Devotional ethics and morals taught through short stories


 
 
1: CLOSE THE DOOR 34: THE LIBERAL AUNT 67: THE HAIRY SAGE
2: THE EXPERT PLASTERER 35: THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T CHANGE HIS WORD 68: THE MENDICANT WHO BEGGED A POT
3: INCREASING THE FEVER 36: MONEY ATTRACTS MONEY 69: THE VILLAGERS AND THE TRAIN
4: THE MISSIONARY AND THE COAL MINERS 37: THE DEAF MAN 70: THE WIDOW AND THE TUTOR
5: THE LAZY MEN 38: THE SNAKE AND THE MOUSE 71: THE HERONS AND THE SWAN
6: SCISSORS PHILOSOPHY 39: THE SAINTLY PERSON'S BLESSINGS 72:  THE BANK MANAGER'S HEART
7: BHAGAVAT'S TEN FRIENDS PLAY A TRICK 40: THE MONKEY KING AND THE OGRE 73: THE UPSIDE DOWN PLANT
8: THE TASTE OF JACKFRUIT 41: THE CRIPPLED MAN AND THE PROSTITUTE 74: THE JUNGLE KING
9: THE YOGI'S WAGER 42: THE MAYAVADI WHO GOT TRODDEN ON 75: THE HUMBLE BEGGAR
10: SARGAL SINGH 43: THE HUNTER AND THE FOX 76: THE DOZING JUDGE
11: THE OLD LADY'S BLESSING 44: THE WOMAN AND THE BASKET OF BRICKS 77: THE FOUR BRAHMIN BOYS
12: THE WORTHLESS WORSHIPPER OF KALI 45: THE OLD MAN, THE YOUNG BOY AND THE DONKEY 78: THE MODEL KSHATRIYA
13: SMOKING GANJA THROUGH FRIEND'S HAND 46: THE BRAHMIN AND THE COBBLER 79: THE KSHATRIYA QUEEN
14: THE HIMALAYAS GIVE BIRTH 47: THE TWO HOLY MEN AND THE WOMAN 80: THE MOUSE AND THE GITA
15: THE THIEF WHO WENT TO VRNDAVANA 48: THE LOGICAL BULL 81: NENGTI PANCHO
16: I KNOW KRSNA 49: THE DANCE 82: THE THIEF WHO MOVED THE BAGS
17: THE JUDGE'S TIFFIN BREAK 50: THE BRAHMIN WHO KNEW MANY LANGUAGES 83: THE DHOBI, DOG AND THE DONKEY
18: THE CAT IN THE BASKET 51: THE FISHERMAN AND HIS BASKET 84: THE THREE SAGES
19: THE DEVOTEE WHO KEPT HIS TILAKA 52: THE FROGS IN THE BUCKET 85: THE MAN WHO TRIED TO CHEAT YAMARAJA
20: THE DANCER WHO COULDN'T PERFORM 53: THE BOY WHO WOULD NOT GIVE UP SWEETS 86: THE TIGER AND THE BRAHMIN
21: THE RAT WHO GOT LIBERATION 54: GOVINDA BHOG! 87: THE BLINDFOLDED MAN
22: THE LAMB AND THE TIGER 55: THE HUNTER AND THE BIRDS 88: THE BOY WHO DIDN'T ANSWER HIS EXAM
23: JASOVANTA SINGH RETURNS HOME 56: THE JNANI'S ADVICE 89: LALU AND KALU
24: THE DRUNKARD 57: THE WOODCHOPPER 90: THE NINE SONS-IN-LAW
25: THE NAWAB'S CHANDELIER 58: THE BOATMAN AND THE THORNS 91: YES, NO AND VERY GOOD
26: WEIGHING THE ELEPHANT 59: DINA BANDHU BROTHER! 92: THE MAN WHO WAS GOING TO THE PROSTITUTE
27: IF THERE IS MONEY, THERE IS INTELLIGENCE 60: A CHANGE OF HEART 93: VARTULA-PRAVAHA
28: THE RASCAL VETERINARIAN 61: THE WOMAN WHO LOST HER BABY 94: PALAVARVE BOI NATE
29: WHO IS THE GREATEST PERSON 62: THE THIEF WHO BECAME A SADHU 95: TWO PAISE WORTH
30: THE AXE AND THE TREE 63: TWO POTS 96: THE WOODCUTTER AND THE SNAKE
31: THE POOR BRAHMIN 64: THE ASTROLOGER 97: THE FOOLISH POT MAKER
32: HARDWAR BASTHA 65: THE MISCHIEVOUS DOG 98: AGAR MA GANGA
33: THE MAN WHO WANTED TO TASTE SUGARCANE 66: THE THIRSTY CROW 99: NO RESPONSIBILITY
click HERE for 100-141


1: CLOSE THE DOOR

An employer advertised for an opening in his firm and received many applications.  Based on these, he selected two men and asked them to come for an interview.  The employer then observed each man carefully during the interview.  When the first man entered the room, he left the door open behind him.  The employer spoke with him for about 15 minutes, and then asked him to wait outside.  When the second applicant entered, he shut the door behind him.  After speaking with him, the employer asked him to also wait outside, and then called his secretary.  "That first man I spoke to, " he said, "has all the qualifications, but I have decided to give the job to the second man."  Why is that?"  "Because the first man left the door open.  It appears he is a lazy fellow.  The other man shut the door, so while he may not be
so qualified, he will learn quickly."

MORAL: Even though one may be so-called qualified, if he is not trained in simple etiquette's like closing doors, what is the use of his learning?



2: THE EXPERT PLASTERER

There is a story about an the expert craftsmanship of a plasterer who worked on the construction of the Taj Mahal.  One of the top directors of the construction was inspecting the building in progress and noticed for three days in a row a certain plasterer who was sitting in the same place mixing plaster.  On the third day the inspector became angry and said, "Why are you still simply sitting and mixing this plaster?  You are so lazy!"  The man who was mixing the plaster also became very angry, and he threw a handful of his plaster at the inspector.  The plaster missed the inspector but landed on a wall.  The plaster was so well mixed, however, so solid and hard, that no one could get it off the wall, and it is still there today.

MORAL:  We must do everything nicely in Krsna's service



3: INCREASING THE FEVER

There was once a doctor visiting a house to diagnose two patients, a rich housewife and her maidservant.  The doctor said, "The maidservant's fever is 105, so there is some anxiety.  I will give her some medicine.  But the landlady of the house has practically no fever, 99, so there is no anxiety for her."  But when the landlady heard this, she became angry and said, "this doctor is useless.  I'm the landlady.  I've only got 99 and my maidservant has 105.  The maidservant should have 98, I should have 110!"

MORAL:  The modern civilization is inclined to increase the degree of it's fever up to 110.  As in the human body there is death as soon as the temperature reaches 107, so by the nuclear weapons, modern civilization will come to the point of 107 and over.  But devotees want to decrease the fever by living the highest, ideal life and decreasing the demands of the body.



4: THE MISSIONARY AND THE COAL MINERS

Once there was a Christian minister preaching among coal miners.  The missionary began a fire and brimstone speech by telling the miners that a sinful person would have to go hell and could only be saved if he surrendered to Jesus Christ.  On hearing the name of Jesus Christ, one of the miners asked, "What is his number?"  Since everyone in the mining company was assigned a number, the miners could not imagine Jesus Christ being anyone other than a mine worker.  The missionary tried again by describing the misery of hell.  "Hell," he said, "is very dark and damp."  The miners looked back at the missionary without concern.  His description of hell sounded just like the mine which they already knew.  Then the missionary understood that he was preaching to people with a very limited conception of reality, and so he would have to address their actual experience.  "And in hell," he said, "There are no newspapers!"  "Oh horrible!  Very frightening!"  The miners exclaimed.

MORAL:  We have to preach according to kala-desha-patra; time, place and circumstance.



5: THE LAZY MEN

Only a lazy man cannot cook.  There was a king who announced that all lazy men in his kingdom could come to the charity house and be fed.  Hundreds of people came, and they all said, "I am a lazy man."  The king then told his minister to set fire to the charity house.  Suddenly all these lazy people became very active.  Everyone inside except two men immediately ran out of the burning building.  Of the two remaining, one man said to the other, "My back is becoming very hot from the fire."  The other man advised, "Just turn over to the other side."  Seeing these two, the king said, "These are actually lazy men.  Feed them."



6: SCISSORS PHILOSOPHY

Two men were arguing about which cutting instruments should be used, a knife or scissors.  "Knife!" said one.  "No, scissors!" said the other.  Their talk became a heated fight.  "If you don't agree," said the man who advocated the knife, "I will throw you in the river."  "No, I'll never change my mind.  It's scissors!"  So the knife advocate threw the other into the swift river.  He swam for a while but became exhausted and began to sink.  But he was so stubborn about holding his point of view, that even after sinking under the water to his death, he held up his arm and crossed his fingers back and forth like a pair of scissors cutting.

MORAL: Stubborn people such as scientists or impersonalists will never accept defeat.  Even though completely smashed, they still maintain that they are right.



7: BHAGAVAT'S TEN FRIENDS PLAY A TRICK

This story is called Dasa cakre bhagavat butha, "How Bhagavat's ten friends tricked him to think he was a ghost."
Bhagavat's friends wanted to play a trick on him, so about ten of them conspired.  Then when Bhagavat went to visit one of his friends, the man gasped and cried, "Oh, you have become a ghost!"  Bhagavat, in amused disbelief, replied, "No, I haven't become a ghost.  What is the matter with you?"  But the friend repeated in a horrified voice, "You've become a ghost!"  Bhagavat didn't take it seriously, but when he saw his next friend, the man acted in the same frightened way.  After this happened ten times, Bhagavat himself became horrified: "Yes, I've become a ghost!"

MORAL: Sometimes by maya and also the influence of the mind, we believe that we are worse off than we actually are.  This is the definition of propaganda.  If it's not a ghost, by propaganda you can make people believe it's a ghost.
Another version for the moral is that simply by following the opinion of the masses doesn't ímean that a thing is a fact. One thousand fools may have a thousand voices, even of the same opinion, fact is they are still barking fools.



8: THE TASTE OF JACKFRUIT

A man in a foreign land tried to describe to his friend about a jackfruit.  But he confessed that there was no way to describe it unless you tasted it.  When the friend insisted on some verbal description, that if you were to drink sugar-cane juice through a Muslim's beard, then you might understand the taste of a jackfruit.

MORAL:  This is like the attempt of so-called philosophers to understand Krsna's pastimes, such as the rasa-lila.



9: THE YOGI'S WAGER

A servant of a very rich man came before his master one day and told him of an interesting yogi he had seen in the river.  The servant said that this yogi claimed he could stay in the water all night in the middle of the river without any outside heat.  The yogi was willing t take a wager with anyone to prove that he could do it.  When the rich man heard this, he decided to wager against the yogi.  So the bet was made to see whether the yogi could stay in the water all night.  The yogi went into the water, and the rich man and his servant went home.  The next day word came that the yogi had successfully stayed in the water all night.  The rich man went out to see the yogi, and indeed he was still standing in the water.  Therefore by all rights the rich man had lost the wager.  But then a friend of the rich man said, "Wait!  See that light?"  He pointed to a small flame far away in a temple.  The rich man's friend said, "By his mystic power, this yogi has been using the heat of that light to keep warm in the water.  So he shouldn't be paid, because the bet was that he would stay in the water without taking any heat."  Taking advantage of this word jugglery, the rich man said, "Yes I'm not going to pay you.  You've tricked me."  Then the rich man and his servant went back to the house.  The rich man asked his servant to quickly cook him a nice breakfast, but after waiting for some time, the servant had not produced anything.  The rich man expressed his impatience, but the servant replied, "Please wait.  I'm cooking."  The rich man waited, but it got later and later and no food was brought.  When he demanded food from his servant, the servant only replied, "I'm cooking.  It's going to be ready soon."  Finally the rich man became angry and walked into the kitchen.  "What is this cooking?" he demanded.  And there he saw that the servant had a very strange arrangement for cooking.  He had a very small fire on the ground an a tall bamboo tripod to hold the pot he was supposed to be heating high near the ceiling.  Obviously, the small flame would never be able to reach the pot to heat it.  "What do you think you're doing?" demanded the rich man.  "Well," said the servant, if you claim that the yogi was keeping warm in
the water by that light, then I am also cooking."  The man could understand that his servant was dissatisfied with the outcome of the wager with the yogi.  And so he went and paid the yogi the wager.

MORAL: If you want to get a result, you have to follow the process.  What is the use of trying to chant God's name but at the same time doing all nonsense.



10: SARGAL SINGH

To illustrate the foolishness of becoming a blind follower, there is a story about the death of Sargal Singh.  Sargal Singh was very much loved by a merchant, and so when Sargal Singh died, the merchant shaved his head and wore dark clothes.  When another man came into the merchant's shop, he asked who had died.  "Sargal Singh has died," said the merchant.  The visitor did not want to seem ignorant and so did not ask who Sargal Singh was, but he also shaved his head and wore dark clothes.  Other people in town began to follow, not wanting to appear ignorant.  When anyone asked who had died, they replied, "Sargal Singh has died."  When a minister of the king saw so many citizens in mourning he also wore dark clothes and shaved his head.  But when the king saw this, he inquired, "Why are you mourning, and for whom?"  "Sargal Singh," the minister replied.  The king asked, "Who is that?"  When the minister couldn't answer the king told him to find out.  The minister then inquired and inquired and finally reached the merchant.  "Who is Sargal Singh?"  The merchant replied, "Sargal Singh was my donkey, whom I loved very much."

MORAL:  Blind following is condemned here.



11: THE OLD LADY'S BLESSING

During the time of the British Raja, there was an old lady who lived in a remote village, and one day the British district magistrate visited her town.  This old lady had been entangled in a quarrel regarding possession of land, which some of her relatives had been trying to take from her.  Friends advised that she see the magistrate and present the matter to him for settlement.  When she did so, the magistrate immediately ruled in her favour and made sure the land was put in her name.  Delighted, the old lady attempted to bless the magistrate.  "I bless you," she said, "that in your next life you will become a policeman."

MORAL: The highest post that this woman was aware of was a policeman, so that was her blessing. She did not know that the district magistrate was a higher post. Similarly, caste brahmanas consider their caste to be superior to that of the Vaishnava community, but this is due to a poor fund of knowledge.



12: THE WORTHLESS WORSHIPPER OF KALI

An insensitive worshipper of the goddess Kali went to the temple and prayed to the goddess in a materialistic way, typical of a demigod worshipper.  He asked for a material benediction.  After his prayers and a perfunctory puja, he soon got the desired result.  But his puja included an obligation that when he got the desired result he would offer the goddess a sacrifice of a goat.  After some days passed, the goddess in the temple spoke to the worshipper and asked him, "Where is the goat you promised?"  "It is very expensive," he said, "and I don't think I can afford to feed you a goat."  "All right," said the goddess, " but you have to offer something.  So go and offer me at least a pig."  The worshipper went away but neglected the goddess's request.  Then on another occasion in the temple the goddess spoke to him again and said, "Where is the offering of a pig?"  This time the devotee again excused himself and said, "I am sorry, but I could not find any pigs anywhere.  It is not so easy."  The goddess replied, "This is not very good.  You have received your benediction, and now you must give something in return.  But just to make it easy for you, I request that you at least offer something that is available for you.  So why don't you at least offer me a fly?  "But goddess," said the worthless worshipper, "there are so many flies buzzing around you.  Can't you just grab one yourself?"

MORAL:  Demigod worship does not involve any love whatsoever.  This type of worship is very selfish, and one only has his own interests at heart.



13: SMOKING GANJA THROUGH FRIEND'S HAND

If one has got their own philosophy, then let them preach  their own philosophy.  But do not do it in the name the of the Gita.  This is our protest to all the interpreters of the Bhagavad-gita.  If they do not believe in God, Krsna, and they don't want to surrender to Him, then let them preach atheism.  Everyone has got the right to do this, but why through the Gita?  This is like the man who wants to smoke ganja, but he does not want to be caught.  So he takes a friend's hand and smokes it in his hand, and then when the authorities come, he says, "Oh I have not smoked ganja.  See, my hands are clean!"

MORAL: The idea is that if one wants to preach the Gita, then he must preach it as it is, otherwise don't go through the Gita.



14: THE HIMALAYAS GIVE BIRTH

When the word spread that the world famous, huge Himalayan mountain range was going to produce offspring, hundreds of people began gathering at the foothills of the mountains.  In anticipation, crowds waited, and finally they saw hundreds of rats running from the mountains.

MORAL: It is expected that from the great universities of the world, something wonderful will come out.  But unless they become Krsna conscious, they would be like the offspring of the Himalayan mountains.



15: THE THIEF WHO WENT TO VRNDAVANA

One professional reciter was reciting about Bhagavata, describing that Krsna, being highly decorated with all jewels, is sent for tending the cows in the forest.  There was a thief at that meeting, and when he heard about Krsna, he thought, "Why not go to Vrndavan and plan to catch this boy in the forest with so many valuable jewels?  I can go there and catch the child and take all the jewels."  That was the thief's intention.  He was serious, thinking, "I must find out that boy.  Then in one night I will become a millionaire."  And he went to Vrndavan.  His qualification was, "I must see Krsna.  I must see Krsna."  That anxiety, that eagerness made it possible for him to see Krsna in Vrndavan.  He saw Krsna in the same way he was informed by the Bhagavata reader.  Then he thought, "Oh you are such a nice boy, Krsna."  He began to flatter.  He thought that by flattering he would obtain the jewels.  But then he proposed his real business to Krsna.  "May I take some of your ornaments?  You are so rich."  "No no," said Krsna.  And then by Krsna's association he had already become purified.  At last Krsna said, "All right, you can take."  But then the man became a devotee.

MORAL: Because by association, somehow or other, we should come in contact with Krsna., and then we will become purified.



16: I KNOW KRSNA

There are so many Indians who are quick to say, "I know Krsna, I know Krsna."  There is a story in this regard.  There was once a man who every day brought water to the temple of Lord Jagannatha.  The man used to think, "I don't need to see Lord Jagannatha.  I come here every day and so I can see Him any time I want.  Let the others see Him."  Day after day went by and the man never went to see Lord Jagannatha.  Finally the man died without once seeing the Lord.

MORAL: We have to take advantage of our fortunate situation, and take to Krsna consciousness thus perfecting our lives.



17: THE JUDGE'S TIFFIN BREAK

We have become first-class imitators.  There is a story in this regard.  It was 1914.  World War one was in progress, and the high court judges were on their tiffin hour.  "Mr Mukerjee," a high court judge said to Ashutosh Mukerjee, "now the Germans are coming.  What are you going to do?"  "We shall offer our respects to them and invite them to do as they will," replied Mr Mukerjee.  This answer startled the Englishman.  "Why do I say that?  You have simply taught us to be servants.  Our business is to receive.  You have trained us as servants."



18: THE CAT IN THE BASKET

When it was time for her daughter's marriage, one woman made many elaborate arrangements for a smooth wedding ceremony. However, in the middle of the proceedings a cat ran out into the middle of the assembly.
"Oh no!" thought the mother. "What to do?" She spied a basket and promptly grabbed it, trapping the cat underneath. Relieved, they carried on the marriage ceremony undisturbed.
Some years later, when the bride was grown up and had her own family, it was time for her daughter's marriage ceremony. All elaborate arrangements were made, but the mother still felt something amiss. Then she remembered, "Ah, I remember that at my wedding my mother had a cat in a basket placed there." So she fetched a cat, put a basket on it and carried on the proceedings. And it became a tradition in that family.

MORAL: Due to a poor fund of knowledge, people accept certain theories as truth, but never stop to question why those theories exist. This story criticises the tendency to follow blindly.



19: THE DEVOTEE WHO KEPT HIS TILAKA

There was once a factory where all the workers were Hindus, and mostly Vaishnavas.  The Vaishnavas had freedom, therefore, to wear their Vaishnava tilaka to work, and they also displayed other Vaishnava paraphernalia.  But after some time, the factory went to new management, and then the proprietor was a Muslim.  On taking over the business, the Muslim owner declared that he would not allow the workers to come to work any more wearing Vaishnava tilaka.  Most of the workers obeyed, and on the given date announced by the owner, they appeared at the factory without their tilaka.  One employee, however, thought that he would take his chances and depend on Krsna.  So he went to work wearing very clear, white Vaishnava tilaka.  After seeing all the workers assembled, the new Muslim proprietor said, "This one devotee who has worn Vaishnava tilaka is very courageous.  He may be permitted to continue wearing the tilaka to work.  But all others are forbidden to wear it any more."

MORAL:  We should not unnecessarily abandon our Vaishnava culture.



