by the neck and put it under a heavy basket, and placed a stone on it, so that it could not play any mischief with the holy offerings. This was done so consistently every full moon day as a safety measure in one home that the children and grand-children felt that, puja or no puja, no full moon day should pass without a cat being imprisoned under a weighted basket! They started searching for a cat and bring it home, so that the ritual of the cat and basket could be observed without fail.

The original meaning and purpose was lost during the passage of time and later generation was burdened with a belief that danger lurks if a cat is not dealt with in the way of their forefathers. From being an insufferable nuisance, the cat rose to a new status of importance! This is blind imitation.

64. It is Never too Soon in the Spiritual Realm

There was once a miser who lived in a leaky house; the rainwater poured into the house through the roof but he sat through it all. Neighbors laughed at him and warned him to get the roof repaired. But in the rainy season he replied. "Let the rains subside, how can I repair it now?" And when the rains stopped, he replied. "Why should I worry about leaks, now the rains have stopped?" Do not suffer the leaks when the rains come, as they are sure to do; repair the roof now itself. That is to say, acquaint yourselves with the spiritual primers and textbooks now itself; begin the first lesson of silence, prayer, and chanting the Name of the Lord. It is never too soon in the spiritual realm.

65. Transistor Radio - A Barber's Box

It is the distorted sense of values that makes you carry a radio receiver strapped to your shoulder, even when you come to Prashanthi Nilayam! This has become a fashion; sons-in-law try to extract a transistor radio from their fathers-in-law, as quickly as possible. There was a young man in a big town; it so happened that his father arrived on a visit and was received at the railway station by the son himself. They were going home in an auto-rickshaw, when the father, already confused by the roar and noise of the traffic, noticed someone carrying a small rectangular box, strapped in his shoulder. He saw many more such boxes, carried proudly by young men, fashionably attired and walking in the strut, with a nonchalant gaze. He asked his son what they charged in the town for a shave and when the son answered, a half-rupee, he was surprised that it was so cheap. "These barbers going about with these boxes strapped on the shoulders are so well dressed and rich looking that I thought they must be charging five rupees at least", he said. The poor man thought the transistor radio sets were barber's boxes! In fact, many who carry them and tune in do not know the ABC of music, eastern or western, nor do they know an iota of geography or history or politics to appreciate the news. They carry watches on their wrists but, to know what hour it is, they have to stretch their wrists before those sitting next to them! They cannot read a watch, nor have they any engagement to keep. All this is needless multiplication of misery!

66. Kabir's Pitambara for the Lord

Kabir [1440-1518] was weaving a pitambara for the Lord, for his Râma. He had to work the loom alone, by hand. He recited Râma Râma Râma Râma and went on weaving ceaselessly. The cloth had become twenty yards long, but Kabir did not stop; his tapas continued unabated; the pitambara was becoming longer. The ânanda of the craft, devotion to his Lord, was enough food and drink for his sustenance. When he gave it to the temple priest for clothing the idol of Râma, the pitambara was just the size, just the length and breadth, not a finger breadth more! [Read here some more about the poet Kabir]

67. "Dharma Bodha" - True Dharma of a Mahâtma

Samartha Ramadas appeared before S'ivaji, with his usual call for alms: bhavati bhikshaam dehi. S'ivaji realized that the guru is God; so he wrote something on a piece of paper and deposited it reverentially in the alms bag of Ramadas. For the relief of hunger, how can paper suffice asked Ramadas? S'ivaji prayed that the paper might be read. The paper recorded a gift of the entire kingdom and all the S'ivaji owned, to the guru. Samartha Ramadas replied: "No, my dharma is dharma-bodha, the teaching of dharma, instructing the people in the right way of life; Kshatriyas [varna of warriors, politicians, nobles, state officials] like you must follow the dharma of ruling the land, ensuring peace and content to the millions under your care". Yajñavalkya too once refused a kingdom, because he cared more for the kingdom of moksha, the realm of freedom. Vasishthha is also said to have renounced a kingdom offered him by Râma [RRV-1].

68. Every Material Object has a Qualitative and Quantitative Difference

By reading many books and developing an argumentative tendency, it is quite common today that young people get into argument with others. Once a young man aged 22 years went to Sankara. When Sankara was giving spiritual lessons to his disciples the young man interrupted and asked Sankara if all human beings in the wide world should'n be regarded as equal since the same kind of blood flows in all of them. Sankara smiled at him and said that the blood flowing in that youngster is hot and fast and so he was trying to push things too far. It is not possible for man to distinguish between permanent and impermanent things. One can adopt the notion of non-duality or Advaita in one's own thought and attitudes but it is not possible to equate everything in the world in practice. The young man insisted that this does not seem right. He stated that to him, the proper thing appeared to be to treat all living things in the same manner. Sankara recognized that if this young man was allowed to go on in this strain, he was likely to reach some absurd conclusions. Sankara decided at once to teach him a lesson and immediately asked whether he had a mother. The young man replied that he had a mother he respected. Sankara again asked if the young man was married. The young man replied that he was married and that his wife also had come with him to the âs'ram. Sankara then asked him if he had a mother-in-law. The young man replied that the mother-in-law was quite hale and healthy. Sankara again asked if he had sisters and the young man replied in the affirmative and said that he had two sisters. Sankara asked if all these people were women. The young man asked how it should be otherwise. Sankara asked if he regarded all of them as equal and was treating all these people in the same manner and if in particular, he was treating his wife as his mother and his sister as his mother.

