Volume 10 - Issue 07
July 2012
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Discourse Quiz on

‘TALES TO TRANSFORM – DIRECT FROM THE DIVINE'

Part-6

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 sixth part of this series which has 10 questions. We hope this will serve you in revisiting and reminiscing His message.

 

61 . During a Divine Discourse given in 1994, Swami narrated a story to illustrate the power of faith:

“A young boy used to go from his village to a school in a nearby town through a forest. Generally he would return home well before sunset but one day, it so happened that he had to leave the school late in the evening, by when darkness had set in. The boy told his mother later that day, that he was frightened when walking in the dark without company. His mother said: ‘Why are you afraid? Whenever you are in need of company, call out aloud for your brother. He will help you.’

“The boy asked his mother, ‘Who is my brother?’ She replied: ‘He is none other than Lord Krishna. God is mother, father, teacher, brother, relative, friend and all. Whenever you are in trouble don't hesitate to call on him for help.’ The boy had full faith in his mother's words.”

In the rest of the story, Bhagawan explains how the little boy's innocent faith was rewarded. But what aspect of faith was Baba bringing out through this small story? What happens when one has complete faith in God?


62. During a Divine Discourse given in 1984, Swami narrated a story of a King who was keen on attaining liberation:

“Once upon a time, King Janaka sent round a message inviting scholars, sages and yogis to teach him the knowledge of the Aatma. He announced: ‘In the time it takes me to mount my horse, one should be able to give me full Brahma jnaana (knowledge of the Absolute).’ The sages and scholars were worried, as they felt ‘This is going to be a severe test of our scholarship and learning.’ None dared to even offer to satisfy the King's demand.

“Meanwhile, a sage by name Ashthaavakra entered the kingdom; approaching the King he said, ‘King, I am ready to teach you the knowledge of the Aatma, but it cannot be taught in this palace which is full of rajo and thamo gunas. First I must take you to a Sathwic area.’ And so they left the palace accompanied by a few horses and soldiers. On reaching a lonely spot, Ashthaavakra told the king, ‘I am now going to teach you the knowledge. I am the preceptor and you are the disciple. Are you ready to accept this relationship? If you agree to this, then you have to make the offering the shishya (disciple) has to give to the Guru (preceptor). Only after you have made your offering will I start my teaching.’ King Janaka told Ashthaavakra, ‘I want to attain Brahman and I am therefore prepared to give you anything you want.’ Then the Guru told the King: ‘I don't want anything except your mind’ for which the king answered: ‘I offer it to you; from now on, it is yours.’ Then the Guru brought a horse and commanded the king to sit on the ground, in the middle of the road. He left the king there and retired into the forest to sit quietly under a tree.

“The soldiers waited for a long time for the return of the king but neither the king nor Ashthaavakra came. They wanted to know what had happened to them, and one by one, they proceeded to find out. Finally they found their king sitting in the middle of the road with a horse standing nearby. The king had closed his eyes and was absolutely still. Ashthaavakra was nowhere to be found. They were rather afraid that this Ashthaavakra had cast some magic spell over the king, making him lose his consciousness. They went to the Prime Minister and brought him to the king, who on reaching the spot called out, ‘Maharaja!’ but the King did not open his eyes or respond in any way. The Prime Minister and all other courtiers were alarmed as they could not rouse the king or give him any food or drink. They were wondering what to do. Left with no other alternative, they sent the chariot to bring the queen, thinking that the king would surely respond to her entreaties. The Queen too came and pleaded. But the king remained unmoved.”

“Meanwhile, the soldiers went into the forest in search of Ashthaavakra. They found him sitting under a tree in total peace. They took hold of him and brought him to the place where the king was sitting. Ashthaavakra said, ‘The king is saved, he is all right. You may see for yourself.’ Ashthaavakra went close to the king and called him, ‘Maharaja.’ Immediately the king opened his eyes and replied, ‘Swami.’ Ashthaavakra told the King, ‘The ministers and the queen have come; the soldiers and many others have come and all have tried to talk to you; why did you not answer them?’

What was the king's reply?