20: THE DANCER WHO COULDN'T PERFORM

There was a professional dancer who used to hold performances in many different places, including outdoor sites.  After one scheduled performance, a friend asked the dancer, "So did you perform last night?"  "No," said the dancer.  "I could not."  His friend was surprised and asked why not, and the dancer replied, "There was a hill."  In other words, due to the non ideal situation, the dancer did not perform.  But this is not a real dancer.
 

MORAL:  A real dancer would have danced even if the hill was offered as the site for dancing.  And even if the dancing performance was not up to standard, a real dancer would have danced under any circumstances.  Similarly, a dedicated disciple will perform his or her duty even if facilities are lacking.



21: THE RAT WHO GOT LIBERATION

There was once a rat who became liberated by offering service to Lord Vine.  The rat was running on the altar of the Deity, just at a time when one of the ghee lamps was about to go out.  The rat thought that the flame might be some foodstuffs, so he stuck his whiskers in it.  The dying flame caught on to the rat's whiskers, and the fire flared up, catching on to the unused portion of the wick. In this way, by the rat's foolish sacrifice, the flame on Vishnu's altar continued to burn nicely.  And for his service to Krsna, the rat went to Vaikuntha.

MORAL: This is the potency of devotional service to Krsna, even if performed unknowingly.



22: THE LAMB AND THE TIGER

A lamb was once drinking water from the side of a lake.  Across the water was a tiger.  The tiger challenged the lamb, "Why are you muddying the lake?"  The lamb replied that he was not muddying the lake, but the tiger quarrelled with the lamb and then killed it.

MORAL: This story illustrates how people in animal consciousness look for faults in others and then create quarrels in order to kill.  "Give a dog a bad name and hang it."



23: JASOVANTA SINGH RETURNS HOME

Jasovanta Singh was commanding general under General Aurangzeb.  In a battle, Jasovanta Singh met defeat, and so he returned home to his palace.  But the palace gate was closed.  He sent a message to his queen informing him that he had returned home and asking why she had closed the gate..  Upon hearing this message, the queen replied, "Who has returned home?  Jasovanta Singh?  No no, it cannot be.  Jasovanta Singh would never return home after being defeated.  He would either conquer or give up his life.  The person at the door must be a pretender."  So saying, she refused to open the door.

MORAL:  This story illustrates the kshatriya spirit.



24: THE DRUNKARD

There was a story that one man was drinking.  In India drinking is considered a great sin, so his friend advised him, "Because you are drinking, you will go to hell!"  He replied, "Oh, my father also drinks."  So his friend said, "Then your father will also go to hell!"  And he replied, "Oh, my brother also drinks." - "Then he will also go to hell!"  In this way he continued to say my father, my brother, my sister, my this, my that.  And his friend was replying, "Yes, they will also go to hell!"  Then the man said, "Oh, then this hell is like heaven!  Because if we are all drinking here, and we can all drink there, what is the hell? - That is heaven!"

MORAL: This is the mentality of the atheist who has no idea of the kingdom of God.  His idea of pleasure is simply a relief from suffering.



25: THE NAWAB'S CHANDELIER

Nawab means 'rich one'.  He has so much money he doesn't know what to do with it.  One Nawab had his servant cleaning a big, big crystal chandelier.  So, as the servant was cleaning the crystal chandelier, a crystal fell, and as it crashed onto the marble floor it made an unusual tinkling sound, which the Nawab heard from his room.  The Nawab came running out and asked, "What was that sound?"  The servant was petrified and asked forgiveness.  "I'm sorry," he said.  "When I was cleaning the chandelier, one of the precious crystals fell and shattered on the floor.  I am very sorry."  The Nawab said, "Oh, this is a very nice sound.  Throw one more down."  So the servant smashed another onto the floor.  "Very nice sound," said the Nawab.  "Throw another one down."  And so in this way, every single crystal of the chandelier was thrown and smashed on the ground.  Because the Nawab had so much money at his disposal, he could do anything he liked.



26: WEIGHING THE ELEPHANT

Some labourers were criticizing the minister of the king, claiming that he only sat around and did no work.  The king reminded them that it took intelligence to become a minister.  He said he would give a test for everyone, including the minister.  Whoever could pass the test could become the next minister.  The king said, "Take this big elephant, weigh him and let me know the exact weight."  The ordinary men were baffled.  Where was there a scale for weighing an elephant?  They could not do anything.  They came back to the king with no information.  Then the king turned to his minister and asked, "Will you kindly weigh this elephant?"  So in six minutes he came back and reported, "It is twenty mounds [1,920]."  The other men were standing open-mouthed in surprise.  "How is that?" they asked.  "Within six minutes he came back and he gave the exact weight!"  The king asked, "How did you weigh him?  Did you get some very big scale?"  "No sir," replied the minister.  "It is not possible too weigh the elephant on a scale.  It is very difficult."  "Then how did you weigh it?"  "I took it on a boat.  When I got him on the boat then I saw the watermark and I marked it.  Then, after getting the elephant off the boat, I added weight onto the boat, and when it came to the same watermark, then I understood."  SO the king addressed the labourers and cautioned them, "Now you see the difference?"  They agreed, "Yes."

MORAL:  Buddhir yasya balang tasya nirbuddhes tu kuto balang / pashya singha madonmatah shashah kena nipatata.  A shasha, a rabbit killed a singha, a big lion by intelligence.  One who has got intelligence, he has strength, and one who has no intelligence has no strength.  Foolish people often criticize devotees as do-nothings and weaklings, but such people do not understand the intelligence of a devotee.  Therefore, a devotee does not have to heed such people.



27: IF THERE IS MONEY, THERE IS INTELLIGENCE

One man asked another, "Are you intelligent?"  The second man started to look in his pockets.  The first man asked, "Why are you looking in your pockets?"  The second man said, "Well, if there is any money there, that means I'm intelligent."

MORAL:  We may be preaching, but if there is no money, then where is the intelligence.



28: THE RASCAL VETERINARIAN

To illustrate the foolishness of the imitative followers of Sankara, there is a story about a doctor and his apprentice.  There was a famous veterinarian who travelled to many farms and had good success in curing the illnesses of animals.  The veterinarian also had an assistant who accompanied him, but this assistant had an envious and ambitious desire to replace his master and to prematurely become a master veterinarian himself.  On one occasion the veterinarian was called to a farm where he discovered a valuable horse whose neck was greatly swollen.  The veterinarian opened the mouth of the horse, examined inside, and then asked the apprentice to hand him his work bag.  Taking out his hammer, the veterinarian proceeded to smash at the horse's neck.  Very soon after this unusual action, the horse's swelling subsided, and the farmer thankfully praised and paid the veterinarian for his work.  Almost immediately after this incident, the apprentice deserted the doctor and decided to become a veterinarian himself.  Word soon reached the master veterinarian that his apprentice was running around presenting himself as a genuine veterinarian but was causing havoc wherever he went.  The report was that the so-called veterinarian was actually killing animals whenever he attempted to treat them.  Finally, the master veterinarian caught up with his rascal apprentice and challenged him, "What do you think you're doing?  I hear that you are imitating my practice, but as a result you are killing animals wherever you go."  "But I am only doing what I saw you do," protested the apprentice.  The apprentice then explained that he was just doing what he had seen his master do on their last visit.  Whenever he went to see an ailing animal, he would smash on that animal with a hammer, but unfortunately he did not get good results.  "You fool!" said the veterinarian.  "What you saw was a very special case.  That horse had swallowed a watermelon, and so I had to break the watermelon by hitting him from the outside.  That was not a practice to be repeated in every case."

MORAL:  Sankaracarya is accepted by the Vaishnava sampradaya as an incarnation of Lord Siva, and therefore Sankara is exalted.  But Sankara's deceptive teachings of the Mayavadi philosophy were intended for a particular time and place and were not intended to be perpetuated as eternal dharma, as is done by his so-called Mayavadi philosophers.



29: WHO IS THE GREATEST PERSON

A simple village man once wanted to serve the greatest person.  He approached the mayor of his town and asked to be given some work.  While serving the mayor, the village man noticed the mayor giving tax money to a visitor.  He asked who the visitor was, and the mayor told him that he was a representative of the governor.  "Is the governor greater than you?"  "Oh yes, he is greater than me," the mayor said.  "Then I want to serve him," said the village man.  The appreciated the man's honesty and recommended him to the mayor.  The village man served the governor for some time.  Then one day a visitor arrived accompanied by some horsemen.  The governor welcomed the visitor graciously and treated him with all respect.  When he had a chance, the village man asked the governor who the visitor was.  "He is the king's viceroy," said the governor.  "And who is the king?" the man asked.  "He is the ruler of the whole land," said the governor.  "He is very great."  "Is he greater than you?" the man asked.  "Oh yes, I am just his servant."  "Then I would like to serve him."  The village man was talented and so, to please the king, the governor sent the village man to him.  The man served the king for some months, and then one day the king told him to ready the chariot.  A great sage had arrived in the kingdom and the king wanted the sage's advice on how to rule.  The village man watched as the king approached the saintly person and offered respect.  The king then sat and listened to the sage discourse for some time.  Then, as the king was preparing to return to his palace, the village man approached the sage and asked if he were the greatest person.  The sage said, no, he was only a menial servant.  "So please tell me, who is the greatest person?"  "To find the greatest person, you must go to the temple of Narayana," the sage told him.  Without a moments delay, the man set off walking.  It was evening when he arrived, and the temple doors were closed.  The man knocked on the door for a long time.  Finally a temple priest came and told him to go home and return the next day.  Not having any place to go, the man lay down by the gate and went to sleep.  Before sunrise, some brahmanas from a nearby village passed the temple and saw the man sleeping.  They noticed that covering the man's body was one of the Deity's chadars.  "He is a thief!" they said.  In anger they woke the man and asked them where he got the chadar.  The man was mystified and told them he did not know where the chadar had come from.  The brahmanas then tried to open the temple door and discovered it was locked.  They then realized that Lord Narayana Himself had placed the chadar over his servant to keep him warm while he slept.  The brahmanas asked the man where he came from, and he told them his story.  The man was then accepted into the temple and trained to serve the Deity.  In this way the man came to serve the greatest person.

MORAL:  We should understand what we are doing in this Krsna consciousness movement, and that this is the culmination of all work and endeavour, devotional service to Lord Krsna.



30: THE AXE AND THE TREE

Mayavadi gurus have ruined the whole world with their philosophy, but there was another Bengali who would destroy them.  An axe was once talking to a tree, "I will cut you down," said the axe.  "No, you cannot do that," said the tree.  "But I am very sharp," the axe answered.  "You cannot do anything unless I first give you one of my branches for a handle," the tree said.

MORAL: Even though the devotees are very intelligent, they cannot cut down the Bengalis.  He said that only if another Bengali helped them could they defeat the rascal Bengalis.



31: THE POOR BRAHMIN

There is a story to illustrate how Vedic education satisfies.  Three hundred years ago, there lived a very staunch but very poor brahmana in Krsnanagar near Mayapur.  The king, Raja Krsnacandra, heard of the learned brahmana, and he went to visit him.  "Brahmana" the king said, "can I help you in any way?"  "No, I don't require any help from you," the brahmana answered.  "But I can see you are so poverty-stricken," the king said.  "No," said the brahmana, "I am not poverty-stricken.  My students beg some rice, which my rice boils, and here is a tamarind tree, so I take some leaves and boil them.  I am not poverty-stricken."

MORAL:  One who knows Brahman is satisfied, brahma bhuta prasannatma.



32: HARDWAR BASTHA

Long, long ago a student appeared for his big examination.  One of the questions was about the reign of Hardwar Bastha.  The student did not remember anything about this person, but to pass his time, he began to manufacture words.  "Hardwar Bastha was a dobendi lactilized by the plactony of tinda."  In this way the student filled up the whole paper.  The examiner saw that the boy had simply manufactured words, but understanding that this required a little intelligence, he gave the boy a passing mark.

MORAL: In a similar way, many books are published that are manufactured only out of nonsense, but because it takes a little intelligence to juggle words, those books are considered valuable.



33: THE MAN WHO WANTED TO TASTE SUGARCANE

A man once told his friend that sugar-cane tastes nice and sweet when you chew it up.  The friend did not know what sugar-cane was, and so he asked the man.  He was told that it was "just like a bamboo log."  The foolish friend then began to chew different kinds of bamboo sticks, but he could never taste the sweetness.

MORAL:  Similarly, materialists are trying to find happiness and pleasure by enjoying the material body, but they find no real happiness or pleasure.



34: THE LIBERAL AUNT

A boy was raised by his aunt, who treated him very liberally.  Through bad association, the boy became a thief, yet the aunt encouraged him, "Oh, it is a very good business.  You are bringing so many things without much labour."  In time the boy became a murderer.  He was captured and sentenced to be hanged.  When asked what was his last wish, the man said he wished to speak to his aunt.  The aunt was crying and crying.  When she leaned forward to hear what her nephew wanted her to hear, the man bit off her ear.  He then rebuked his aunt, saying that if she had chastised him instead of showing him kind affection, he would not be hanged and she would not be lamenting.

MORAL:  Acts of charity should be performed in knowledge, not in ignorance, and to a worthy person.



35: THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T CHANGE HIS WORD

Once there was a professional witness who worked in the court system.  This witness would be repeatedly called in for various testimonies, and for this he would receive a fee.  When being sworn in, the witness would always swear that his age was sixty years.  One day the judge pointed out that for years the man had been claiming to be sixty years old.  The witness replied that a man should not change his word of honour.



36: MONEY ATTRACTS MONEY

There was once a man who heard that "money attracts money."  This man went to a bank to a place where a clerk was counting money.  The man took his own money and threw it on top of a pile of cash.  He then stood there motionless, watching the money for a long time.  Finally, the clerk asked him, "Sir, what are you doing?"  "I have heard that money attracts money, so I have thrown my money on the pile, and now I am waiting for the whole cash to me."  "Yes it is a fact," said the clerk, "that money attracts money.  Now my money has attracted your money."



37: THE DEAF MAN

A deaf man used to call his wife.  She would reply, "I am coming," but the deaf man could not hear her.  He used to think, "This woman is deaf."  In actuality, he was deaf, but he accused her of being deaf.

MORAL: This is similar to the mass of people who are brainwashed by material illusion and yet who accuse the Krsna conscious persons of being brainwashed.



38: THE SNAKE AND THE MOUSE

A snake and a mouse were once caught in a basket.  The snake said to the mouse, "Look, I could eat you very easily, but it's more important for me to get out of this basket.  Why don't you make a hole so that we can both escape?"  The mouse agreed and started working.  But as soon as the hole was big enough, the snake ate the mouse and came out of the basket.

MORAL:  This is just like the impersonalists who use the guru in order to come to a level of spiritual understanding, but then reject him or try to become better than him.



39: THE SAINTLY PERSON'S BLESSINGS

Once when a saintly person was passing on his way, he met a prince, the son of a king, and he blessed him, saying, "Raja putra ciram jiva:  You are a king's son, a prince.  May you live forever."  Eventually the sage met a brahmacari devotee, and he blessed him, saying, "Muni-putra ma jiva:  My dear devotee, you may die immediately."  The sage next met a saintly person and said to him, "jiva va maro va:  You may either live or die."  Finally the sage met a hunter, and he blessed him, saying, "Ma jiva ma mara:  Neither live nor die."

MORAL:  Those who are very sensual and are engaged in sense gratification do not wish to die.  Generally a prince has enough money to enjoy his senses, therefore the great sage said that he should live forever, for as long as he lived he could enjoy life, but after death he would go to hell.  Since the brahmacari devotee led a life of severe austerities and penances in order to be promoted back to Godhead, the sage said that he should die immediately so he would not have to keep labouring hard but could instead go back to Godhead.  Since the hunter leads a very ghastly life due to killing animals, and since he will go to hell when he dies, he is advised to neither live nor die.   And a saintly person may either live or die, because during life he is serving the Lord, and after death he also serves the Lord.  Thus this life and the next are the same for the saintly devotee, for in both he serves the Lord.  Raja-putra ciram jiva muni-putra ma jiva / jiva ma maro va ma jiva ma mara.



40: THE MONKEY KING AND THE OGRE

In a lake there once lived a horrible ogre. His face was black, his belly blue, and his hands and feet were red. He had great tusks for teeth. Whenever any animal came to drink water, the ogre suddenly came out of the lake, seized him, and drew him down by force.
Once a troop of monkeys came to the lake, led by their king. The monkeys were all thirsty. But the monkey king, who was very observant, noted that the footprints of various animals led to the lake but none led away from it. He was suspicious and worried. He gave strict orders that no one was to drink water from the lake until he gave the word. So the monkeys now waited by the waters of the lake, impatient, thirsty. Their discipline was good, however, and the monkey king's orders were scrupulously followed.
Hours passed. Everything was still and hushed. It was a tussle of wills between the monkey king and the unknown monster whose existence the former had assumed. It was the ogre who gave way first. Unable to restrain his greed, he popped up from the centre of the lake and said in a stentorian voice, "Why do you not drink? I am the guardian of these waters. I tell you that the water is pure, refreshing, cool, and sweet. Drink, my friends, drink."
"No, my good fellow," replied the king, "your wished will not be fulfilled in the way that you want."
"What do you mean?" queried the ogre.
"You won't be able to catch us. We will drink the water of the lake and yet not fall into your clutches."
"How will you do that?" bellowed the ogre, amused in spite of himself at the monkey king's audacity.
"You will see," replied the monkey king. The monkeys then plucked reeds from the marshes and drank the water through the reeds. Thus was the ogre frustrated.

MORAL: The material energy may look very attractive, but actually it is full of suffering. However, some people need to get kicked by maya to gain realization of the hellish nature of the material energy. But a truly intelligent person takes advantage of the revealed scriptures, which enable him to get realization of the suffering in the material world without having to undergo that suffering himself, just as the monkeys used the reeds to drink the water so that the ogre could not catch them.



41: THE CRIPPLED MAN AND THE PROSTITUTE

Once upon a time, there lived a crippled man.  This man was married, but he was attracted to the prostitute that lived in the house opposite.  One day his wife saw him looking very morose.  "What's wrong, my dear husband?" she inquired.  "Even though I am married to you," he replied, "I am attracted to the prostitute.  I am asking you to make an arrangement for me."  So being a very chaste and obedient wife, she wished to fulfil her husband's desire, and she began going to the prostitute's house when no-one was home, and clean there.  After a while this prostitute noticed, "Someone is cleaning my house.  I am not asking anyone to do this, so I wonder who it could be?"  So one day the prostitute stayed back, and after some time the crippled man's wife came and began cleaning.  The prostitute approached her and said, "Why are you doing this?"  She replied, "My husband is very attracted to you, and he wants to meet with you, but we are very poor, and cannot afford to pay.  So instead I am offering some service.  The prostitute said, "Very well, send him over tonight."  That night the prostitute prepared a sumptuous feast of rice, dal, sabji etc, and she served a portion of each of these preparations onto two plates, one gold and one silver.  When the man arrived, she requested him to partake of the food she had prepared him.  "Please take from the silver plate.," she told him.  After he had finished all the food on the silver plate, the prostitute told him to take from the gold plate.  When he had finished, the prostitute inquired from the man, "Now, did you taste the difference?"  Surprised, the man replied, "What difference?  These are exactly the same preparations, only served on different plates.  You must be crazy!"  "No, you are the crazy one!" the prostitute returned.  "You are thinking that there is more enjoyment in my body than there is in your wife's body, but actually the ingredients are the same.  Only the covering is different."



42: THE MAYAVADI WHO GOT TRODDEN ON

Once, at the hermitage of a venerated guru, a disciple became enlightened after years of penance and instruction at his master's feet.  "O master," he said, "I realize what you have been saying all along:  God and I are one.  Only by the power of illusion have I been making a distinction between myself and God.  By your kindness I am awakened.  I am in union with the formless, limitless and ineffable supreme."  When the guru indicated that the disciple had understood rightly, the disciple asked his master's blessing to go alone on a pilgrimage.  On his way, he walked down the middle of the streets, pondering the implications of his recent enlightenment.  After some time, he heard an elephant driver shouting from atop his elephant, "Make way for the elephant!  Move out of the road!"  He saw pedestrians fearfully scurrying out of the elephant's path.  "If I am God," our hero reasoned, "Why should I move out of the road for an elephant?  That would betray my convictions.  The elephant should stand aside for me."  Before long, he and the elephant came face to face.  "Make way for the elephant," the mahout shrieked in panic, but the ascetic stood his ground.  The elephant then grabbed him around the waist, and tossed him out of the way.  The ascetic sustained a broken arm and some ugly bruises.  Early the next day he hobbled into his spiritual master's presence, where he related the incident.  "O master," he cried at the conclusion, "just yesterday I thought I'd completely understood your teachings, but look what happened when I applied them.  How could such a misfortune happen to me, and on the very day when I realized your instructions?"  With a slight hint of annoyance, the benign master chided, "Did you not hear God on top of the elephant telling you to move out of the way?"

