Great Indian meals: divinely delicious and supremely nourishing, part 10

The foolish wisdom of a Brahmin

They say that all fools are not really fools; some only pretend to be fools. And again, all wise men are not really wise; some just pretend.

There was once a very poor Brahmin and Brahmini. The Brahmin was very, very idle and his wife used to insult him. One day she kicked him out of the house. “You are such a fool,” she said. “Your idleness I can forgive, but not your stupidity.” So the poor man was thrown out. He left his home and at the end of six months he came back.

On that day, his wife was making special cakes. Although he did not enter into the house, from outside he was secretly listening to the noise, and he could easily count how many cakes she was making.

Then he shouted aloud, “Are you at home?” In India husbands don’t call their wives by name. It is just an Indian custom. His wife came outside and she was so happy to see her husband. “Now you can’t call me a fool anymore,” he said. “ I have developed intuition-power. I can easily say how many cakes you have made.”

“How many?” she asked.

“Twenty-one,” he replied.

She was so astonished. How could he have known when he had not even entered into the room? She was so happy and proud that her husband had become so wise and full of intuitive knowledge. “Now that you know everything,” she said, “let us beat the drum and tell all the villagers that you can save each and every one of them from their difficulties and dangers.”

The husband agreed, “Certainly.”

Many people came to see the poor Brahmin, and each time he told them, “Not today, not today. Today the Supreme Goddess is not pleased with me because I have done something wrong. I will speak to you some other day.” By this time his wife had learned that her husband had only tricked her into believing that he had intuition-power and she had taught him to say this to the villagers.

One day a man came who was very sad because he had lost his donkey. When the Brahmini heard the petition of the man, she instructed her husband, “Don’t say you will speak to him today.” Then on behalf of her husband she said, “Today the Goddess is not pleased with him. Please do not bother him. But if you come tomorrow, he will be able to help you. I can see that tomorrow the Goddess will be pleased with him.” The man was so happy that perhaps tomorrow the Brahmin would do something for him.

That night, around midnight, the husband was sleeping, but not the wife. She heard a donkey braying and she followed the sound. The wife was very tricky. She found the donkey and tied it to one of the pillars of the house. When the man came the following morning to see the Brahmin, he found the donkey there. It happened to be the same one he had lost. He was so happy and pleased, and he gave the couple some money.

The Brahmin’s fame spread all over the village. Finally the king came to know about the incident. The queen had recently lost her golden necklace and both the king and the queen were very upset about this. They summoned this poor man to the palace. His wife also came with him, for she knew that he wouldn’t know how to find the necklace. The man was trembling all over because he was afraid that the king and queen would punish him if he failed to find it. The wife told the king, “He is trembling, not because he will not be able to tell you who has taken the necklace, but because you are so great. It is not because he does not have the capacity, but because we are so insignificant.”

The king said, “You have to find the necklace. I have no idea whether it was stolen or misplaced.”

“Please give me a few days,” replied the Brahmin, “as this is a serious matter.”

“Take as many days as you want,” said the king, “but I have to get it back! When I get it back, I will reward you.”

The Brahmin and Brahmini went home, and the Brahmin started crying to the goddess Jagadhambha, “Save me, save me, save me! I do not know who has taken the necklace. The King is no good. Perhaps the King will kill me. Are you so unkind? Please save me!” At night he cried in silence; during the day he cried aloud.

It happened that the next day one of the king’s maidservants, whose namesake was the goddess Jagadhambha, happened to be passing by. She heard somebody crying because he was going to be killed, saying, “Goddess Jagadhambha, why are you so unkind? Where have you taken the necklace? You have to save me. Save me!”

The maidservant felt extremely sorry because she was the culprit; she had stolen the necklace. She said to herself, “I stole it and, because of me, this man is going to be hanged. He is crying so bitterly.” She came and told the Brahmin and Brahmini that it was she who had stolen the necklace. “If you tell the King, the King will kill me,” she said. “You have to do something so that the King will not punish either you or me.”

The wife was so clever. She said, “You have saved us; now we will save you. Bring the necklace.”

The maidservant went home and brought the necklace to the wife. Then the wife said, “We will save you. Don’t worry, we will not betray you.”

The maidservant said, “Oh, they will never suspect me. They are so fond of me.”

The wife put the necklace into a box that could float on water and went to the king. “It will be good for my husband to concentrate at night,” she said. “He can concentrate better in the dark. Tonight he will come to your palace and concentrate on the necklace and let you know where it is.”

The king was very happy. “Do anything you want; only find the necklace,” the king said.

