Monthly Archives: October 2015

Leap Before You Look

Look b u leap www.nafisustain com

There are times when it is best to act before thinking. Read on to find out about one such occasion – here’s an extract from my diary:

“…

June 1st
The film disturbed me…the plight of the single women left in the lurch by the shameless men. Amazing NGO guys working for them…and what do they get in return…

June 10th
The pravachan (talk/sermon) by the Swamiji (holy man) – it made so much sense. Shouldn’t we all give back something?

June 21st
The Swamiji said it again. Have been thinking about it. Will set aside a thousand rupees a month for giving away. I think I can afford it.

July 2nd
The HelpAge brochure…just the thing I had in mind. Helping destitute women. Must write a check.

July 5th
The check yet to be sent out. Damn all this work. Sucks up the time and the energy to do anything else. Keep forgetting.

July 18th
Saw the site. Seems to be a big setup. My contribution – a burp in a hurricane. The phrase – I coined it, Hadley Chase’s was less sanitary. Look at smaller setup’s desperately needing support. These guys won’t miss it.

August 28th
Sanskrit and Veda’s institute struggling for survival… So what if I haven’t learnt. Must do our bit for preserving tradition. It’s only two thousand rupees. Nice and smart of them to ask small.

September 7th
Yes, the institute. Had a thought – what if they’re already beyond the tipping point? Would be a waste, no? Must look at something else.

October 5th
Home for Cancer patients…poor folks. Need a place to stay in the city for treatment. Cities…so expensive. Six thousand rupees to cover one or two patients. A great thing. Will also protect us – it’ll be such an irony. Lord would not let that happen.

October 16th
Just checked on the Home’s brochure. No Income-Tax registration. No known names. These days…so many scams. Who knows if it’s genuine?

December 10th
Today, a procession by film-stars collecting for flood victims in the south. How will my contribution make a difference? These stars…if they give what they charge for just one film that should handle half a dozen floods. And what is the government doing with all these taxes? Passing on the buck to us? What passing the buck? They’re collecting the buck. There’s a word for such wrongly applied phrases – can’t recall. Some mal…

March 10th
So boring. Had to be done. Readied Income-Tax returns. Just found haven’t made any donations to claim deductions. Must do it in the next financial year.

March 28th
This is easy. Swamiji talked about small acts of kindness – like feeding the pigeons. I think, I’ll begin with that. Men will take care of men. Who will worry about these poor creatures? Need to check on this avian flu, though.

…”

No later entries found on the subject.

Once in a while, when the thought of doing good enters one’s mind it is best done without a second thought; given a little time the rational mind asserts itself to successfully dissuade one from actualizing it.
–                –                –               .
End

Credits: Image from nafisustain.com

The Lion And The Fox

A Sufi story on serving others tells of a man who prayed continually for the awareness to succeed in life.

Then one night he dreamed of going into the forest to attain understanding.

The next morning he went into the woods and wandered for several hours looking for some sign that would provide answers.

When he finally stopped to rest, he saw a fox with no legs lying between two rocks in a cool place.

the-lion-and-the-fox-3-to-face-how-real-of-faith-sukalya-chearanantana

Curious as to how a legless fox could survive, he waited until sunset when he observed a lion come and lay meat before the fox.

“Ah, I understand,” the man thought. “The secret to success in life is to trust that Creation will take care of all my needs. I don’t need to lose sleep on providing for myself. All I have to do is totally surrender to my all-sustaining Creator.”

Two weeks later, weakened and starving, the man had another dream.

In it he heard a voice say, “Fool. Be like the lion, not like the fox.”

End

Story from read.goodweb.cn pointed to by mirthandmotivation.com/ and image from fineartamerica.com

What Is Your Religion?

Guru-Shishya www.energyenhancement.orgIt was clear something bothered the man. The Guru called him to his side and asked.

‘You want to tell me something?’

‘Yes…I must confess, I’m not religious.’

‘That’s not unusual.’

‘So much disease, deprivation, hate, chicanery, crime, and wars… killing innocents all around.

‘True.’

Not sure if anyone is in charge here. This cannot be god’s – if there’s one – creation. I don’t believe in god, worship or prayer.’

‘You’ve a point.’

‘I don’t believe in karma and rebirth…and, in swarga (heaven), narak (hell) or moksha (eternal salvation). Life is here and now. Who has seen after-life?’

‘So much you don’t believe in. You believe in anything…anything at all?’

‘Not sure if I do. With so much suffering, inequities…’

‘Alright – is there anything you want to believe in?’

‘Well, if you put it that way…in goodness of man, perhaps, whatever is left.’

