Volume 8 - Issue 12
DECEMBER 2010
Other Articles

DISCOURSE QUIZ ON

‘TALES TO TRANSFORM – DIRECT FROM THE DIVINE”

Part-2

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

 

For the past eight decades, the only mission Bhagavan Baba has been engaged in is to raise the level of awareness of man from the mundane to the divine. And He has done this through His own life as well as His Teachings. Every discourse of Baba is patent with powerful messages delivered in a manner that is simple and lucid, practical and penetrating. Almost on every such occasion, Bhagavan begins with a poem and ends with a bhajan which is sung en masse. And the main message is conveyed through the elucidation of deep insights ably supplemented and illustrated with interesting and inspiring anecdotes; each of these tales is fascinating and worth ruminating over repeatedly.

It is for this reason that we have culled out 85 such stories from the huge treasure of His divine discourses to present them in the form of quizzes. The first part which has 21 questions was published before the 85th Birthday celebrations, and here are another 9 taking the tally to 30.  We hope this will serve you in revisiting His messages so that we can translate them into real virtues in our lives.

 

22 . In a Divine Discourse delivered in the summer of 1974, Swami narrated a story that reveals the true nature of God: “God does not have different thoughts or opinions about different people; such differences arise only from the divergent ideas that we have. It is wrong to attribute differences to God. There is a small story to illustrate this:

 

“A rich businessman had four wives. The first one was continuously ill suffering from one disease or the other. The second was given to worldly pleasures. The third wife was always pursuing a spiritual path and was keen to meet learned people and learn about religious aspects. The fourth was very healthy and did not give in to worldly pleasures or have desires of any kind; she had only one thought and that was to become one with the Divine.

“The businessman went to a foreign land and wrote to the four wives just before returning asking what they would like to be brought. The first wife replied saying she wanted a special kind of medicine for her illness. The second asked for special gifts like saris, jewels, etc. The third wanted religious books of the foreign land. The fourth wife had nothing to ask except the safe return of her husband.

“As soon as he gave all the things away that he had brought with him from the foreign land to the respective wives, the businessman himself went to the house of the fourth wife.”

How does this story reveal God’s true Nature too?

God is equal to one and all
God gives each one what he asks for
Never ask for material things from God
Always be prepared for God’s tests!

 

23. During the 1973 Summer Showers Discourses, Swami said: “Perhaps you think it is not easy to control our senses. Even if it is not easy to do this, it is very easy to divert all of them in the direction of God and give them a new orientation. The gopikas give classic examples of such supreme self-control. By directing the powers of your senses towards God, all the impurities of the senses are eliminated. The first step is cultivation of love towards all living creatures. This helps you to control your senses and direct them toward God.

“There are three fishes in a pond. One fish said to the other two: ‘The water in this pond will run dry day after day. A time will come when this pond may become completely barren; and before the fisherman comes to catch us, it is necessary that we go and stay in some place where there is a perennial supply of water.’ The second fish said: ‘You are imagining. Your mind is full of needless fears. The pond will not run dry. The fisherman will not come to bother us. Enjoy your present state.’ The third said the same thing. The first fish was discouraged when the other two did not accept its advice and so it had to share their fate. As anticipated the fisherman came and not only trapped them but also cooked and ate them.”

According to Swami, “Our life may be compared to a pond and the length of our life to the water…the fisherman is ___________”.

Our true friend
The emblem of death
Our conscience
One who teaches us our purpose of life

 

24. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1986, Swami teaches us the spirit in which service should be rendered by narrating a small story: “A crowd of urchins were watching with glee the plight of the calf which was unable to move forward because of the slush. An ascetic who was passing by saw the poor state of the calf and taking it out of the mud, carried it on his back to the pool of water.

“The urchins asked him why he had done this, while they were watching to see how the calf was going to get near the water. The sanyasi told them that the sight of the struggling calf caused him great anguish and to relieve himself of his agony, he had gone to the relief of the calf.”

According to Swami, “Daya (compassion) is not mere display of kindness or sympathy to someone in distress. It calls for ___________”

Not giving up the service until it is completely done!
Not advertising about it later!
Complete identification with the suffering
Going back and making sure the recipient is satisfied


 

25. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1968, Swami narrated a story that teaches us the value of Divinity: “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 path 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 knew 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 out of 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 the king. He discovered the house of the boy and moved up and down that road hoping to see the boy. When he did see the boy play with it as if it were as cheap as a marble, his heart was wrung in agony. At that moment the boy threw the gem on the floor; his mother emerged just at that time from the inner apartments. The merchant now asked for it in exchange for a hundred rupees, and again, for five hundred rupees!”

Later, when he was willing to offer even fifty thousand rupees, the mother took it to a bank and deposited it in their safety vaults. What lesson does Swami teach us here?

We must always treasure precious stones!
We must always wait for the opportune time to sell precious gems
We must always be ready when God tests us through temptations!
We must value the name of God as the most precious treasure

 

26. During a Divine Discourse given in 1963, Swami narrated a story that teaches us the secret to leading a successful life: “The Dharma-karmas (virtuous actions) have to be done; there is no escape. Fleeing to the forest is no solution, for it only gives the situation a new turn. Your body may be in the jungle, but your mind will wander in the market-place!