That night, the husband and wife went to the palace. All the lights were extinguished and they threw the box containing the necklace into a small pond near the palace. Then they went to the king and said, “Now we would like to meditate, and definitely we will be able to tell you where the necklace is.” They meditated for some time and vision dawned on them. At that time their vision was working powerfully; the day before they had had no vision.

“Please send someone to yonder pond,” said the Brahmin. “There is a tiny box floating on the water, and the Queen’s necklace is definitely inside it. My intuition is working today.” The king’s guards found the box and, indeed, inside was the necklace.

Then the king asked, “Who stole it? How did it get in the box?”

“You have the necklace,” said the Brahmin. “My intuition goes only this far. You wanted to know where it was and we found it. We have fulfilled your request. Now it is up to you whether you will give us the reward or not.”

The king said, “Why wouldn’t I give it to you? You found the thing which had been lost. It is so precious to me, so invaluable.”

So the king gave the Brahmin and his wife a very good fortune, and with that fortune they left their village. After all, if this kind of thing ever happened again, perhaps Jagadhambha the goddess would not save them, and, even now, perhaps Jagadhambha the maidservant was not satisfied!

The farmer and the zamindar

Once four farmers, idle talkers, were chatting. A young village man happened to pass by. One farmer said, “Where are you going?”

The young man replied, “Don’t bother me. I am going to the home of the zamindar, the rich man in the village. I have some important business with him.”

“You don’t have to be proud,” one of the idle talkers said. “I can go to visit the zamindar and eat with him anytime I want.”

The young man became furious. He said, “Why do you cut jokes with me? Will it ever be possible for you to go to the zamindar’s place? You are such an insignificant person.”

The farmer in question said, “Don’t brag; I can go whenever I want.”

The young man said, “If you can eat with the zamindar, I will give you two absolutely new bullocks. And if you cannot eat with him, then for six months you have to plough my field with your own bullocks.” The farmer agreed.

“Then let us see who wins,” said the young man, continuing on to his destination.

The farmer took a short cut and reached the zamindar’s house before the young man. He knew the way quite well because he lived in the same area as the zamindar, whereas the young man was from another village. The farmer entered and offered his pranam to the zamindar. “What are you here for?” the zamindar asked.

“I have something very special to ask you,” replied the farmer. “I know you will forgive me.”

“What is it?” the rich man said.

The farmer said, “I have found a piece of gold which is as big as an egg. You are very sincere and honest. Please tell me what its value is. I can’t trust anybody but you, because you are the zamindar.”

The rich man said, “Oh, I am so happy for you. First sit down and let me order food. You have brought such good news. I am so pleased and happy that you have found this piece of gold. Now you will be rich like me. You don’t have to worry anymore; you won’t have to beg or work at all. But first of all, eat. Later, I will tell you the exact price of the gold.”

Immediately the servants brought food and both of them started eating. At that moment the young man came in. When the meal was over, the zamindar said to the farmer, “Now show me your gold.”

The farmer answered, “I didn’t tell you that I was going to show it to you; I wanted only to know the price. You told me to eat with you, so I did. But you didn’t ask me to show it to you. I only came to know the price.”

The zamindar got mad. He shouted, “Get out of here! Get out of here!”

The farmer left, but he was waiting outside the door when the young man came out later. The young man had lost.

So the farmer ate at the zamindar’s house, plus he got two bullocks.

Who carries bad luck?

One day early in the morning the Emperor Akbar met with one of his subjects. Later that day something unfortunate happened. While the Emperor was having breakfast, he ate a strand of hair that was in his food. He said that just because he had seen that particular man, this had happened and he wanted the man to be punished. Some others in the Emperor’s court agreed that this man carried very bad luck. Akbar said, “Then he should be hanged.”

The poor man was supposed to be hanged the following day. He knew that the Emperor’s court minister was aware of his plight. He went to the minister and begged him for help, but the minister said, “The Emperor wants to kill you. How can I dare to save you? Impossible!”

“No, you must save me, you must save me,” begged the man.

“How?” said the court minister. “I can’t.” Then suddenly the minister whispered something in the man’s ear.

The following day the time came for the man to be hanged. Akbar said, “Are you ready?”

The man said, “Lord, you are saying that because you saw me, your fate became most deplorable. Now, can I not also say that because I saw you, my fate has become even more deplorable? If I had not seen you, I would not be facing my death. I may have caused you some bad luck, but in my life you have caused me worse luck. You will stay on earth but I have to die. So who carries the worse luck?”

The Emperor said, “I have lost the case,” and the man was set free.

