Tag: Stories reflecting Sai messages

All Gods are One – The Story of a Religious Bigot

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All Gods are One – The Story of a Religious Bigot

 

There was a man who worshipped Siva, but hated all other deities. One day Siva appeared to him and said,” I shall never be pleased with you so long as you hate the other gods.” But the man was inexorable. After a few days Siva again appeared to him. This time he appeared as Hari Hara, that is, one side of His body was Siva, and the other Vishnu.

At this the man was half pleased and half displeased. He laid his offerings on the side representing Siva, but nothing on that of Vishnu. When he offered the burning incense to his beloved God (Siva), he was audacious enough to press the nostrils of Vishnu lest He should have the fragrance! Siva was displeased and at once vanished from his sight. But the man was undaunted as ever.

However, the children of the village began to tease him by uttering the name of Vishnu in his hearing. Vexed with this, the man hung two bells on his ears, which he used to ring as soon as the boys cried out the name of Vishnu, in order to prevent the sound entering his ears. And thus he was known by the name of Ghanta-karna. He is still so much hated for his bigotry that every year at a certain time children in Bengal breaks his effigy with a cudgel.

(As told by Sri Ramakrishna)

 

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People will never forget how you made them feel

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People will never forget how you made them feel

 

“His will will be done and He will show us the way, and satisfy our heart’s desires” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch 18, 19

 

On a British Airways flight from Johannesburg, a middle-aged, well-off white South African Lady has found herself sitting next to a black man.

She called the cabin crew attendant over to complain about her seating.

“What seems to be the problem Madam?” asked the attendant.

“Can’t you see?” she said ” You’ve sat me next to a kaffir. I can’t possibly sit next to this disgusting human. Find me another seat!”

“Please calm down Madam.” the stewardess replied. “The flight is very full today, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do-I’ll go and check to see if we have any seats available in club or first class.”

The woman cocks a snooty look at the outraged black man beside her (not to mention many of the surrounding passengers). A few minutes later the stewardess returns with the good news, which she delivers to the lady, who cannot help but look at the people around her with a smug and self satisfied grin:

“Madam, unfortunately, as I suspected, economy is full. I’ve spoken to the cabin services director, and club is also full. However, we do have one seat in first class.”

Before the lady has a chance to answer, the stewardess continues…

“It is most extraordinary to make this kind of upgrade, however, and I have had to get special permission from the captain. But, given the circumstances, the captain felt that it was outrageous that someone be forced to sit next to such an obnoxious person.”

With which, she turned to the black man sitting next to the woman, and said: “So if you’d like to get your things, sir, I have your seat ready for you…”

At which point, apparently, the surrounding passengers stood and gave a standing ovation while the black man walks up to the front of the plane.

Remember:
People will forget what you said …
People will forget what you did …
But people will never forget how you made them feel …

 

Rely on Yourself and Do Your Duty

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Rely on Yourself and Do Your Duty

 

Baba said, “Let us do our prescribed duty” in Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 32

A disciple came riding on his camel to the tent of his Sufi Master. He dismounted and walked right into the tent, bowed low and said, “So great is my faith in God that I have left my camel outside untied, convinced that God protects the interests of those who love him.”

“Go tie your camel, you fool!” said the Master. God cannot be bothered doing for you what you are perfectly capable of doing for yourself.

 

NOT PERFECT ANYMORE BUT MORE BEAUTIFUL

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NOT PERFECT ANYMORE BUT MORE BEAUTIFUL

 

Carve out on your heart.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, ch. 45

 

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen.

The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said “Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.”

The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly, but it was full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.

The people stared — how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?

The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed.

“You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine. Mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

“Yes,” said the old man, “yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love – I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.”

“Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges — giving love, is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.

 

Mother will save us

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Mother will save us

 

The mother of the simple devotees, whom she will save in calamities.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 22.

