*INSPIRING STORIES BY OTHERS

THE WORLD IS A GREAT MIRROR

Once a dog ran into a museum where all the walls, the ceiling, the door and even the floor were made of mirror.

Seeing this the dog froze in surprise in the middle of the hall, a whole pack of dogs surrounded it from all sides, from above and below.

Just in case, the dog bared his teeth, all the reflections responded to it in the same way.

Frightened, the dog frantically barked. The reflections imitated the bark and increased it many times. The dog barked even harder and the echo was keeping up. The dog tossed from one side to another, biting the air - his reflections also tossed around snapping their teeth.

Next day in the morning, the museum security guards found the miserable dog, lifeless and surrounded by a million reflections of lifeless dogs.

There was nobody, who would make any harm to the dog. The dog died by fighting with his own reflections.

The world doesn't bring good or evil on its own. Everything that is happening around us is the reflection of our own thoughts, feelings, wishes and actions. As one plant, so does he harvest; whatever he earns, he eats.

The World is a Great Mirror.

Strike a good pose with our virtuous thoughts; compassionate feelings and good wishes for all ,virtuous actions, smile from deep within, stay positive , you will  then see - Life is really Beautiful.

 

WHATEVER GOD BESTOWS IS ALWAYS GOOD

Once upon a time there was a king. A son was born to king. In a celebration, King called all his courtiers and leaned men of his state and asked them to foretell about futures of his son. Everyone praised and foretell about son saying he will be very rich, great warrior, great religious, great donor etc, but his prime minister said the ultimate fact that son will certainly die one day. King enraged and imprisoned the prime minister.

Next, king decided to go for hunting in the forest with his fellow men. By chance king was left behind his fellowmen in the night and caught by forest tribals. Tribals decided to sacrifice the king next day to please their deity (God). They kept the king in their custody overnight. In the morning tribals found that King had only four fingers in his right foot and therefore is unfit for sacrifice and released king.

When king came back to his capital he told this incident to prime minister saying that God is good and yesterday, I was saved from death by God’s grace. The prime minister said if had not been imprisoned by you, I surly would have gone with you and killed by the tribals. God is great. God always does everything for our good. Kind accepted his words  and released him from the prison.

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL BOAT

There was a man who got intoxicated after consuming bhang(cannabis) in the evening. He went for a stroll towards the river nearby. It was a full moon night and very pleasant weather. He saw a boat on the bank of the river. He thought why I should not go for a boat a ride in the moon lit night. He boarded the boat and started boating with two wooden planks meant for it. After 4-5 hours when he got tired, he thought he should now return back as he might have come too far from the bank. By this time it started becoming dusk and his intoxication was also over. When he saw around, he was shocked to find that he was on the river bank only and had not travelled anywhere at all. He got down the boat and found that the anchor of the boat was fixed in the ground, which he had forgotten to unhook. He repented and laughed at himself for his blunder mistake and foolishness. He worked so hard and wasted so much time and energy without any fruit. This is not simply a story to laugh at. This is a simile and story of most of us on our spiritual journey. We also do the same mistake most of the time. Let us see how.

Here the boat is like spiritual path (karma, bhakti, gyan, dhyan yoga etc.), which we adopt based on our liking or mental inclination. The anchor has generally 5 hooks for fixing it in the ground to avoid moving away the boat from the bank. Here anchor is our ego having 5 sense organs leading to kam , krodh, mad, moh and lobh (lust, anger, ego, attachment and greed). This anchor is embedded in the ground of world/ worldly temptations.

Thus. most of us are doing the same blunder on our spiritual journey as that of the man of the story. This is because under intoxication (of attachment to worldly pleasures), we forget to unhook the anchor(ego with five senses) from the ground (world) and go on doing efforts , spiritual practices/yoga etc. and remain where we were for long time and sometimes even for many reincarnations without any spiritual advancement. Therefore, for spiritual progress detachment from the world is must.

 

DISCIPLE CANNOT TAKEOVER HIS GURU

A Guru imparted all skills of talavārabāzī to his disciple. The Master was old while disciple was young. The teacher was once known in the whole village for his expertise but now his disciple challenged him. He wandered in village saying that his guru is no more the best in Talwar bazi. Today not only in this village but in other nearby villages, no one is better talwarbaj than him.

Telling people this much was not a big talk but his ego soared so high, he openly challenged his guru that His guru should come in open to fight or shed His Mastership.

People made enough persuade that such behaviour with his Guru is not proper. But ego fails and so disciples also failed to understand

To His disciples whom Guru taught everything like his son but, today he is challenging Him challenge. Unwillingly Master had to accept the challenge of talwarbaji with his disciple.