In this world of multiplicity one has to recognize qualitative and quantitative differences. Each electric bulb is varying in power and wattage. Therefore the difference in the light radiating from the bulb is not due to the electric current. The current is the same everywhere but the difference arises from the bulbs with different intensities. God's power is like electric power and our bodies are the bulbs.

69. Rabbia Malik and Hussain

Remember, your real nature is the same as the other man's; he is yourself known by another name. When you do a good deed, you are doing it to yourself; when you do a bad turn to someone, remember, you are injuring yourself; so, avoid dong evil to others. I am reminded of what Hussein, the son of Rabbia Malik of Persia used to do. He rose early and went to the mosque for prayer with great diligence and devotion. When he came, he found the servants of the house still sleeping on their mats and he grew wild at them; he swore and cursed them for neglect of religious duties. Then his father chastised him. He said, "Son, why do you get angry with those poor souls who are too tired to wake up early? Do not wipe off the good results of your adherence to the rule of God by falling foul of these innocent slaves. I wish you would rise rather late and abstain from the mosque, for now you have grown proud that you are more religious than these others and you dare blame them for faults for which they are not themselves responsible".

70. Faith and Science

A Hindu and his British friend once happened to come to the bank of the Godavari. The Hindu said, "I will bathe in this scared water". He recited the name "Hari" as he plunged in and came out refreshed in mind as well as body. He felt great happiness that he got the rare chance of a bath in the holy water. The British friend laughed and said, "This is mere H2O; how can you get unspeakable joy by dipping into it? It is all superstition". But the Hindu replied, "Leave me to my superstition; you can stick to your superstition". The cynic got only physical cleanliness but the believer got mental purity also.

71. Mâyâ can Ruin a Life

Mâyâ has the capacity to ruin our life. If we understand the nature of mâyâ well, it will go away from us in one moment. If we give a high place to it without understanding, then that will get the upper hand and will begin to dance on our heads.

In one village a marriage was to take place. The party of the bridegroom came to the village and was staying in a house. The party of the bride was staying in another house. In between these two parties, there was one individual who wanted all kinds of comfort and was demanding them from both parties. This individual used to go to the bridegroom's place and tell them that they were always coming late and causing a lot of problems to the bride's party. People belonging to the bridegroom's party thought that he was a respected elder from the side of the bride. Similarly he went to the bride's house and told them that they were not respecting the bridegroom and members of his party and were not giving them all the respect that was due to them.

This individual was enacting a drama. He was going to the bridegroom's party and was behaving as if he was a respected elder from the bride's side and he was going to the bride's people and behaving as if he was a respected elder from the bridegroom's side. When this drama went too far, the two parties started investigating and found that he belonged to neither side. Once you make an inquiry and find out the origin of mâyâ, it will disappear, even as the individual in our story disappeared.

72. Affection and Attachement Responsible for All Joys and Sorrows

Moha expresses itself in desiring things. Desires go on multiplying. Moha may be compared to the water that is found in a lake.

I will now give an example. There is a girl in one house. There is a young man in another house. Their houses are almost side-by-side. But the girl does not know anything about the young man, and the young man does not know anything about the girl living in the neighboring house. One day, the girl, fell seriously ill. That day all the people in the house were hectic and they were all anxious and several doctors were called in. When the boy in the neighboring house heard the noise, he thought it was a disturbance to his studies, and, therefore, he closed his windows and started reading.

But in the course of time, as a result of destiny, this boy who was living in that house got married to the girl in the neighboring house. The marriage took place in the morning. In the afternoon the girl developed a stomachache and the bridegroom felt very anxious for the girl and her stomachache. Where and when had he developed this attachment to the girl? Because he got married to her; even a little stomachache upsets him now. Though the same girl felt dangerously ill some time ago, he did not feel even the slightest anxiety for her because at that time there was no attachment or relationship with the girl. So, abhimana and mamakara, affection and attachment are responsible for all joys and sorrows.





Samsâr(a): The world as an ocean of material suffering. Matter as a forest fire to the soul. The cycle or wheel of repeated birth and dead. 
Painting Krishna & Caitanya by: Pariksit dasa, Haridasa dasa & Nirika devi dasi
Advaita: without duality, which relating to the Lord means that His body and Himself are non-different.
Mâyâ: (not-this; what is not): that what is not, the deluding quality of the material is, also called mahâ-mâyâ; separateness from Krishna.
- Because of her does, by identifying itself with the deluding material energy (ahamkâra), the individual soul think itself the lord and supreme enjoyer over the creation; that is to say: with the body (the senses), the mind and the material intelligence, with the consequence of losing the eternal bond (svarûpa) with the Lord, the thus conditioned soul indulges in the pursuit of worldly pleasure and gets because of this more and more entangled in the cycle of birth and death (samsâra).
- Bewilderment; the forgetfulness about one's relation with Krishna.
Moha: bewilderment. An illusion of power in controlling and enjoying. Follows anger. Consists of misconception, misattribution (wrong attribution); leads to a confusion of memory and the fall of intelligence.
- Illusion, see also
mâyâ (sammoha: of illusion).




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