MORAL:  This story demonstrates one of the severe flaws in the philosophy of monism, which states that there is absolute oneness - without differentiation - of all beings, including God.  As the story shows, if everyone is elevated to the status of God, only calamity can result from the confusion as to who should have the right of way when a conflict of interest arises.



43: THE HUNTER AND THE FOX

Once there was a hunter chasing a fox and he caught it was just about to kill it when he saw the king approaching.  As fox hunting was illegal, he put the fox inside his coat and kept him there.  The king greeted him and began to talk to him, asking him how he was.  "How are you today?"  "Oh, I am very good, your majesty."  The king discussed the weather and different topics with the hunter, who remained completely cool the whole time.  He never even slightly acted like anything was amiss.  And then the king left.  As soon as the king was out of sight, the hunter fell into two pieces on the ground, as the fox had eaten him in half.

MORAL:  We should always reveal our minds and never keep problems to ourselves, masking them over, otherwise we will have difficulty in Krsna consciousness.



44: THE WOMAN AND THE BASKET OF BRICKS

Once there was a woman carrying a basket of bricks on her head, working on a building site.  She was walking along but then the basket fell from her head.  She began crying uncontrollably and loudly chanting Vishnu's name.  So earnestly did she call out to the Lord He thought, "I had better go," and he appeared on the scene.  "What do you want," the Lord asked the woman.  "Please put the basket back on my head," replied the woman.  "But I can give you liberation!  I can give you your own planet, and all you want is for me to put this basket on your head?"  The woman replied, "Yes, just put the basket back on my head so I can continue my service."

MORAL:  Help is there, but we don't take advantage.  Or, people are approaching Krsna for the wrong things.



45: THE OLD MAN, THE YOUNG BOY AND THE DONKEY

Once there was an old man and a young boy who were travelling with a donkey.  The young man was leading the donkey and the old man was riding on the donkey.  When they passed through a small village, some of the townspeople yelled abuse, "Look at this old man taking advantage of this poor young boy!  What a rascal!"  After they had passed through the village, the old man said, "We had better swap over, otherwise they will abuse us in the next village."  So then they swapped with the old man leading and the young boy riding.  But in the next village also they got criticized, "Look at this selfish boy, taking advantage of his grandfather.  He should let the old man ride on the donkey."  So then they both got off and led the donkey, but in the next village the people yelled out, "Look at these two stupid people!  They have a donkey, but they are choosing to walk instead!"  Then the old man concluded, "Actually, it doesn't matter what you do, people will always be critical."



46: THE BRAHMIN AND THE COBBLER

Narada Muni was once asked by a brahmana, "Oh, are you going to meet the Lord?  Will you please ask Him when I'm going to get my salvation?"  "All right," Narada agreed.  "I shall ask Him."  As Narada proceeded, he met a cobbler who was sitting under a tree mending shoes, and the cobbler similarly asked Narada, "Oh, are you going to see God?  Will you please inquire of Him when my salvation will come?"  When Narada went to the Vaikuntha planets, he fulfilled their request and asked Narayana about the salvation of the brahmana and the cobbler.  Narayana replied, "After leaving this body, the cobbler shall come here to Me."  "What about the brahmana?" Narada asked.  "He will have to remain there for a number of births.  I do not know when he is coming."  Narada Muni was astonished, and he finally said, "I cannot understand the mystery of this."  "That you will see," Narayana said. "When they ask you what I am doing in My abode, tell them that I am threading the eye of a needle with an elephant."  When Narada Muni returned to earth and approached the brahmana, the brahmana said, "Oh, you have seen the Lord?  What was he doing?"  "He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle," Narada answered.  "I don't believe such nonsense," the brahmana replied.  Narada could immediately understand that the man had no faith and that he was simply a reader of books.  Narada then left and went on to the cobbler, who asked him, "Oh, you have seen the Lord?  Tell me, what was he doing?"  "He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle," Narada replied.  The cobbler began to weep.  "Oh, my Lord is so wonderful, He con do anything."  "Do you really believe that the Lord can push an elephant through the eye of a needle?" Narada asked.  "Why not?" the cobbler said.  "Of course I believe it."  "How is that?" Narada asked.  "You can see that I am sitting under this banyan tree." the cobbler answered, "and you can see that so many fruits are falling daily, and in each seed there is a banyan tree like this one.  If within a small seed there can be a big tree like this, it is difficult to accept that the Lord is pushing an elephant through the eye of a needle?"

MORAL:  param gato 'pi vedanam sarva-sastrartha-vedy api \ yo na sarvesvare bhaktas tam vidyat purusadhamam.  "Even though one may have gone to the other side of all the Vedas, and even though one is well versed in all the revealed scriptures, if one is not a devotee of the Supreme Lord, he must be considered the lowest of mankind."  (Garuda Purana).



47: THE TWO HOLY MEN AND THE WOMAN

There is a story of two sadhus who were walking on a road.  They came to a chest deep river which had no bridge.  As they were about to wade through, a pregnant woman came up and asked, "Sadhuji, please carry me across to the other side." So the sadhu looked at the other sadhu who said, "Oh! Don't do it. We are sadhus, what do we have to do with women?" The sadhu said, "That's right, but this poor lady is pregnant." "Pregnant or not, it is no business of ours. So then the other sadhu said, "Anyway, I will help her." "Well if you want to fall into maya then don't let me stop you."
So the sadhu carried her across the river on his shoulders. They crossed the river, and when they were over he put her down and they went their separate ways. For about 2 miles they walked without talking. Then the other sadhu said, "It was very bad that you carried that lady across the Ganges on your shoulder. Very bad." The sadhu said, "I only carried her across the river, but you are still carrying her. Why don't you drop her? It is 2 miles already. I forgot her when I put her down, but all this time in your mind it's just been, "Lady, lady, lady."



48: THE LOGICAL BULL

One logician went to purchase some flour from a miller.  The miller asked him to kindly wait for a few moments, because he was just grinding it. The logician noticed that the miller kept an ox for turning the millstone; that ox would walk in a circle, the yoke being attached to the stone, and thus the grains would be ground up.  The ox had a nice bell tied around its neck also, which clanged as he walked.  The miller was in the meantime in his house, doing other things.  After a few moments he returned, gathered some fresh ground flour into a sack, and gave it to the logician. "I have one question for you", said the logician. "A question for me?" returned the miller incredulously.  "I am simply a farmer.  What do I know of your scholarly questions?" "No, this is a question about your line of work.  Tell me, why are you wasting money to keep that bell on the neck of the ox?" "Oh, that way I can do other things.  When he walks, I hear the bell.  If I hear no bell, I come out and give him a whack to start him walking again.  Otherwise I'd be standing here all day just looking after this ox." "But what if the ox stands still and just shakes his head so the bell rings?  How would you know if he was working or not?" "Oh, that's no problem, because that animal is not a logician like you."

MORAL:  Too much intelligence is dangerous sometimes, because it is used for thinking, "how can I avoid labour?"



49: THE DANCE

There was a dance arranged, and three people came and sat down, a sannyasi, a king, and a brahmana.  So then the dance was going on and the organiser of the program came and asked the king, "How do you like it?"  The king said, "It is wonderful, so satisfying.  What an artistic performance."  So then he went to the brahmana and asked, "What do you think of this?"  "Oh this is Brahman.  The Brahman is now thinking, 'I am this particular artist, so in that conception he is able to organize all the different capacities of the body, and he is moving the hand this way and that way. Actually I see Brahman."  So then he went to the sannyasi and asked, "What do you see here?"  "Oh actually I see a skeleton.  It's just bones, and the air is moving it that way.  I don't see anything else."

MORAL:  There are different ways of seeing things according to one's realization.



50: THE BRAHMIN WHO KNEW MANY LANGUAGES

There was one learned brahmana who knew so many languages.  He came to a king's court and he spoke in so many languages that no-one could find out what was his language.  He said, "If you can find out my language, then you are very clever."  The king was so confused.  "What is his language?"  But the king had a joker in his court whose name was Tenalilam.  He was from Tenali, a village in Andha Pradesa, and he was a very crooked cunning fellow.  He said to the king, "Don't worry.  Tonight I will find out what his language is."  So the king said, "If you find that out I will give you a thousand gold coins."  The joker said, "All right, I will find out."  So then in the evening the pandita was walking in the garden.  The joker had covered himself with a big blanket, and he sat on a tree.  When the pandit walked below, the joker jumped on him.  The pandit got a big fright.  "Oh my God!" he exclaimed in the Keralan language.  Thus his real language was revealed.

MORAL:  Philosophers may be speaking so much high philosophy, but then if they get emotional or angry, sometimes their real motive comes out.



51: THE FISHERMAN AND HIS BASKET

In previous times the grhastha were habituated to asking if anyone was hungry.  And so one grhastha went outside and called out to see if anyone was hungry.  He saw a fisherman and he said, "Have you taken your meal?"  And the fisherman said "No," so he took him inside.  Then he said, "Please leave the basket outside.  It is too smelly."  After he fed him he asked the fisherman, "Do you have a place to sleep tonight?"  He said, "No."  He allowed him to sleep there.  About one or two o'clock in the morning the grhastha had to get up to answer nature's call and when he looked to see how the guest was doing, he found him tossing and turning.  He asked, "How are you sleeping?"  The fisherman replied, "My sleep is very disturbed.  I cannot get to sleep!"  "Why is this?  What is the difficulty?"  And the fisherman said, "The difficulty is that I cannot sleep without my basket.  I am used to the smell.  Without smelling that fishy smell, I cannot go to sleep."  So then he said, "All right, bring your basket, and you can go to sleep."  Then the fisherman slept soundly.

MORAL: In the same way, everyone in the west has to have a machine.  To brush your teeth, you need a machine.  So people have become addicted.



52: THE FROGS IN THE BUCKET

Once two frogs had fallen into a milk pot, and were drowning.  After struggling to keep afloat for some time, one frog gave up hope and drowned.  The other frog, however, was more determined and he kicked and kicked, despite the hopeless situation.  But due to all this kicking in milk, a hard lump of butter was formed and by standing on this, the frog was able to jump out of the bucket.

MORAL: Be determined for Krsna.



53: THE BOY WHO WOULD NOT GIVE UP SWEETS

A woman brought her child to see a saintly person and said, "The doctor has told me that my child is a diabetic and must stop eating sugar and sweets, but in spite of what I tell him, he won't stop.  Since you are a saintly person, I am sure that if you tell him to stop eating sugar and sweets he will listen and his life can be saved.  Surprisingly, the saintly person replied that he could not tell that to the child was brought back the next day he would see what he could do.  Disappointed and confused, the mother took the child away and returned the next day.  Upon seeing that they had returned, the saintly person looked sternly at the young boy and said, "Stop eating sweets!"  The boy was so startled that from that day he never again ate sweets and sugar.  When the curious mother inquired from the sadhu why he had not told that to the child the day before, the sadhu replied, "Because yesterday I was still eating sugar."

MORAL: Example is better than precept.  A leader cannot tell the public to stop smoking if he himself smokes.  He should practice himself first, and then he becomes acarya.



54: GOVINDA BHOG!

This story is called Phuraphai govindaya namah.  Phuraphai means "puffed rice."  Once there was a man who was carrying grains, puffed rice, on his head.  He encountered a big gust of wind that carried away all of his grains, and then the man exclaimed, "Govinda Bhog!" (An offering unto Govinda).  Because the grains had been taken away by God, he considered it as his share of devotional service that he had given something to him.



55: THE HUNTER AND THE BIRDS

There was a hunter who wanted to practice his shooting, so he took some birds and released them.  The birds flew away and all of them were shot, but one bird was very cunning, and instead of flying away he placed himself at the feet of the hunter.  Being so situated, the hunter could not shoot the bird without harming himself.  MORAL:  Instead of flying away from Krsna and being shot down by maya, we should take shelter of Krsna's feet and then maya cannot touch us.



56: THE JNANI'S ADVICE

One man came to a Rishi in Hardwar, and asked him, "Swamiji, I am having headache. What should I do?"
"Take some medicine," the Rishi replied.
"No, no, I am always having headache."
"So cut your head off. You are having headache because there is head. No head, no headache. Very simple."

MORAL: This reasoning is akin to the philosophy of Buddhism. Material life means suffering, so their philosophy is to cease existence. But no, our existence has to be purified. This is as crazy as chopping off the head to cure a headache.



57: THE WOODCHOPPER

There was once a man chopping wood in the forest.  He was splitting the wood, stacking it in piles etc.  "It's very exhausting work," he thought.  So he sat under on particularly nice tree, and he thought to himself, "I just wish all this wood would chop itself."  So suddenly all the trees chopped themselves and stacked themselves up very nicely.  "What is this?"  he thought.  "I just wished that it would happen, and it happened."  So then he looked up at the tree he was under, and he realized that it was a kalpa-vrksa tree.  "This is wonderful!  Now I desire a beautiful woman."  Poof!  The most beautiful woman appeared to him.
"Now I desire a beautiful palace to live in, I desire so many servants, an opulent feast.."  On and on he went for many hours, and every single thing appeared because he was sitting under a desire tree.  But then he thought, "The sun is going down, it's getting dark now.  I know what's going to happen.  Because this is a jungle, a tiger's going to appear and that tiger's going to eat me."  So lo and behold, because he thought it, and he was sitting under a desire tree, a tiger appeared and gobbled him up.

MORAL:  Vancha kalpataru 'bhyas ca.  A devotee is a desire tree, so we have to be very careful what we desire.



58: THE BOATMAN AND THE THORNS

A certain boatman was troubled by the idea that the operation of pulling at the cord for towing his boat was a miserable job involving great hardships, inasmuch as it required him to trudge painfully along must uneven ground, over thorn and brambles which often stuck into the bare soles of his feet.  Therefore if he could manage to get rich somehow he would be in a position to tug at his cord by bestriding quilts and mattresses which he would take care to spread over either bank of the river.  The boatman was so foolish that he intended to carry all the miserable pursuits of his poverty-stricken state into the condition of affluence.  The consideration that if he could get rich , it might not be necessary for him to tug at the cord at all would not penetrate his foolish head.

MORAL:  We carry our concept of life in the material world over into the spiritual world, thinking that it will be the same here.  However, when one attains the wealth of spiritual existence, there is no need for him to suffer any more.



59: DINA BANDHU BROTHER!

One poor boy was a student in a school, and the teacher's annual ceremony of father's death was to be held.  So he requested all of his students "What will you bring me for a contribution?"  The teacher was not getting any salary, but whatever he wanted, the students would obtain either from parent's, house, or by begging.  That was the system.  The teacher would not charge anything.  Generally the brahmanas were teachers.  So somebody said, "I will give cloth."  Somebody else said, "I will give rice."  But there was one poor student who had no means, and when he was asked he replied, "I cannot say anything without asking my mother."  "All right," the teacher said.  "You ask your mother and tell me tomorrow."  So he asked, "My dear mother, all my class friends have promised the teacher various contributions.  What shall I promise?"  His mother said, "My dear son, we are so poor, we cannot give anything.  But God is Dina Bandhu, the friend of the poor.  If he gives you something, then you can promise."  "Where is he?" the boy asked.  "Well, I understand he is in the forest," said his mother.  So the boy went to the forest and began to call, "Dina Bandhu brother!  Dina Bandhu brother!  Where are you?"  And then Krsna arrived and said, "Why are you calling?"  The boy explained the situation and said, "What should I promise?"  So Krsna said, "You promise that you will supply yoghurt."  The boy was very much satisfied, and he went to the teacher and said, "My Dina Bandhu brother will supply yoghurt."  "Oh, that's nice," said the teacher.  "Very good."  So on the day of the ceremony, he went to the forest and called, "Dina Bandhu brother!  Dina Bandhu brother!  Where are you?"  So Krsna came, and He gave him a small pot of yoghurt.  He was just a child, he did not know, but when he brought it to the teacher and said, "This is my contribution.  My Dina Bandhu brother has given, so you take."  The teacher became very angry.  He said, "What?  So many hundreds and thousands of people will be given foodstuffs, and you are giving this much yoghurt?"  He became angry, he did not care, and the pot fell on the ground and the yoghurt spilled.  But after some time, when he came, he saw that the yoghurt had spilled out but the pot was full.  Then he picked it up and dropped it, it was still full.  And after performing the same experiment several times, he realized it was spiritual.

MORAL:  Om purnam adah purnam idam.  Even though Krsna is spread throughout many bodies as Paramatma, he is still the complete whole Supreme Personality of Godhead.



60: A CHANGE OF HEART

In the Puranas there is a story of one old man who was addicted to sinful activity, a very cruel person.  But when he was on his death bed, at the last minute he had a change of heart.  He said, "Well, why not try it?  All my life I've seen these Vaishnavas chanting Hare Krsna.  I'm going to die anyway, so I might as well try it."  He called his servant and told him "Go to the marketplace and purchase some of those beads I see the devotees chanting on, those japa malas."  His servant was surprised.  "You want japa-mala?  What are you going to do with them?"  "I'm going to chant Hare Krsna.  Give it a try."  So the servant went to the marketplace, but unfortunately the old man died before his servant returned.  So at that time the Yama-dutas came, and the Vishnu-dutas also came at the same time.  Both questioned the other's presence.  The Yama-dutas said, "This man was a very sinful person.  He never did one pious activity.  There is nothing in his record to show that he did anything pious or transcendental.  So what are you doing here?"  The Vishnu-dutas replied, "We have come to take this man back to Godhead simply because he had a desire to chant Hare Krsna.

MORAL:  If nama-abhasa, contaminated chanting of the holy name is so powerful then what of those devotees who are chanting the pure name?



61: THE WOMAN WHO LOST HER BABY

There was a lady going around the village asking, "Where is my baby? Did you see my baby?" And everyone she asked simply laughed at her. She couldn't understand why they were laughing. Finally she went to a sadhu. She said, "My dear sir, this world is so bad. I can understand why you became a sadhu, because this world is so bad. I asked for my baby and they were all laughing." The sadhu said, "You go to the lake and look inside. Your baby is in there." She said, "What? He jumped in the lake?" He said, "You just go to the lake and look inside." So she went to the lake and looked down, and she saw that the baby was sleeping on her shoulder. So then she found out, "That is why they were laughing, because the baby was on my shoulder."



62: THE THIEF WHO BECAME A SADHU

There was one thief, one robber.  He was robbing businessmen and murdering people, and then one day he heard that the king of the country of the country had invited all the sannyasis, sadhus and ascetics for a big meeting.  The thief was thinking, "Maybe the king will be giving help to them, so I will see if I can rob someone and get some money."  So he went to the meeting and hid himself away.  The king then came out onto his balcony, and he began to speak.  "O great sadhus, I have a daughter and she is very inclined to marry a saintly person.  So I am offering half of my kingdom with this girl, so someone please marry my daughter."  As soon as he said this, fifteen people in the front row got up and left.  They were sannyasis, they were not interested.  They came because they thought, "The king has called for a saintly meeting, so maybe there will be an opportunity to preach."  But the king said, "No no, I am giving my daughter."  So they left.  And then the other row came forward next.  The king said, "Look, I will give 75% of my kingdom.  I will only keep a little part for myself.  Please accept my daughter."  The first person said, "My dear sir, the thing is that we are saintly persons.  And we are not sannyasis, we are married persons.  I have my wife and I have my ashram.  I do not want to marry your daughter.  Since you are the king, in order to respect you I have attended your meeting.  So please give me permission and I am going."  And he left.  The thief in the back was hearing this and he was thinking, "this is a good chance.  I don't have to do any hard work and I can get 75% of the kingdom."  So he disguised himself, covering himself with tiger skin and he went and sat with the others.  He was sitting in a very uncomfortable position with his eyes half-closed.  The king went to the next man and said, "Did you hear what I said to the last man?"  "Yes I did," the person replied.  "And I am also going."  And he left.  So then he asked five people in all, and the sixth person was the thief.  The five people all said the same thing.  "What will we do with the country?  We are not here for ruling, we are trying to rule over our senses.  Let us do this first, and if I make it then I will come and rule over the world."  So then the king came to the sixth person, who was the robber, and said to him, "O great saintly person..."  "You are wrong, " the thief interrupted.  The king was surprised.  "What?  To address you as a saintly person is wrong?"  "Yes, because I am a robber, not a saintly person.  But I ask you, who wants your country?  Who wants your kingdom?  If it has got any value, why is it that these people got up and left?  So I would rather pursue on this path.  I will neither rob any more, nor will I marry your daughter.  I am sorry but I am going."

MORAL:  He had accrued the nature of a thief by his previous activities, but by association he developed the nature of a sadhu, in just a very short time.  Lava matra sadhu sanga sarva siddhi haya.  Just a moment's association brings all perfection.



63: TWO POTS

Two pots, one of earthenware and one of brass, were standing together on the riverbank, and were swept away by the current.  The earthenware pot looked very uneasy in case it should be broken, but the brass pot told him not to worry as he would take care of him.  "Oh," cried the other pot, "please keep as far away from me as you can.  It is you I am afraid of!  For whether the current knocks me against you or you against me, I shall be the one to break, so please do not let us come near to one another."