The prayers of Ramjan

There was a very poor Muslim man who used to deal in donkeys, monkeys and dogs. One day he had not been able to sell either his donkeys, monkeys or dogs and he was returning from the village market. It was getting dark and night had set in. It was the month that the Muslims call Ramjan. For that month Muslims fast during the day and eat only at night. On a specific day of that month, when the stars become very favourable, they feel that no matter what one wishes for, he will get it.

One of the donkeys knew this and said, “How long shall I play the role of a donkey? O Allah, O God, make me the emperor of the world.” Then the donkey said to one of the monkeys, “Our prayers will be fulfilled because this is a most auspicious day. I have prayed. Now you pray.”

The monkey said, “I pray to be the strongest man in the world.” The monkey also believed that his prayer would be fulfilled.

Then one of the dogs said, “I pray to become the commander-in-chief of the world.” They all prayed, and they were fully convinced that their desires would be fulfilled.

Then these three animals said to the Muslim, “Now we have prayed. You will see that soon our desires will be fulfilled.”

The poor man said, “Yes, I can also pray.” Immediately he prayed to Allah, “O God, O God, O God, this is my only prayer. Before You grant their prayers, please make me blind. I don’t want to be ruled by a donkey, a monkey and a dog. Please grant my prayer first. Let me be blind so that, if I have to be under their control, at least I don’t have to see them.”


There was once a very handsome King named Trishanku. He had a strong desire to go to Heaven with his physical body, so he went to his Master, Vashishtha, and told him about this desire. Trishanku begged Vashishtha to create for him a special mountain so that he could walk right up to Heaven.

Vashishtha said to him, “You fool, nobody can do that. With the physical body, you cannot go to Heaven. It is impossible. Give up this desire. It is the height of stupidity.”

Trishanku felt sad and miserable. He left his kingdom on foot to look for another Master who would be kind enough to fulfil his desire. One day he came upon Vashishtha’s sons. He said to them, “Your father could not help me, but I am sure you have more spiritual power. You are practising austerities, while your father is now old and does not practise spirituality anymore. I am not criticising your father, but please, please help me. Please grant me this boon: I want to go to Heaven with this physical body of mine.”

Vashishtha’s sons became angry at Trishanku. They said, “If our father discouraged you, if our father dissuaded you from this desire, we will never fulfil it! It is impossible! What the father says has to be carried out by the sons. We will not help you in any way, you fool. Now, allow us to meditate peacefully.”

Then one of Vashishtha’s sons cursed Trishanku. He made the King’s face ugly and took away his royal stature.

Now Trishanku felt more miserable than ever. His Guru had not helped him. And his Guru’s sons had not only failed to help him but had been rude and ruthless to him. He went on walking until he came to the cottage owned by the sage Vishwamitra. He told Vishwamitra his sad story and prayed to Vishwamitra to help him.

Since Vishwamitra and Vashishtha were always at daggers drawn, Vishwamitra was very kind to Trishanku when he heard his story. Vishwamitra said, “I shall definitely help you. I will use all my spiritual and occult power to enable you to go to Heaven with your physical body. But I do not want to waste my power in transforming your face once again.”

So Vishwamitra used all his power and took Trishanku to Heaven bodily. But when Trishanku arrived in Heaven, some of the cosmic gods, especially Indra, became terribly jealous of him. “You are a mortal,” they said. “How can you be here with your physical body? How can you break the cosmic law?” And they threw him out of Heaven.

When they threw Trishanku out, it took a little time for him to fall to earth again. While he was descending, midway between Heaven and earth he cried out, “Vishwamitra, you took me to Heaven, but the gods have thrown me out. What are you going to do?”

Vishwamitra said, “Wait, wait! I am coming to save you!” With his occult power Vishwamitra kept Trishanku suspended in mid-air between Heaven and earth. Vishwamitra was furious with the cosmic gods. He said, “ I used all my occult power to take him to Heaven; now the cosmic gods are jealous of him. I will fight against Indra and all the cosmic gods. I shall meditate and get more occult power and spiritual power to fight against them.”

Vishwamitra meditated for many, many years, and then he mustered all his occult power and spiritual power. He said, “All right, if Brahma could create the universe, then I too can create a universe.” And he created another world with stars, a sun and planets, only for Trishanku to live in.

As soon as Vishwamitra created a new world for Trishanku, the cosmic gods again became jealous. They said to the sage, “Why have you made him another world? He doesn’t have to have another world. You demolish it, and we shall allow him to remain in Heaven.”

Vishwamitra said, “Even if you allow him to remain in Heaven peacefully, I shall keep my world safe. Now you are promising that you will allow him to stay in Heaven, but I know that as soon as I destroy my world, you will throw him out again. Then again I will have to meditate for many years to get occult power and spiritual power to help him.”

