Tag Archives: Faith

The Tiger And The Fox

A fox who lived in the deep forest of long ago had lost its front legs. No one knew how, perhaps escaping from a trap. A man who lived on the edge of the forest , seeing the fox from time to time, wondered how in the world it managed to get its food. One day when the fox was not far from him he had to hide himself quickly because a tiger was approaching. The tiger had fresh game in its claws. Lying down on the ground, it ate its fill, leaving the rest for the fox.

Again the next day the great Provider of this world sent provisions to the fox by this same tiger. The man began to think: “If this fox is taken care of in this mysterious way, its food sent by some unseen Higher Power, why don’t I just rest in a corner and have my daily meal provided for me?”

Because he had a lot of faith, he let the days pass, waiting for food. Nothing happened. He just went on losing weight and strength until he was nearly a skeleton. Close to losing consciousness, he heard a Voice which said:

“O you, who have mistaken the way, see now the Truth! Instead of imitating the disabled fox, you should have followed the example of that tiger .”


Source: Massud Farzan from spiritual-short-stories.com


His Sense Of Fair-Play

It was D-day – the boy had a test to give for earning a scholarship.

The grandma did what most grandma’s do – she taught him a simple Hayagreeva stotram (a mantra in praise of and seeking blessings from god of learning). It was sure to help him ace the test.

The boy quickly learnt the stotram.  To grandma’s delight he could recite the Sanskrit stotram with great spashtam (fidelity).

It was time for them to leave for the school-bus.

As he boarded the bus, she reminded him to recite the stotram without fail just before taking the test.

The boy was in good spirits when he returned from the school in the afternoon. The family mobbed him immediately to know how he fared in the test.

The boy confirmed what was already evident – he had done quite well, he thought. Much better than he had expected.

Amidst the excitement all around, ‘I knew all along,’ beamed the grandma. ‘It had to be so and nothing else with the blessings of Hayagreeva.’

‘But, Paatti (grandma)…’


‘Am sorry…I did not recite the stotram.’

‘What? You didn’t? You forgot the lines?’



‘Wouldn’t be fair for me to benefit from the stotram. None of my friends has learnt it.’

Paatti’s explanations, arguments and theories that followed till-date have not won him over unreservedly.




PS: Based on a real-life story. The youngster is growing up in UK away from the traditional Hindu eco-system (though the household is) and its influence and edicts.

The Guru Has A Question

The Sishya (disciple) thought aloud: ‘The world is being torn apart by geography, race, gender, culture, religion, language, economic disparity, etc. etc. Strangely these forces unite people at one level and pit them against one another on a larger canvas. Of these religion intended to uplift the mankind seems to be most perniciously divisive.’

‘You’re right,’ concurred the Guru. ‘Religion – every one of them – claims god of its own. And the gods seem to be fighting a proxy war for supremacy through their overzealous faithful on this earth!’

‘That’s an awful thing to say about the gods…er…I mean about the god.’

‘You know what I think? It could well be that the gods already have a truce up there and for fun kept it from them down here.’

‘Watch what you say – you may get hauled up for profanity.’

I’ve just this to ask of the believers:  If you’re the children of a god, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and just and loving, what about them? I mean the others, the multitude, whom you fiercely despise, coerce or even coax. A defective production batch off your god’s factory, to be mended?’


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.


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.’


The Elusive Laddu And The Sardarji

A_view_of_Laddu Low

If this wasn’t coming from B, I would have bet my last buck this was a concoction from an ardent devotee. Read on to know why:

In the 1980’s I regularly visited Thirupati for darshan of Lord Venkatachalapathy, variously called as Srinivasa, Balaji…During one of those trips in late 1980’s I was accompanied by two of my office colleagues, one of them a sardarji, a very pious man.

This was the first visit for him. After standing in the queue for about two hours, we finally entered the main entrance in the temple complex at Thirumala (top of the hill at Thirupati) at about 9:00. As soon as we entered there, sardarji covered his head with a hand-kerchief and started chanting some prayer while we engaged ourselves in some idle chat. It took us another 20 to 30 minutes before we could stand in front of the Lord to have His darshan.

On our way out, we collected a small laddu given out as prasadam. We promptly partook the same and, as always, headed towards the prasadam counter located outside the temple entrance for buying additional laddus for our families. With huge demand and limited production in those days, up to three laddus were offered per head. It was already 9-45 and the queue was very long. Hard-pressed for time – the Bombay-bound train was due at 11-30 at the far-away Renigunta railway station, it was clear we would miss the train if we stood in the queue.

Sardarji’s disappointment was writ quite visibly on his face.

He pleaded with the people triumphantly exiting the prasadam counter with laddus in their hands to give him just one so that he didn’t return home empty handed. Unfortunately for him no one obliged.It was no surprise to us – the laddus were and are always a much prized prasadam to be shared with family, neighbors and friends back home. Not with a total stranger.

During our travel to Renugunta station sardarji without let-up bemoaned his drawing a blank and regretted he partook that small laddu at the temple itself instead of sharing it with his wife and daughter back home. We tried unsuccessfully to pacify him saying the good darshan he had had was a greater reward than the laddu. And he should be happy and thankful to the Lord for the same.

The Madras-to-Bombay train arrived  puffing and panting for a short halt at Renigunta. We had just the time to board the compartment and move to take our seats before the train pulled out slowly. As we looked around we observed a large Gujarati marriage party going from Madras to Bombay occupying almost the entire compartment. Before long, one of their group-members approached us tentatively with a request: If we could be kind enough to move to the adjoining compartment, three members separated from their group could take our place to be one with the group. Since we were not encumbered with any heavy luggage, we readily agreed to switch our seats.

At the next stop, the shift was effected without further ado.

Once we settled down at the new place,the usual getting-to-know chit-chat commenced among the co-passengers. One of them was an elderly Bengali lady looking calm, graceful and respectable. Our sardarji needed little encouragement to unwind his tale of woe: his first ever trip to Thirumala, the good Darshan he had, the prasadam he ate, and his utter disappointment and sorrow in not procuring even a single laddu for his family back home. The lady continued to listen intently until the end.

When the sardarji finally rested his story, she said: “Beta, Balaji kisi ko nirasha nahi karenge” <He never disappoints anyone>. While it sounded like one of those perfectly inane commiserating remarks, she retrieved a bag from under the seat and pulled out for him one big laddu, at least 4 to 5 times larger than the laddu sold at the prasadam counter.

He was speechless awash with excitement and apprehension – Was it for real? Was she playing some cruel prank on him?

She explained: She had arranged for some special Pooja at Thirumala which included at its conclusion a sizeable quantity of prasadam for her. She added she would be only too happy if she could, in a small way, redress his disappointment.

With folded hands, unbelievable surprise and tears in his eyes, he accepted it and readily shared the some of it with us.


Was this all just happenstance or divine Grace or what was it?

What do you think?

For those of you who have not read my posts elsewhere, B was my neighbor for long years and Vidya Balan, the highly talented and widely  acclaimed actress of Bollywood is his daughter.