Sunday, May 24, 2020

FRIEND IN NEED IS -----

   This story is old one  and may be PANCHTANTRA , I thought of it while thinking about certain modern day friendship. Some times the friendships are based on no motives  and sometimes they are based on mutual benefits and then there are others where other than selfish motive there is no reason for friendship. So this story is of that type of friendship, where selfish motive dominates .
   On the bans of a river there was a tree of Indian fruit called Jmbhul. This fruit is very sweet and has backlash purple color. There was a monkey who was playing on that tree. He often wondered as to what is on the other side of the water . There was a crocodile  living in the river  and it used to come towards the bans of the river where there was this tree  and the monkey lived there. Some how they became friends. The monkey would give the crocodile the Jambhul and she loved it.The this feeding continued every time the crocodile came towards the tree  and the monkey was there . They started talking and so they became friends.
    Few days passed  and this exchange continued . As they were talking every day, the monkey told her that he wanted to know as to what is on the other side . He did not know swimming and he knew that crocodile could swim and could go to the other side. So one day he asked her that he wants to know as to what is on other side . The crocodile told him that other side is similar as this side , but the monkey was not satisfied with the answer. He wanted to go on the other side  and see it for himself . The crocodile being friends with the monkey, offered him to take on the other side . The monkey was happy. So she told him that he can sit on the back of the crocodile  and she will take him on the other side and then she can bring him back . So the day was fixed . The monkey took lots of Jambhul with him  and then the crocodile took him across the river . The monkey was happy  and saw the other side  and then played on some of the trees  and collected more fruits  and started the journey back home. As they were in the middle of the waters the crocodile told the monkey that she was wondering about the heart of the monkey . She told him that she thought that his heart must be very sweet tasting as he is eating every day sweet Jambhul. The monkey knew what she was saying and what her intention were . He knew that she would kill him and wanted to eat the heart . It was quite obvious from her talks . So he told her that he was sure that the heart is sweet.but since he is monkey  and jumps all the time ,he was worried about the heart as it might fall somewhere and so he usually keeps it the tree where it is safe. The crocodile was convinced . So she agreed to take him back and made him promise that when they get back, he will give her the heart.
   As they reached the banks of the river the monkey jumped off  and climbed up the tree. The crocodile waited in the waters  and asked the monkey to throw the heart . The monkey laughed  and told her that the heart is always in the chest  and he can't give it to her as he would die . The friendship ended .
     The moral of the story is clear , we often have friends that are friends as long as we have money and they get to enjoy . But as soon as there is selfish motive they would not hesitate to stab you in back. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

