Devotional ethics and morals taught through short stories - Part 3

By editor - 16.11 2023


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.


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

See Govinda Bhoga story


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


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

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


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


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

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

MORAL - 2: People want to see this jugglery.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

-Mother Teresa

141: Food For Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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