*INSPIRING STORIES BY DISCIPLES

WINNING THE MIND

Mansari Desai.

A slave went around looking for work. He would tell those who might employ him that he would work for free, but that he had to be kept busy all the time. If an would be master failed to keep him occupied all the time, then he would eat him up.

The slave worked for a lot of different masters and ended up eating them all because, sooner or later, the master would run out of work for the slave.

Nobody knew to control this slave and all the masters who tried would eventually fail and be eaten. Then, there came a wise master. He had heard of the slave and agreed to hire him. Even when the slave explained the condition under which he would work, the master agreed. He told the slave to bring a ladder and set it up against the wall.

Then the master asked the slave to do some work around his house and told the slave that as soon as the work is done, he should start climbing up and down the ladder; that was his next job.

The slave finished his work and was happy that he could now eat up the new master when he suddenly remembered that the master had given him another task as well, to climb up and down the ladder.  So the slave kept doing this until the master came around and gave him some other work to do. But again he instructed him, “As soon as you finish this work, then your next job is to climb up and down the ladder,” This went on day after day, month after month and finally the slave died.”

Gist:

In words of Mansari

Here slave is one’s mind.  The masters whom the slave ate up are ordinary human beings. The wise Master is the Perfect Master. Climbing up and down the ladder represents repeating God’s name.

Most ordinary humans are unable to keep their mind occupied, unable to control it and mind overwhelms them. However, under the guidance of the Perfect Master, constant repetition of God’s name, while attending worldly duties, keeps the mind under control and eventually quiets it.

THE STORY OF BALKIMI

Eruch Jessawala

Balmiki was a dacoit, He robbed and killed people and that’s how he made his living.  This was his profession and why did he do all this? Well, he had a family to feed and this was the only profession he knew. He had killed several people like this. One day, a Perfect Master happened to pass his way. He caught the Perfect Master with intention of killing him. The Master asked, “Why do you do all this? What’s the reason?

Balmiki replied, “I have a family to feed and money that I earn goes towards supporting them. This is the only way I know.”

The Master said, “Killing and robbing is a sin. Will your family share your burden of your sin?”

Balmiki said, “Of course they will. After all, I am doing for them.”

“Have you asked them, “The Master asked?

Balmiki said, “No, But I am sure they will support me, they are my family.”

“Go and ask them, “The Master insisted “and make sure they will share the sin with you.”

“I know, “Balmiki said, “When I go to ask them, you will run away. You are only trying to trick me.”

The Master calmly assured him, “I won’t run away, if you do not trust me, then tie me up.

“This made a sense to Balmiki who proceeded to tie up the Master then went back to his family. He told his wife and children about his profession and how he earned the money that he gave to them. Finally, he asked them if they would share in his sin. When his all family members refused to share his sin, he was shocked and overwhelmed by the burden of his sins. He went back to the Master and asked for forgiveness. He pleaded with the Master to show him a way for his salvation as he was ready to undertake any kind of penance for his sins.

The Master told him to sit at one spot and not move from it, no matter what happened, and repeat the name of God, to repeat, “Rama, Rama.”

This was before Rama’s birth. Ram was one of the God’s names as given in the scriptures and the Master asked him to repeat the name of God-Rama. Balmiki said, “I will not repeat the name of God.” So the Master said, “All right, then say, Mara, Mara.”

“Balmiki agreed to this. Being a dacoit, he had killed so many people that he did not mind repeating it.  So he sat on one spot for years and kept repeating, Mara, Mara.”

Over time the “ma ra” became “ra ma” and without knowing it, Balmiki was saying “rama, Rama.”

He kept repeating the name for years, sitting at one spot and he got God-realization.

Gist:

There is power in God’s name.  Even one repeats God's name mechanically he will reap the benefit of unburdening of sanskaras.  To achieve the goal of realization one's effort and longing has to be sincere.

 (Real treasure by Rustom B. Falahati, ed. 2008- Vol-2 p-116 )

THE STORY OF ANGULIMAL

 Mani S Irani

This is the story of a dacoit who ruled a jungle. He was so ferocious that no one would dare cross the jungle. His name was Angulimala, which means garland of fingers. He would murder his victims, chop off their fingers, and make a garland to wear around his neck.

Despite everyone’s warnings, Gautama Buddha decides to undertake his journey through the jungle. The dacoit, on sighting Buddha, first wonders who the foolish man was to venture to his death. When he sees Buddha dressed in a monk’s robe, he felt that it would be nice to kill a monk and have his finger garland made. So he follows this monk, but he finds that the distance between them is increasing. So the dacoit increases his speed, but to his surprise, the distance between him and the monk was still increasing, although the monk was walking leisurely.

