"One Little Story"
Part II

Stories and Parables

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


Part II-a Part II-b Part II-c

Part II-a
Stories 1-52
ck2-1 - ck2-2 - ck2-3 - ck2-4
Part II-b
Stories 53-104
ck2-5 - ck2-6 - ck2-7 - ck2-8
Part II-c
Stories 105-157
ck2-9 - ck2-10 - ck2-11 - ck2-12

| ck2-1 - ck2-2 - ck2-3 - ck2-4 || ck2-5  - ck2-6 - ck2-7 - ck2-8 || ck2-9 - ck2-10 - ck2-11 - ck2-12 |



14. Mother and Motherland

S'rî Râma and Lakshmana aided by the Vanara army crossed the sea over the bridge built by them. They conquered Lanka, killed Râvana and rescued Sîtâ. Lakshmana looked at the city of Lanka in all its splendor. He remarked: 'Brother, why should we go to Ayodhya? Let it be ruled by brother Bharatha. Lanka appears in all respects more prosperous than Ayodhya. You can as well be the ruler of Lanka. You have earned the merit to be the ruler having won a victory over Râvana and killed him.' S'rî Râma replied with a smile in an affectionate but stern voice: 'Oh brother Lakshmana! However ugly one's mother may be, one cannot look upon another woman as mother. Similarly however prosperous and attractive Lanka may be, I have no use for its treasures and wealth; the place of my birth is more sacred and dear to me. It is verily a paradise for me. Remember brother, Mother and Motherland are to be considered more valuable and dearer than heaven itself.'

lankaWe must note here that Lakshmana deliberately asked this queer question, so as to make it known to the world that even in the ancient illustrious kings of the Solar Race, as well as in their succeeding Indian rulers, we find a happy blending of their concern for personal and national welfare.

"Maataa Bhoomi putroham prithivyah"
"The earth is my mother and I her child"  ---  Atharva Veda

15. Patriotism

Subhas (Chandra) Bose was studying in the Calcutta University. There was English professor, who used to speak disparagingly about India and Indians. Subhas Bose, who was intensely patriotic, could not bear listening to such denigratory remarks about the Motherland. He was patient for a while, but when the professor continued in the same strain, he got up, jumped over three desks, caught the Englishman by the neck and beat him with sandals. Bose declared, 'I can bear anything, but I cannot bear my Motherland being abused and ridiculed. It does not matter what happens to me, but I must defend my country's honor.'

The students who watched the incident were stunned. The English professor cried out: "Help me! Help me!". News of the incident reached the authorities, who held an emergence meeting and rusticated Subhas Bose for five years. Subhas was determined to dedicate his entire life to the service of the Motherland. As Subhas could not continue his studies in Calcutta, his father sent him to London. But even there Subhas cherished his love for the Motherland. He was determined to finish his studies and return to India to serve the Motherland. He studied hard and passed the I.C.S. examination. He returned to India and plunged into national politics. "I owe my food and everything else to my country. I must be grateful to the nation by serving it." This was his firm resolve.

 16. 'You shall Speak the Truth'

One day goddess Pârvatî asked S'iva: 'Lord, I have heard that there is a sacred shrine for your worship by name Kasi and that those who visit Kasi and offer worship to you after a holy bath in the Ganges will earn the merit of coming to Kailas and stay here forever. Is it true?' Lord S'iva replied: 'All the people cannot earn that merit. Mere visiting Kasi and offering worship to my image are not enough. Presently, I shall make the point clear to you. Let us go to Kasi as an aged couple. I shall make you enact a drama!'

Lord S'iva and Pârvatî appeared before the entrance of the temple of S'iva, Pârvatî as an old hag of eighty years and Lord S'iva a rickety old man of ninety. S'iva laid his head on the lap of Pârvatî and started groaning in severe pains. The old woman was crying helplessly. She begged every pilgrim saying: 'Oh ye devotees, look here, this is my husband. He is terribly thirsty and may die any moment. Will you please fetch some water for him to drink? I cannot leave him alone and go to fetch water.' The pilgrims were coming from the ghats after their ceremonial bath in the Ganges. Their clothes were wet and they were carrying water in small bright brass vessels. They saw and heard the woman's lament. Some said: 'Wait, we shall attend to your husband after offering the sacred Ganges water to Lord Viswanath.'

Some said: 'Oh what a nuisance. Why can't these beggars allow us at least to offer worship in peace.' Some others said: 'These beggars should not be allowed to sit here.'