MORAL:  Choose your association wisely.



64: THE ASTROLOGER

An astrologer was so busy gazing at the stars that he fell into a ditch while walking.  A passer-by saw him and said, "Friend, you should learn from this to let the stars go their own way, while you look more carefully where you are going."

MORAL:  Mind your own business.



65: THE MISCHIEVOUS DOG

There was once a dog who was so mischievous that his master had to hang a heavy piece of wood around his neck to stop it biting people and chasing them.  The stupid dog mistook the wood for a medal, and grew so conceited about it that he looked down in scorn upon all other dogs and refused to have anything to do with them.

MORAL:  This is the position of the living entity who desires to enjoy separate from Krsna.  He receives this material body which is a bad bargain, but actually he thinks himself to be God.



66: THE THIRSTY CROW

A thirsty crow looking for water saw a pitcher in the distance, and flew joyfully towards it.  The pitcher certainly had water in it, but it was so near the bottom that no matter how he strained and struggled he could not reach it.  Then he tried to overturn the pitcher so that he could at least have a little of the water when it spilt to the ground: but he was not strong enough to do this.  Just then he saw some pebbles lying near, so he picked them up one at a time, and dropped them into the pitcher.  As the pebbles filled the pitcher, the water gradually rose until it was level with the top, and the crow was able to drink at last.

MORAL:  A little intelligence can save a lot of time.



67: THE HAIRY SAGE

There was once a sage who was very hairy because for every year that he lived, he had a hair on his body, and he was very old.  This sage complained of terrible itchiness, so he went to see his friend.  "This is ridiculous.  I'm trying to concentrate on meditation, but I have this intolerable itching.  What should I do."  The sage's friend replied, "You should go to the house of the most sinful person, and you should take his remnants."  So the sage immediately went to house of the most sinful person, who at that time happened to be Ajamila.  Ajamila was not home, but his wife was.  "Oh, who is this person," she thought.  "I have come for some food," the sage asked.  So immediately the woman began to prepare prasad.  "No," said the sage, "You don't understand.  I want to take your husband's remnants."  The woman was very surprised, but she gave the sage Ajamila's remnants.  The sage ate the remnants, thanked the woman and departed.  As he walked from the house, he felt the itching go away.  Then he began to think, "I should give this woman something in return."  Thinking like this, returned to Ajamila's house, where he saw the woman feeding her child.  "What is the child's name?" asked the sage.  The woman replied with some mundane karmi name.  "No no," said the sage.  "Call the child Narayana."

MORAL:  The holy name is the greatest gift. Sometimes blessings come in a hidden form.



68: THE MENDICANT WHO BEGGED A POT

There was one mendicant.  He had no pot to drink water.  He had nothing.  He was just walking around barefoot with only his hands.  He had no place to live.  So he went to aa pot maker, and he begged repeatedly, "Please give me a pot.  I will use it for various purposes, so please give me."  After 10 months of begging, the pot maker made him a pot and gave it to him.  The mendicant took the pot, and he was looking at it, "I got a pot!  I got a pot!"  And he was dancing this way and that.  But when he threw the pot up into the air in joy, he forgot to catch it.

MORAL:  This is an expression in South India - a beggar begged for a pot for 10 months, and when he got it he just played with it and broke it.  This body is a pot.  We beg for 10 months, and then we get the pot.  Pregnancy lasts 9 months, and then in the 10th month we come out.  But then when we get the pot - "Oh I've got a pot!  I've got a pot!"  And we engage in sense gratification and then "Phut!"  And then one gets another pot.



69: THE VILLAGERS AND THE TRAIN

In one village, the villagers gathered well in advance to see the train coming.  It was coming at night, so some villagers saw that there was a big light on the front of the train, and it was coming towards them.  So they ran home, they were perhaps a little frightened or something.  They ran home, and their relatives asked them, "What is the train like?"  And they said, "It's a big light."  Some other villagers stayed longer, and they saw not only a light, but also that it was moving very fast, and they could perceive a long form behind the light also moving very fast.  So then they also became frightened, and they ran home and they told their relatives, "The train has got a light on the front, it's long and it's moving fast."  So they had more information.  But then some villagers stayed until the train pulled right into the station, it stopped and they were able to get inside.  They saw so many seats, so many people.  So then they went home.  They had full information.  They told their relatives, "The train has got a light on the front, it's long and it moves fast, but inside there are many many seats, there are people sitting, and you can get in and out."

MORAL: There are different levels of understanding, Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan.  Vadanti tat tattva vidas tattvam etc.



70: THE WIDOW AND THE TUTOR

There is a story about a poor widow who was desperate to educate her son so that he might be successful and bring money to the household.  For this purpose she borrowed money to hire a tutor.   One day that unfortunate woman listened from another room as the tutor instructed her son in geometry.  "Let the ABC be a triangle," was all she heard before she angrily rushed in to rebuke the man.  "I pay you ten rupees a month.  For that I have been expecting you to raise my boy to higher levels of learning.  But today I see that after all this time you have not been able to bring him beyond simple ABCs!  He learned the alphabet long ago.  So as you are only wasting his time and my money, I order you to leave my house and never return!"  So angry was she that there was no possibility of explaining to her that the ABCs of geometry are indeed of a higher order of knowledge than she had yet experienced.

MORAL:  In an age of faithlessness brought about by religious fanaticism, many so called intellectuals react to transcendental teachings of Krsna consciousness as did the widow to the tutor's geometry class.  They need only hear the words "God," "devotion" and "spiritual world" before rejecting out of hand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness as just another type of blind faith.



71: THE HERONS AND THE SWAN

Some herons standing in a bog saw a swan happening by.  They had never seen a swan before, and their curiosity was aroused.  "Why are your eyes, beak and feet so red?" one of the herons asked the swan.  "Because I'm a swan."  "Well, where do you come from?"  "From the Mana-sarovara Lake."  "And how are things over there?"  "The lake water is as clear as crystal and tastes like nectar.  From it grows a garden of golden lotuses.  All around are islands studded with jewels where beautiful trees, plants, fruits and flowers grow."  The heron then asked, "But are there big snails here?"  "No," the swan answered.  Smirking, the herons exchanged glances.  Their spokesman told the swan with haughty finality, "If it has no snails, it can hardly be called a lake.  From what you say it is not a suitable place for connoisseurs like us.  Thank you, swan, for all you've told us, but don't expect us to follow you back home!"

MORAL:  Prabhupada has come to transform herons and crow-like men into swans.  The spiritual home of the paramahamsas is revealed in books like Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita.  In order to enter that realm, we have to become like swans and lose our taste for snails.



72:  THE BANK MANAGER'S HEART

There was once a man who was due for a heart transplant. He could choose to use a general's heart, a businessman's, or a bankers. When he chose the banker's, he was asked why. "Oh, because I am quite sure it has never been used!"



73: THE UPSIDE DOWN PLANT

There was one big impersonalist, and sometimes
impersonalists will sometimes externally take to demigod worship.  He was worshipping Lord Siva, and he became a big mahant with thousands of disciples, a very big logician.  So a devotee took mercy on him.  He went in front of his big matha, his ashram, and he planted a plant upside down, and started pouring water on the root.  So this mahant was walking on the balcony, and he looked out and saw this man watering this tree which was planted upside down.  He laughed, and he told his disciple, "Go and tell this fellow that he is stupid.  Where is pouring his water?"  So the disciple came and told the man, "Sir, Swamiji is reprimanding you.  Where are you pouring water?"  So the devotee replied, "Go and tell him that all the scriptures say water should be poured on the root, and I am doing.  Exactly, according to scripture."  So the brahmacari came back and said, "Swamiji, he is giving some logic, some tarka."  "What is this logic?" asked the mahant.  "Stupid fellow, what logic is he giving?"  "Well, his logic is that all the scriptures say `pour water on the root'  That is why."  "Go and tell him," the impersonalist said, "That scriptures say pour water on the root, but he should know that the root should be in the earth.  Don't take just one verse from the scripture.  You should have some common sense.  Does he really think that this plant will grow?  Ask him?"  So the brahmacari again went to the devotee and said, "I told your argument to the Swamiji, but he is very upset.  He is saying that you are not using your common sense.  You are speaking about the root, but this root is not inside the earth.  So you are taking things out of context.  And now he is asking this question: do you think this plant will grow?"  So then the devotee said, "You go and ask your Swamiji if he thinks that the path he is following will give him liberation.  You ask him.  If he will get liberation by his impersonal philosophy, then my plant will also grow."  So then the brahmacari went back to the guru and said, "I am sorry to repeat this.  I am not saying this.  He is saying that if you will get liberation then his plant will grow."  "What?  Call him here!"  Then the devotee came, and they had an argument and finally the devotee defeats him.

MORAL:  In this way, somehow or other, even if one has a quarrel with a devotee, there is some chance.



74: THE JUNGLE KING

This story is from the Upanishads. One man was wending his way through the jungle.  He strayed off the proper footpath and fell off of a cliff that was hidden by dense overgrowth. The shock of falling caused instant amnesia.  However, he was otherwise unhurt because he'd fallen into a net.
The net trap had been set by some jungle tribe whose king had just died.  Their policy was, when the king died, they set a net trap at the bottom of the cliff, and whoever fell into it would be declared the new king.
So because the man had lost his memory, he had no objection to being crowned king of that tribe.  Gradually he learned the local language and took part in all the dance ceremonies.
Some time later the man's brother ventured into the jungle to find him.  This brother also fell off the same cliff, but as there was no net at the bottom, he was injured.  Some of the natives found him and brought him to the village, where he was nursed back to health. The brother was very happy to see his dear relation again, but unfortunately there was no recognition on the other's part.  And since the brother-king could no longer speak the language of his family, there was very little means of communication.
But through perseverance, the newly arrived brother managed to get through to the king.  Slowly, the sound of the language of his brother, and the sound of his voice, began to unlock inner memories.  It began to dawn on him that he was not really a king, but belonged to another family, another culture.
However, because in the meantime he'd become so attached to his kingship, he also couldn't face the prospect of having to give that up for his old way of life.  And so he became silent.  He stopped taking part in his kingly duties, but could not leave the tribe.  More or less, he became mad.

MORAL: The point of the story is to illustrate the conflict of the awakening of spiritual consciousness that may be experienced by someone who is very much attached to his material identity.  He received good instruction from good source, and everything is clear, Krsna consciousness is dawning upon him, but he can't take it.



75: THE HUMBLE BEGGAR

There is a story of a beggar who came to the house of a king.  The king was looking from his window, and he heard this knock on the door, so he sent his servant.  "Go and see who it is," so the servant went down there, and he opened the door.  "Who is it?" the king asked.  "It's just some beggar," the servant replied.  "He wants some food or something."  So the king said, "All right, let's have a laugh.  Call him up here."  The beggar came up, and he came and sat in the court of the king.  The king said, "All right, beggar, what do you want?"  The man very meekly asked, "Some prasad, a little food or something?"  The king said to his servant, "Pretend to bring him some food."  So the servant brought out an invisible plate and put it down.  The king said, "Nice rasgulla, samosa, kichori.  Fill yourself up, be happy."  So just to humour the king, because he didn't want to offend him, he made like he was eating.  "Is it good?" the king asked.  "Yes it's good.  I like the samosas."  "What else would you like?" asked the king.  "A nice wife," the man said.  "All right," the king said, "bring on the dancing girls!"  So the servant ushered them in, the invisible dancing girls.  "Aren't they dancing nicely?" the king asked.  The beggar said, "Yes, they are."  "Which one do you want for you wife?"  "The sixth one," the man replied.  "There's only five," the king laughed.  "Take the fifth one.  I'll give you a palace with her.  You just go out the door, down the road there's so many palaces, just take one of those and have a good time."  And he gave him a good slap on the back.  So the man was very humble and submissive, "Yes your honour, yes sir, my lord, thank you very much."  He went out to the gate, and suddenly the heart of the king was touched by his submissive nature.  Although the king was playing a joke on him the man was co-operating and wasn't becoming offensive, so the king had a change of heart.  "All right," he said, "call him back."  When the man returned he said, "I'm very pleased with your attitude.  "You've gone along with the joke.  So, bring out the real prasad."  They brought out much prasad.  "Now take yourself a real queen, and have a real palace."

MORAL:  So in this way, just by his humble nature, and just humouring and co-operating the king, he was blessed with so much opulence.



76: THE DOZING JUDGE

Once there was a judge who was overseeing one case.  The prosecution was speaking, and the defence was speaking, so in the beginning the judge read the papers, and then the prosecution and defence began to present their cases, and the judge began to doze off.  The court clerk said, "You honour, you're dozing off, you're not being attentive to the case," and the judge said, "It's all right, it's already been decided."  And he went back to sleep.

MORAL:  He'd already made his decision.  The defence and prosecution could say what they want, but as far as he was concerned, the case was already decided.  Yamaraja has already decided what will happen when you die or take birth.  No one can manipulate your karma.



77: THE FOUR BRAHMIN BOYS

There's a story of four brahmin boys who were looking for wealth, so they went up into the Himalayas.  Brahmin means devotee, but they were interested in getting wealth.  They were thinking, "I've just come out of gurukula training, now we have to get some wealth, and then we can get married and have a happy life."  So they went to one sage who was living
near the Himalayan mountains, and they asked him, "My dear sage, we have heard that you are all-knowing, so please tell us where we can find wealth."  The sage said, "All right.  So now I will put in each of your hands one ghee wick, a cotton ghee wick.  You just hold that in your hand, and you walk up into the Himalayan mountains.  Wherever this wick drops during the course of walking up the mountain, at that spot if you dig you will find something valuable.  You will find precious metal up to the value of gold."  So they were very happy, and they went up into the mountains holding their wicks.  One of the wicks dropped, so the boy dug there and he found copper.  "Oh, copper.  Very nice."  The other boys said, "Why just copper?"  "No no," the boy said, "I am satisfied.  The sage said, wherever the wick drops, so this is my quota.  God has given copper."  So he took that and went down.  The other boys continued, and another wick dropped.  When they dug they found silver.  "Ah, silver, very nice.  Even more valuable."  The boy whose wick had dropped was very satisfied, but the other two said, "Well silver's alright, but the sage said up to gold."  "Anyway," the boy said, "I've found silver by God's grace, so I'm taking that."  So the other two continued, and one of their wicks dropped.  He dug, and he found gold.  "All right," one said, "here it is, the gold.  Enough for both of us."  The last one said, "Yes, but I still have my wick.  It hasn't dropped yet."  The other one replied, "Yes, but the sage said nothing more valuable than gold."  "Well anyway," the last boy said, "I still have my wick, so I am going to find my treasure."  "Well you do as you like," the boy who found the gold said, "but I am taking this gold."  So then the last boy went high into the Himalayas, up to the very top, and still his wick didn't drop.  Then he saw one man in the distance.  So he was calling to him, "My dear sir, do you know of any valuable treasure up here?  I am looking for wealth."  As soon as he said that, his wick dropped.  So he thought, "There must be something very valuable here."  Meanwhile the boy had come a little closer to the man, and he noticed that the man was standing in a strange way, he was not moving, and there was a wheel turning on his head.  The middle of the wheel, the hub was grinding into his head and causing blood to flow, and this man was obviously in great pain.  When this boy's wick dropped then that wheel was suddenly moving from the other man's head onto his head, and the wheel was turning and he was feeling great pain.  He also could not move any more, the wheel was somehow keeping him in place.  The other man could move again and he was saying, "Oh, I'm free!  Thank God!"  The brahmin said, "Please tell me what is going on here!  Why am I suddenly stuck to this spot?  I cannot move and this wheel is on my head and it is feeling very painful.  What is happening?"  The other man replied, "You have come to the place where Kuvera keeps his treasure.  He's the treasurer of the demigods, and all his wealth, all the wealth of the demigods is buried here and you have come across it."  "Well, what is this wheel?" the boy asked.  "This wheel is a weapon of Kuvera which protects his treasure."  "Oh," the boy said.  "So tell me, what is going to happen to me?"  "What is going to happen to you," the man said, "Is the same thing that happened to me.  I also came up here looking for treasure.  I came up with some friends and met an old sage, and he gave us ghee wicks.  My friends got copper, silver and gold, but I wanted to go higher.  I came up here, and the wheel came onto my head."  "So what can I expect?" the boy asked.  "Well, this wheel will stay on your head and keep you fixed to this place.  You will not grow thirsty or hungry, you will just stay and not be able to move until somebody else comes up here looking for treasure.  Then you will be released, and he will get the wheel on his head."  "How long were you here?"  the boy questioned.  "Who is the king of India now?"  The boy gave the name of some king, and the man replied, "Well when I came up here, Lord Ramachandra was king."  "Oh no!" the boy said.  "That was two million years ago!"  And then the man was going to leave.  "No you can't leave!" the boy said.  "Yes, I can leave, I'm getting out of here.  I've suffered so much."  This greedy brahmin was left up there, and probably he's still up there now.  So don't go up into the Himalayas looking for treasure.

MORAL:  This is an illustration how this lusty desire for sense gratification can get one in great difficulty.  This brahmin broke the law and took more than his quota, so therefore he got into trouble.



78: THE MODEL KSHATRIYA

There was one very famous Hindu king.  He was a very powerful king, devoted to God.  When the Muslims first came to India, he stopped them.  About 1000 years ago, the first Muslim emperor invaded India with a huge army, hundreds and thousands of men.  He invaded North india from Persia.  In what is now called Punjab there lived one king with a very small army.  But these Kshatriyas were so powerful and devoted to God, that they stopped the Muslim king seventeen times.  The Muslim army was huge and the Hindu army was very small.  But the Hindu army were such determined Kshatriyas that every time they pushed back the Muslim king seventeen times.  Every time they caught the Muslim emperor, and every time they let him go.  The Hindu king was very compassionate, and every time he would say, "All right, I will not kill you.  You can go."  The Muslim king made a pact with another Hindu king, and together they overthrew the first Hindu king.  So the Muslim king captured the Hindu king, but he said, "I'm not going to make the same mistake that you made.  I'm not going to let you go, I'm going to cut off your head.  But first, I've heard that you are a very expert bowman.  I've heard that you can shoot a dove at 100 metres blindfolded.  Just by the sound of the wings of that dove, you can shoot him from 100 metres away.  If you can prove to me that you can do this, I will spare your life."  The Hindu king didn't trust him, but he said, "All right."  So they went to this huge arena with a stadium, and there were thousands and thousands of people.  That Hindu king stood at one end of the stadium.  There was a dove in a box 100 metres away.  They were going to let that dove out, and by the sound of the wings flapping, even though he was blindfolded he was going to shoot the bird.  So he's standing there with the Muslim king.  He said, "All right, I'll do this, but just one thing; you have to tell me when the box is opened.  That's all.  You stand there and tell me, `Now the box is opened,' and I'll be able to shoot the dove."  The Muslim king agreed, and then at the other end of the field they opened the box, and the dove flew out.  So the Muslim king said, "Yes, now the dove is out."  The Hindu king who was blindfolded, when he heard the Muslim king say, "Yes, now the dove is out," he turned and shot the Muslim king through the heart.  The Muslim king made the mistake of making a noise, so then just by hearing the noise, the Hindu king shot him through the heart.  Then he took his arrows, and the Muslim soldiers were shouting, "You rascal!"  And just by the sound their voices the Hindu king was shooting all the Muslim soldiers dead.  He was all alone, fighting hundreds of men blindfolded.  This is a soldier.  He didn't run away and hide in fear, or start crying, "Please, spare my life."  It was an honour to die in battle for the glory of God.  When he ran out of arrows he simply prayed to Krsna with his hands folded, meditating on the Lord.  And whatever Muslim soldiers were left, they took a sword and cut off his head.  So these are glorious men, dying for the glory of God.  Also to get an injury on sankirtana is a great glory.