“In desperation the dacoit breaks into a run, but still the distance between him and the monk was increasing, even though the monk was not running. Totally exhausted from the chase the dacoit shouts at the monk and says, ‘Please stop, please stop.’

Buddha turns around and tells the dacoit, ‘I have already stopped my child; it is time for you to stop now.’

Gist

In words of Mani Irani:

 Stopping refers to the stopping of the mind. Baba said, ‘Mind working is man, mind working fast is mad, mind slowed down is mast and mind stopped is God.’ So how do we go about stopping the mind? First slow down by introducing speed breakers.

What are these speed-breakers? Your coming and visiting Meherabad is one, visiting Baba-centers is another. If you can’t do that, then just a few Baba-lovers getting together and reading His books and discussing or talking about His stories of love and compassion, is a good way of slowing down. And if you can’t do that, then create some time during the day to remember Him or remember Him in any way you think fit. Increase these speed-breakers more and more and finally a time will come where the speed will slow down and eventually stop.”

 

THE MASTER’S WAY OF TEACHING

Craig

A young Japanese boy growing up in a remote village had his heart set upon becoming a swordsman. He had heard of a master swordsman who lived in a monastery, where only pupils with great courage were accepted. This monastery was located in a deep jungle, the path to which was very difficult. Most of those who attempted to reach the master would give up and turn around half-way. Others, who succeeded in joining the master’s monastery, would leave the training half-way, finding it too difficult to go through. The boy was determined to learn the art of swordsmanship from this particular master. He undertook the journey through the jungle and after great trials and tribulations reached the monastery. His first meeting with the master left him confused. The master accepted him, but straight away put him to work, of sweeping and mopping the whole monastery.

Every day for several months the boy continued to sweep and mop the entire monastery, hoping that soon one day the master would begin training him. Finally after six months had passed, the boy decided to approach the master to ask him when his training would begin. The master saw the boy coming and asked, “What do you want boy?” The boy said, “Master I have been here for six months sweeping and mopping. During this time I have not received any instructions on swordsmanship.” The master became very annoyed and began reprimanding the boy, complaining how useless he was. “You cannot even sweep and mop the floor properly.” The master shouted, “If you cannot even do this simple chore properly, how can you possibly hope to become a skilled swordsman?” The master chased the boy away, telling him to leave if he were going to be so useless. But the boy returned to his sweeping and mopping, though now he felt even more confused. Also the thought that he had upset the master made him feel worse. He swept and mopped the floor with extra care now in order to please the master.

As he was mopping one day, the master came walking by him, and as he passed, he struck the boy on his back with his stick and then walked away. The next day again the master did the same thing. This happened repeatedly for the next several days. The boy was wondering why the master was beating him. So one day, he approached the master and asked, “Master are you upset with me?” The master said, “No my child, but why do you ask that?” The boy said to him, “You beat me every day. Why do you do this if you are not upset with me?” The master laughed and said, “This is part of your training. From now on you must attempt to dodge my blows.” The boy was confused by all this, but he continued to follow the master’s instructions. So the next day, as he continued to sweep and mop with great care, his attention was focused on the blow that he knew the master would attempt to deliver. Sure enough that day the master came in through the same hall he had the day before, and the boy was able to dodge his blow successfully. The next day the master appeared not once but several times, especially when the boy least expected him to deliver the blow. Although the boy managed to dodge some blows, for most part the boy got a good beating as the master constantly changed his strategy catching him unawares. It took months, but finally the boy became so alert to the master’s every possible move and strategy that he was able to anticipate and dodge all his blows. The boy enjoyed playing the master’s game because it seemed to please the master and it was also a diversion from his routine job of sweeping and mopping. Still, the boy continued to wonder how this beating would make him into a swordsman.

Soon after the boy had mastered the art of dodging the master’s blows the master called him one day and instructed him, “As of today, I do not want you to dodge my blows any longer. Instead, you will try to block them using your mopping stick. By the way your mopping is better but still needs improvement.” The boy could not understand the master’s ways but continued to follow his instructions.