There was a big crowd near the temple entrance. A professional pickpocket walked along with some of these pilgrims. He also heard the old woman's lament. He could not bear the sight of the suffering old man and the bewailing old woman. He walked upto them and said: 'Mother, what do you want? Who are you? Why are you here?' The old woman replied: 'Son, we came here to have the darshan of Lord Visveswara. My husband suddenly took ill and fainted out of exhaustion. He might survive if someone were to pour some water into his parching mouth. His condition is too critical for me to leave him and go to bring water. I requested many people to help me, but nobody would spare any water though they have been carrying pitchers full of it.'

siva-parvatiThe thief was moved to compassion. He had brought some water in the dried gourd-pot. The woman stopped him and said: 'Son, my husband may die any moment, he will not accept water unless the person who gives water speaks truth.' The pickpocket could not catch the meaning. He said: 'Mother, please tell me what I should do.' With a cynical laughter, he said: 'Mother, I have not done any good deed so far. I am a professional pickpocket. The only one good deed is that which I am going to do now, to offer water to this dying old man. This is true.' He poured gently some water into the mouth of the old man. No sooner had the pickpocket done this deed than the old couple disappeared and in their place stood Lord S'iva and Goddess Pârvatî, in all their full splendor. S'iva said: 'Son, you are indeed blessed. There is no greater morality than speaking the truth, and no true worship more fruitful than service to fellow human beings. You have been atoned for all the sins you have committed so far because of this one good deed.'

17. Never Tell Lies even for Fun

Once there lived a happy family of four members: father, mother and two children. One day, the elder of the two, a boy of 12 years was busy studying for his examination. That day happened to be his birthday. His father was about to leave for his office. He called his son and said: 'Here take this gold coin, give it to your mother and let her order for a ring to be made for you'. The boy thanked his father, kept the gold coin on the table nearby and once again began reading. His sister came running into the room and the shining gold coin attracted her attention. She took it into her hand and asked her brother: 'What is this brother? Who gave you this?' The brother just to tease her said: 'That is a gold coin, father gave it to me as the birthday present. Do you also want One?' The girl was thrilled to hear this. 'Oh! brother tell me how I can get this coin.' The boy said: 'Oh, it is a very simple affair. The thing is, you have to wait for some time.'  'Is that so, I shall wait but how can we get this coin?' asked the girl. 'You just plant this coin in the soil, daily water it, it will grow into a plant, and then it will yield fruits; in each fruit we can find a coin' said the boy.

After briefing her about the process, he resumed his reading. The innocent girl believed her brother's words, she ran into the backyard with the coin. She dug a hole near the well, put the coin inside it, and covered it with soil. She drew a circle round the place. She was very proud of having done a job, washed her hands and ran into the house. The servant maid who had been watching the girl putting the coin into the soil, took it out and calmly walked out.

After some time the mother called her son to come and take his breakfast. The boy wanted to show the coin to the mother. He
searched for it on the table. It was not there. He called his sister and asked her where she had kept the coin. Just then the mother came. The girl was explaining how she had carefully planted the coin in the backyard. The mother asked: 'What coin, what is this planting?' The boy explained the entire story to his mother
. All the three hurried to the backyard. They found the hole empty. The boy began to scold his sister and the girl began to cry. The mother took both of them inside, and made them sit near her and said: 'Son, don't cry, today is your birthday. You cannot blame your sister. She does not know anything about the gold coin. Why did you tell lies? You should not utter lies even to fooI somebody or for fun. See what the consequences are. I am not angry. I am only sorry for you. Remember, never tell lies again even for fun.'

18. Honesty is the Best Policy

Sir C. V. Raman (Chandrasekhara Venkata, 1888-1970), a world renowned recipient of the Noble Prize (for Physics in 1930), was simple and un-assuming by nature and was respected as a man of integrity and sound character. He was very kind and charitable too. He spent the entire amount of money he received as Nobel Prize to establish a Research Institute of Science in Bangalore. Once he had called for interview candidates for the post of research assistants in his Institute. Among several young men interviewed was a young man who was told frankly by Raman that the chances of his getting selected were almost nil. When the interviews were over at noon Raman went home for lunch.

When he returned to the Institute at 3 P.M. in the afternoon, he saw the young man loitering about, near the office. He called him and said, in a stern voice: 'Did I not tell you that you will not be selected, then why are you still here?' The young man replied in humility. 'Sir, excuse me, I am not here to request you again to select me. I am here only to return to the accountant of the office, the excess of money he had paid me towards my travelling allowance by oversight.'