 

63. During the 1977 Summer Showers, Swami narrated this story from the life of Buddha from which we can learn a few important lessons:

“In a certain village, there was a headman who did not like Buddha. He would get angry even if he heard anyone make a reference to the words uttered by Buddha. He was ever suffering from uncontrolled anger. One day, he heard the news that Buddha was coming to that village with his disciples. Since he was the head of the village, he issued a certain order that when Buddha came asking for alms, no one should oblige and all should close their doors. Everyone followed this order. When Buddha and His disciples came, the headman too closed the doors of his house and sat in the veranda outside.

“Buddha, Who was all-knowing, understood what was happening… He along with His disciples, went to the house of the village headman and said, ‘Bhavati, bhikshan dehi, I have come to ask for alms.' The moment he saw Buddha and His disciples, the headman flew into a rage. He addressed Buddha and said, ‘You lazy man, You have collected all these people in Your company, and they have all become lazy. You are taking them around because they do not want to work. Not only are You ruining Your own life, You are also ruining the lives of Your disciples. This is wrong...’ He went on in this manner.”

In spite of knowing what his reaction would be, why did Buddha go to the house of the headman?

 

64. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1988, Swami narrated this story to illustrate how our devotion to God must be childlike.

“A mother and son were living in poor circumstances. The father had died when the son was born. With great difficulty the mother put the son in school. When the child reached the final year, he had to pay Rs. 90 as examination fees. The mother was at a loss as to how to find so much money. She was shedding tears under a tree, when the son importuned her to reveal the cause of her sadness. When she said that the boy would have to give up further studies, as she did not have the money to pay for the examination fees, the son asked in his childish innocence whether there was anybody who could help them and that he would repay the amount later. The mother said: 'God alone is the refuge for the helpless. He is the Source of all wealth and He is the Universal Provider.’ In his innocence, the boy asked his mother: ‘Where is that God? By some means or the other I shall get the money from Him.’ The mother said: ‘He lives in Vaikunta.’

“The boy implicitly believed in his mother's words. He ran to the post office, wrote a letter, bought an envelope, enclosed the letter in it and addressed it to ‘Sriman Narayana, Vaikunta.’ He was trying to post the letter in a post box, which was fixed a little too high for him. The postmaster, watching his plight, came to his help and asked him: ‘To whom are you sending this letter?’ The boy replied, ‘Sir, this is a very urgent letter. I need money by tomorrow to pay my fees. Please see that this letter is dispatched quickly.’ The postmaster took the letter from the boy and found that it was addressed to ‘Sriman Narayana, Vaikunta.’ He asked the boy who had given him that address. He related his entire story and what his mother had told him about Sriman Narayana as the refuge of the poor and the forlorn. The postmaster was moved to tears by the boy's story.

“The postman wondered at the innocence and pure heartedness of the boy and told him: ‘Dear Child! I shall post the letter. You come here tomorrow morning. The money will be received by then and you can take it.’ The boy was happy beyond words and conveyed the news to his mother.

“The next morning he went to the postmaster and asked him whether the money had come. The postmaster went in, brought Rs. 90 and gave it to the boy. He ran with the money to his mother. The mother wondered how he had got the money, whether he had stolen it or got it from someone. When she asked him how he got the money the boy related all that had happened. He swore that the money had been sent by Narayana Himself. The mother then asked him to take her to the postmaster.”

What reply did the postman give when the mother found out that it was he who gave the money?


 

65. During a Divine Discourse given in 1991, Baba narrated a story about a Guru and his disciples: “There is a story, which points out the difference between a genuine disciple and those who behave in a certain way when they are with the preceptor and differently when they are away from him.

“A preceptor who was nearing his end, sent word to all his old disciples to come to the ashram, for a last meeting with him. All the disciples had arrived except one who had to come from a long distance. To reach the guru's village, this disciple had to cross a river in spate. Despite warnings from the villagers not to get into the swollen river, he walked on, reciting the mantra the guru had taught him as he was anxious to reach the guru.

“Miraculously, the river was only knee-deep while he was crossing it. Everybody was stunned by the miracle. On reaching the ashram, the other disciples felt that the guru had imparted a different mantra to this disciple which had enabled him to wade through the swollen river with ease. They even accused the guru of partiality.”