Blocking the master’s blows proved far more difficult then dodging them. So for days the boy received a good thrashing. He would continue to focus on mopping the floor properly, while at the same time, concentrate on the master’s attack. With great difficulty, finally the boy began to defend himself using his mopping stick. The game went on for many years, until finally one day, the boy had mastered the art of defending himself with his mopping stick. He could now counter every blow the master made with his stick. The master could change his strategy to any extent, but the boy’s sense of concentration had become so sharp that even with closed eyes he could sense the master’s blow coming and turn quickly enough to block it. When the master knew that the boy had mastered this art he called him one day to say, “Your training days are almost over now and it will be time for you to leave me.” The boy was confounded, for he had not even held a sword in all these years. He complained to the master, “But master, I came here to be a swordsman and in all these years I have not received any instructions on the subject, nor have I ever held a sword.” The master looked at the boy compassionately and said, “My child, you have already become a great swordsman. But you do not believe me, so here catch this.” Saying this, the master reached for a sword nearby and threw it at the boy. The boy caught the sword and felt it in his hand. The master then removed his own sword and went to attack the boy. Without thinking, the boy moved to counter the master’s blow. The master attacked again but every blow the master made the boy easily countered. He dodged and blocked the master’s attacks in the same way that he had learnt to defend himself with the mop stick. This dance between the master and student continued for some time. At the end, the boy felt completely amazed by his own skills. He understood now that all the years of sweeping and mopping, along with the game of constant beatings that the master had played with him had made him into a great swordsman.

Gist:

Master sends different directions to each of His disciples. Two souls cannot have the same direction towards spirituality. Master only knows and He teaches His disciple according to His plan which is best.        

 

THANK YOU

Sam Kerawala

A young Egyptian coming from a very rich and aristocratic family was the disciple of the great Sufi Master Zu-el-Noon, a fisherman by profession. The Master gave the young man orders to utilize his vast wealth for the upkeep and running of the ashram. Accordingly the young man started attending to the task entrusted to him. However, one thought continuously rankled him, the fact that Master totally ignored him, let alone even once offering thanks for all he spent and did for the ashram.

A time came when he had spent all his wealth in service of the ashram. With a touch of arrogance and pride he said to himself, "Now let's see how they run the show."

That night Zu-el-Noon called the young man to His room and after a little talk ordered him to bring a fistful of white clay lying outside the room. When the clay was brought to the Master, he casually began to press it in His hand and in no time it turned into a beautiful precious ruby the size of a duck's egg.

Zu-el-Noon told the young man, "Tomorrow go to the jewelers and find out the value of this ruby. That's all, don't ever sell it." Accordingly, next morning the young man went to the jewelers to value the ruby. To his utter surprise the value worked out to be the exact amount he had spent on the ashram.

He returned and reported his findings to the Master and when the Master asked him as to how much he had spent all these years in the service of the ashram, the young man confessed it was the exact value of the ruby.

The Master gave orders to smash the ruby and then said, "You came to me for spiritual enlightenment and running of ashram was the task I gave you. You did carry out my orders but all the while the thought was there that you were obliging me and your fellow disciples. Know it was an opportunity I gave you to serve; otherwise I am fully capable of running my ashram. Also note that had I even once acknowledged your presence and said, "Thank you" Then you would have had your reward in this world itself. Whereas I wanted that you should have your true reward in Allah's Darbar. Go now, remove such thoughts of self and begin serving with love and diligence."

The young man bowed at his Master's Feet, begged Him to forgive him and said, "But Master, I have no wealth left of mine."

The Master told him not to worry and sure enough in no time he regained his lost fortune and now began serving in the true sense and with love and reverence for his Master.

Gist

It is God (Avatar or Sadguru) obliges the disciple by helping him to progress on the path of spirituality. It is fault of disciple who has no capacity to understand Master’s action and therefore sometimes acts in opposition.

(Words of Kabir & other stories, pp. 133-134, 2006 © Sam Kerawala)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SAINT AND THIEF

Mansari Desai

There was saint who lived on the outskirt of particular village and people will flock to him for his darshan. The saint lived in a room which housed a statue of a deity whom he worshipped wholeheartedly. People will came to take his darshan would sit with the saint and sing devotional songs along with him. The saint would encourage all who came to him to remember God every moment of their life while continuing their normal duties. And easiest way to do this was singing devotional songs or humming a tune in remembrance of the Lord. This way remembrance becomes interesting. After he would finish his song and discourse, as people departed, the saint would bless everyone by saying, “Carry on doing it my child, do it more and more, for it will lead you to God one day.

This was daily routine of the saint. One day a thief happened to be in group of the villagers sitting with the saint. He noticed the golden ornaments with which the deity was adorned and decided to steal them. When everyone was gone and the saint has retired to his room, the thief, who had hidden himself, came out and removed all the ornaments and put them in a bag. As he was about to leave, he heard the saint blessing him, “Carry on doing it my child, do it more and more, for it will one day lead you to God.”