 

One afternoon, a couple was traveling on a road when all of a sudden, at a far distance, they saw a woman in the middle of the road asking them to stop. The wife told her husband to keep on driving because it might be too dangerous, but the husband decided to pass by slowly so he wouldn’t stay with the doubt on his mind of what might have happened and the chances of anyone being hurt. As they got closer, they noticed a woman with cuts and bruises on her face as well as on her arms. They then decided to stop and see if they could be of any help.

The cut and bruised woman was begging for help telling them that she had been in a car accident and that her husband and son (a newborn baby) were still inside the car which was in a deep ditch. She told them that the husband was already dead but that her baby seemed to still be alive.

The husband that was traveling decided to get down and try to rescue the baby and he asked the hurt woman to stay with his wife inside their car. When he got down he noticed two people in the front seats of the car, but he didn’t pay any importance to it and took out the baby quickly and got up to take the baby to it’s mother.

When he got up, he didn’t see the mother anywhere so he asked his wife where she had gone. She told him that the woman followed him back to the crashed car. When the man decided to go look for the woman, he noticed that clearly the two people in the front seats were dead; a woman and a man with both their seat belts on.

When he looked closer, he noticed that it was the exact same woman that was begging them for help in the beginning. Do you think that it was a miracle of God?

The baby now lives with family members and he will live to tell the story.

 

WE NEGLECT GOOD WITHIN US

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WE NEGLECT GOOD WITHIN US

 

We will control the mind and will not allow the senses to go astray.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 39

 

Certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully. Before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw a bud that would soon blossom. He also saw the thorns, and he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a plant, burdened with so many sharp thorns?” Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul, there is a rose. The “God-like” qualities planted in us at birth, growing amidst the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair; thinking nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some don’t see the rose within themselves. It takes someone else to show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others. This is the truest, most innocent, and gracious characteristic of love to know another person, including their faults, recognize the nobility in their soul, and yet, still help another to realize they can overcome their faults.

If we show them the rose, they will conquer the thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over. Our duty in this world is to help others, by showing them their roses and not their thorns. It is then that we achieve the love we should feel for each other. Only then can we bloom in our own garden.

 

Misfortune or fortune, who knows

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Misfortune or fortune, who knows

 

“He only knows what is best and most suitable to each and all.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 29

 

There was an old man in a village, very poor, but even kings were jealous of him because he had a beautiful white horse. Kings offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the man would say, “This horse is not a horse to me, he is a person. And how can you sell a person, a friend?” The man was poor, but he never sold the horse.

One morning, he found that the horse was not in the stable. The whole village gathered and they said, “You foolish old man! We knew that someday the horse would be stolen. It would have been better to sell it. What a misfortune!”

The old man said, “Don’t go so far as to say that. Simply say that the horse is not in the stable. This is the fact: everything else is a judgment. Whether it is a misfortune or a blessing I don’t know, because this is just a fragment. Who knows what is going to follow it?”

People laughed at the old man. They had always known that he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, suddenly one night the horse returned. He had not been stolen; he had escaped into the world. And not only that, he brought a dozen wild horses with him.

Again the people gathered and they said, “Old man, you were right. This was not a misfortune, it has indeed proved to be a blessing.”

The old man said, “Again you are going too far. Just say that the horse is back, who knows whether it is a blessing or not? It is only a fragment. You read a single word in a sentence – how can you judge the whole book?”

This time the people could not say much, but inside they knew that he was wrong. Twelve beautiful horses had come.

The old man had an only son who started to train the wild horses. Just a week later he fell from a horse and his legs were broken. The people gathered again and again they judged. They said, “Again you proved right! It was misfortune. Your only son has lost the use of his legs, and in your old age he was your only support. Now you are poorer than ever.”

The old man said, “You are obsessed with judgment. Don’t go that far. Say only my son has broken his legs. Nobody knows whether this is a misfortune or a blessing. Life comes in fragments and more is never given to you.”

It happened that after a few weeks the country went to war and all the young men of the town were forcibly taken for military. Only the old man’s son was left, because he was crippled. The whole town was crying and weeping, because it was a losing fight and they knew most of the young people would never come back. They came to the old man and they said, “You were right, old man – this has proved a blessing. Maybe your son is crippled, but he is still with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man said again, “You go on and on judging. Nobody knows! Only say this, that your sons have been forced to enter into the army and my son has not been forced. But only God, the total, knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune.”