Whole Village knew that Guru had become old and before strength of his disciple He will not stand even for a minuit. But Guru has accepted the challenge

Since Guru has accepted the challenge, a thought that Guru must have kept a secret lesson of talwarbaji

The disciple started keeping watch on his Guru. Disciple came to notice that with the help of a blacksmith his Guru has got made a casing for a 15 feet sword. Disciple inferred that this was the only lesson which guru did not teach him. 15 feet casing means sword 15 feet length this also meant that Guru will cut his throat from a distance of 15 feet from him

Next day, the disciple with the help of other blacksmith got a sword of 16 feet length and casing. Disciple had in mind that when Guru will take out his 15 feet distance, he would attack on him with sword one foot bigger than his.

Talwarbaji started. Everyone saw that Guru had 15 feet sword in his hands and 16 feet sword in hand of disciples.

Whistle blown and competition started.

What happened! Guru took out 1 feet small sword from his casing and before the disciple could withdraw even one forth of his 16 feet swords, Guru swiftly put his 1 foot sword on the neck of his disciple.

Now, Disciple has understood that Guru had got the only casing of 15 feet only and not the sword but the disciples had made both casing and sword of 16 feet

Guru could have chopped of the neck of his disciple in one stroke with his sword, but Guru taught a lesson to his disciples in presence of whole village.

Guru is guru. One should not and cannot be challenged under any circumstances. Remember!  No battle can be won with the power of sword. Battle can be won only with the knowledge of self.

 

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STORY OF FATIMA- THE SPINNER AND THE TENT

Once in a city in the Farthest West there lived a girl called Fatima. She was the daughter of a prosperous spinner. One day her father said to her: “Come, daughter, we are going on a journey, for I have business in the islands of the Middle Sea. Perhaps you may find some handsome youth in a good situation whom you could take as husband. “

They set off and travelled from island to island, the father doing his trading while Fatima dreamt of the husband who might soon be hers. One day, however, they were on the way to Crete when a storm blew up, and the ship was wrecked. Fatima, only half-conscious, was cast up on the seashore near Alexandria.

Her father was dead, and she was utterly destitute. She could only remember dimly her life until then, for her experience of the shipwreck, and her exposure in the sea, had utterly exhausted her.

While she was wandering on the sands, a family of cloth-makers found her. Although they were poor, they took her into their humble home and taught her their craft. Thus it was that she made a second life for herself, and within a year or two she was happy and reconciled to her lot.

But one day, when she was on the seashore for some reason, a band of slave-traders landed and carried her, along with other captives, away with them. Although she bitterly lamented her lot, Fatima found no sympathy from the slavers, who took her to Istanbul and sold her as a slave. Her world had collapsed for the second time.

Now it chanced that there were few buyers at the market. One of them was a man who was looking for slaves to work in his wood yard, where he made masts for ships. When he saw the dejection of the unfortunate Fatima, he decided to buy her, thinking that in this way, at least, he might be able to give her a slightly better life than if she were bought by someone else.

He took Fatima to his home, intending to make her a serving-maid for his wife. When he arrived at the house, however, he found that he had lost all his money in a cargo which had been captured by pirates. He could not afford workers, so he, Fatima and his wife were left alone to work at the heavy labour of making masts. Fatima, grateful to her employer for rescuing her, worked so hard and so well that he gave her her freedom, and she became his trusted helper. Thus it was that she became comparatively happy in her third career.

One day he said to her: “Fatima, I want you to go with a cargo of ships' masts to Java, as my agent, and be sure that you will turn a profit.” She set off, but when the ship was off the coast of China a typhoon wrecked it, and Fatima found herself again cast up on the seashore of a strange land.

Once again she wept bitterly, for she felt that nothing in her life was working in accordance with expectation. Whenever things seemed to be going well, something came and destroyed all her hopes. “Why is it”, she cried out, for the third time, “that whenever I try to do something it comes to grief? Why should so many unfortunate things happen to me?” But there was no answer.

So she picked herself up from the sand, and started to walk inland. Now it so happened that nobody in China had heard of Fatima, or knew anything about her troubles. But there was a legend that a certain stranger, a woman, would one day arrive there, and that she would be able to make a tent for the Emperor. And, since there was as yet nobody in China who could make tents, everyone looked upon the fulfilment of this prediction with the liveliest anticipation. In order to make sure that this stranger, when she arrived, would not be missed, successive Emperors of China had followed the custom of sending heralds, once a year, to all the towns and villages of the land, asking for any foreign woman to be produced at Court.