‘That’s here, not other-worldly and a good enough religion to go after, my friend.’

End

An Old Story And A New Question

This well known story about Ganesha, nicely put together by the author was narrated in brief to a bunch of kids. I assure you won’t be bored. And there is some interesting stuff at the end of the story.


Ganesh is born of divine parents and is himself a divine being. According to the Hindu mythology, in the snow-capped mountains of Kailash, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, the divine couple, live with their two divine children, Ganesh and his brother Karthik, also known as Karthik.

This is the tale of those days when both Ganesh and Karthik were very young.

Ganesh being the elder son, was full of patience and wisdom. Karthik, on the other hand, was impish and playful. But both of them were intelligent and powerful.

The two brothers had much difference in their physique. While Ganesh had a massive body with a big belly and an elephant’s head, young Karthik was a beautiful boy with strong limbs. They were kind to everybody and were loved by all.

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi loved their two children and they in turn were devoted to their parents. The Devas (deities) were pleased with the lovely divine children and they worshipped them.

But one day, as the Devas talked about the qualities of the brothers, a doubt arose in the mind of one of them:
“Who is the wiser of the two brothers?” he asked the others “Ganesh or Karthik?”

Soon this doubt spread to all the Devas. All of them were talking and expressing their opinion about the matter. But no one could surely decide upon the matter. As they racked their brains to solve the issue, suddenly, a Deva got an idea.

“I know whom to ask!”, said he. As others looked at him curiously, he continued, “Lord Brahma. He is the Creator of the world. He should know the answer, so let’s ask him! He can surely solve this doubt.”
Without any more delay, the Devas rushed to Brahma and asked their Creator about their doubt. Brahma was surprised to see all the deities, together.

“Such a pleasant surprise! What brings you here?”

The Devas told Brahma about their doubt. “O lord Brahma, who is the wiser brother?”, asked they, “Ganesh or Karthik?”
Shiva 2
“Alas, I do not know!” replied Brahma. “I am the creator of mankind, not divine beings. Ganesh and Karthik were born to the celestial gods Shiva and Parvathi.”

The Devas were disappointed. Even the Brahma did not know! Then they would not be able to have an answer, after all.

Looking at their glum faces, Lord Brahma decided to help them. “It is true that I do not know who is the wiser of the two young Gods”, he thought. “But I can probably find it out with the help of my son Narada”.

Narada, the son of Lord Brahma, was a mischievous sage who was famous for creating disputes. Wherever he went, he created trouble.

But if he got away with all his pranks and without getting cursed it was only because the trouble he caused usually ended on a happy note.

“Narada, help the Devas. Find the answer to their question,” said Brahma after explaining the problem.
“Certainly, Father,” replied Narada, and his eyes twinkled naughtily, smelling an opportunity to play a prank.

Using his magical powers Narada swiftly flew over the white mountains of Kailash and, in no time, arrived at the divine abode of Shiva and Parvathi. He was warmly welcomed by the heavenly couple.

“O Shive, Saviour of the Universe!, O Devi Parvathi !” Narada praised the Lord. “I thank you for your warm welcome. It is indeed a pleasant joy and an honour to see you both together as the Divine Couple”.

Everyone knew about Narada’s mischievous nature. Shiva understood that Narada was up to some mischief. “Now tell us the truth. I can sense some mischief brewing in your mind. What is the prank you are planning to play on us?” he said jokingly.

Narada pretended to be hurt. “You greatly insult me, Lord Shiva! I have just come here to give you a gift,” he said in a sorrowful voice.

“A gift for me? What is it Narada?” asked Lord Shiva. Narada, hearing the eagerness in Shiva’s voice smiled to himself in amusement. He produced a golden mango and gave it to the Lord.

“A mango!” exclaimed Shiva. “Now don’t say you traveled all the way here to give me this fruit.”

“It is no ordinary fruit, my Lord,” Narada replied. “The taste of this fruit is said to be sweeter than nectar. This is the divine fruit of knowledge that bestows eternal wisdom to those who eat it.

“Is it so?” asked Shiva, looking at the mango. He then asked his wife Parvathi to have a bite.

Parvathi was surprised. “Oh no, I don’t want it! You are my husband. How can I eat it without you having a taste of it?” she refused.

Both Lord Shiva and Narada requested her to eat the fruit but Parvathi steadily declined. “Instead, let one of our children have the fruit,” she suggested.

“But, how is that possible?” asked Narada slyly. “There is one fruit and two children. Who should be given the fruit – Ganesh or Karthik?”