GREED

   In life we make choices  and they are most of the time guided by our desires  and our upbringing and also our greed . What happens when one finds a wallet full of money while walking  on street? Do we return to the rightful owner or if none is known give it to police or pocket the money?.As I believe we all are responsible for our own actions  and Every ACTION has REACTION. The so called Law of Karma. So at every stage of our life we make decision or have choice  and we hope we will make right choice . So this is one of the old stories.
    This is a story that I had read many years ago , may be 40 years ago or so. There was a town in China  and there were 2 friends  and they were fast friends. As thew grew up, they were separated  and one of them , we will call him Min. The other one , we will call him Yin stayed in the same town. He had a small restaurant and it was doing OK . But then in the same town another richer man started a fancy restaurant with music  and some dancing . With some additional entertainment, many town people started going there and the new one  and the Yin had difficult time making ends meet. He could hardly support his own family. He did not have money to invest to do same thing that the rich man did . So he had only limited people coming to his place. One evening he was sitting in his restaurant  and his old friend Min walked in . Yin was was very happy to see old friend and offered him the food  and tea. They had long chat  and Min came to know that his old buddy was not doing good.As he was about to leave, he told Yin that he is going to give him a gift. He pained a picture of Peacock on the restaurant wall.He told his friend to clap 3 times Yin clapped and the peacock came out live  and started dancing and after doing a spectacular dance went back and became a picture again. Min told him that there is only one condition . He should not ask for any money to do the dance  and he should not ask peacock to dance more than one time in a day.He left.
     When the news of this peacock spread around, more people started coming to the restaurant  and his business grew . He started making more money. Yin always followed the rule that was told by his friend . One day a rich man was visiting the town. He came to know about this miracle peacock dance  and he came to the restaurant.. He wanted to see the dance . There was a crowd. but he wanted to witness this dance alone with his family and did not want any one there crowding the place . Yin refused to do so . But then he offered money  and Yin still refused . He offered more  and Yin decided to do it . He told the crowd that it was going to be a private show  and they can come next day to watch it . He drove every one out. Then he clapped 3 times  and the peacock came out of the picture  and did the dance , but he did not look very happy . The rich man wanted to watch it again  and he offered more money and Yin again fell for it  and clapped again  and the peacock came out  and looked tired  and sad  and dis some dancing . Then he tried it again to clap and the peacock would not come at all.
    The next day Min showed up . One look at the peacock picture  and he realized as to what had happened. He asked Yin and Yin did tell him the truth. Min told him that now that Yin broke the rule, the peacock can not stay any longer . He clapped 3 times and the peacock came out  and Min left and the peacock followed him . Now the restaurant was without any magic  and Yin started loosing the patrons.. The greed caused the downfall .  

Sunday, May 10, 2020

REAL VALUE

     One of theses days,when I came home from work, my son asked me if we could go get some driving practice. He had gotten the learner's permit  and wanted to practice the driving skill. So we decided to go for a drive. I was in my Home Attire. When we went around we were passing by the Gym that we go. So he asked me if we could go to gym. I did not have much work and so we thought that would be good . So we went inside . I started exercise with treadmill. I saw some one waving hand at me  and I did respond.In next 5 minutes, he came to me and I recognize him .He was son of one of my patients. After exchanging  usual meaningless hellos, he says to me .''Doc You can do better than this."pointing at may clothes.I had to explain that I was not planning to come to gym and we thought we were going around only in our neighborhood. He did recognize me as physician and felt that I should be better dressed. This brings me today's story.
    In a small town in India there was  were 2 friends . They were friends and grew together. Both had some business  and with bad luck, one of them became very poor  and bankrupt. He did not have enough money for eating . The other guy was doing OK. So one day there was celebration in this rich guy.s house  and many in the town were invited. This friend who had lost everything was not invited. The poor friend thought that it must be a mistake  and there is no way he could not invite me or welcome me. He also did not have good meals in days.So he thought to himself, why not go for the function and I am sure the friend will welcome me with open arms . So he went there . His clothes were nor expensive  and he looked like poor . may be a beggar. When he went in the dinning hall, and approach the host, which was his long time friend , the host pretended to not recognize him. When he tried to jig his memory, he called his guards  and threw him out insulting him with bad words.
     As it happened this poor friend started some small business  and then over period of time became rich.The time had passed  and theses 2 friends had no contact with each other.. The first friend came to know about rich merchant in the town and decided to invite him for the dinner . So he went . There was a feast  and many sweets  and other delicacies were cooked  and these 2 friends sat at the table to eat . As the food was served  and people started eating the guest friend started taking each item of food  and was putting on his clothes . He put some on shirt  and some on coat and some on his pants. Everyone was surprised. The host asked as what he was doing. The guest answered , 'this great food is prepared for the expensive clothes  and not for someone who is wearing it , Because if it was for me when I came to you 5 years ago,  and needed food you would not have thrown me out . The only difference between myself from 5 years ago  and now is,now I am wearing expensive clothes'
   So in life we do value EXTERNAL APPEARANCE more than Internal - how a person is. education, moral and character etc , We tend to have more importance how some one is dressed or rich than how good someone is.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