C.V. Raman was surprised and pleased with the young man's honesty and integrity. He said: 'Well, my dear boy, do not worry, I am selecting you now for doing research work in my Institute. Your love of truth and honesty will always be a good asset for you in your research work as well as in life.'


19. Means Determine the End

Karna is one of the greatest heroes and warriors of the Kurukshetra battle. His life long ambition was to out vie Arjuna in archery. He was in search of a preceptor from whom he could learn the art and science of archery and possess rare bows and arrows which would become the most potent destructive weapons when charged by the power of sacred chants. He was told that the sage Paras'urâma was the best preceptor and was in possession of such bows and arrows. He also knew that Paras'urâma would never condescend to take into his fold a kshatriya youth as a disciple. He was an arch-enemy of the kshatriya clan. Karna wondered what he should do. His passion for the possession of the knowledge of archery was such that he was prepared to hoodwink the sage. He donned and adomed himself as a brahmin youth and approached the sage. He conducted himself in such a way that Paras'urâma was impressed by him and consented to be his Âcârya. Karna, endeared himself to his guru, and became his dear and devout disciple. Within a short time, he learnt from the sage all that one can learn about archery.

One day Paras'urâma after instruction felt tired and desired to rest. He kept his head on the thigh of Karna and slept. He was soon in deep slumber. Karna sat still lest his slightest movement should awaken his guru. All of a sudden a bumble bee sneaked underneath the thigh of Karna. Blood was oozing out, but Karna would not move. He sat still with unimaginable patience and fortitude. Paras'urâma's matted hair began to get soaked in blood that was oozing out. He got up and stared at the blood flowing and Karna sitting still and calm. He raised his eyebrows and asked him sternly: 'Tell me who you really are, you are not a brahmin by birth, a brahmin will not bear the sight of blood-shed and withstand such excruciating pain. You must be a kshatriya,
is it not?' Karna had to confess his true identity and his life-long passion for archery that had made him cheat the sage. Paras'urâma said: 'Since you have learnt the art by cheating your guru, what you have learnt will not be of any use to you at the most critical moment of your life.'

20. Beware of Anger

Rajendra Prasad had a very good servant by name Rathna who was exceptionally faithful and served him for a long time to the satisfaction of his master. One day he was asked to clean his room. Rajendra Prasad had kept a pen given to him by Mahatma Gandhi, in one of his books. When the servant was cleaning the table the book fell down and the nib broke. He became nervous but told his master the truth begging his pardon for his mistake. On hearing this, Rajendra Prasad shouted at him in rage and asked him to get out and not to show his face again as the pen was a highly valuable gift from Mahatma which he had broken.

The the servant pleaded that he could not survive without him and sought his forgiveness. But Rajendra Prasad was in no mood to listen to him and went out bidding his servant to get out of his sight.

During the night, Rajendra could not sleep as the memory of his having driven away his servant was hauting him. When he got up next morning he missed his usual morning coffee which Rathna would usually serve him. He reflected over his behavior and felt sorry for having sent out such a faithful servant for no big fault. He realised that it was his own mistake to have kept the pen carelessly in a book instead of keeping it in a safe place. He sent word to Rathna and took him back seeking his pardon saying: "Rathna you are a good boy. It was my mistake to have kept the pen in the book. So you must excuse me for my rash action." He asked him to continue to serve him till the end of his life.

Anger comes from temper inside and one who yields to this bout of temper is bound to suffer. You should control anger and avoid talking or acting while in an angry mood. (An incident from the life of Babu Rajendra Prasad the First President of India).

21. Arjuna's Pride

Once Arjuna went towards South India on his conquering expedition. On his coming to Ramasethu, where Râma had built the bridge to cross and reach Lanka (see also RRV-7), he was filled with pride at his unrivalled skill with the bow; he felt that he was superior even to Râma, for Râma had piled it up laboriously, stone upon stone. Arjuna said rather aloud: "If I were Râma, I would have twanged my bow and built an arch of arrows across the sea, over which the army could have marched safely along."