Judge yea not, otherwise you will never become one with the total. With fragments you will jump to conclusions. Once you judge you have stopped growing. Judgment means a stale state of mind. And mind always wants judgment, because to be in process is always hazardous and uncomfortable. In fact, the journey never ends. One path ends, another begins: one door closes, another opens. You reach a peak; a higher peak is always there. God is an endless journey. Only those who are so courageous that they don’t bother about the goal but are content with the journey, content just to live the moment and grow into it, only those are able to walk with the total.

 

The Tale of the Sands

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The Tale of the Sands

 

For getting self- realization and that the only virtues necessary for such progress are faith and patience“ – Shri Sai Satcharita, Ch. II.

A bubbling stream, having traversed all manner of countryside, mountain and valley, finally found itself at a desert. No matter how hard it tried, it was unable to cross it. As quickly as it rushed on, its waters disappeared into the fine sand. “My destiny is to cross this desert, I am sure,” said the stream, “but I can see no way.”

The voice of the Desert answered, in the hidden, tongue of nature. “The Wind crossed the desert, and so can you.”

“But no matter how hard I try, I am absorbed into the sand. Even if I throw myself with all my force, I can go only a little distance.”

“The Wind does not dash itself again the desert -sands.”

“But the Wind can fly, and I cannot.”

“You are thinking high the wrong way; allow the Wind to carry you over the sand.”

“But that is impossible,” answer the Voice. “Allow yourself to be absorbed into the Wind.”

The Stream protested that this would be its death. It would cease to be, or, just as bad. It would lose its individuality.

“It is simply a change, a transition.” answered the Sand. ‘You will find your true form at the end of the journey.”

“But how.” asked the Stream, “can I know that this is true?”

“It is so, and you must believe it, for at best, in your present condition, your only future is to become”, after many years, a quagmire or swamp. You cannot, high any case, remain the same stream that you are today. Today you call yourself such and such a stream only because you do not know which part of you is your true, essential nature, and which is only outward form.”

So the Stream surrendered itself into the arms of the welcoming Wind, which gathered it slowly and carefully upward, and then let it down gently atop the mountains of a far-off land. “Now,” said the Stream as it found itself falling as rain, “I have learned my true identity.”

But it still had a question, which it bubbled up as it sped along in the form of a new river. “Why could I not reason this out for myself? Why did the Sands have to tell me?”

A small voice spoke to the Stream. It came from a grain of sand. “Only the Sands know, for they have seen it happen age upon age. Moreover, they extend from the river to the mountain. They form the link, and they have their function to perform.”

This is why it is said that the way in which the Stream of Life is to carry itself on its Journey is written in the sands.

 

Beware ! Your Little Angel is Watching to Give It Back

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Beware ! Your Little Angel is Watching to Give It Back

 

If lame, crippled, blind and diseased paupers come, they should be fed first.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 38.

 

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. However, the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

“We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. ” I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” Therefore, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in, when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The parents were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening, the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. Moreover, for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth became soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes observe, ears listen, and minds process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.

The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future. Therefore, let’s be wise builders and role models!

 

WHY DOES A MOTHER CRY?

 

my grace is sufficient for you

 

WHY DOES A MOTHER CRY?

 

The love of mother is peculiar, extraordinary and disinterested, and has no parallel.” – Shri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 3

 

“Mom, why are you crying?” he asked his mom.

“Because I’m a woman” she told him.

“I don’t understand,” he said.

His mom just hugged him and said, “and you never will.” Later the little boy asked his father, “Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?”

“All women cry for no reason” was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to GOD. When GOD got on the phone the man said, “GOD, why do women cry so easily?”

GOD said:

“When I made women she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world; yet, gentle enough to give comfort.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. This same sensitivity helps her to make a child’s boo-boo feel better and shares in her teenagers anxieties and fears.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

I gave her a tear to shed, it’s hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed. It’s her only weakness; it’s a tear for mankind.”