CHANTING AND COUNTING

   I have done this  and many of us have done it. We offer the GOD conditional love . I will do such and such FOR YOU ,IF YOU DO THIS FOR ME.Our love is conditional to getting something more from GOD.But we also FEEL that doing something MORE is BETTER. It is  almost  like offering 21 roses is better than 11 roses on Mother's day or Valentine Day . So we tend to COUNT when we chant The rosary beads  that we use has same thought behind it . I WILL DO 108 or 1008 MALAS of rosary beads.That brings me to the today.s story.
    Namdeo was a devotee  and he had done devotional chanting. He used to wake up early in the morning and then after bathing in the river , he would sit at the banks of the river and do chanting counting with rosary beads. In India in those days ladies use to go to river,to fetch water . So one day MUKTABAI, sister of DNYANESHWAR was going along with some other ladies  and she saw Namadeo sitting there chanting and counting. She smiled . Namadev saw that and thought that she was laughing at him . So he went to her house  and asked her as to why did she smile .She said 'no specific reason , I just smiled .'Namadev was not satisfied with that answer, and so he insisted on getting the truth. So Muktabai told him to observe the ladies who go to fetch a water and told him that he will get the answer,
    The next day Namadeo was again sitting  and this time he was watching the ladies carefully.The young ladies were walking and talking while they were getting water. One of the young ladies was newly married , so the other ladies were asking her and teasing her . So one of the ladies asked her, 'Do you get thought of your Husband -Do you think about him?'. The lady answered 'off course , I think about him!', So  another lady asked 'How many times in a day you think of your husband?'
The answer was ' WHAT A SILLY QUESTION. WHEN ONE LOVES SOMEONE ,ONE DOES NOT KEEP A COUNT OF HOW MANY TIMES ONE THINKS OF THE PERSON!'
     Namadeo got the answer. When you LOVE GOD , you Think of Him all the time  and there is no need for COUNTING . He threw the rosary beads .

Friday, April 24, 2020

ANIMATE AND INANIMATE

        Last time we talked about the Dnyaneshwar  and his story on him talking to a bull and the Bull talking back to him. This proved that every living thing has a soul . So this one is about  the inanimate things. With the meditation - one can get powers that are called SIDHHI. . These things may sound not possible but there are people who have experienced them . But that is not an easy things to achieve. These re described in PATANJALI SUTRA . So this story will be about that.
     Dnyaneshwar was back at his home  and he  and his siblings were young . One day they were sitting on  fence made out of bricks. In that town there was powerful man, who came to know about the story of Dnyaneshwar making a bull talk the scriptures . So he decided to visit the man himself . He was educated  and also powerful and had  certain powers not seen in average man . He decided to impress Dnyaneshwar by riding on a tiger . So he came to se these children. He was sitting on the tiger.He thought that by riding on tiger he will impress this overnight hero. Dnyaneshwar was sitting on the brick fence. So as he saw the Changdev - that was the name of the person who was approaching the children. Dnyaneshwar while sitting on the fence MADE THE FENCE WALK towards the tiger . Chngdev wanted to show off that he has control over the wild animal like tiger  and Dnyneshwar decided to show that He can control even INANIMATE object like fence .
    There was many stories of Dnyaneshwar who was enlightened  and he had powers to any tricks or show off powers that he had , but he never showed them to impress anyone . This nis the only time that I know that he did . 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