The thief was surprised to find the saint standing next to deity.  He was even more baffled by saint’s blessing. He asked the saint, “O holy one, I do not understand why you are blessing me to continue stealing.” The saint smiled compassionately and said,” I know my child that you are a thief and you have stolen the golden ornaments of the deity. The reason why I blessed you to carry on stealing is very simple. Unless you do it to such an extent that you really get fed up in your ways, you will not turn to God.  So continue doing it till you are totally fed up and then you will naturally give all this up and seek God. That is why I blessed you my child.”

The thief realised the wisdom of the saint’s words and asked the saint for forgiveness, promising never to steal again.”

Gist:

Mansari concluded,

Often indulgence in wrong habit by taking it to extreme limit makes a person feel fed up and eventually helps him to give it up.

 

STEER ASIDE

Eruch Jessawala

There is a good illustration of the nature of anger given by the Perfect Master Ramakrishna. He was from the area around Calcutta and the Ganges flowed by his ashram. One day Ramakrishna was standing by the river with his disciples and, pointing to a boat moving upstream, he gave this parable on anger.

The boatman rowing upstream sees another boat, far off, moving downstream towards him. He shouts. "Hey, watch out! Change your course, look out!" But the boat continues to rush towards him and, as it comes closer, he sees that there is nobody in the boat. Now is he going to continue to yell at the boat to change its course? No, he is simply going to change his own course and steer around the onrushing boat.

Ramakrishna said, "The one who is angry is like a boat which has no captain. When you see there is no captain, steer away. Don't stand and throw words back at the boat in anger. Steer aside. Otherwise neither boat has a captain."

Gist:

Anger is a brief madness. Angry man is like a boat without captain. It is difficult to control anger. Baba   gave solution. When one feels angry, he should think that man before him is Meher Baba.

(Is that so?, ed. Bill Le Page, p. 38)

STATE OF READINESS

Eruch Jessawala

One day a disciple of Ramkrishna asked Him. “You tell us that the Lord will appear when we are ready, but can you tell us as to when exactly this happen?  How do we know for sure that the time has come for the Master to appear? How do we know that the time has come where the soul has reached the point of readiness?

“in response, Ramakrishna asked his disciple to follow him. They walked towards river where he undressed and asked his disciple to do the same. They walked into the river, clad only in their undergarments and, when the water was about the chest deep, he caught his disciple’s head and forcibly pushed it under the water and would not let him come up for breadth.”

Eruch paused for a moment and continued, “Do you know how it feels when someone pushes your head under water and does not allow you to come out? You start grasping for air. You desperately want to come up, because if you stay under too long you will die. And that how the disciple felt. He was struggling for his life to come up, but Ramkrishna would not allow it. Being Perfect Master, Ramakrishna held his disciples head under water until the very last moment and then pulled it out.”

“The disciple started gasping in deep breaths. It took few minutes before he was able to regain his breadth, his composure and balance. Ramakrishna   then asked him. “Tell me, what was the last thought that came to your mind before I pulled you out of the water?”

“The man replied, “My last thought was that if you help me down even for a moment longer, I would die.”

“Ramakrishna said, “when you have the same feeling about seeing God and becoming one with Him-when you feel that you can’t survive a moment longer without His sight-then you will know that you are ready and the moment for the Lord to appear has come. But this feeling has to be constantly there in your heart. You must feel that you can’t bear the separation even for a moment and that you will die without His presence. When such intensity is created, the Lord appears immediately.”

Gist:

When disciple is ready in his love and feels like fish without water; Master appears and gives instant God realization making his disciple like Himself.

SIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT

Ivy O. Duce

There is a well-known story in India, many versions of which exist, which points up that the Avatar brings his close disciples through the planes under veil. It seems that Lord Krishna had a disciple named Narad who, after many years of service to Krishna, began to be discouraged because he could see no sign in himself of any spiritual advancement. He hungered for spiritual experiences, which he felt would indicate his spiritual progress, like many people today. He complained to Krishna that although he had lived with him all his life, he still was no better than any person who had never met the Master. Krishna assured him that by living a dedicated life with Krishna he was literally on the threshold of God's abode, and that some day he would come to know where he was spiritually.

Narad, however, persisted in feeling gloomy about the years passing by without his having acquired any knowledge. Finally after some years, the Lord Krishna told him that on a certain day he wanted Narad to go to a particular spot under a tree and just watch the ground. Narad did this, finding there only a large lump of fecal matter. He became more and more agitated over having to stand and stare at this. His feelings of unworthiness intensified. Finally a worm crept out of it, and as Narad gazed upon it, the worm keeled over dead on the spot.

