Volume 9 - Issue 10
October 2011
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Posted on : Oct 04, 2011

‘TALES TO TRANSFORM
- DIRECT FROM THE DIVINE'

PART-4 (41-50)

 

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

 

 

The only mission Bhagawan Baba is 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 charged with powerful messages delivered in a manner that is simple and lucid, practical and penetrating.

Almost on every such occasion, Bhagawan 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; and 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. Here is the fourth part of this series which has 10 questions. We hope this will serve you in revisiting and reminiscing His message.

 

41. During a divine discourse given in 1982, Swami narrated a story of a famous devotee Kooresa to teach us that unadulterated devotion and total renunciation alone can help us to achieve the awareness of our Divinity.

Baba said: “Kooresa was the headman of a village in the days of Raamaanuja. His other name was Sreevathsaanka and he revered Raamaanuja, the Acharya of Visishta adwaitha (qualified non-dualism) as his Guru. He renounced all his possessions and proceeded towards the holy shrine of Shrirangam on the banks of the river Kaveri, accompanied by his wife Aandaal. As they were walking through a thick jungle at night fall, his wife asked him in a voice tremulous with fear, ‘Are there robbers around?’ He replied, ‘Why should we fear when we have nothing with us for them to rob.’ The wife then confessed that she had with her a small golden cup, which she had brought along to serve water to her husband. Kooresa did not approve of her action. He asked for the cup, threw it far into the jungle and they proceeded in peace.

“One night they lodged in a choultry near the temple at Shrirangam. Kooresa was far too exhausted as he hadn't eaten throughout the three-day long trek. The wife heard the temple bells ringing to announce the ‘Presentation of food offerings to Lord Ranganaatha'. She cried out to the Lord, ‘Your servant here is stricken by starvation. How can you, O Lord, feast on the offerings, knowing well how he suffers?’

“In a few minutes, a procession from the temple reached the choultry; a band of pipers and drummers leading the long line of priests and pundits. The Lord had commanded them to take the food offerings to his devotees at the choultry. They brought silver plates and vessels full of a rich variety of dishes. Kooresa rose and sat up. He protested, ‘I did not pray for food. The Lord should grant me what I need and pray for, He cannot give me what I did not ask for! How can this Atma ask the Paramaatma for something to fill the stomach?’ Because the temple priests pressed him to partake of the prasad (food offered to the Deity), he partook a little and gave some to his wife. He then questioned her, ‘Did you commit the mistake of praying for food?’ She replied, ‘Lord! I did not ask so. I only had a feeling in my mind - How could you, O Krishna, accept those offerings when Your servant is starving?'"

What does Swami want us to learn from this enlightening story?

God gives us whatever we ask for!
God is the only treasure we should aspire for!
God always takes care of His devotees!
We must never challenge God!


42. During a divine discourse given in 1963, Swami shared a story of a pious priest Dhevesha whose story is little known to others.

Baba said: “In Rajasthan, there was a priest who worshipped the image of Bala Krishna (Lord Krishna as a child) installed in the temple, attached to the palace of Udaipur. His name was Dhevesha. His story may not be found anywhere but since he was intimately connected with Me, I know him very well. Every night he used to put Bala Krishna to sleep, with appropriate rituals and close the door of the shrine; but, before he came out, he would take from the head of the image, the jasmine garland he had placed there in the evening and wear it himself. Of course, on those days on which the Mahaaraana (the King) visited the temple, the garland had to be given to him.

“One day, however, the Mahaaraana came immediately after Devesha had worn it inside his tuft of hair; so when the ruler demanded the flower, he went inside the shrine and slyly removed it from his tuft and handed it reverentially back to the Raana. The Mahaaraana was happy that he had not missed the gift; but was shocked to find in it a strand of grey hair! Sensing something suspicious he shouted angrily, ‘What! Has our Bala Krishna grown old?’ The priest, to save his skin, said, ‘Yes, Yes.’ The Mahaaraana replied, ‘Well, I shall not disturb now; but early tomorrow, I shall come and see if His hair has really gone grey.’

“Devesha had no food or sleep that night. He wept in agony, for he had in his fear, imposed old age and greyness on the ever-youthful Lord. Morning came and the Mahaaraana hurried to the temple to open the shrine. They both looked in, and lo, the hair was grey. The King suspected that the hair was false, planted by the priest. So he pulled and tugged at it.”

What happened when the King plucked the hair of Lord Bala Krishna forcefully?

Lord Krishna instantly appeared and reprimanded the King for his heinous act.
The King was surprised to find drops of blood at the roots.
The King received a shock and repulsed immediately.
Try as much as he can, the King could not move the Lord's hair by even an inch.