UNIVERSAL SOUL

   In Vedic religion, we believe that we all have same reflection of God  and that is soul. This is very simplified way of explanation  and I know many will not agree. But that is not the object of the story. We think that the God pervades anything and everything. So there is so called God or presence of God in everything in this universe. But more so at animal level. The reincarnation does transients YONI or does go from being in an animal to Human being. This is not so in Abrhamic religions . So this brings me to the story for today.
    In Maharashtra -state in India ,there were several sages that have been well known to the local people , but not to out side of the state. There was great sage or saint named DNYNESHWAR . At very early age he did commentary on Bhagavat Geeta called DNYANESHWARI. It is read by thousands of people . His father had decided to be sanyasi and then he came and then had children . The society would not accept them as legitimate kids. So they had very hard life  and then the parents committed suicide when they were told that only punishment is to commit suicide. Things did not change for the kids  and so they decided to go to Kashi where there was so called Vatican of Hindu religion.There was a big convention of big shots in Hindu religions . So Dnyaneshwar ended uo going to the stage where different big shots were discussing various questions related to the Hindu religion. He told the In-charge of the meeting that all the living things - animals  and human beings have same soul or presence of God , then why they would not accept the children born to parents where father had done Sanyas and then coming back to married state. 
    The big shots on stage laughed  and the moderator of the meeting asked him . 'So according to you the bull walking around has the same soul as human being ?' Dnyashwar answered 'Yes'. So then the moderator asked someone to bring the bull on stage  and asked Dnyaneshwar to have bull chants SCRIPTURES -VEDAS. Everyone in the meeting laughed . Dnyaneshwar looked straight in the eyes of the bull and chanted the Veda and the bull repeated it .No one could believe. Dnyaneshwar was instant celebrity.
     The moral of the story is what I stated in the start of the story. We all have same soul  and the soul goes from one body to another in different lives. But we all know this or believe in it , but do behave accordingly.We don't treat all Human being with respect  and forget about animals. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

ACTION AND INTENTION

     I have talked about the Action and Karma . Every action has reaction or effect or impression.. But then the question comes in as if intention matters even if the action is same ?That brings me to the story for today. I read this story or was told about it many years ago .
     There was a small town in India. There was a woman who lived by herself. She was poor and made some money by stitching clothes for other people. One day at noon she was done with some of her work and decided to take a break and have lunch. She had cooked some food  and so she warmed it . Then there was knock on the door . There was poor beggar at the door .It was summer and the temperature was high and the beggar asked her if she could give him some water  as he was thirsty. She gave him the water and told him that she was to start eating and he wanted to have some lunch . He was hungry and so they shared the food that she had cooked it. At the end of the lunch the beggar blessed her  and said 'You will do same thing over and over again tomorrow. '. She did not understand what it meant . She restarted her work again .
     The next day she woke up  and thought of what to do as work and she had a silk piece of cloth given to her for stitching some clothes. She took it from her small cabinet and started measuring it. As she started measuring it , the cloth continued to grow . She continued to measure  and it would not end . At the end of the day she had thousands of yards of silk cloth.. The story spread in the town as to how a beggar blessed her and she became rich . As it happened there was a rich lady who lived in the same town. As it happened, the beggar had gone to her first and she had thrown him out at high noon and told him that he is young and healthy and he should work rather than begging for food. She did not offer even water. She came to know as to how the poor lady was blessed by the same beggar. She decided to find that beggar out. She found him out and then invited him for lunch . She told him that she was too busy and she apologized to him . She had her servants cook great meal, with lots things  and then offered him food in silver plate.The beggar accepted her invitation and after finishing it blessed her with the same line - You will do same thing entire day , that you start with. The lady was very happy . She could  not sleep as she could not decide if she should start counting 4100 bills or count the pearls hat she had or gold coin etc . She woke up and then got out of bed  and opened the window thinking as to what she was going to do that will make her RICH. She opened the window  and a bumble bee came in . She had to wave her hands to get rid of the bee. As soon as she did this another one came in and then she had to avoid that one biting her ,The third one came in . So whole day she was trying to get rid of the bees. She had number of bites
     The moral of the story is very obvious . But I wanted to state that the ACTION may be same but the INTENTION behind the action does matter . One could pray God for having HIS love  and blessing . and then one could do the same prayer  for getting more money or getting better car or winning lootery , or one could do the prayer  and wish harm for someone else. The first is Satvik GUNA , the second is Rjasic  and last one is Tamasic . The effect will be as per intention and the same action will have different fruits .