Baba said: “There was no difference in the mantra imparted to the disciples.” Then what according to Baba made the difference in this case?


66. During a Divine Discourse delivered as part of the 1990 Summer Course, Swami narrated this story that encapsulates in it a very relevant message:

“The ways of the Divine are not easy to comprehend. God uses a myriad methods for the welfare of each one in the Universe. It may be illustrated by this story of a devotee who aspired for riches. He performed severe penance for securing a boon from the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi.

“Man is prepared to undergo any ordeal for achieving material wealth, but will not take any trouble to realize the Divine. Lakshmi appeared before the devotee and asked him what he wanted. He replied that he wanted Lakshmi Herself. The Goddess agreed and asked him to go ahead; She promised that She would follow him, adorning Herself with all ornaments. She also told him that She would come to his house and hand over all Her ornaments to him. She imposed, however, one stipulation. ‘You must walk ahead of me and never look back. If you look back, I will stay back at that very spot.’

“Filled with joy, the devotee strode ahead toward his home as the Goddess walked behind, Her jewels making clinking sounds. Unable to restrain his curiosity, he turned back to find out what jewels she was adorned with. He could not repress his desire till he reached home. The moment he looked back, Lakshmi stopped there and did not follow him.”

Swami says: “This means that even if you are blessed with an abundance of Divine Grace, you must ______________”


67. During the 1973 Summer Showers, Baba narrated a story of how a seeker was able to attain wisdom with the help of a guru:

“Once a spiritual aspirant, whose ambition was to know something about the Divine, wanted his eye of wisdom to be opened. He entered a cave where a guru was residing. While entering the cave, he saw a small light. As he moved forward, that little light got extinguished. When in darkness one feels frightened and intensively thinks of God. Thus he uttered loudly the mantra, ‘Namah Shivaya’ and on hearing this, the saint asked him who he was. This aspirant said that he had come to seek his grace. This great saint, who was sustaining himself in the cave merely by breathing the air around him, had the competence to know the mind of his visitor. He said that he would answer his questions later but asked him to first go and light the lamp, which had just been extinguished.

“The visitor took a matchbox and tried to light the lamp but did not succeed. He told the guru that he had finished all the matches and yet was unable to light the lamp. The guru asked him to see if there was oil in the lamp. After seeing the lamp, he found that there was no oil and reported to the guru that there was only water in the lamp. The guru then asked him to open the lamp, remove all the water and pour oil in it, and then try to light it. The person did this but the lamp would not light even then. The guru then said that the wick was probably wet with water and asked him to dry it nicely in the open and then attempt to light the lamp. He did this and succeeded. Then the person ventured to mention his doubt and seek the answer from the guru. The surprised guru said that the appropriate answer was being given all the while.”

Baba explains that the heart is the lamp, and Jiva or life force is the wick. What is referred to symbolically as water that prevents the lamp from glowing?



68. During a Divine Discourse given in 2003, Swami narrated a story that illustrates the qualities the lord seeks in His devotees:

“Once upon a time in the temple of Visweswara in Kasi, when the priest was offering Aarti to the deity, suddenly, a big gold plate fell from above. The priest was surprised and happily picked it up to have a closer look at it. There was an inscription on the plate, which read as follows: ‘This should be given to the greatest devotee. One who does not chant the Divine Name is not qualified to get it.’ Then the priest thought to himself, ‘Everyday, I perform Sahasra Lingarchana and Abhishekam to the Lord. I am sanctifying my time by chanting the sacred mantras from the four Vedas. Can there be a greater devotee than me?’ When such ego and pride clouded his mind, the gold plate turned into an earthen one.

“From that day onward, whoever visited the temple was asked to touch the plate to find out if he deserved to receive the gold plate. But it so happened that the plate would turn into an earthen one whenever somebody touched it. It continued for a few days. There was a devotee who always chanted the Name of God, but did not perform any other sadhana (spiritual exercises) like japa (soft repetition of the name), thapa (penance), dhyana (meditation), etc. He had no desires. He had achieved dama (sense control). One day he visited the temple. On being requested by the priest to touch the plate, he said, ‘Sir, I don't have any desires. Hence, I don't want to touch it.’ The priest requested him to touch the plate at least for his satisfaction. The devotee did not want to displease the priest and therefore touched the plate. As soon as he touched it, it started shining with added brilliance. People who were witness to this event surrounded him and started asking, ‘Oh noble soul! What is the method of worship you follow, what is the sadhana you perform?’