43. During a divine discourse given in 1962, Swami narrated the story of yet another devotee, to teach us that a true bhakta will always be held dear to the heart by the Lord.

He said: “There was in Bengal a devotee named Maadhavadaasa, who realized when his wife died, that he had lost his griha (home); for his grihalakshmi (wife, literally meaning 'Goddess of the home') had passed away. So he gave away all his riches to the poor, donned a gerua (yellow) robe and wandered alone as a pilgrim and eventually reached the Jagannaatha Shrine. There he did such deep penance that with time, the image of worship evolved into Abstract Reality and that Reality became a Perpetual Vision. He lost all sense of time and space, of chith and a-chith (awareness and ignorance).

“Then the Lord, with Subhadra, His shakti-aspect, appeared by his side and placed before him the gold plate with food which was offered to Lord Jagannaatha in the sanctum sanctorum. When Maadhavadaasa awoke from his spiritual reverie, he saw the gold plate with the delicious food offerings; he ate his fill and returned to his inner paradise which he had left for a while.

“Meanwhile the plate was reported lost, assumed to be stolen and discovered by the seashore near Maadhavadaasa. He was then promptly arrested by some efficient policemen and beaten mercilessly. But he did not seem to be perturbed a bit by these happenings. The chief priest that night had a dream in which Lord Jagannaatha asked him not to bring food for Him anymore. The Lord said: ‘You bring food for Me, and when I eat it, you start beating Me!’

According to Swami, why did the Lord Jagannaatha enact this whole drama?

To reiterate the fact that the Lord does accept offerings made at shrines.
To indicate to the head priest that his devotion was impure.
To bring to the notice of all the true love of this devotee and thereby demonstrate to others the real nature of devotion.
To declare to the world that God always severely tests His devotees.


44. During a divine discourse given in 1967, Swami narrated an interesting episode from the life of an Emperor.

Baba said: “Once the Emperor of the Cholas (a Tamil dynasty that ruled parts of southern India from 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD) wished to visit the Shrirangam Gopuram Temple, about which he had heard a lot. He attempted many times to make a pilgrimage to this temple, but every time he began the journey on his chariot he was intercepted by a recluse in ochre robes with a rosary around his neck and a divine halo. When the Emperor would alight to honour him, the monk would keep him engaged in conversation, which was so enchanting that the Emperor forgot his journey and its destination.

“One day, when he lamented over his inability to fill his eyes with the glory of Shrirangam, the Lord Himself appeared before him and said, ‘Why do you lament? I am the Master who came to you so often every time you set out for Shrirangam.'

Then the Lord explained to the Emperor what true pilgrimage is. What is it?








45. During the Summer Showers discourses in 1979, Swami narrated this story:

“Once Dakshinamurthi set out on a journey around the world. One day, standing on a beach, he was listening in rapt attention to the Pranava-like roaring of the waves of the sea. Then, swept by the breeze, two pieces of straw fell into the sea. Wave after wave rose up and pushed the straw ashore. In the meantime, some withered leaves also fell into the sea. At once, they too were pushed to the shore by the rising waves.

“Dakshinamurthi’s vision was not merely external. He could grasp the inner significance of events. Seeing the waves push away everything, he said to himself, ‘Oh! The waves have taught me a good lesson today.'”

What subtle lesson did Dakshinamurthi learn from the scene he saw?



.

 

46. During the 1972 summer course, Swami narrated a story to teach us the importance of overcoming anger:

“Vasishta had attained the title of Brahmarishi and Viswamitra also wanted to attain it. Even after years of tapas (penance), he could not attain the same. Later Viswamitra became furious when Vasishta did not agree to call him so even after the world had honoured him with the appellation of Brahmarishi. Anger induced the thought in Viswamitra that if he eliminated Vasishta from the world, then everyone would honour him with the name of Brahmarishi.

“Once, on a moonlit night, Vasishta was describing to his pupils the qualities of Viswamitra. Viswamitra, who was hiding behind a bush with a sword in his hand to stab Vasishta, happened to hear the glowing tributes Vasishta was paying to him; he even compared the good qualities of Viswamitra to the moonlight.

“This brought about a sudden transformation in Viswamitra. He began to repent his decision to kill Vasishta, who was such a great man. He felt he must make amends and so he fell at the feet of Vasishta, expressing his repentance. Vasishta with a beautiful smile said: ‘O Great Brahmarishi, wherefrom have you come?’ When Vasishta addressed him thus Viswamitra was surprised. Vasishta said: ‘Today you really deserve the appellation, Brahmarishi, because you have eliminated all anger and ego, and fell at my feet with the feeling of utter repentance.'”