79: THE KSHATRIYA QUEEN

There is one battle where the Muslims took siege on one Hindu fort.  They surrounded the fort and waited for everyone to starve to death.  The Muslim king wanted the Hindu princess.  He said he would give up the siege on the fort if the Hindu princess would come out and marry him.  The hindu king had been killed, so the queen was now the ruler.  The Muslim king wanted to marry her.  But she was a very chaste woman.  "I'm not going to marry this rascal."  "All right," the king said, "let me just come and see you.  If I can see you I will be satisfied and I will go away and we will stop the war."  She said, "I am a chaste woman.  Why should I let a rogue like you see my body?"  But the Muslim king said, "I will stop the war if you just let me look at you."  "All right," she said, "you can look at me through a mirror."  So he allowed her to look at her face in a mirror.  But he was such a rascal that as he was leaving the palace, he said, "That is not enough.  If you do not marry me, I will destroy your entire population."  So she was a very intelligent kshatriya woman, and Kshatriyas have to be a little diplomatic sometimes.  So she said, "OK, I've got an idea.  I surrender.  You can enjoy me.  You can enjoy my beauty.  Simply let me spend the next day preparing myself so that we can enjoy.  I promise you I will come to your camp tomorrow evening with some of my maidservants, and then we can enjoy.  But you have to stop the siege now and leave us alone."  He said, "Yes, no problem."  So he left the palace with his men, and he went back to his Muslim camp which was a few hundred metres away, and they began to have a big party in expectation.  That whole day they were simply drinking wine and dancing, "Yes, the princess is coming!  The princess is coming!"  And they all got drunk.  Sure enough, as the queen promised, that evening the doors of the palace opened and so many palanquin came out.  There were over one hundred palanquins carrying the queen and her maidservants.  So when the Muslim emperor saw this, he began to dance in ecstasy.  They began to drink more and more wine, "Here comes the queen!  Here comes the queen!"  And all the soldiers were shouting, "Here come the maidservants!"  They put away their weapons and started putting on perfumes and nice clothes.  The woman were very chaste, so the palanquins were all closed with curtains around them.  The palanquins were getting closer and closer.  And the palanquins got right inside the camp of the Muslims.  All of a sudden the Muslims heard this terrific roar.  "Aaaargh!"  Coming from the palanquins, and out jumped all the Rajaputa soldiers, the Kshatriyas.  They slaughtered all those Muslims to the last man.  Meanwhile the queen was watching the whole thing from the palace.  Not only did the kings have these qualities, but also the queens had these qualities.



80: THE MOUSE AND THE GITA

There is a story about a guru who had a brahmacari disciple.  He ordered the brahmacari that he should perform Bhakti by reading Gita every day.  So he sat in a cave, reading the Bhagavad-gita.  But there was a small mouse who came to nibble at the Gita, when it was not being read.  He became tired of scaring the mouse away, so he thought, "I need to get a cat to take care of the mouse."  So he got a cat.  The cat kept away the mouse, but it started making sounds because it was hungry.  So he had to feed the cat.  Then he thought, "I need a cow in order to feed the cat milk."  He had to take care of the cow.  Gradually he started giving less and less time for his Gita reading.  Since he had to give the cow so much attention, he thought, "I need someone to take care of the cow," and he hired a man.  The man took care of the cow, but he found that he had to have someone to watch the man, otherwise he was not doing his work properly.  He thought, "This is becoming a little complicated.  I have to get married, then the wife will watch over the man who is taking care of the cow, who is feeding the milk to the cat, to keep away the mouse."  He got married, but his wife wanted certain things.  So there were children, and he had to get some money.  He started some business enterprise and brought some land.  One day, the guru came back to see his disciple.  He said, "What happened?  I ordered you to read Gita, but I see you have got wife, children, family, business, workers and so many things.  You have forgotten the Gita?  Tell me what happened."  He replied, "Gurudeva, I am simply doing all this in the service of the Gita.  In order to read the Gita, I h ad to do all this.  This is all Gita-samsara."

MORAL: We have to be careful not to perform bhakti for some other objective, that is not pure bhakti.



81: NENGTI PANCHO

There is a story told by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur called the nengti pancho.  In a village, there was a very prominent village leader.  But naturally, because of village politics there were a few people who were envious of him.  These envious people would always find some reason to criticize him.  This leader had a son whose name was Panchanan.  When Panchanan was a little child, about four years old, he loved to run around the village naked, so he had the nickname nengti pancho, which means naked Pancho, because he would run around naked with just a thread around his waist.  Everyone called, "Nengti Pancho, come here, come here!"  He grew up and later he got into the secondary school and he stood number one in his whole class.  And people said, "Oh, this is Panchanan, he is a very good student, he is number one in the state wide examination!"  But the village anti-party leaders said, Ah, how can he be number one?  He was in our village, nengti pancho, naked kid running around.  You are telling us the kid is number one?"  Then he went to university, and got high grades.  Then he got his law degree and became established in the bar as a first class advocate.  Then some people said, "Look at this!  Panchanan has become a first class advocate.  He is a barrister."  And the envious said, "Ah, how can he get such a degree?  He must have cheated in his exams."  Then finally he got promoted to the bench and he became the Chief Justice of the High Court.  Some people said, "Look!  It's that Panchanan, now he is the Chief Justice!"  And the envious said, "Him?  Oh!  He was running around naked in our village, nengti pancho!  How can he be a Chief Justice?
Even if he is, he may not be getting his monthly salary.  He is not qualified!"  So it became so ridiculous that the envious people still remembered the four year old naked boy playing in the mud.

MORAL:  In the Vedas this is called nagna-martrka-nyaya, naked mother logic.



82: THE THIEF WHO MOVED THE BAGS

There is a story about how habit is second nature.  There was a thief, and he went on pilgrimage with some friends.  So at night when the others were sleeping, because his habit was to steal at night, he got up and was taking someone's baggage.  But then he was thinking, "Oh, I have come to this holy place of pilgrimage, but still I am continuing theft by habit.  No, I shall not do it."  So then he took someone's bag and put it in another's place, and for the whole night the poor fellow moved the bags of the pilgrims from here to there.  But due to his conscience, because he was on a holy pilgrimage, he did not actually take anything.  So in the morning when everyone got up, they looked around and said, "Where is my bag?  I don't see it."  And another man says, "Oh, there is your bag."  There was some row, so they thought, "What is the matter?  How has it happened?"  Then the thief rose up and told all of the friends, "My dear gentlemen, I am a thief by occupation, and because I have that habit to steal at night, I couldn't stop myself.  But I thought, `I have come to this holy place, so I won't do it.'  Therefore I placed one person's bag in another man's place.  Please excuse me.

MORAL:  This is habit.  He doesn't want to, but he has a habit of doing it.  Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah.  What is the question of independence.



83: THE DHOBI, DOG AND THE DONKEY

There lived a dhobi walla in a village.  He had a dog and a donkey.  He was not feeding them well, but he made them work hard.  They were working with empty stomach.  A number of days passed in this way.  One day a thief entered into the dhobi walla's house.  He was sleeping at that time.  The dog and the donkey saw the thief.  The donkey said to the dog, "Oh brother!  You bark and wake up the boss!"  The dog replied, "How is he our boss?  He keeps us hungry.  Let the thief steal.  I cannot bark."  Having said thus it kept quiet.  The donkey said, "Sometimes he had fed us.  We should not be ungrateful.  Therefore I shall wake him up."  Having said this the donkey began braying.  The dhobi walla's sleep was disturbed.  He became angry and beat the donkey with a stick.

MORAL: Awaking the man is the duty of the dog and not the donkey.  See Bhagavad-gita 3.35.



84: THE THREE SAGES

Once there were three sages, and these sages were discussing what is the best age to be delivered from material existence.  One said, "I propose that Satya-yuga is the best age, because it is the golden age, the age of enlightenment.  Just by a few hundred thousand years of meditation one can go back to Vaikuntha.  That is my proposition."  The next sage said, "No, Treta-yuga is the age.  We can do agnihotra, and just by offering grains and ghee into the fire, distributing gold to the brahmins, by this simple process we can get moksa and leave this world."  The third sage said, "Excuse me, but Dvapara-yuga is without a doubt the best age, because Krsna Bhagavan Himself is coming.  Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata.  He comes in His original form and those who take birth in that Yuga can get the opportunity of the Lord's personal association.  So back and forth they were arguing, Satya, Treta, Dvapara, Satya, Treta, Dvapara.  But there's four ages, Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga and Kali-yuga.  However, these sages would not even say the name of Kali, because it's so inauspicious.  What to speak of discussing it's ill effects, they wouldn't even mention the name.  So after many years of discussion they came to no conclusion.  So they said, "Well, let us go to Srila Vyasadeva, the greatest of all sages.  He lives in the Himalayas, so lets go there and get his opinion."  So they went to Badrikashrama, and when they arrived there Vyasadeva was taking bath in a tank.  "O great sage," the rishis addressed him, "Of Satya, Treta and Dvapara, what is the best age for making spiritual advancement?"  But he wouldn't come out of the water.  They pleaded and pleaded, and then out he came and he spoke, "Satyam satyam param satyam, kaler dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan-guna \ kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet."  And then splash, back under the water he went.  The sages asked each other, "Did you hear that?"  "No," one replied, "I blocked my ears as soon as I heard the name of Kali."  "Ask him again," the third one said.  "O great Srila Vyasadeva, could you please repeat yourself?"  So out he came again, "Satyam satyam param satyam, kaler dosa-nidhe rajann..."  And then he explained the verse, "The highest truth, the truth of all truths, is that although this Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age.  Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mahamantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."



85: THE MAN WHO TRIED TO CHEAT YAMARAJA

There is a popular story from India of one man who tried to cheat Yamaraja.  He consulted one astrologer, and he found out the exact day that he was going to die.  So he was a sculptor, and he knew how to work with clay very nicely.  He made nine clay images of himself.  He painted them and dressed them expertly.  If you weren't an artist you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  They all looked exactly like him.  The moment came when he was supposed to die, so he lined them up and stood very still amongst them.  Yamaraja came, and he was very confused.  "Hey, wait a minute.  This person is supposed to be leaving now, but which one is he?"  He was puzzled, and for a long time he was thinking, "This man is going to be the first person to cheat death."  But Yamaraja is one of the twelve mahajanas, so he's very intelligent.  So he said, "Actually, whoever has done this has made a really lousy job.  It's bad work.  I've seen much better sculptures than this.  It doesn't look like the original artist at all."  Suddenly the sculptor became very upset, and he came out of the row of images, saying, "What do you mean?  It looks just like me!"  "All right," Yamaraja said, "Come with me."

MORAL: You cannot cheat death.



86: THE TIGER AND THE BRAHMIN

One time a tiger who was very hungry found a brahmana who was taking a bath, and was in the process of chanting the holy name.  So the tiger ate that brahmana, and the tiger was able to go back to Godhead by hearing that transcendental vibration.

MORAL:  The holy name is so powerful that it can even liberate the animals.



87: THE BLINDFOLDED MAN

Once a man made a bet with another man that he could identify any automobile by the sound it made, even while he was blindfolded.  In this way, with the blindfold, the man was made to stand on the street corner, and as different vehicles would go by he would identify them by saying, "That's a buick, that's and oldsmobile" etc.  Finally an animal walked by dragging a string of tin cans behind it, and the man said it was a ford.

MORAL:  We can't even judge the most simple things with our imperfect senses, so how can we possible speculate about the Absolute Truth?



88: THE BOY WHO DIDN'T ANSWER HIS EXAM

There is a story that a boy went for examination.  When he came back from the exam, his father asked him, "My dear son, how have you answered your question paper?"  "Yes, very nice," the boy replied.  "How?" his father pursued.  The boy then explained, "Those questions which were too difficult I could not answer.  And the easier questions, well what is there to write?  I know everything."

MORAL: Both ways he has not written anything.  So these rascals, both ways they will not follow anything.  Poor Christ will take all concern.  He will be crucified and they will enjoy life.  This is very easy religion.  "I have nothing to do, and besides that, if Christ says something to do, then that also we can neglect because he has given guarantee.  So although Christ says, `Thou shalt not kill,' I can neglect that."  And then, if he is still captured, he will say, "Bible is very old.  How can we accept it?"



89: LALU AND KALU

Lalu and Kalu refused to learn anything. They were just scamps. All they wanted to do was fritter away their lives. So they refused to learn anything. Their father was trying by so many ways to get them educated, and by so many ways they were driving the teachers away by their rascal behaviour. So because the father was wealthy, he proclaimed, "I will give half the wealth of my business to any teacher who can simply educate my two boys in simple arithmetic, because if they can learn how to add up sums, then they can at least later in life do some business. I can give them some part of my business, and they can carry on. But they must at least learn how to add up sums. If they can't do that, then they'll be totally useless to me."
So he proclaimed this, and then one old brahmana came. The brahmana was very old. He had seen a lot of life, and he'd seen many different kinds of bad students, so he was quite experienced. So he said, "Let me give it a try." Unlike all the other teachers, he wasn't acting like a teacher. He decided, "I'll act like I'm the friend of these boys." So then he said, "Boys, let's forget about these lessons and go for a walk." So he took Lalu and Kalu for a walk, and took them out to the field, and there were some cows grazing there.
So then he turned to Lalu and said, "Lalu, I wonder if you could tell me how many legs that cow has." So then Lalu very eagerly said, "Yes. One, two..." he began to count and the teacher was thinking, "Ah, he's learning, very good." But then Kalu put his hand over Lalu's mouth. "Don't say any more! He's trying to trick you! He wants to teach you how to count. Therefore he's asking you how many legs that cow has. Don't say another word." This is the crafty cunningness of the materialist. This Kalu thought he was being so clever in outwitting the teacher, but this cleverness is simply the symptom of his own foolishness, his own rascaldom.
The teacher was trying in so many ways to trick the boys, but they were so clever, so over intelligent, that they avoided any lesson that the teacher tried to get them to take up. So finally, the old brahmana became tired. He said, "Well boys, it's been a hard day. I'm going to take a nap." So they retired in some room. "Let's lay down here and take rest." So the boys pretended to go to sleep. But they waited and when they saw that the teacher was snoring peacefully, they got up and started smoking, because they were rascals. And then the teacher woke up suddenly. The boys very quickly threw the cigarettes out the window and jumped back into bed and pretended that they were sleeping. The teacher looked around and saw smoke in the air, he smelt it. He woke up the boys. "What have you been doing? You've been smoking!" The boys pretended like they were being woken up. "Hm? What are you saying? Smoking? We've been sleeping."
The teacher said, "No no, look. The room is filled with smoke. Obviously you've been smoking." So the boys began to argue with the teacher. "No no. Obviously what has happened is that why we were all sleeping, some person came in here and was smoking. Someone else."
The teacher grabbed their hands and smelt them. "No! I can smell on your fingers cigarette smoke!" Then they boys just persisted, "No no, obviously what has happened is that the man who came in here to smoke placed the cigarettes between our fingers and was holding our hands to his mouth and smoking like that."
So then the old brahmana was finally driven to distraction. He went to the boy's father, and said, "I'm sorry. I can do nothing with them. They're such rascals. They continually persist in their rascaldom."

MORAL: This is what's going on today also. The so called intelligence and expertise shown by today's materialists is just like that. It is actually a demonstration of their own incapacity to understand the simple truth of life.



90: THE NINE SONS-IN-LAW

There is a story called praharena dhananjaya.  One gentleman had eight or nine daughters and sons-in-law.  So when they came to stay there, he was giving them good food and shelter, everything.  They were thinking, "We are living very comfortably at our father-in-law's expense."  So they did not want to go.  The father in law thought, "It is very dangerous that all these sons-in-law are not going."  So then he began to neglect providing for them.  On the first day he did not supply salt.  One son-in-law said, "Oh, they are now disrespectful.  They haven't given salt."  So one went away.  And the next day he didn't supply something else.  Gradually he shortened it down, and those who were intelligent, they went away.  But the last one, he was not going.  He thought, "At least it is somewhere to sleep."  Then his brothers-in-law thought, "Give him good beating."  And then he went away.

MORAL:  Others, those who were intelligent, went away when they saw that there was disrespectful dealing.  The last one was a rascal.  He was beaten severely, and then he went away.  So the business of the material nature is kicking.  But we are so fool that we take it.  "Oh, very nice kicking."



91: YES, NO AND VERY GOOD

There was one kansamar.  He was to go home, so he asked his friend, "So long as I am not here, you serve European master."  So he said, "I do not know English.  How can I serve him?"  "No, no, no," the kansamar replied.  "These three words will do.  Yes, no, and very good."  Then he was engaged as a servant.  Then one day something was missing from the master's room.  He asked his new servant, "Did you take it?"  "Yes," came the reply.  "Return it."  "No."  "Oh, then I shall hand you over to the police."  "Very good."  Then when the police came and questioned him, they discovered that he only knew three English words, yes, no, and very good.

MORAL: This story criticizes the mentality of Indians who blindly follow westerners.



92: THE MAN WHO WAS GOING TO THE PROSTITUTE

There is a story that one man who was very rich was visiting a prostitute.  His wife inquired, "What is there wanting in me that you are going to the prostitute?"  "I go there because she dances and sings," replied her husband.  So the wife learnt dancing and singing.  In this way, one after another, she learnt dancing, singing, drinking etc.  Still he was going.  Then she asked him, "I have learnt everything that the prostitute goes.  Why are you still going?"  "There is still one thing," the husband replied.  "What is that?"  "You do not abuse my father and mother.  That you will not do."  These prostitutes, they abuse the father and mother.  In Bengal it is known as rakta kedara vega.  Then she said, "All right.  Stop.  I am no longer your wife.  I cannot abuse your father and mother.  That is not possible.  I have learnt these things for your satisfaction, but I cannot learn this thing."  MORAL: The prostitute will not only abuse the paramour, but also his father, mother, family, culture, everything,  So if you create prostitute in society, where is the hope of Brahminical culture.



93: VARTULA-PRAVAHA

Vartula-pravaha.  One Brahmin was taking bath daily in the Ganges.  So as a Brahmin's regulative principle, they take kosa-kusi to offer oblations to the forefathers, sraddha.  So one day he found that there were so many kosa-kusis, so he could not understand which was his own.  On the next day, just to find his own, he put one earth ball on his own Kosa, the plate.  So after bathing, when he returned he saw that every kosa had a ball on it, a vartula.  Then again he was puzzled.  He asked the other Brahmins, "How is it that there are balls on everyone's kosa?"  So they said, "Oh, I thought that it is an occasion to put a ball there.  I thought it was a fashion now."

MORAL: Prostitutes are having so much difficulty because women are so freely available that no-one is coming to pay for them.  Because everyone is a prostitute.  Vartula-pravaha.  The same difficulty.



94: PALAVARVE BOI NATE

Palavarne boi nate.  One man is chasing another man.  So the man who is chasing is asking, "Why are you running away from me?"  The man who is being chased answers, "Am I afraid of you?  Why shall I not flee?"  He's fleeing out of fear, but still he says, "Why shall I stop?  Am I afraid of you?"

MORAL: This is the position.  "Bravely I am going to hell."



95: TWO PAISE WORTH

One man, he went out of his village and after ten years he came back.  He advertised himself, "I have become successful in yoga practice."  So naturally villagers surrounded him.  "Oh you have?  What yoga practice you have learnt?" they asked him.  "I can walk on the water," he replied.  "Oh?  Let us see this!"  So a big arrangement was made that he'll walk across the river, and then one old man came.  He said, "Sir, it is very wonderful, but it is only two paise worth."  "Why is that?" the so-called yogi asked.  "Now you will walk to the other side of the river.  I will take a boat and pay the man two paise.  I'll do the same thing, so what is your credit?"

MORAL:  Those who are actually intelligent men, they will see like that.  "What actual profit have you made?  You spend millions and millions of dollars, and you are bringing some rocks back from the moon."



96: THE WOODCUTTER AND THE SNAKE

Somebody killed a snake, but he did not cut or burn the body, he simply beat it.  But snakes, if they are not completely destroyed, can revive themselves by air.  So again this snake came back to life.  One day a wood cutter saw that snake looking badly beaten, and he took pity.  He took the snake home and gave him some milk.  And one day, when the snake was strong, he raised himself and hissed at the woodcutter.  The woodcutter thought, "Oh, I gave you milk and brought you back to life, and now you are trying to attack me?"  So he cut him into pieces.



97: THE FOOLISH POT MAKER

One potter is selling earthen pots, and he is saying that, "Now these two paisa, it has cost me one paisa.  I shall make one paisa profit.  I shall invest again.  I shall make another profit, another profit.  In this way I shall become millionaire.  Then I shall marry, and my wife will be very obedient.  And if she does not become obedient, then I will give her a kick like this."  So one pot was there, and he kicked it and it broke.  "Oh, again I am poor man."

MORAL:  These materialists make so many plans, but actually it is all just a pie in the sky.



98: AGAR MA GANGA

There is a story from Bengal, agar ma Ganga.  One woman had seven sons.  The mother requested first son, "My dear boy, now I am going to die.  Take me to the Ganges side."  He said, "Why?  You have got so many other sons, why are you requesting me?"  And then she called the second son, same response.  Third, fourth.  Everybody said like that, and she died without Ganga.

MORAL:  Everyone has to work, but they are thinking, "Why should I work.  Let him work instead."



99: NO RESPONSIBILITY

One man was beating another man with a stick.  A police constable came and accused, "You have beaten him."  "No, no, no," the attacker claimed, "It was the stick that beat him, not me."