Then he replied, ‘I have not performed any japa, thapa, yajna or yaga (sacrifices or rituals). I only ______________”


69. During a Divine Discourse given in 1961, Swami narrated a story that teaches us what we need to cultivate to receive God's grace:

“There was once a spiritual seeker who approached a guru for guidance. The guru gave him an idol of Vishnu and also necessary instructions for daily worship. But the seeker found that, even after some months of meticulous worship, he did not get any spiritual reward or elation. So, he reported his dissatisfaction and the guru gave him another idol, this time of Shiva and asked him to have another try.

“The disciple came after another six months demanding another idol, because even Shiva had failed him. This time, he got a Durga statue, which he duly installed in his domestic shrine. The two previous idols were standing, dust-ridden and neglected, on the windowsill.

“One day, while Durga-puja (ritual worship of Goddess Durga) was going on, the disciple found that the perfumed smoke from the incense-stick was being wafted by the breeze towards the idol of Shiva on the windowsill. He got wild that the ungrateful, stone hearted Gods, who was deaf to his powerful entreaties, should get the perfume intended for his latest idol! So he took a piece of cloth and tied it round the face of Shiva, closing up the nostrils that were inhaling the perfume.

“Just at that moment, to his immense surprise Shiva appeared in His splendour and Glory before the devotee! The man was dumb-founded. He did not know how the ill-treatment had induced Shiva to give him darshan.”
According to Baba, the reason the seeker got the Realization he was struggling for was because ____________.


70. During the 1972 Summer Showers, Baba narrated a story to teach us the value of God’s Creation:

“This life is just like a water bubble and we should not consider that this individual has some relationship with other individuals. This body is a leather bag having nine holes - it is not a gem of great effulgence. It gives out foul smell every moment - there is no good fragrance in it and so we have to clean and decorate this body everyday. In this body, there is God. If God goes out of this body, there is no body at all. This body is such that it will make even sacred things impious. I shall give you a small example.

“Once sage Narada went to God Narayana. Narayana asked Narada, ‘You are always wandering in all the three worlds. Did you see any strange thing in this creation of mine? Please tell me if you have seen such a thing at any time.’

“Then Narada said, ‘Lord, you think that there is no mean or impious thing in this world, but I have seen many such objects in this world. There is no place at all in this world where they are not seen.’

“Then Narayana asked: ‘Is there something unholy and mean in the creation that was done by me?’ Narada replied, ‘Every day, every person, soon after waking up excretes mala (human waste). Is there anything more unsacred than this?’

“Then Narayana said, ‘Oh! Narada, are you considering that as unsacred? No, it is not; it is good.’ Then Narada said, ‘If I say that excreta is sacred and also good, people will certainly think that I am mad.’ Then Lord Narayana asked him to go and ask the excreta itself. So sage Narada, uttering the name of Lord Narayana, went to fulfill the Lord’s command.

“Even as he approached, the excreta told him, ‘Oh Narada, don’t come near me.’ Narada thought to Himself that he should be telling the foul matter to be at a distance but instead, it was asking him to keep away. He felt that it was strange to be treated thus, given the fact that he was the son of Lord Brahma and a great sage. From a distance, he addressed the excreta and said, ‘You are dirty, what then is the meaning in asking me to get away from you?’

“Then he got the reply; ‘Last night I was in the form of an apple, of a sweet and other tasty foods; but as soon as I entered the body of man, I have been turned into this filthy form. One contact with man’s body, has brought me to this deplorable state; I fear to wonder what would happen to me if I have any relationship with man again.’”

Baba says: “We must always remember that this box, the body, is for the sake of the jewels, namely God and all the ___________, divine virtues, associated with Him.”



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- Heart2Heart Team

 

 

 
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