When Fatima stumbled into a town by the Chinese seashore, it was one such occasion. The people spoke to her through an interpreter, and explained that she would have to go to see the Emperor. “Lady,” said the Emperor, when Fatima was brought before him, ”can you make a tent?'' “I think so,” said Fatima. She asked for rope, but there was none to be had. So, remembering her time as a spinner, she collected flax and made ropes. Then she asked for stout cloth, but the Chinese had none of the kind which she needed. So, drawing on her experience with the weavers of Alexandria, she made some stout tent cloth. Then she found that she needed tent-poles, but there were none in China. So Fatima, remembering how she had been trained by the wood-fashioner of Istanbul, cunningly made stout tent-poles.

When these were ready, she racked her brains for the memory of all the tents she had seen in her travels: and lo, a tent was made. When this wonder was revealed to the Emperor of China, he offered Fatima the fulfillment of any wish she cared to name. She chose to settle in China, where she married a handsome prince, and where she remained in happiness, surrounded by her children, until the end of her days.

It was through these adventures that Fatima realized that what had appeared to be an unpleasant experience at the time, turned out to be an essential part of the making of her ultimate happiness.

By : Idries Shah

 

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STORY: BAYAZID BASTAMI AND THE DOG

One day, when Shaikh Bayazid was walking through a street, suddenly a dog appeared, approaching him slowly. Being cautious and not wanting his clothes to be in contact with the dog, Shaikh Bayazid pulled up his clothes.

Unexpectedly, the dog was communicating to Shaikh Bayazid with a voice like human,” If my fur is dry and accidentally comes into contact with your clothes, there is no need for you to have your clothes cleansed. However, if my skin happens to be wet, all you need to do is to have your clothes cleansed the way God prescribed. But then the prejudice attitude inside you will not be washed away even if you use all the water obtained from seven rivers. The internal or spiritual sins are difficult to clean.”

Shaikh Bayazid said,” Dear dog, you are very intelligent. Please come and stay with me for a while.”

“No, we can’t stay together as I’m being despised by humans while you are glorified in this world. Furthermore, I do not store any food for the next day while you store your needs for the whole year,” replied the dog.

Hearing the words of wisdom from the dog, Shaykh Bayazid whispered to himself:” If even a dog refuses to accompany me, am I eligible to be close to God and attend His functions? All the Praises for God who has shown all the flaws in me and guiding human beings through the minor things.

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RABIA WAITED FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT

 Dada J P Vaswani

 Rabia, the great Sufi mystic, lived a remarkable life. Throughout her life, her Love for God, poverty and self-denial were her constant companions. She did not possess much more than a broken jug, a rush mat and a brick which she used as a pillow. She spent all night in prayer and contemplation, chiding herself if she slept because it took her away from her active love of God.

 As her fame grew, she had many disciples. Farid-ud-din Attar, who has recorded her life, tells us that she held discussions with many renowned religious people of her time. Though she had many offers of marriage, she declined as she had no time in her life for anything other than God.

 Her concept of Divine Love was truly elevating. She was the first to introduce the idea that God should be loved for God’s own sake, not out of fear – as was the practice among some earlier seekers. Thus she prayed, ‘O, Allah!  If I worship you for fear of hell, burn me in hell, and if I worship you in hope of paradise, exclude me from paradise. But if I worship you for your own sake, grudge me not your everlasting beauty.’

 One day, Rabia was passing through a street on her way to the marketplace where she went every day, to share the truths she had sought and attained through her prayers and reflections. And for many days she had been watching a well-known mystic, Hassan, sitting before the door of the mosque and praying to God with intense devotion. ‘God, open the door! Please open the door! Let me in!’

 On that day, Rabia could take it  no more. Hassan let out  a heart-rending wail, tears rolling down his cheeks. He was repeatedly shouting, ‘Open the door! Let me in! Why don’t you listen? Why don’t you hear my prayers?’

 Every day, Rabia had laughed quietly to herself whenever she had heard Hassan uttering his plaint. But today was too much. Hassan was weeping his heart out. She went up to him, shook him up and said, ‘Stop all this nonsense! The door is open – in fact you are already in!’

 Hassan looked at Rabia, and that moment became a moment of revelation for him. Looking into Rabia’s eyes, he bowed down, touch her feet and said, ‘You came in time; otherwise I would have spent my whole life just calling God in vain! For years I have been doing this – where have you been all these years! Why did you not come earlier to take me out of my misery? I know you pass this street every day. You must have seen my crying and praying. And yet you did not come to me until now!’