While the elders were talking, Ganesh and Karthik appeared in Kailash. They saw that their parents and Sage Narada were having some serious talk on something. Then Karthik noticed something yellow and round in Narada’s hand.

“What is Uncle Narada having in his hand?” Karthik asked Ganesh. Ganesh was equally curious.

“This is a magical mango, Karthik, “Narada replied, as he heard Karthik’s question.”I gave it to your Father but he wanted your Mother to eat it. But she won’t have it. She wants to give it to one of you”.

“A magical mango? I love mangoes!” shouted Karthik, “I want it! I want it!”.

“No, no, it should come to me. I love mangoes too! I’m the eldest son and the right one to eat the fruit of knowledge,” argued Ganesh. Soon the brothers started fighting.

The divine parents were perplexed. This is nothing but a mountain out of a molehill. Lord Shiva looked at Narada. “So this is why you came to Kailash! I knew it! I knew there was something in your mind. Well done Narada, you have finally played the trick. This is why you came here. But now that you have created trouble, please solve it. You decide to whom the mango should go to,” he said firmly.

Narada was delighted that his plan was working so well. “Why don’t we could have a competition to settle the matter?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

“The children agreed to Narada’s suggestion. Lord Shiva thought over the matter.

Shiva 1

“All right, then.” said he, “We’ll have a contest. Whoever of you goes around the world three times and returns first will get the fruit,” he said to his children.

Hearing this, Karthik immediately mounted his vehicle, the peacock. His brother Ganesh was slow and fat. Karthik laughed to himself in glee. He was very certain that he would win.

Ganesh too, understood that his vehicle, the mouse, could not compete with the peacock’s speed. So he thought for a moment. Suddenly, he got an idea. Ganesh smiled to himself.

Karthik flew around the world stopping at all temples and sacred spots on the way and offering his prayers. To his astonishment, he found Ganesh at every major stop. Karthik was puzzled. How did Ganesh manage to be so fast?

The reason was the razor-sharp intelligence and the great wisdom of Ganesh. Back in Kailash, Ganesh remembered that his parents Shiva and Parvathi represented the entire universe. Without delay, the young elephant-headed god walked around his parents with great devotion, folding his hands.

“Why are you circling us Ganesh?” asked Lord Shiva.

“I’m your son and to me, you two make up my whole world. Why should I go further to win the contest?” replied Ganesh.

Shiva was pleased with his elder son’s smart answer and gave the magical fruit to him.

When Karthik returned after his voyage, he understood what had happened and accepted the superiority of his clever brother Ganesh. The Devas found the answer to their doubt. They praised and blessed Ganesh.

Narada chuckled to himself. His father had praised him too. So did the Devas.

The story was told inviting a lot of interaction from the kids to keep them actively engaged.

Quite expectedly there was a furry of questions at the end of the narration.

The one question that stood out was: ‘After winning, why Ganesha did not share the fruit with Karthikeya?’

The narrator had missed out including in her abridged story, the specific injunction from Sage Narada against splitting the fruit into halves for it would then lose its magical power.

So we can take comfort we are bringing up good sharing and caring citizens for future?

Does the credit for the kids imbibing praise-worthy values go to secular education they are receiving in US schools?

End

Source:  kidsgen.com/fables_and_fairytales/ has this beautifully narrated story and many more. Shared by Nithya, the narrator.

A Krishna-Arjuna Episode

One morning, Krishna and Arjuna went out on a walk.

Saurabh Raaj Jain as Lord Krishna

Suddenly Krishna paused in his stride and looked up.

‘Arjuna, see this beautiful white dove flying above.’

‘Yes, Krishna,’ Arjuna said: ‘indeed a spotlessly white dove.’

‘Arjuna, I think it is a duck. See the longish webbed feet.’

‘Yes, Krishna, you’re right. It is a duck.’

‘The sunlight is playing tricks. Now from near its feathers take a greenish hue…and its curved beak. Dhananjaya, in fact it is a parrot.’

‘I too think it’s a parrot.’

‘Partha, what’s the matter with you today? You readily concur with whatever I say. First it was a dove, then a duck and now a parrot. Next thing if I said it was a giraffe flying up there, I reckon by your performance so far today you wouldn’t disagree.’

‘Yes Achyuta, it could even be a giraffe.’

‘Why is it so, my dear Kauntheya?’

‘A dove turning into a duck and a duck into a parrot or to get a giraffe to fly…is it too much to do, Govinda, for a mayaavi like you? Don’t I know it must be so if you say so?’

End

PS: Partha, Dhananjaya and Kauntheya are other names for Arjuna.

Source: Adapted from the net. Image from india-forums.com.