Devotional ethics and morals taught through short stories - Part 2

By editor - 15.11 2023


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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!"


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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.


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?


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?"


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.


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."


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.


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.


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.


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."


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."


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.


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.


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."


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.


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.