MORAL: No responsibility.


this section 100-141
100: THE HONEST THIEVES 112: THE BLIND MAN AND THE COW 124: THE BOTTOMLESS LAKE
101: THE THIEF AND THE RICH MAN 113: HOW KRSNA IS THE SUPREME ENJOYER 125: GURU NANAK
102: GOPAL JOKES WITH THE KING 114: RAMAKRSNA GIVES KNOWLEDGE TO VIVEKANANDA 126: BUILDING THE BRIDGE
103: THE KING HAS A SON AND GOPAL MAKES FUN OF HIM 115: RAMAKRSNA'S SO-CALLED RENUNCIATION 127: JABALA AND GAUTAMA
104: GOPAL'S NEW HOUSE 116: THE COURAGE OF THE GURKAS 128: REAL SAMADHI
105: GOPAL MAKES A GARLAND 117: KNOWING THE ART 129: THE PROUD DUNG BEETLE
106: GOPAL DEFEATS THE DIGVIJAYA PANDIT 118: JESUS' TEST 130: THE FOOLISH HOG FARMER
107: GOPAL WRITES A MAHABHARATA 119: THE SELF-MADE MILLIONAIRE 131: BROKEN COT RENUNCIATION
108: GOPAL GOES TO THE HEAVENLY PLANETS 120: THE MAN WHO LOST HIS HAT 132: THE GOOD AND THE BAD VILLAGES
109: MAKSI MANDA KANANI 121: SHAH JAHAN 133: A HANDFUL OF MUSTARD SEEDS
110: THE FROGS AND THE STONE 122: GLADSTONE PLAYS HORSE 134: THE OLD WOMAN AND HER HALF POMEGRANATE
111: AN APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH 123: THE MONKS AND THE RABBI 135: EVERY MAN IS TOO MUCH ATTACHED
136: A TEST FOR BIRBAL 138: THE OLD MAN AND THE YOUNG GIRL  140: GOD PROMISES
137: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD 139: BIRBAL AVOIDS GETTING SACKED 141: FOOD FOR THOUGHT

100: THE HONEST THIEVES

After stealing some property, a group of thieves assembled together and the leader said, "Let us divide this booty honestly and religiously."

MORAL:  They are thieves.  What is the question of honesty? Similarly, scientists say, "Whatever cannot be proven by science is not a fact." But this is a reflective statement, because this criterion of truth cannot itself be proven by science. The above statement cancels itself out by its own condition.



101: THE THIEF AND THE RICH MAN

Once a thief and a rich man were travelling together. Actually, the thief was following the rich man because he knew him to be very wealthy. Whenever the rich man would go to the bathroom, or when the train would stop and the rich man would go to buy puris or something, the thief would look all through the room and in his bags, drawers, everywhere. Every stop he would try somewhere new. "Maybe in the overhead locker," he thought, and searched all over. The train journey was just about to end, and as the train was slowing down, the thief confessed, "Actually, I'm a thief, and I have been trying all this time to get your wealth, but you have outwitted me sir." The rich man went over to the thief's bed and began pulling out his wealth from underneath the bed. "This is where I hid it," the rich man said, "Because I knew that underneath your bed would be the last place that you would look."

MORAL: So often we look for pleasure in many different places, travel to different countries looking for this pleasure, but we don't realize that pleasure is actually right there in the heart. That is Krsna.



102: GOPAL JOKES WITH THE KING

No-one, not even an emperor, can be serious without relief.  But since everyone had to treat the king very respectfully, there would be one person allowed to spoof with the king.  The king would also be able to joke with him, because if the king were to do that with his prime minister, the prime minister's prestige would be reduced.  So King Krsnacandra was always engaged in a battle of wits with his joker, Gopala.
One time Gopala walked into the king's court and the king said, "Gopala, you are an ass."  "My lord," said Gopala.  "I am not an ass.  There is a difference between me and an ass."  Then Gopala measured out the difference between himself and the king and said, "Six feet."



103: THE KING HAS A SON AND GOPAL MAKES FUN OF HIM

One day the king's wife gave birth to a male child, and so the king was rejoicing.  At that moment, Gopala came into a room, and the king said, "Gopala, on this very, very happy occasion, please tell me what do you have to say?  Tell me exactly how you feel at this moment."  Gopala replied, "Frankly, at this moment, I feel very happy after passing stool."  "Gopala!  How could you say such a thing?"  The king was mortified.  "On this auspicious moment, that's all you have to say?  I'm completely disgusted.  It's not funny and I don't appreciate your humour at all."  After that, the relations between the king and Gopala were strained for some time.  But one day, Gopala was rowing the king down the river, when the king suddenly had an urgent call of nature.  Gopala said, "On this side there is a very heavy jungle area.  It's not very suitable.  Let us go a little further down and we'll find a suitable place."  The king said, "Go over to the side!"  Gopala said, "Not here.  There is danger.  Some thieves and dacoits.  Your life may be endangered.  There's a place ahead."  The king said, "Gopala, I cannot wait any longer.  Immediately go over!" Gopala had to go over and the king jumped out.  He could hardly contain himself.  When the king returned, Gopala asked him, "How are you feeling?"  The king replied, "I am feeling very happy after passing stool."  Then Gopala said, "Don't you remember?  This was exactly the situation I was in after your child was born.  When you asked me at that moment what exactly I was feeling, I was in the same situation as you are now.  I told you how I was feeling, but you thought I was insulting to your son and you never appreciated it.  Now do you understand?"



104: GOPAL'S NEW HOUSE

Gopala was building a new house, and according to the Vedic custom, before you open a house you have to have a sacrifice called a grha-pravesana.  This means that there is a yajna so that the house is pure and offered to God.  No one is allowed to pass any stool in the house or it will be considered contaminated.  Nothing is used by anyone until the Brahmins enter with sankirtan-yajna, reciting mantras and sprinkling Ganges water.  Thus in the Vedic culture, everything, including building a house and conceiving a child is regulated so that at every point one is conscious of Krsna.  But the king wanted to defeat Gopala, and so he offered a large reward of gold coins if anyone could outsmart Gopala and pass stool in his newly constructed house.
One day Gopala was inspecting his house when a man sent by the king came up and pretended to be suffering from an urgent call of nature.  "Gopala," he said, "I have to immediately pass stool.  Please show me your bathroom.  I cannot contain myself."  "All right," said Gopala, "come on."  He took him over to the bathroom of the newly constructed house and allowed the man to squat down inside.  But when he tried to close the door for privacy, Gopala stood there by the open door.  "Gopala, why are you standing there and not allowing me to close the door?  Why are you holding that big stick in your hand.  Gopala said, "No, you can pass stool in my bathroom, but if you pass one drop of urine I'm going to smash your head."  Then the man laughed and confessed, "You are very clever," and he ran off defeated.



105: GOPAL MAKES A GARLAND

Bakula flowers are small, white, star-shaped flowers which are edible and can be cooked as a vegetable.  Gopala Bhan was once making a garland of such flowers, and a friend approached him and asked him what he was doing.  "I am making a garland for Lord Krsna," Gopala said.  "You mean to say that Lord Krsna will come and take that garland from your hand?" asked Gopala's friend.  "Yes," Gopala said, "And if he doesn't I shall cook it and eat it."



106: GOPAL DEFEATS THE DIGVIJAYA PANDIT

Sometimes great authorities will teach asat sastra, a teaching which is not actually bona fide, but is just something to beat the heads of the atheists and kick them out.  There is one story of Gopala Bhar.  He was employed by king Krsnacandra, who lived about 300 years ago in Bengal, and Gopala was the joker.  He was also very intelligent, and very bold.  There was a digvijaya pandita, who came to Bengal.  At that time, the main king or emperor of Bengal was a Muslim, but in different provinces there were also Hindu kings, and Maharaja Krsnacandra was one such Hindu king, he was king in that area of Navadvipa.  So this digvijaya pandita had been going all over India defeating all the panditas, and getting it written down, "I have defeated this one, I have defeated that one."  So he came to the muslim emperor, saying, "I am the great digvijaya pandita, I have come now to Bengal and I'm making a challenge.  You bring your best pandita.  I will defeat him."  What he expected was that whoever he defeated had to become his disciple.  So he made a very strong challenge.  The muslim emperor turned to his adviser and said, "What should we do?"  The minister replied, "Well, you know all our best panditas are down in Navadvipa."  That was the centre of learning.  So a message was sent to Maharaja Krsnacandra that a big pandita has come to the muslim emperor and given challenge.  "Send your best panditas, and if I defeat them they must become my disciples."  So it was very heavy for Maharaja Krsnacandra, because he knew, "The muslim emperor is expecting that I send some panditas that can defeat him.  It is all now on my shoulders."  So then, together with his advisers, he decided to bring in the big panditas.  They  explained to the panditas what was going on, but all the panditas in Navadvipa said, "No.  We're not getting involved in this."  They didn't want their prestige to be diminished, they were thinking, "If we go there and he defeats us then it means we have to become his disciples, and then our prestige will be diminished.  So we'll just stay out of this."  The king was very much worried, because he was a kshatriya, he cannot force Brahmins to do his will.  He can only ask, and if they say no then he's in a helpless situation.  So he was very worried.  Then Gopala Bhar came in, and saw the king sitting there very morose.  "Hey king!  What's wrong?"  "Oh Gopala, look don't bother me now."  Gopala said, "Oh, come on, What's the matter."  The king was very sober, "Look Gopala, we don't want to laugh now.  We don't want to hear jokes.  Please come back another day."  "No no," Gopala said, "Why don't you just tell me?"  "All right," the king said, and then he explained everything.  Then Gopala said, "All right, then I will go."  "You?" the king asked.  "Yes, I will go, and I will defeat this pandita.  No problem."  So then Gopala went home, and he dressed himself up like a big Brahmin.  Cut his hair with a big sikha, huge tilaka and a harinam chadar, looking very bonafide.  And Brahmins used to carry their sastra in a roll, a scroll wrapped in silk cloth, under their arm.  So he was looking for something to wrap up, and he had in his house one old broken bed.  So in Bengal these beds are strips of cloth which are woven together, like a deck chair, and in Bengali they call such a bed a kata.  Because the English settled India, many English words come from the Indian language.  In English such a bed is called a cot.  So he took a leg from that old broken bed, and he wrapped in cloth.  He went back to the king, and showed himself.  Everyone was astonished.  "Wow, he looks like a real heavy Brahmin."  He was really getting into the role.  "What is this sastra?" the king asked, and Gopala replied, "This is my Khatvanga Purana."  "But we never heard of this sastra," everyone was saying.  "When I come back I will tell you," Gopala said, and then he left.  Actually what it was, was that khata means "bed", anga means "part of" or in this case the leg, and purana means "old."  So it was "an old leg of a bed," or "Khatvanga Purana."  So this was his sastra.  Then he went to the emperors palace, and he came walking in.  "Oh, what great pandita is this?"  "My name is Gopala Bhar Das Pandit Maharaja.  I have been sent by the king Maharaja Krsnacandra to defeat this so-called digvijaya.  I am master of the four Vedas, and especially my field of expertise is the Jyotir-Veda (which includes astrology."  He was speaking so confidently, and he was looking fearless.  Everyone was very impressed, and even this digvijaya pandita was thinking, "He's not at all afraid of me.  He must be a heavy one."  So the digvijaya pandita saw this scripture that Gopala was carrying, and he asked, "What is this scripture, may I ask?"  "This," Gopala replied, "Is my Khatvanga Purana, of which I am a master."  The pandita was saying, "Wait a minute, I've heard of Visnu Purana, Skanda Purana.  I've never heard of Katvanga Purana.  May I see this?"  Then Gopal Bhar exclaimed, "Ohh!"  He was looking into the sky and going, "Ohhh!  I have just noticed the angle of the sun, and I am remembering now the date today.  We have just now entered a most auspicious moment, according to the Jyotir-Veda.  Anybody who takes a hair from the head of this pandita," pointing to the digvijaya, "will immediately be granted with long life, and wealth in this lifetime, and liberation in the next.  All auspicious result will come in this life and the next, simply by taking a hair from such a great digvijaya pandita as this."  So then immediately everyone in the court ran and was taking hairs from the pandita.  The pandita was being driven, and they were taking from his beard and everything.  He went running and they were all chasing him.  He was gone.  Gopala Bhar returned to Navadvipa with his head in the air.  "Don't worry King, he is gone.  That pandita has run off.  He's completely defeated, completely finished."  "Oh!" the king said.  "How did you do this?"  "As you were saying, I have this Katvanga Purana.   I am a master of the learning of this."  And when he opened it he showed a leg of a bed, and everyone was astonished.  Then he explained the story, and they could all understand that he had just played a big joke, that's all.  Then they asked him, "How is it that you could go so confidently, so boldly into that courtyard of the muslim emperor, simply dressed up like a brahmin and carrying an old bed leg under your arm.  How were you so sure that you could defeat him just by a trick?"  Gopala replied, "As soon as I heard that this pandita was going to the muslim king and declaring that he is a great learned scholar, and that he would defeat any other scholar, then I knew that he must have been a fool.  He must have actually been a kind of rascal because what do muslims know about Vedic learning.  Why did he go to the muslim, why didn't he come down here or go to another Hindu king.  He was going to the muslim king, so I knew that he must just be a rascal, trying to make a big show, so I did not think I had anything to fear when I went there."

MORAL: The digvijaya pandita was just actually a rascal, which means not really one who's situated on the platform of knowledge, just someone who's trying to gain some name and fame.  That's a rascal.  Rascals can be defeated by rascal means.



107: GOPAL WRITES A MAHABHARATA

There was one Gopal Ban.  He was a very cunning fellow in the Mohammedan period in Bengal.  So the Mohammedan Nawab asked him, "Gopal Ban, can you prepare a Mahabharata in my name?"  "Oh yes!" Gopal replied.  "I'll engage so many panditas, and they will make a Mahabharata describing your activities, your glories, everything.  So give me one hundred thousand rupees, just to begin."  Gopal was taking more and more money.  Then the king asked him, "When will it be published?"  "Just a few days more," Gopal replied.  Then finally, "Yes sit, everything is prepared.  But one last thing is, you have to give me information about how many husbands your wife has got.  How many?"  So this was a great insult.  "What?  You nonsense!" the king exclaimed.  "No," Gopal replied, "This is the main feature of the Mahabharata.  Draupadi had five husbands, so how many husbands does your wife have?  Tell me that."  "I am the only husband!" the king shouted.  "Then how can I write Mahabharata?" Gopala asked.  "If you want Mahabharata you must tell me how many husbands your wife has.  That he cannot say, so Mahabharata finished.  And he kept the money.

MORAL:  So scientists are doing like that.  They are taking taxpayer's money, but then in the end they make up some excuse why they couldn't do it.  Politicians take votes and make so many promises, but in the end they break all their promises.



108: GOPAL GOES TO THE HEAVENLY PLANETS

Some of King Krsnacandra's ministers wanted to get rid of Gopal Ban, as he was too cunning. So they devised one plan. They employed the local barber, as the barber's shop was a place of gossip. He was the king's personal barber, and when the king came to the barber, the barber asked him, "So king, how are your relatives faring in the heavenly planets?"
"Well I don't know," the king replied.
"You should send someone up to the heavenly planets to find out," the barber suggested. "What a good idea!" the king said.
"But," the barber continued, "It should be someone very confidential and close to you. Like your Gopal, for instance."
"Yes, what a brilliant idea! Gopal should go to the heavenly planets and find out how my relatives are faring."
So the method prescribed for going to the heavenly planets was that Gopal be burned in a fire. When they asked him if he would do it, he was very enthusiastic.
"Yes, of course I will do it." So the ministers were very pleased.
But Gopal was very cunning, and he made a trapdoor opening into a tunnel from the stake where he was to be burnt, all the way to his house. When they performed the ceremony, Gopal escaped through the trapdoor and crawled through the tunnel to his house. And he stayed there.
The king was wondering, "When will Gopal return?" One month, two months, three months passed. Finally after six months, Gopal one day walked into the king's courtroom. The ministers' jaws dropped.
"Gopal, you're back!" the king said joyfully. "How was everyone in heaven?"
"They are all very well, Maharaja," Gopal said, "except for one small thing."
"Oh? What is that?" the king asked concernedly.
"They need a barber there in heaven," Gopal replied. "There is no barber. Your father especially is feeling very uncomfortable with so much hair. So send one barber, but it must be someone close to you, like your personal barber."

MORAL: If someone is cunning we must be more cunning.



109: MAKSI MANDA KANANI

A clerk was making a fair book from the rough book. So he went to the toiled room, and he was jumping into the air and leaping around the room. So all of a sudden his boss came in.
"What are you doing here?"
"Sir, I am trying to capture one fly."
"And why?"
"I am making the fair copy of the book, but in the original book there is a fly smashed. So I have to paste one fly."

MORAL: They are such fools. Maksi manda kanani. Blind following. Speculating on the rules and regulations. Someone said, so now everyone follows.



110: THE FROGS AND THE STONE

Some frogs were worshipping a stone. I was their tradition that this stone next to their frog pond was their deity, their god. So they would go to this stone and they would bow down and pray. One young frog thought, "Why have these frogs been bowing down to this stone for generations? What's so special about this stone anyway?"
So one day in the middle of the worship when all the frogs were bowing down before the stone, this young frog jumped over the stone. Everyone was shocked. "You've jumped over the stone!"
"Yes!" the young frog exclaimed. "So how can that be God? Why have you been worshipping this stone for so long? If that was God, how could I have jumped over it?"
And then the frogs said, "Yes, it's true what he's saying. We've been so foolish! So, our dear young frog, then you please tell us what should we worship?"
"You should worship an entity who is so tall that you cannot jump over him."
"Oh? Who is that?"
"I have seen one big, white bird with a long beak. The stork. He's very tall. A frog cannot jump over a stork."
"Oh very good! Let's go to the stork."
So they all went to the stork and they were paying obeisances. But the stork thought, "Aah! For so long I've had to hunt for frogs to eat, but now they're all coming to me. Very nice." So he ate them all.

MORAL: This story is to illustrate that when one is bewildered, in an inferior state of consciousness, then his conception of the absolute will always be inferior. He can play these mental games, finding faults in previous conclusions and inventing new conclusions, but they're all taking place on a very inferior platform, like the frogs.



111: AN APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH

There was a rich merchant in Baghdad. One day he wanted to entertain his friends. He had so many servants, so he called one servant and told him to go to the market. "But a few things so that we can entertain the friends in the evening."
The servant was very happy. He took some laksmi from the master and went to the market. He was busy trying to buy a few things from the market. In the meantime, someone pushed him from the back. When that happened, the servant turned around and saw who it was. He was very afraid. It was death personified standing there. He said, "I don't want to die." And he ran back to his master. The master was surprised to see him running back from the market without anything. So he said, "What's the matter with you? Why are you so very afraid?" The servant said, "Please master, excuse me. I went to the market and was trying to buy a few things. But as I was looking somebody pushed me, and when I turned around I was horrified to see death personified standing there in the market. Please save me, I don't want to die."
So the master could not understand these things. "All right. Go to the stables. In the stables we have fast horses. Take one fast horse, and ride to the neighbouring town which is known as Samara. Within two hours you will reach Samara and you will be completely safe."
The servant was very happy. "That's a good idea. Master is very kind for a change." He went to the stable, took a horse and started for Samara. Within two hours he would reach Samara and he was very happy to go.
So when the servant left, the master thought, "What is this death personified?" So he went to the market to see. He looked around, and saw death lurking in a corner. He called death over, and death came near the master. He asked, "Why are you loitering here?" Death said, "It's my job to loiter here. I pick up a few living entities, and one day I'll pick you up also."
"Forget about me," the master said, "but tell me, why did you push my servant?"
Death replied, "I did not push your servant, but I was surprised to see him in Baghdad, because I have an appointment with him in Samara in the afternoon."



112: THE BLIND MAN AND THE COW

One blind man was trying to find his way to his father in law's house. He was supposed to be married. So he was going to his father in law's house to meet his family and bride to be. But because he was blind, he got lost. He followed the road but became unsure of what direction to take. So he heard from the field the mooing of cows and he heard some flute being played. There was a cowherd boy there. So he called out, "Cowherd boy, I am trying to find the house of such and such man. Can you give me direction? Maybe you can lead me." The cowherd boy said, "I'm sorry, I'm herding these cows. But I tell you what, the calf of one of these cows is at the very address you are seeking. So this cow will go there automatically if I let her go from the herd. You just take her tail. There," and he put the tail in the man's hand. Immediately the cow began to run, dragging the poor blind man behind him. And because the cow didn't like this man hanging off her tail, she ran over the roughest ground she could find, ran through thorns, over brambles, through thickets and every once in a while when gave the man a good kick in the head just for good measure. He still didn't let go. By the time he reached the father in law's house he was completely stripped of all clothes. He was covered with blood and mucus, big lumps on his head. He was completely dishevelled and staggering, moaning and groaning in pain.
It so happened that the choukidar (guard) was standing in front of the father in law's house, and he saw this sight, a cow running madly and one naked man being dragged behind the tail. The choukidar took his stick. "Rascal cow thief!" And gave him a sound beating, breaking his bones. This was his welcome.