The cosmic gods said, “All right, we agree that he can stay either in our world or in your world. But we have only one request: while he stays in your world, let him hang in midair with his head towards the earth and his legs towards Heaven.” Vishwamitra said, “Oh, that is nothing to him. From now on his legs will remain upward and his head downward.”

So poor Trishanku had to stay upside down in Vishwamitra’s world to enjoy Vishwamitra’s new creation.

Commentary: Nowadays we can go to the moon and to many distant places without using occult power or spiritual power. The power of modern science takes astronauts to these places and brings them back. Trishanku’s world is not the world where souls go, but it is a vital region near the moon. We can go to the moon and come back through the power of our scientific knowledge. But poor Trishanku went with occult power, and he is still hanging there with his head down and his legs up.

We learn something very significant from this story. When the cosmic gods, whom we appreciate, admire and adore, see a mortal turn immortal or get tremendous occult or spiritual power, or any kind of power, in the beginning they do not want to allow him to surpass them. But if that mortal really surpasses them, in spite of their efforts, they reluctantly allow him to retain his achievement.

It is like a kite. In the beginning the man flying the kite holds the string, and the kite flies the way the man wants it to. He will not allow the kite to go beyond the reach of the string. The kite is his possession; it is under his jurisdiction. But sometimes the string breaks and the kite flies away. At first the owner feels sad that the kite has escaped from his control. But afterwards he gets tremendous joy when he sees that his kite has gone so high, into the universal Beyond, and he appreciates the capacity of the kite.

Similarly, the cosmic gods try to keep human beings always under their feet. But when a mortal human being does surpass them, the cosmic gods try to take the credit. At first they try to block the human beings, who are under them, from going beyond them. But then, like earthly parents who see that their children have gone far beyond them, they become happy and proud. As in the ordinary world, in the spiritual world also, meanness, jealousy and insecurity may come to an end if one sees that somebody has really surpassed him. When this happens in the case of the cosmic gods, instead of being jealous of a human being, the gods say, “Oh, I saw him, I helped him. It was with my help that he was able to become so great.”

I shall worship you only with my left hand

In India there lived a merchant named Chand who was quite rich. He had six boats, and in these six boats he carried his merchandise. He also had six sons who all worked in their father’s business.

Chand was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Every day he used to pray to Lord Shiva most devotedly and soulfully. After many years Lord Shiva became extremely pleased with him and gave him a special boon, the boon of immortality on earth. Needless to say, Chand was delighted to get this boon.

One day Chand’s wife went to the river Gangur to bathe. On her way back she saw many people enjoying a special festival at the house of one of her neighbours. She went inside the house and there she saw a small statue of Manasha, the snake-goddess. All the people were devotedly worshipping that particular goddess. When Chand’s wife asked why they were so fond of this goddess, the mother of the family told her that they had become extremely rich by worshipping Manasha. The statue had come from the river Gangur, and her two sons had become rich by worshipping the goddess who was represented by this particular statue.

Chand’s wife knew that her husband was not as rich as these two brothers, so she begged them to give her a statue of exactly the same type. In a few days they made a mould and gave her a statue just like theirs. She was so happy to get the statue, and she immediately brought it home and started worshipping the goddess Manasha so that her husband could become as rich as their neighbours. But when Chand saw what she was doing, instead of becoming happy, he got furious.

He said, “I have been praying to Lord Shiva for years and years! He has been kind enough to give me the boon of immortality. Now how can I worship somebody else? I don’t need this goddess.” Then he kicked the statue of Manasha, and it smashed to pieces. His wife was extremely shocked, and his six sons were very unhappy and frightened because their father had shown such disrespect to a goddess.

The goddess Manasha was so angry that she cursed Chand. Her curse was that she would take away all his children and all his possessions and make him an ordinary mortal again. In this way she would humble him and force him to bow down before her and worship her. One day Manasha took human form as a most beautiful woman. When Chand saw this beautiful woman, he was tempted. When earthly temptation entered into him, Manasha was able to take away the boon that Chand had received from Lord Shiva. Now he became mortal once again and could easily be killed by the goddess or by any human being.

In the course of time Manasha started fulfilling the rest of her curse. One day when Chand was sailing to a distant city, three of his boats capsized and sank. Three of Chand’s sons who were on the boats died, along with the crew members. That was the first serious misfortune. A few months later, he went with his remaining sons on a business trip. This time there was a serious hurricane. In this terrible storm Chand’s remaining three boats sank, his last three sons died and all the rest of his wealth was lost.