Hanuman surprised Arjuna by presenting himself before him with a grin, which Arjuna felt, made him even uglier. He challenged him to build one, so that at least one monkey, that is himself, could walk across, not to speak of the vast army. It was agreed that should Arjuna fail, he should atone for his sin of trying to decry Râma because of his vanity by putting an end to his own life.

shot arrows one after another and they got entangled with one another in such strong interlinks that a huge structure was formed, bridging India and Lanka. Hanuman declared that it was too fragile; Arjuna agreed to immolate himself if the bridge could not stand his weight. Hanuman walked only a few paces on the bridge when it crashed under his weight and crumbled into the sea! True to his word, Arjuna lit a fire and was about to enter it to expiate the sin of pride that made him feel superior to Râma.

govardhanaJust then Krishna appeared and asked him the reason for this strange move of Arjuna, as if he did not know it. In fact that was the very reason why He had appeared on the scene. When Krishna was told of the wager and the failure of Arjuna, He declared that any agreement can be valid only when it was made before a witness. How could the parties be trusted, since it was their interest to modify the conditions to their advantage?

So Lord Krishna wanted the bridge to be built again and Hanuman to break it again. It was done and Hanuman walked on it as before, but try as he might with all his strength and weight, the bridge was absolutely intact. Hanuman jumped on it, but not a dent was caused. The secret was Krishna, in His subtle form, was supporting the bridge with His back wherever Hanuman's steps were placed, the same back that held the Mandara mountain in position during the epoch making churning of the ocean of milk by the gods and demons (see SB 8.7).  This was noticed by Arjuna and Hanuman when bleeding started on Krishna's back. Both the heroes realised that the Lord had interceded to save the honor of His devotee. Arjuna was thus humbled. He fell at the feet of Hanuman and prayed to him for help in his subsequent battles. Hanuman too agreed to extend his help, realizing that Arjuna was a beloved devotee of Lord Krishna. Accordingly during the battle of Kurukshetra, Hanuman was present on the flag of Arjuna's chariot, guarding him as well as giving the strength till the Kauravas were finally destroyed.

22. Greed is the Seed-bed of Grief

There lived two friends in a certain village. One day, both of them were going together on some work they had to attend to in the next village. On their way, they had to pass through a wood. They saw a rider on a horse ahead of them marching towards the village. A small bundle slipped and fell on the ground from a bag on the horseback. The rider marched on, unaware of his loss. The two friends ran and picked up the small bundle. They opened it and were surprised to find a shining piece of rare precious gem. They were very happy at this chance incident. One of them said: "My dear friend, you keep the gem safe with you. I shall go and get some food for both of us from the village. We shall then talk about the gem." The sight of the gem had already corrupted the two young men, both desired to become the sole owner of the gem.

The young man who went to fetch food, quickly finished his meals and got a meal neatly packed. He then went to a shop and purchased a small pocket of poison. On his way back to the spot where he was to meet his friend, he mixed the poison in the food and once again packed it up neatly and hurried to the place. As soon as the friend gave him the food packet he said: "You better keep the gem with you, I shall go and wash my hands in the nearby pond. This young man eagerly took the bundle and opened it. He bent his head and was looking at it greedily and joyfully. Suddenly a hard and heavy stick fell upon his head with such force that he immediately died. Of course it was the other young man who had hit him on the head. He took the gem, kept it in his pocket, opened the food pocket and was eating the meal with great delight. No sooner had he swallowed just two or three morsels, he fell down dead with his hand on the pocket.

What is the cause of the miserable end of both these young men? It is lust for wealth. That is greed. Remember, greed is the seed-bed of grief.

23. Miserliness Leads to Misery

In a certain village there lived two brothers. Both of them were misers. The younger one could be rightly called miser and the elder one greater miser. They were so niggardly that they would not even eat a full meal. They offered worship to God with the only desire to get more money. At the end of the worship it is a custom to offer some eatable to God and later eat it as prasad(am). These brothers would place before the idol a small bit of sugar candy only for a second because they were afraid that an ant may bite a piece of it!

One day they received the news of the death of one of their relatives. The greater miser took upon himself the duty of visiting the bereaved family and offering condolences. He wanted to set out early next morning on foot. It was still dark when he woke up, but he decided to start. As soon as the greater miser left the house, his brother felt that since the day was about to break, it was unnecessary and waste of oil to keep the lamp burning. He put out the light and placed it in a small dark niche in the wall. There was a scorpion and it stung him. Just within half an hour the greater miser knocked at the door. The younger brother opened the door and asked him: "Why have you come back, what is the matter?" The greater miser replied: "Dear brother, I was only worried that you might have forgotten to put out the lamp; so I have come back to check up." The younger brother, inspite of the pain of the scorpion-sting, said: "Alas! What a pity! Don't you know me? Your desire to avoid wastage of oil is indeed commendable but what about your sandals. They would have worn out by now by the unnecessary walking back!" The greater miser immediately replied with a twinkle in his eyes: "Oh remember, I am your elder brother. I have come bare-footed with the sandals safe in my bag!" He once again resumed his journey on bare-foot. On the way in that insect-infested hilly area he had to cross, he was bitten by a serpent and died.