Narad journeyed back to his Master and related the incident when asked what had happened. Narad's mind was full of protest that here he was, living with the God-Man and not even having the experience that he had lived a worthwhile life. Krishna ignored him for a while and then ordered him to go to another place in the woods, where he was to stare at a certain tree. On the prescribed day Narad did so and suddenly noticed a bright parrot on a branch. As soon as the bird caught his eye, it dropped dead. This frightened Narad, and he felt that since the very sight of him caused creatures to die, he was most unworthy. However, the deep impression of unworthiness now caused him to feel that living with the God-Man was his only recourse.

Krishna ignored Narad for some time, then one day told him to go to the house of a village Patel (headman), where a little colt had been newly born. This prospect frightened Narad, but he felt that he had to obey the Lord Krishna. Patel was quite religious and received Narad reverentially. He finally asked Narad what had brought him to his dwelling, and Narad replied that he had heard about the newly born colt and would like to see it. This flattered the owner, who brought out the little colt with great pride. As soon as Narad's eyes fell upon the colt, it dropped dead. Narad was beside himself, although the owner did not connect him with the death of his little colt.

Sometime later a neighboring King came to Krishna and begged him to visit and bless his newly born child. Krishna decided to send Narad as his representative, but Narad was terrified that his glance might kill the little prince. Krishna, who knew everything, offered comfort and encouragement to Narad and stated that although there had been three failures, the disciple should now go to the palace and visit the newly born child.

Since it was known that Narad was one of Krishna's favorite disciples, when he arrived in time for the naming ceremonies the king, with all due respect, conducted him to the cradle to bless the child. Narad stated that the child had Krishna's blessing, but steadily refused to really look at him.

The story goes that the child sat up in his cradle and thanked Narad for all he had done and asked, "Why now do you deny me your glance and darshan?"

Narad was stunned and asked what he was supposed to have done. The prince said:

"When I was a worm I had your darshan, which enabled me to avoid many rebirths. I at once assumed the form of a parrot, and in that form I again was blessed with your darshan. This helped me to be born immediately in the form of a colt. While I was a colt, you again appeared before me, and that blessed meeting has hurried me here."

When Narad returned, Krishna with a smile asked him if now he believed that he had gained some spiritual status by serving him, whereupon Narad fell at Krishna's feet.

Gist:

God (Avatar or Sadguru) keeps His disciple under veil and does not let him know of his spiritual status to safeguard from display of powers. Baba said that He will take us to final destination (God-realization) blindfolded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPEAT THE NAME OF GOD AND BECOME GOD

Rick Chapman

There was a Master who in his public talks always emphasized the same point, “Repeat the name of God and you will become God.” Wherever he went, whenever he talked, it was always the same thing, “Repeat the name of God and you will become God.”

One day at large public gathering the saint was delivering his usual message when someone stood up in the crowd and said, “I don’t understand how you can say that. It makes no sense. Repeat the name of God and you become God? Do you mean to say that if I repeat the name “bread” over and over I will become a loaf of bread?  That’s obvious nonsense.”

The Master was unperturbed by the interruption and just went ahead exhorting those present to constantly repeat the name of God and become God. In fact, he paid no attention to the man at all. This irritated the man quite a bit and he blurted out, “why don’t you answer my question, if you call yourself a Master?”

The Master turned and scolded the man saying aloud, “Sit down, you bastard” and then continued with his talk. The man was so shocked and stunned that he just collapsed in his chair and was quiet for some time. After a while when the shock was down, the man became furious. Before his question had been ignored, but now he had been publically insulted and humiliated, and the more he thought about it, the more enraged he got. His face turned bright red, and started breathing quite rapidly and his hands unconsciously balled into fists as he stood there trembling to contain his anger.

The Master turned to him now and said, “Yes, is something wrong? Are you upset about something?

“Upset?” the man sputtered.  “How dare you?  I demand an apology for what you just did.”

“What did I Do? The Master asked in all innocence.

“You called me unspeakable name. You…”

“Oh, is that all?” the Master said. “Yes, just think about it. I called you a name and only hearing it once the power of that word was so strong that it changed you completely in just a few moments. If an ordinary profane word can have that effect when uttered about once, just think what the name of God can do when uttered by you continuously over a long period of time. Now do you see why I always say, “Repeat the name of God and become God?”

Gist;

There is great miraculous power in the name of God. God (Avatar or Sadguru) can save anyone from disaster if remembered dearly. Constantly and wholeheartedly remembrance of God’s name is the easiest, surest and safest way to find God - said Meher Baba.