MORAL: This is a story told by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur to illustrate that one must have guru. One cannot take garu (cow) as one's spiritual master which the materialists do. They say, "I don't follow anyone." But they follow their own mind and senses and they are also cow and ass (go-kharah). The problem is, that even if one arrives at the right destination (Krsna consciousness) if one has not taken a bonafide guru, then he will not be recognized.



113: HOW KRSNA IS THE SUPREME ENJOYER

One of Prabhupada's godbrothers came from Germany, and his name was E.G.Schulz.  He came to India in the early 1930's with a friend of his.  This E.G. Schulz became Sadananda, and he has since passed on.  He got initiation from Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.  They came to India looking for the truth, the Supreme Truth in life.  They were visiting many temples, and seeing different gods on the altars.  THis Schulz, not knowing anything about Hinduism concluded, simply from seeing the murtis in different temples, that Krsna must be the Supreme of all these Gods.  How did he conclude this?  He later told, "When I saw these different devatas, they were always doing something.  Someone was in meditation, like Lord Siva.  Someone else is holding some weapon, a sword or a trident.  They're all engaged in different activities, different kinds of work.  They were all serving someone higher, or they were aspiring for something higher, through meditation or something else.  This was clearly visible from their activities.  But when I saw Radha and Krsna, I saw that these two have nothing to do but enjoy themselves.  Krsna is just playing on the flute, Radharani is standing by His side, and They were smiling very happily."  So he came to the conclusion that Radha and Krsna must be Supreme, because they have nothing to do but enjoy.



114: RAMAKRSNA GIVES KNOWLEDGE TO VIVEKANANDA

Prabhupada very clearly states in his purports to Srimad-Bhagavatam that receiving knowledge is not like receiving some electrical discharge, some touch on the forehead and then you get zapped.  This was claimed by one disciple of one famous bogus spiritualist, both from Bengal.  So Vivekananda, he claimed that from his teacher, Ramakrsna, he got all of his knowledge simply because Ramakrsna touched him on the forehead and there was an electrical discharge and then Ramakrsna fell down on the ground and said, "I have given you everything.  Now I have nothing."  So Srila Prabhupada said that bonafide transmission of knowledge, diksha, happens by was of transmission of the holy name of the Lord.



115: RAMAKRSNA'S SO-CALLED RENUNCIATION

Ramakrishna had no appetite for women, and he very tactfully said, "Oh, you are not my wife.  You are my mother."  And he became Bhagavan.  However, he was not transcendentally situated.  In his youth, he used so many women that he became impotent.  So he could no longer enjoy, and he made a statement, "I see all women as my mother, even my wife."  This jugglery made him famous.  Phuraphai govindaya namah.  The puffed rice flies away on the wind, I cannot control it, nor did I wish it to be, so therefore it is going,  so, "I offer this to God."

See Govinda Bhoga story



116: THE COURAGE OF THE GURKAS

The gurkas were used in the last war, the gulf war, like a secret force.  The British general came to the Gurkas and said, "We want you to go behind enemy lines."  We're going to drop you from 200 metres from an airplane into enemy territory.  How many of you volunteer?"  Generally the Gurkas are fearless, so they all raise their hands.  This time only fifty percent raised their hands.  The British general was shocked.  "You're afraid of Saddam Hussein and his men?"  He went away and was completely bewildered.  "I never saw a Gurka say no to a fight."  So the next morning he came back and said, "You have to explain yourselves.  Why have only fifty percent of you agreed to be dropped for 200 metres behind enemy lines?"  So one Gurka raised his hand and said, "I do not think I can survive a fall from 200 metres in the air."  "No no," the British general said, "We're going to drop you with a parachute!"  Then all the Gurkas raised their hands.  The British general then really had faith in them.  At least fifty percent were willing to jump out of a plane into enemy territory without a parachute.  These are warriors.



117: KNOWING THE ART

One time a man's car broke down, so he pushed it to a garage and said, "Can you fix this car?"  "I can fix it," the mechanic said, "But it's going to cost you a thousand dollars."  "Well if I have to do it I have to do it," the man said.  "I'll give you a thousand bucks if you can fix my car."  So then the mechanic took a hammer and he tapped the engine, and suddenly the engine was working very nicely again.  Then the man with the car said, "That was pretty simple!  That wasn't worth a thousand bucks!"  The mechanic replied, "Yes it is, because if you didn't know how to do it you wouldn't be driving away in your car right now."  And the man had to pay the process.

MORAL: Prabhupada's godbrothers asked him, "How are you going to make brahmanas in the western countries?  They're mlecchas, yavanas, rakshasas."  And Prabhupada said, "You have to know the process, that's all.  It's very simple.  Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare."



118: JESUS' TEST

One time Jesus made one of his disciples fast.  This person was very sick, and Jesus said to him "You fast for 48 days."  The disciples were thinking, "How can he do this?  We thought he was compassionate, but he's making this sick man fast."  After 48 days the man was very thin and weak.  Jesus took a cup of warm milk with honey and a little butter on top.  And he said, "Open your mouth."  So the man was relieved.  "Finally I'm going to eat something."  And then when the cup was on his lip, Jesus said, "Don't drink.  This is your test."  So he was a sincere disciple.  You can just imagine after 48 days, he was very much craving after the sweet aroma of the milk.  The man was practically dead from starvation.  But Jesus said, "Keep your mouth open, but don't drink."  Those who had faith knew that whatever Jesus said would be all good for them, so they were waiting to see the conclusion of the lesson.  Others gave up faith and they went away, never to return.  So for several minutes the man kept his mouth open and Jesus help the silver goblet right below his lip for a long time.  This man had been sick for years, and whatever he ate had no effect.  So after about half an hour, a tapeworm came out of his mouth.  This worm who lived in his stomach used to eat whatever he would eat.  Now that the man had not eaten anything for 48 days, the tapeworm was also starving.  So to everyone's astonishment this worm came out, attracted by the smell of milk.  Jesus took two stones and killed it.  Then he said, "Now you can drink.  Because you have followed my instructions this nectar will give you material and spiritual health.



119: THE SELF-MADE MILLIONAIRE

In the plague in Calcutta in 1939, a lot of people were suffering.  So the city council, the municipality, declared that as many rats as you brought in you would get 5 paisa a rat.  Plague is caused by rats, so the council were proposing this.  One very poor man thought, "Here's my chance to get some money to eat."  He found one dead rat in the gutter, and he took it to the municipality who gave him five paise.  He invested that five paise in a piece of
fruit.  He sold the fruit for fifteen paise, so he made a profit of fifteen paise.  With this fifteen paise he brought a mechanical piece which he sold for one rupee at the market.  With that one rupee he brought another type of mechanical piece and he made five rupees.  With this five rupees he invested in some cloth and made fifty rupees.  Like this, he went on and on, and eventually he became one of the biggest cloth merchants in India in the 1940's and 50's.  He has big wholesale stores all over India.  He became a millionaire, and the company symbol over the door was a dead rat.

MORAL - 1: The same principle applies to spiritual life.  Brahmins don't have a monopoly on spiritual life.  Everyone who is human, has not only the right but the responsibility to become spiritually advanced.  Atato brahma jijnasa.  So everyone can elevate oneself to the platform of a brahmana.
In Benares in India there was a yogi.  His business was that anyone who would go there, he immediately produced two or four rasagullas and offered him.  And many hundreds and thousands of educated men became his disciples simply because he could produce rasagullas, which are only four annas worth.

MORAL - 2: People want to see this jugglery.



120: THE MAN WHO LOST HIS HAT

A man in California was driving to his wedding when suddenly his hat blew off onto the highway.  Tucked into the brim of the hat was a one hundred dollar bill.  So, in the middle of traffic the man tried to brake his car and jump out to receive his hat.  But cruising behind him was a highway patrol car, and the officer inside blared to him over the loudspeaker to stay in his car and keep moving.  The man obeyed, but at the next exit he turned off to a roadside motel.  There he dashed out of his car, climbed a fence, tore across the highway braving four lanes of traffic and plucked up his hat.  Mission accomplished, he dodged the next oncoming car, only to be hit by another one and killed.

MORAL:  In human life we're meant to move straight on the road back to Godhead, but maya, illusion, is so strong that she diverts us.  She grabs us by our senses and pull's.  Maya's "hat trick" is fairly simple.  Get you thinking about something until you're stuck on it, then reel you in.  Once the eyes or the tongue or any of the senses gets fixated on something, that sense starts lugging at the mind, absorbing it in whatever maya's offering at the moment.  Then she can carry away our intelligence, and once our intelligence is towed away, that's it - we're lost.  Dhyayato visayan pumsah.



121: SHAH JAHAN

The purpose of a book must be known to the author, and he knows it better than others.  There is an instructive story to show this.  It is not only a story, it is a fact.  In Calcutta, a great dramatist, Mr Rath, who was also a very well known government official, wrote a book called Shah Jahan.  Shah Jahan means the emperor Shah Jahan.  The title on the book is the name of the book's hero.  So one of the friends of Mr Rath inquired, "In your book Shah Jahan, the actual hero is Aurangzeb.  Why have you given this book the title 'Shah Jahan'?"  He could not understand it.  The author replied, "My dear friend, the actual hero is Shah Jahan, not Aurangzeb."  Yet the Shah Jahan book is full of activities of Aurangzeb.  But the fact is that Shah Jahan was the emperor.  He had four or five sons, and when his wife died at an early age, he built her a memorial.  Those who have gone to India and have seen the Taj Mahal building, that was constructed by Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz.  He spent all his money constructing that building.  It is one of the seven wonders of the world.  Shah Jahan was a very affectionate father also.  He did not chastise his sons much.  He spent all of his money constructing for the memory of his wife.  But when the sons grew up, the son Aurangzeb came out very crooked, and he made a plan how to usurp the empire.  He killed his brothers.  He arrested his father, Shah Jahan.  So this is the plot of the book Shah Jahan.  But the author says that Aurangzeb is not the hero.  Then he explained.  "Why?  Because Shah Jahan was living, sitting in Agra fort as a prisoner, and all the reactions of Aurangzeb's activities - the killing of his other sons, the usurping of his empire - all these things were beating on the heart of Shah Jahan.  Therefore he was suffering, and he is the hero.

MORAL: This is an example that the author of a book knows very well what is the purpose of that book.  Similarly, these Vedanta-sutras are compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, Krsna's incarnation or Krsna Himself.  So He knows what is the Vedanta-sutra.  Therefore, if you want to understand the Vedanta-sutra, then you must understand Krsna.  And Vyasadeva explains the Vedanta-sutra in the Srimad Bhagavatam.  Many rascals will comment in different ways, but the author of Vedanta personally wrote a commentary, Srimad Bhagavatam.



122: GLADSTONE PLAYS HORSE

If Krsna is God, then why is Mother Yashoda binding Him?  But they do not know that this is pleasure.  There is a story in this regard.  There was a big prime minister in England, Gladstone, Queen Victoria's prime minister.  Someone came to see him, and the prime minister informed him that the prime minister is busy so you wait.  The man was waiting, and an hour passed and still there was no message.  Finally he opened the door because he wanted to see what the prime minister was doing.  He saw then that the prime minister had become a horse and his grandchild was driving him.  That is enjoyment.  He is the prime minister, but he has become the horse of his grandson.

MORAL: That is the position with Krsna.  He becomes the servant of His devotee.



123: THE MONKS AND THE RABBI

Prior to the 18th century, the church had a great influence over Europe, especially the catholic monasteries where the monks performed austerities.  But the monasteries dwindled as time went on, and gradually they became historic sites.  One such monastery was inhabited by an order of monks who had previously consisted of many branches, but now only one monastery remained, with only five monks living there, and all of them were over seventy years old.  The abbot was worried that the order would be lost, so he was trying to make recruits, but all his efforts were going in vain.
The monastery was situated on the edge of a forest, and people used to come there to picnic.  In the forest was a hut which was visited by a rabbi.  They all knew the rabbi, and also they knew the times when he visited the hut.  So one time when the abbot came, the abbot thought to go and visit him.  "Maybe he can give me some advice about how to save the order."  So the abbot went there and when he arrived he and the rabbi embraced.  They were glad to see each other, and they began to discuss deep spiritual topics.  So he was just about to leave when he remembered the purpose of his visit.  "Can you give me any advice about how to save the order?"  So the rabbi said, "Well to tell the truth, I also have the same problem.  No one is interested in coming to the synagogue.  I can't really help you."  So the abbot was just about to leave when the rabbi said to him, "I do know one thing, however.  One of you is the new messiah."
This cryptic answer confused the rabbi and he returned to the monastery.  He related his meeting with the rabbi to all the other monks, and told them of the cryptic answer he had received.  From then on, all of the monks began to think, "I wonder which one of us is the new messiah?  Maybe it's Brother Frederick, he's so strong willed.  Or maybe it's Brother Peter, he's very shy and humble, always willing to lend a hand."  And then they began to think.  "It couldn't be me, could it?  I mean, God, would have to be pretty hard up to pick me as the new messiah."  So, thinking like this, the monks all began to act very nicely towards one another, as they didn't want to commit any offence if one of their Godbrothers might be the new messiah.  And they also began to act in a very dignified way themselves, just in case they themselves were the new messiah.  And the people who came and picnicked by the monastery at the edge of the forest also began to come and pray in the monastery.  They noticed a change of mood in the monastery, that the monks were acting very reverentially towards their Godbrothers, and that they seemed to have a very nice relationship.  The people also noticed that the monks themselves also appeared very dignified, and seemed to be emanating an aura.  The people noticed this distinct change, and sometimes they would talk with the monks.  One man decided that he wanted to experience what the monks were experiencing, so he joined up .  His friend came along to see what he was up to, and he also joined.  In this way the monastery built up again.

MORAL:  If we can act nicely toward each other and behave nicely ourselves, then people will become attracted.



124: THE BOTTOMLESS LAKE

At the juncture of the previous age, Dvapara yuga, and the present one, Kali, eighty thousand sages headed by Saunaka Rishi wanted to perform a sacrifice to hold off the effects of the oncoming evil age. They went to Lord Brahma, who lives on the highest planet in the universe. "Where can we perform a sacrifice that will counteract the influence of Kali?" they asked. "Where will our sacrifice have the greatest effect?" Brahma told them, "I'll sent a disc. Follow it and perform your sacrifice where it hits the earth." The disc (cakra) went spinning down and struck the earth at Chakratirtha, in the forest known as Naimisharanya. According to tradition, the disc passed through the earth and sped toward the Garbhodaka ocean at the bottom of the universe. When the disc had passed six of the seven planetary systems between the earth and the Garbhodaka ocean, the sages became worried that if it were to strike the water, the splash would drown the earth. So they prayed to goddess Durga, the controller of the material energy, and she stopped the disc from going any further.
This history explains why the lake at Chakratirtha is said to be bottomless. In the nineteenth century, to try to discredit this claim, the British sent a chain down into the lake to find the bottom. After reaching one and a half miles, we're told, they gave up.



125: GURU NANAK

One intelligent brahmin, his name was Guru Nanak. He started another religion. He was born in a brahmin family, so the father wanted to give him a sacred thread ceremony. Everything was arranged, and then he brought the priest who told the boy, "Sit down. I will give you a sacred thread."  The boy said, "Why?" "Because you are a brahmin," the priest replied. The boy said, "How do you know I am a brahmin? Maybe I don't want to be one." They said, "What? This is crazy! How can you say that?" He asked back, "How can you say that I am a brahmin? Maybe I don't want to be one." They were astonished. "What? You don't want to be a brahmin? You don't want to put on a brahmin thread and go to Kashi so that you can drink some Ganges water and deliver yourself?" Then he said, "Why? I may not wear a brahmin and go to Mecca instead." They exclaimed, "Oh! What has happened?" Immediately the priest got up and sprinkled water around himself. "Look, there is the devil here! This is influenced by Satan! Being a brahmin, he wants to go to Mecca." He purified himself and walked out. As the priest went out the door and walked one way, the boy went out the door and walked the other way. The father said, "Where are you going?" The boy turned around and said, "I'm going to Mecca." He walked and walked till he reached Mecca. He left there when he was seven years old, and he spent so many years getting there. He was a young man when he got there. Then he went to the Kabba, the big black, curtain covered, mystic place. But it was too late in the evening, so he laid down with his legs towards the Kabba. He was sleeping. So the mulas came. One mula woke him up and said, "Hey, why are you pointing your feet towards Allah?" Then this man said, "Oh, I don't mind keeping my feet in a place where Allah is not. Please show me a place where Allah is not there." The mula got confused. "How can I find a place where there is no Allah? You cannot keep the feet anywhere." So he just ran away, and all the mulas ran away in utter confusion. They told him, "You go away from our city." So then he went to Baghdad, and in this way travelled and travelled, and came to Hardwar. By this time he was a middle aged man. In Hardwar he saw some brahmins throwing water towards the sun, looking towards the east. It was early morning. So Gurunanak said, "Oh, this is nice. I will do something different." So he turned towards the west, and he started throwing water. These brahmins tolerated it for some time. After that, it looked very funny. Everybody was throwing water east, and he was throwing west. So they asked him, "What are you doing?" "What are you doing?" he retorted. "We are offering water to the sun," they replied. "Well I have some land in Punjab, and I am watering it." They said, "Hey fakir, are you crazy? How can you water the lands in Punjab from Hardwar?" He said, "But the sun is so far away. If you can water the sun from here and that is possible, so why is it not possible to water my lands in Punjab? It must be much easier. Punjab is closer than the sun." The brahmins had no nyaya, so they couldn't explain it to him. The just left the place. Many young men who came there joined Guru Nanak. They said, "We will also throw water to Punjab." They did the same thing. But he did one good thing, he came to Jagannatha Puri, and he met one great personality. He met Swarupa Damodara Goswami, and Swarupa told him, "You are seeking absolute truth, and you are always confusing yourself, "Is it personal or impersonal?" So I will show you that absolute truth. You wait here at Simha-dvara. He will be walking this way." Guru Nanak said, "What? Walking? Do you know what you are talking about?" Swarupa said, "Yes, I know what I am talking about. You are thinking, "Is absolute truth a person or not?" I will show you that He is a person and He is walking here in a few minutes. I will come with Him." So he went and brought Caitanya, and Caitanya was walking and looking towards the Simha-dvara. His eyes looking up, His arms were raised, and he was chanting, "Oh Prananatha, Lord of my life." Guru Nanak was standing there looking at Him, and because He described Bhakti over everything in His teachings, but He has never seen a level like that, and he simply looked at Him, looked at the door and went with Him. He did everything that Mahaprabhu did. When Mahaprabhu jumped, he jumped, and when Mahaprabhu danced he danced. When Mahaprabhu rolled on the floor he also rolled on the floor. But he didn't get any ecstasy like Caitanya. So he sat down and asked, "What is this level of consciousness that you carry? I cannot understand that you are a human. Because it is impossible. I crossed many levels of consciousness in my life." This Guru Nanak could change an object to another object simply by looking at it. He was such a siddha. He was asking, "What is this level of consciousness that you have?" The story goes that Mahaprabhu said, "You go and ask Jagannath. He's the only one who can explain it. I cannot explain this state of my consciousness, because I am so absorbed in this that I can't explain it." So he went to Jagannatha and prayed, "Please explain to me what is this consciousness." So that night in a dream Jagannatha instructed him, "You engage in kirtan." This was instructed by Lord Jagannatha. With that, he completed his whole quest of travelling. He went back and engaged in kirtan. Of course, he left some teachings later. so many things happened. Guru Nanak instructed in so many ways to keep people off this dead religious practice.



126: BUILDING THE BRIDGE

Lord Ramachandra was building the bridge. So Hanuman was taking big big boulders and throwing. There was a small spider. Hanuman was laughing at that. Lord Ramachandra called him over and asked him, "Tell Me why I am building this bridge."
"Because You want to cross the ocean," Hanuman said. "This is not true. I don't have to cross the ocean. Just a few minutes ago I dried the ocean simply by getting angry. That's not the reason. I could be there in one moment if I wanted. Simply by taking My name you crossed the ocean. How much more potent is it if I am there?"
Hanuman said, "Because You want to kill Ravana."
Rama replied, "If I want to kill Ravana, all I have to do is leave his heart and He will die. Only because of My presence is he living."
Hanuman said, "Then why is it you are building this bridge?" "To engage you," said Ramachandra. To engage you so that you will get purified. And this spider is similarly engaged."



127: JABALA AND GAUTAMA

In the Jabalopanisad, Satyakama, Jabala, he was a prostitute's son. And he approached Gautama Muni, "You kindly make me your disciple."
Gautama Muni said, "What are you?"
"I am my mother's son, that's all."
"Then who is your father?"
"That I do not know."
"Ask your mother."
So mother replied, "My dear son, I do not know who is your father." And he came and said to Gautama Muni, "Sir, my mother also does not know who is my father." Then Gautama Muni said, "Yes, yes, you are brahmana. Come on, I shall take you." Because speaking truth. Nobody will say, "I do not know who is my father." It is a social scandal even up to date.