With context to this story, Swami wants us to learn that: “One’s anger is one’s greatest enemy and one’s ________ is one’s protection.”






47. During a divine discourse given in 1988, Swami narrated a story to teach us yet another profound lesson:

“Once a great Maharaja (ruler) held a big exhibition of paintings and other works of art. The finest works were on display, and the exhibition was open to one and all. The Maharaja announced that anyone could walk in and take away whatever one liked. Many came in and took back with them whatever they fancied. Among them was a lady. She saw everything but did not take a single thing with her. The Maharaja noticed that she was the only one to come out empty-handed. He was curious to know the reason. So he asked: ‘Madam, how is it you have found nothing to interest you in the exhibition? There are so many attractive things on display. Is it that nothing pleased you?’

She replied: ‘There sure are innumerable desirable things in the exhibition.’ The Maharaja asked: ‘But was there nothing you wanted?’ ‘No,’ she said. The Maharaja said, ‘If that is so, tell me what you desire and I shall give it to you.’

She said: ‘Maharaja, will you promise to give me what I want? Is your offer genuine? Will you keep your word?’ ‘Certainly,’ replied the Maharaja. ‘If that is so, I want only you,’ said the lady. True to his word the Maharaja surrendered himself to her. When the Maharaja himself became hers, all that was in the exhibition also became hers.”

Swami drew a parallel between the King in this story and the Creator (God); the exhibits and the creation (material objects). The obvious lesson is that when you have the Creator you have the creation in all its entirety too. What other reasons did Swami give to encourage us to seek God and not the objects of the world?





48. In 1968, during a Divine Discourse Swami narrated a story that throws light on what true wealth is:

“There was a king who led his mighty army across the snowy peaks that formed the boundary of his kingdom, into his neighbour's realm. On a lofty pass thick with snow, he saw a mendicant sitting on a bare rock, with his head between his knees evidently to protect it from the chill wind that blew through a gap in the peak. He hardly had any clothes on his body.

“The king was overcome with pity; he took off his own shawl and coat, and offered them to the ascetic. The yogi refused to accept them; he said, ‘God has given me enough clothing to guard myself against heat and cold. He gives me all that I need. Please give these to someone who is poor.’ The King was surprised at these words. He asked him where is clothing was.

The mendicant replied, ‘God has Himself woven it for me; I am wearing it since birth and will wear it until the grave. Here it is, my skin! Give this coat and shawl to some hapless man.’”

Through this story, Swami wants us to learn what the king learnt from the beggar; what is that lesson?





 

49. During a divine discourse given in 1964, Swami narrated a story from the life of the famous King Akbar, who like many, wanted to know why an Avatar descends to the world.

Swami said: “You may ask, why should the Lord incarnate? Why can He not accomplish the task of restoring Dharma (righteousness) through the many demigods He has at His command?

“This question was passed before the courtiers by Akbar himself for, he laughed at the Hindu belief of the Formless adopting a Form, and descending into the world as an Avatar to save dharma.

“Tansen asked for a week's time to furnish the answer and it was granted by His Imperial Majesty. A few days later, when he was in the pleasure boat of the Emperor sailing across the lake with his family, Tansen cleverly threw overboard a doll made to look like the Emperor’s little son, crying at the same time, ‘O, the Prince has fallen into the water!’ Hearing this, the Emperor jumped into the lake to rescue his son!”

Swami went on to say that God too in the similar fashion comes down Himself to protect His dear son. Who is that son?





 

50. During the Summer Showers discourses delivered in 2000, Swami narrated a story of the very famous King Ashoka:

“Once Emperor Ashoka was going through a forest. Seeing a Buddhist monk, he alighted from his horse and prostrated at his feet. Ashoka’s minister was shocked; he wondered, ‘How can such a great man bow before such a lowly one, a renunciate?’ Nevertheless, the minister kept quiet.

“Later when they were back in the palace, the minister gently raised the topic and said, ‘O Emperor, how can such a great and intelligent one like you place your head at the feet of an inconsequential monk?’ Ashoka just smiled and did not reply.

“Some days later, he summoned the minister and casually said, ‘Obtain first the head of a sheep, a goat, and a man. Take these three and try to sell them in the market. Come and report to me once you do this.’ The minister was taken aback by this most peculiar command, but then, orders are orders, especially when they come directly from the Emperor.

“The minister procured the three heads, as told, and tried to dispose them off in the market. He was able to find a buyer for the heads of the sheep and goat, but no one came forward to buy the human head.”

What lesson was Ashoka trying to teach the minister?




 


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- Heart2Heart Team

 

 

 
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