Such is the misery that miserliness brings.

24. A Man with Dual Mind is Really Blind

In a village there lived a farmer who used to drive his cattle for grazing to the forest nearby. A very rich land-lord living in that village had his cattle driven to the same forest for grazing. This land-lord by virtue of his property and affluence wielded great influence over the entire village and was almost a dictator. One day the farmer's bull and the land-lord's bull entered into a scuffle and the land-lord's bull was fatally wounded. The farmer was terribly scared and felt nervous to report the matter to the land-lord. He hurried to the mansion of the land-lord and said: "Master, today an unusual incident occurred in the forest". "What is it, come on, tell me", said the land-lord. The farmer said: "My lord, your bull and my bull entered into a scuffle". "Oh, is that so? There is nothing unusual about it. Even sensible men are quarreling with each other", replied the land-lord. "My lord, continued the farmer, your bull killed my bull". "Oh, is that so? What is unusual about it, every creature that is born has to die some day or the other" said the land-lord. The farmer realised suddenly that in his nervousness he had reported the matter wrongly. He said: "My Lord, pardon me for the slip of my tongue. It is my bull that killed your bull". "What?," roared the land-lord. How dare you come and report the matter to me in such a way? What were you doing when your bull was wounding my bull? You must be punished suitably". He called the servant and ordered him to give the farmer twenty hard stripes on his back.

The feeling of mine and thine blinds our judgment and degrades our nature. Blessed is the person who identifies himself with others and their sufferings as well as in their joy.

25. Attachment

nce a farmer took a few acres of land on lease from a zamindar (landowner) for cultivation for a period of ten years. The farmer with his hard work developed the farm and raised good crops. The income from the land steadily increased. He, also paid the rent due to the zamindar regularly. At the end of the period of the lease, the zamindar's laborers came to the fields and started ploughing the land. The farmer's son who was only ten years old and not aware of the lease, got angry with the laborers and said: "Why are you all here, working in our fields? This land is ours". The laborers sympathised with him and said: "Dear boy, this land belongs to the zamindar don't you know? Ask your father". The boy ran to his father who was at home. With tears in his eyes, he cried out: "Father, come, quickly. Let us go to our land. The zamindar has occupied our fields. Let us go and drive away his laborers." The father made his son sit near him and coolly said: "My dear son. The field belongs to the zamindar from today. I had taken it on lease for a period of ten years. Now that the period is over, it is but proper that he should occupy the land. It is his property".

Why did the boy become miserable and argue with the laborers? He had nothing to complain against them or the zamindar. It is the feeling of possession as "Our Land" that made him feel sad and angry. Such attachment binds man to his possessions and makes him miserable at the time of parting with them as he must soon or later.

26. The Fleet-footed Princess

nce upon a time, there lived a beautiful and charming princess in Greece. She was not only beautiful but also adept in shooting, hunting and running. In fact, she had earned the title of "the fleet-footed princess". Many handsome and heroic princes desired to win her heart and hand. So, the princess hit upon a clever plan. She announced that she would marry the young man who would beat her in a foot race. Hundreds of young warriors came to race with her but she always out-ran them.

At last one young hero was bent upon outrunning her. He sought the advice of a wise man. He explained to him about the fleet-footed princess and her challenge. He also expressed his regret over the fact that many young warriors were being put to shame by the princess.  

The wise man said: "Don't worry, you take within your pocket several shining pieces of jewellery and gems. As you run, go on dropping one piece after another on the racing track at strategic points."

On the day fixed for the race, the young man equipped himself with fine pieces of jewellery. The young man and the princess started running. Both of them were good runners. Whenever the princess was on the point of outstripping him, the young man would softly drop a dazzling piece of jewellery. The princess spontaneously stopped to pick up the lovely piece of jewellery that was after all on the racing track. She was confident that in spite of the halts she would be able to outran her rival. These brief but frequent halts made him reach the goal ahead of her. Thus the young man won the race as well as the heart and the hand of the princess. Why did the fleet-footed princess lose this time? It is all because of her love for jewellery. Love of lucre (money) always makes man weak and prevents him from realisin g his real goal in life. If we want success in life, we have to give up attachment and be prepared to sacrifice what we have as the young man did.





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