128: REAL SAMADHI

The big impersonalist yogi, Shivananda Sarasvati, in Hrishikesha once got a letter from the king of Jaipur.  The king said, "I heard that you always enter into samadhi, and I want to see that."  So the yogi wrote back, "Yes, come on February 16th, and I will enter into samadhi on that day."  So the king came and he came on the twelfth, and he waited until the 16th.  In the early morning he was in the quarters of Shivananda.  When he entered he saw that Shivananda was walking up and down.  He asked him, "Swamiji, when is samadhi?"  "Soon, very soon."  So while he was walking up and down he was chanting "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare / Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare."  So then the king was thinking, "Now he is doing some bhajan, but later he will do the mystic samadhi."  So time was passing by, half an hour, one hour, two hours three hours.  Swamiji was still walking up and down chanting.  The king was thinking, "When is he going to do this samadhi?"  Sometimes he went before the yogi, to try and catch his attention, but the Swamiji's eyes were all locked up in some position.  And he was just chanting "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare / Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare," and he was getting more and more fired up.  Then he began to shaking his hands, and then slowly slowly he was jumping a little bit.  And then he was dancing and chanting very intensely.  And then finally, after five hours, when the king was completely bewildered, the Swamiji stopped.  He took a big jug of water and he was drinking, glugluglug.  Then the king said, "So swamiji, now you will start samadhi?"  "What do you mean start?  I just came back from samadhi!"  The king was bewildered.  "But you never did the pranayama or anything."  "Those things are for beginners," Shivananda said.  "This is the topmost.  If you can do this, it is the best samadhi.  Didn't you see?  For four hours, I didn't know anything.  So you should do this also.  If you cannot walk and chant like this, at least write in a book, and send it to me." So in this way the temple known was Harinam Mandir was built, and thousands of people wrote, "Hare Rama Hare Rama."  And they made a temple out of that.

MORAL:  Shivananda was an impersonalist, and he knows.  But out of his greed, he can't get up to that devotional platform, though he knows this is the highest, he can't do anything about it.



129: THE PROUD DUNG BEETLE

There was one dung beetle. He was hiding in his hole, and he smelt fresh horse stool near his place. What had occurred was that some travellers on horseback had come by, stopped for a few minutes, ate, drank a little wine, the horses had passed stool and they had got on the horse and ridden off. So the little dung beetle had come out of his hole, following the smell of fresh horse stool. And he crossed over a wet patch where wine had been spilt, and by the time he reached the horse stool, he was completely intoxicated. So intoxicated was he that he thought that as he looked at the horse stool he thought that he was at the foot of the high Himalayan mountains. And he felt himself most powerful.
"Now I am going to conquer these great mountains, and in this way assert my mastery over the earth." So then he scrambled up higher, higher and finally came to the top. And he considered in his drunken state, "Now I have conquered Mount Everest." And as he stood in the middle of the pile of horse stool, because it was wet, still fresh, it sunk beneath him. And he said, "Just see how powerful I am. I have conquered the Himalayas, and now I'm pushing the whole earth down."
So he was just basking in his own glory on the top of the pile of horse stool, and one elephant came out of a nearby forest. The elephant was walking directly towards the dung beetle. The dung beetle saw this big elephant coming, and the elephant with his long nose happened to pick up the smell of horse stool. And elephants don't like this smell. So then the elephant turned to one side. He thought, "Horse stool straight ahead. I won't go there." So he turned. The little dung beetle watched this, and he said, "Hey elephant, don't try to run away! I see how afraid you are of me. Come back here and fight!"
The elephant has big ears, so he can even hear a little dung beetle. The elephant stopped and looked around. "What? Who's speaking?" And he saw on top of the horse stool a little insect with his chest puffed up and shaking his fists. And the elephant thought, "That's remarkable. This little dung beetle, just by climbing on this lump of stool, thinks now he can defeat the elephant. So if it's stool that makes him feel so great, then more stool he shall have."
So the elephant backed up, positioned himself over the horse stool, and let fly with a huge ball of elephant stool, completely crushing the little dung beetle. He was no more after that. He had merged into the impersonal
absolute.

MORAL: This is what the Ishopanishad is warning by a little touch of knowledge, which is not properly understood from the lips of the bonafide representative of Vedic knowledge, Krishna or His pure devotee, even though one may seem to be on the right path of spiritual advancement, one will become intoxicated, waylaid, and finally get hit in the worst way by maya just like the little dung beetle.



130: THE FOOLISH HOG FARMER

There was a pig farmer who was always looking for a way to maintain his pigs cheaply so that he could make more money off his pigs, selling them at the market. One day he happened to be walking by a stool field next to a village, a sandy field where the villagers went to pass stool. He saw all these lumps of dry stool around and he thought, "This is a great opportunity. I can collect this stool, bring it to my hogs and for many days they will have sufficient food. I won't have to pay anything to feed them, and in this way my profit will go up."
So thinking in this way, he found a big basket, and he filled it up with these dry lumps of stool. And then very happily he started down the road to his pig farm. But on the way the clouds above grew dark, there was a sound of thunder, and rain started to fall. The falling rain made the stool in the basket wet, and it began to ooze through the basket all over the head of this farmer, all over the head of this farmer, all over his shoulders and all over his clothes until he was completely brown and smelling very malodorous. But he was simply absorbed in thinking, "Oh, I'm very clever. For no cost at all I've gotten this big basket of pig food on my head. Very nice." So he was very happily running down the road. Some people had gathered underneath a tree to get free from the rain, and they saw this apparition, this brown fellow running down the road with a big smile on his face. They were very astonished, very shocked. They called out to him, "Sir, what's wrong with you? Are you mad? Can't you see that you're covered from head to foot with stool? Why are you running like this?" They were shocked, so they were demanding, "Please explain why you are running down the road like this covered with stool?"
And he was very offended to hear their words. In great indignation he said back to them, "What do you mean, saying this is stool? This is not stool. This is pig food." And he went on his way.

MORAL: This is an example of impure association. Because of strong attachment, possessiveness, this man could accept being smeared from head to foot with pig stool, very happily. He wasn't even considering that his position was abominable. He was thinking, "No, it's very nice." Similarly the eternal spirit soul, who is meant only to serve Krishna, because of harbouring lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion and envy within the heart, the soul has also been smeared from head to foot with stool in the form of this material body. And yet we see in this world so many are very happy about that. If it is pointed out to them, "My dear sir, why are you covered from head to foot with stool?" They will become indignant. "What do you mean I'm covered with stool? This is not stool, this is me. This is very nice." And the mind is making plans to enjoy this stool. It never crosses their mind that there is anything obnoxious about this condition.



131: BROKEN COT RENUNCIATION

There was a man who was given a cot. This word cot comes from Bengal. Kat means "a lightweight wooden bed." So one Bengali gentleman when he was married, was given such a kat as a wedding present from his father in law. So he laid down on it, and it broke. It wasn't very well made. So then after that he began to sleep on the floor, having no kat. This kat was broken. Then people were asking him, "Why are you sleeping on the floor?" People were ridiculing him. So then to save face, this man very proudly began to say, "What do you think? You think life is meant for sense gratification? No, one should be renounced. Why are you sleeping on these soft pillows at night? What kind of life is that, comforting the body? Don't you know you'll have to give this body up? Therefore one should be austere. I'm very austere. I sleep on the bare floor. You should also." But the only reason he slept on the bare floor was that the bed he was given had broken. If he was given a nice bed that wasn't broken, he'd sleep on that.

MORAL: Sometimes materialists enter a sort of pseudo spiritual phase where they find the life of sense gratification breaks down, and he can't get on. Then, still keeping himself at the centre, they preach some sort of renunciation.



132: THE GOOD AND THE BAD VILLAGES

Once the Sikh teacher, Guru Nanak, was travelling accompanied by a disciple by the name of Mardan. They came across a village where the people were very inhospitable. The two holy men where given neither food nor shelter. On leaving the village Guru Nanak said, "May this village always be here."
Soon after, they came to another village. The villagers here were extremely kind and courteous to their guests. They were looked after properly, fed, made comfortable. On leaving the village Guru Nanak said, "May this village be destroyed and his people scattered all over the earth!"
Mardana was astonished. "Sire," he said to Guru Nanak, "when you left the bad village, you wished it well. Now when you leave this good village, where the people have tried so hard to make us at home, you wish that it be destroyed! Isn't that very strange?"
"Not at all, my boy, not at all," replied Guru Nanak with a smile. "When I left the good village, I wanted its inhabitant to be spread out all over the world, to shed sweetness and light. And when I forsook the bad one, I expressed the wish that its meanness of spirit might forever be confined to a small place.
Mardana's eyes opened wide in admiration for the wisdom of his revered teacher.



133: A HANDFUL OF MUSTARD SEEDS

Once there was a young woman by the name of Kisa Gautami. Her only son, an infant, died suddenly. In deep sorrow, weeping profusely, she went to Buddha and said, "My only child is dead. Take pity on me and bring him back to life."
Buddha replied, "Daughter, I will do so if you bring me a handful of mustard seeds. But they must come from a household where no one has died."
Kisa Gautami agreed readily. She went from house to house but could not find a single one where someone had not died. Everyone was ready to give her a handful of mustard seeds, but when she posed the condition, they were taken aback. The burden of what they said was, "What is this you are saying, young lady? The dead are many, the living few!"
At last Kisa Gautami understood why Buddha had sent her on such a mission. Her sorrow was lightened. She went back and told him what everyone had said to her.
"My daughter," he consoled her, "nothing is permanent in this world. Everything is in a flux, everything is subject to change, decay, and death. And change, decay and death cause sorrow and suffering. The only way to avoid them is to take to the process of Krishna consciousness and chant the holy name of Krishna."



134: THE OLD WOMAN AND HER HALF POMEGRANATE

Once while in Rajagriha Buddha allotted a day for collections for charity. He sat under a tree and began receiving gifts. King Bimbisara came and gave him deeds of lands, houses, and valuable properties. Then came Prince Ajata Shatru with rich and valuable gifts. Then came grandees and wealthy merchants. Buddha accepted all their gifts by extending his right hand in token thereof.
Then came an old, shrivelled woman and said to him, "Lord, I heard about your appeal for charity only this morning. I am a poor old woman and have nothing. I was eating this pomegranate, and had eaten half when I heard the news. I had nothing else to give but this half pomegranate. So I brought it along. Please, Lord, accept this."
She looked at him appealingly. Buddha at once came down himself and accepted the gift with both hands, in deep gratitude.
Bimbisara, Ajata Shatru, and all who were there were immensely surprised. "O Blessed one," asked Bimbisara, "why did you receive her gift with both hands, coming down yourself from your dais, when you took our gifts merely by extending your right hand?"
"Because, King," he replied, "she gave her all. The rest of you merely gave a fraction of what you have."



135: EVERY MAN IS TOO MUCH ATTACHED

Once Birbal and Akbar were doing sikhara rounds, learning about the condition in the country and were dressed in civilian clothing. On their way, they saw a wife and husband arguing. At one point, the wife, who was considerably shorter than her large husband, slapped his face while the man tolerated it and stood there, listening to the chastisements of his irate wife.
"Birbal," asked Akbar, "why does he just stand there and take such abuse?"
Akbar replied, "Sire, this is because every man is too much attached to his wife."
"I don't believe this!" Akbar scoffed. "Prove it."
"Very well, Sire. Let us gather all the married men in the country and conduct a survey."
So all the married men in Akbar's kingdom were brought to the courtyard of the palace. Birbal addressed them, "My dear fellows, the great emperor Akbar wants to know how many of you follow the commands of you wives. All those who obey their wives' instructions move to the other side of the courtyard."
Immediately there was a huge exodus of men to the other side of the courtyard. Only one man remained where he stood. Akbar expressed his relief at this. "At least there is one man who does not obey his wife like a fool."
Birbal called the man over and questioned him. "When I called for all those who obey their wife's command to move to the other side of the courtyard, why did you not move?"
"Because my wife told me to stay away from crowds," the man replied.



136: A TEST FOR BIRBAL

The Shah of Persia heard about Birbal's intelligence. He wrote to Akbar requesting that Birbal be permitted to visit his court. Akbar was very pleased at this. He was extremely proud of Birbal. He sent him to the Persian court in splendour. As soon as Birbal reached the Persian capital he was sent for by the Shah. When he reached the audience chamber, he saw a semicircular arrangement of seats. In each was a glittering figure. All the figures were dressed exactly alike. Any one of them could be the Shah. Birbal looked for a while. Then he looked around keenly and went and bowed to the real Shah. The Shah was completely taken aback. He listened to Birbal's address and replied in the same flowery language. Then he asked him, "Birbal, how did you recognize me?"
"Sire," replied Birbal, "when I looked around, I found everyone to be looking at you. Only you were not looking at anyone. At once I knew who the real Shah was.

MORAL: Everyone looks to the leader; therefore he should be of exemplary character.



137: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD

"Birbal," said Akbar to him once, "why is the difference between truth and falsehood?"
"Sire, four inches," replied Birbal without pausing for a moment.
"How?" asked the emperor.
"Your majesty, we hear with our ears and see with our eyes. What we see is truth, not what we hear. Hence, the difference between truth and falsehood between truth and falsehood is only four inches."



138: THE OLD MAN AND THE YOUNG GIRL

There is a very instructive story, and it is a historical fact.  The Muslim emperor Akbar once inquired from his minister, "How long does one remain in lusty desires?"  The minister replied, "Up to the last point of death."  Akbar did not believe it, and he said, "No no, how can you say that?"  "All right," said the minister, "I shall reply in time."  So one day all of a sudden, the minister approached the emperor and said, "You be immediately ready to come with me with your young daughter."  Akbar knew that his minister was very intelligent, and there must be some purpose.  He went with him, and the minister took him to a person who was about to die.  The minister then asked Akbar , "Kindly study the man who is about to die, on his face."  So Akbar noticed that as he and his young daughter were entering, the dying man was looking to the face of the young girl.  In this way Akbar understood, "Yes, what he said is true.  Up to the last point of death the desire is there to see the face of a young girl.

MORAL:  If one does not use his youthful years for Krsna conscious austerity, then his senses will be uncontrolled and even when one is aged, many lusty desires will remain in the heart, but he won't be able to do anything about it. Such an embarrassing situation will deny one returning back to Godhead - Vaikuntha.



139: BIRBAL AVOIDS GETTING SACKED

Akbar had one Hindu minister. His name was Mahesh Das, but because he was serving the Muslim king he had changed his name to Birbal. These stories are very famous in India. There is one nice story about this envious nature. Birbal was very clever. All the other ministers were Muslim, Birbal was the only Hindu minister. So all those Muslim ministers, they were very envious of Birbal. They wanted that this Hindu minister would be sacked. They wondered, "How to get rid of him?" Without Birbal, Akbar would not be able to run the kingdom." The king thought, "I must have Birbal always." So Akbar was always following him and Birbal was following Akbar. These Muslim ministers were really envious of Birbal. "We have to work out something, and force this Birbal to quit. If we approach one of Akbar's wives, then she may be able to find out something."
So one very nice queen of Akbar had a brother whose name was Hussein Shah. He was completely foolish. Everybody knew that he was a fool. But they thought, "If we go to the queen and praise her brother, she may do something." Because if you go to matajis and praise the brother, she will feel good. They approached the queen. "Your brother Houssein Shah is very intelligent. We feel sorry for him. We request you to convince Akbar that he should be the minister, not Birbal. He in unnecessarily carrying this Hindu on his head."
Queen felt very happy. "Yes, my brother is very intelligent." The queen got puffed up, and their plan was working. Muslim ministers were very happy. They said, "We definitely back your brother. He should replace Birbal." The queen was very pleased. "Leave it to me," she said. "I'll work out some scheme. Tomorrow Birbal will be sacked." Queen had a plan.
In the evening Akbar came and went to the bedroom. Queen was there. She wouldn't talk to him. He went over to her, she turned away. He went to the other side, and she turned away. "What is the matter?" he asked. "Hm! I don't want to talk to you." He was requesting her, "Come on, what's the matter? Please tell me. Whatever it is, I'll do it." "No you won't." And in this way it carried on. Eventually she said, "It's my brother, Hussein Shah." "What's the matter with your brother?" Akbar asked. "He's so very intelligent," she said. Akbar said, "Queen, with all due respect I must tell you that he is dunce #1." Again she became very angry and wouldn't talk to him. "No no, your brother is very clever," Akbar reconciled. She said, "Now you know that my brother is the cleverest one, and all the ministers tell that he is the clever one." "All right, what is to be done?" asked Akbar. She said, "Tomorrow you appoint my brother as the minister and sack Birbal."
Akbar said, "Queen, with all due respect to you and your brother, I must tell you that without him we will not be able to run the kingdom. He is the cleverest minister out of the whole lot."
"My brother is cleverer than Birbal." "Queen, I must tell you that he's not." "No no, you don't understand. Listen to me," and on and on. Finally the king gave in.
"Alright, but I cannot just go to the court tomorrow and tell Birbal that he is sacked. There must be some reason."
"You do as I tell you, and you will find out the reason," the queen said. "Tomorrow you go to the court and you call Birbal and tell him that you are going to the vegetable market to but vegetables."
"Queen, you are mad! There are so many important things to be done. Why should Birbal and I go to the market? There are so many servants you can send."
"No no, you just do as I tell you."
"All right, I will. Now what is to be done?"
"While going to the vegetable market, you stop halfway. And then tell Birbal to call me, because you want me to be with you. But I will not come. When he returns you say, "Simple job you can't do? Just getting the queen from the palace. How are you going to run the kingdom." And sack him."
The king asked, "Are you positive that you won't come, otherwise the whole thing will go wrong."
"No, I am definitely not coming," she assured.
This plan was put into practice. Akbar went to the court and called Birbal. "Birbal, we are going to the market to buy the vegetables." Birbal said, "King, are you mad? There are so many more important things waiting for us." "No, we have to go." So Birbal suspected something fishy, because he knew that these ministers are very envious. So he took one friend and said, "Follow us, but nobody should see that you are following."
So they went, and in the middle of the road Akbar stopped and said, "Birbal, you go to the palace and get the queen. The queen must accompany." "All right," Birbal said. So now Birbal knew that it was something to do with the queen. He didn't know what it was, but again he took his friend and went to the palace.
He opened the door to the bedroom and the queen was there waiting for him. He said, "Queen, Akbar is standing in the middle of the road waiting for you. We don't have much time, so please get ready and come. He wants you to there."
"I'm not coming," she said. The plan was there. "No no queen, don't do that. I will be in difficulty." The queen was very happy, because she wanted him to be in difficulty. "No you don't understand. I'm not coming.
"But you must come because Akbar is waiting on the way."
"No no, I am not coming. Tell him that I am very busy."
"All right," Birbal said. In the meantime, he just called his friend in the room. He made some sign, and the friend came in. The friend said that he had a message from the king. There was no message, it was just a plan of Birbal. He said, "But I can't give you the message loudly, because it's only for you. The queen should not hear." Birbal was standing in the room. The friend came close to him and started whispering in his ear, "Psss psss very beautiful psss psss psss very beautiful." Only the words "Very beautiful" were audible to the queen. And other messages could not be heard. When he was finished, Birbal looked to the queen and said, "That's alright queen, you don't have to come." And he walked off. The queen was completely puzzled. "A minute ago the fellow was very strong to invite me, and after the message he just went away. All I could hear was "very beautiful." There must be some very beautiful girl there with Akbar, and that's why he doesn't want me now. How is this possible? I must go." And before Birbal arrived to Akbar, the queen was there. Akbar said, "Hey, you have come!" This is how the ministers tried to get Birbal sacked, but Birbal employed the same tactic of cunning and toppled the whole plan.



140: GOD PROMISES

I know God promises not to give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.

-Mother Teresa



141: Food For Thought
 

The recent shooting in Santee, California...let's see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.... the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little Personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so we said OK, we won't spank them anymore.

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't wantany bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. (There's a big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc.) And we accepted their reasoning.

Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, that's a grand idea.

Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that's another great idea.

Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.

And then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.

And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the internet. And we said they're entitled to their free speech.And the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think ithas a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Dear God, Why didn't you save the students in Santee?

Sincerely, Concerned Student ..............................AND THE REPLY Dear Concerned Student, I am not allowed in schools.

Sincerely, God.

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says. Funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan who, by the way, also "believes" in God.

Funny how we are quick to judge but not to be judged.

Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of Jesus is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week.

Are you laughing? Funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.

Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.

If you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape America is in.



 
 




Free Downloadable Shastra - HERE
The lives and pastimes of the previous great spiritual masters - purva-acharyas
Stories told and Events depicted on the Vaishnava Calendar throughout the year - Celebrations, EkAdasiis, etc.

Paradigms