“There was once a sadhaka (spiritual seeker) who was initiated by a yogi into some manthram (holy words); he wanted to meditate on it undisturbed and found his home to be full of distractions. He fled to the forest and discovered a convenient tree, under which he could meditate. Before long, the birds roosting on its branches started to clamour aloud and they showered on his head their droppings. He was greatly incensed. ‘Have I no place where I can commune with God,’ he cried. ‘Children at home; birds and bats in the jungle! I shall immolate myself, get born under better auspices and then start sadhana afresh,’ he decided.

“So, he collected a pile of fuel and making a pyre out of it, lit it and was about to ascend it, when he was interrupted by an old man who accosted him.”

When the old man pleaded him to be sensitive of the environment, the seeker then felt he had no freedom to die, so he returned home. What lesson does Swami teach us through this story?

Dharma is the most important thing!
There is a time and place for everything!
When in trouble, always seek a Guru!
Be in the world but not of it

 

27. During a Divine Discourse given in 1991, Swami reveals what happens when one does not have a strong determination and thus swerves from his devotion: “The scriptures refer to the human body as the temple and the indwelling Spirit as the God installed therein. Even a mere intellectual understanding of this fact will make us happy. But we shall be happier when we put this understanding into practice in our daily lives. However, it is a pity that we content ourselves with pious resolutions in such matters, without a strong determination to put them into actual practice. Here is a story relevant in this connection.

“Once upon a time, all the deer in a forest met together in a conference. They arrived at a consensus that they were superior to the dogs in several respects; they could run faster and jump higher, and they ate satwic food unlike the dogs which ate rajasic food. Therefore they passed a unanimous resolution amidst loud cheers that thereafter they should never be afraid of the dogs. They had hardly finished passing the resolution when they heard the loud barking of a dog in the forest. They lost no time in running away for their lives; their resolution was gone with the wind; not a single deer remained at the site of the conference.”

According to Swami, what is a person who never swerves from his determination even under trying circumstances called?

Dheera (a hero)
A Sadhaka (a spiritual aspirant)
A Jnaani (a realized soul)
A Sanyaasi (a mendicant)

28. During a Divine Discourse given in 1974, Swami narrated a story that reveals the true nature of man: “Once there was a woodcutter who went daily into the forest and collected fuel which he sold in the village nearby for pittance; this just sufficed to keep his wife and children alive. One morning, while he was stepping out of his hut, the wife reminded him that it was the New Year festival the next day; she pleaded with him to collect a heavier bundle of fuel that day, so that they could get a few more paise to give the children a morsel of sweet rice each. The man nodded assent and walked on.

 

“He succeeded in gathering an extra huge bundle, but, with that heavy load on his head, he was soon exhausted; he had to deposit it on the ground, before he could approach the village. This set him thinking of his plight. He had lost all his old zest for living. He called upon the Angel of Deathto relieve him. He cried, ‘O Death! Have you no mercy on me? Why have you forgotten me for so long? How I wish I could die and escape from this daily grind?’

“The Angel of Death took pity and appeared before him to fulfill his wish. But, the woodcutter suddenly receded; he cleverly changed the purpose of his appeal to the Angel. He had no wish to die, though in his despair he had called for her help. He said, ‘No. No. I had no one here to lift this bundle onto my head, so I called on you to come to my aid. That was the only reason behind my prayer. Please help me to lift this burden and place it on my head; I have to reach the village soon!"

According to Swami, why is man’s will to live so strong?

Innate fear of death
He enjoys being active!
Lack of spirituality
Man is innately immortal

29. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1986, Swami reminded us: “The nature of the Sankalpa that motivates a person can be sensed by others.

 

“The story of Ted Ross, a lone farmer in Holland, illustrates this quite well. He left his home in order to live in peace and freedom and settled on a forty-acre farm in a cottage he built thereon. He had interest in poultry farming and raised chicken. Killing birds for food was part of the culture he grew in.

“One night a fox entered the yard and made a meal of them. Its visit continued, night after night. So, the farmer took a decision to kill the fox and kept awake with gun in hand. But, though fowls disappeared, the fox was not seen. He could hear its approach, the flutter of the birds and its exit, but could not spot where it was. His vain vigil persisted for five long years. He consulted many elders about the mystery. A pure hearted sympathizer told him, ‘Ted! Your mind is so free from blemish that even a tiny blot is patent to all. The fox is aware of your intention and is taking clever measures to avoid being noticed.’”

According to Swami, people who have good sankalpas, and who: “move in the company of the godly, are prone to develop serenity and _________.”

Sincerity
Get rid of delusion
Compassion
Equanimity

 

 

30. During a Divine Discourse given in 1966, Swami narrated a story that teaches us how gradually we can build our faith in God: “There is the story of a king, the minister and the servant going in a boat over a stormy lake. The servant was thrown into panic at the sight of water all round. There was danger of his upsetting the boat itself. So, the minister caught hold of the fellow, pushed him into the water, dipped him a number of times in spite of his shrieks and then when he cried, ‘The boat! The boat!’ he was hoisted back. Once in the boat he knew he was safe from the waters of which he was afraid.”

According to Swami, the lesson here to be learnt is that “It is ___________ that the security and safety of faith in God can be realized.”


When we ruminate over the teachings of the Lord
When we suffer the ordeals of worldly life
When we feel betrayed by friends
When devotees gather and share their God related experiences

illustrations: Mrs.Vidya, Kuwait and Mrs. Varshini Sriram

Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

 

 

 

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