 Rabia said to Hassan, ‘Yes, but truth can only be said at a certain moment, in a certain space, in a certain context. I was waiting for the right moment, the ripe moment. Today it has arrived; hence I came to you. Yesterday if I had told you, you would have felt irritated; you may have even become angry. You may have reacted thus, “You have disturbed my prayer!” – and it is not right to disturb anybody’s prayer.’

 Rabia said, ‘I had wanted to tell you this long time back, but I had to wait for the right moment. It did not come till now

 

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KERALA PILGRIMAGE

One day all the disciples went to their master' and said, "Master, Master, we all are going on a pilgrimage.

Master: Why you want to go on a pilgrimage trip?

Disciples: So that we can improve our devotion.

Master: OK. Then do me a favour. Please take this karela (bitter gourd) along with you and wherever you go and whichever temple you visit, place it in the alter of the Deity, take the blessings and bring it back.

So, not only the disciples but the Karela also went on pilgrimage, temple to temple. And finally when they came back, the Master said, "cook that karela and serve it to me." The disciples cooked it and served it to the master. After having the first bite, the master said, “Surprising"!

Disciples: What's so surprising?

Master: Even after the pilgrimage the karela is still bitter. How come?

Disciples: But that's the very nature of the Karela, Master.

Master: That's what I am saying. Unless you change your nature, pilgrimage will not make any difference. So, you and I, if we do not change ourselves no teacher or guru can make a difference in our lives.

 

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KING’S TESTIMONY

There was king not only religious but having belief that bkakti is best path to follow for spiritual advancement or to find God. He wanted to testify & strengthen his belief. So he thought a novel method to test. He invited all experts of all spiritual seekers and wayfarers viz Yogi, Astrologer, Tantrik .Ramalachrya and saint (Bhakt). The king himself held a small piece diamond in his fist and called everyone one by one, Yogi, astrologer, Tantric & Ramalacharya without disclosing what he had in his fist. The king asked every one the only one question “what is in my hands”? Every one calculated in his own way and answered “diamond “,

King had thought to test the saint at last and got disappointed with the idea that and even saint could pass the test with the same answer, his belief for supremacy of bhakti over all other roads will not be established.

At last king called saint (bhakt) and put forth same question to him. The saint answered, I don’t know. I don’t possess any mystic powers as others may have. I am just a believer of God. I just pray God & try to remember Him as I could. But king insisted to answer the question. Saint replied I really don’t know. Any material thing is worthless like Mitti in sense of spirituality, so take it as Mitti. Once again disappointed king for a wrong answer opened his fist but to the utter surprise of king & all others, diamond had turned into mitti  King was delighted to have witnessed the testimony of supremacy of bhakti over all others

Remembrance is one of the nine types of bhakti as categorized in Ramayana of Tulsidas.

Source-unknown

 

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SURRENDER TO THE DIVINE:

There is a beautiful story about the flute of Krishna.

We all know Krishna always holds a flute in his hand, there is a great story behind it.

Everyday Krishna would go in the garden and say to all the plants, I love you.

The plants were very happy and responded saying, Krishna, we love You too.

One day Krishna rushed quickly into the garden very alarmed.

He went to the bamboo plant and the bamboo plant asked, Krishna, what´s wrong?

Krishna said, “I have something to ask you, but it is very difficult.”

The bamboo said.”Tell me: if I can, I will give it to you”.

So Krishna said, “I need your life. I need to cut you.

The bamboo thought for a while and then said, “You don´t have any other choice. You don’t have any other way?

Krishna said, No, no other way.

And it said OK and gave himself up.

So Krishna cut the bamboo n made holes in it, and each time, he carved the holes, the bamboo was crying in pain.

Krishna made a beautiful flute out of it and this flute was with him all the time.

24 hours a day, it was with Krishna. Even the Gopis were jealous of the flute.

They said, “Look, Krishna is our Lord, but yet we get to spend only some time with him.

He wakes up with you; He sleeps with you all the time you are with him.

Gopis asked the bamboo, Tell us your secret. What secret do you have, that the Lord treasures you so much?

And the bamboo said, “The secret is that, i gave myself up, and he did whatever was right for me, in the process i had to undergo a lot of pain.”

 

And the Lord does whatever he wants with me, whenever he wants with me and however he wants with me. I have just become His instrument”.

 

So this is complete surrender: where God can do whatever He wants with you, whenever He wants, as He wants.

Trust Him completely and have faith in Him and always think you are in His hands ... what can go wrong?

This is Samarpan or Surrender.

No questions asked. Just Be. Not in the past.  Not in the Future. But rooted in the present 🙏