Chand himself was also about to drown, but the goddess Manasha, who was watching everything, said to herself, “If he dies now, then my objective will not be fulfilled. I want him to worship me. If he dies, then he will not be able to worship me. I have to keep him alive. But how am I going to do it?” Then she caused a lotus plant with a few blooms on it to appear right in front of him.

When Chand touched the lotus, he immediately thought of the goddess Manasha, because Manasha’s other name is Lotus. But Chand was too angry with Manasha to take any help from her at all. He thought, “Manasha is the cause of all my suffering. I will not take help even from a lotus plant.” But already the goddess had been able to give him strength through the lotus and, with greatest difficulty, he reached the shore and came out of the water.

For three days Chand could get nothing to eat. He became so weak that he could hardly walk. Finally, on the third day he came to a friend’s house and his friend gave him something to eat. When he heard Chand’s story he said, “Compromise. Pray to this goddess. Then she will not create any more suffering for you.”

Chand said, “No, that I will not do.”

It took Chand several months to return home on foot. There he saw his wife fondling a little baby. It was his own child, a seventh son. Chand said, “That means the curse is now removed. Otherwise, how could I have a son now? This child must be a sign of prosperity.” So Chand gave the child the name of Laksmindar, which means “one who is blessed by the goddess of prosperity.”

Some years passed, and Laksmindar attained maturity. Chand found a most beautiful wife for him. The girl’s name was Behula. Chand was once again very happy with his little family.

Then, early one morning, Behula suddenly started screaming and crying. Chand and his wife ran to her and saw that their only son was dead. He had been bitten by a snake. After so many years the snake-goddess had taken the form of a snake and killed their last son.

According to Indian tradition, if somebody dies of a snake-bite, then he cannot be cremated. His body has to be thrown into the water or put on a raft or a small boat. Then the boat can carry his body wherever it will. Behula was so devoted to Laksmindar that she said, “I am not going to allow him to be thrown into the river. He is dead, true, but I cannot leave him. I don’t need my parents or my father-in-law and mother-in-law. I need only my beloved husband.” So, with Laksmindar’s dead body, Behula entered into the boat and floated away to an unknown destination. Behula was praying constantly to Lord Shiva. She said, “Lord Shiva, my father-in-law has worshipped you so devotedly for years and years. Can you not do anything for his son? Will this be his fate?”

Lord Shiva heard her soulful prayer and came out of his long trance. He commanded the goddess Manasha to give back Chand’s sons and all his wealth. The other cosmic gods also requested the same thing. But the goddess prayed to Lord Shiva to first grant her a boon. She wanted Chand to worship her at least once. Only then, she said, would she give back his wealth, his ships and all his children.

Lord Shiva said, “Only once? All right, I shall grant your boon.” Then Lord Shiva said to Behula, “Go and beg your father-in-law to worship Manasha just once,” and he took the boat which was carrying her back to where it had started from.

Behula went to Chand and said, “You are unbearably proud. That is why this has happened. You did not want to worship the snake-goddess; you only wanted to worship Lord Shiva. Now can you not worship her only once? Then you will get back all your beloved sons, your ships, your wealth — everything. Can you not worship her just once?”

Chand said, “No, I will never surrender.”

Behula said, “Have you no affection for your sons? Did you never love your dear ones, your children, your wife?”

He said, “Yes, I did love my dear ones. I loved all my sons.”

“Then where has your affection gone?” she asked.

“It still remains,” said Chand, “but now some competition is going on between affection and pride.”

“Your pride has won,” said Behula. “You did not care as much for the members of your family as you cared for your own pride. Otherwise you would have surrendered to the goddess long ago and worshipped her to save your sons.” Chand finally said, “You are right. Now let me surrender to affection. Let affection win. Let me first get back my children, my ships and my wealth. Then I will worship Manasha.”

Behula was extremely happy. She spoke to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva spoke to Manasha. The goddess agreed to give back everything to Chand.

Now Chand had been forced to worship her, but his pride was still strong. He said to himself, “I used my right hand to worship Lord Shiva, so I will never use my right hand to worship this goddess. It will be a real insult to Lord Shiva, so I will never do it. I will use my left hand. I promised that I would worship her once, but I didn’t say I would use my right hand.”

Manasha became furious because, according to Indian tradition, the right hand or both hands are always used for worship. But Chand would worship her only with his left hand. In India seekers are very fastidious about using the right hand instead of the left hand for worship. When a seeker places a flower or a candle on the shrine, when he puts a sacred mark on his forehead, always it has to be done with the right hand. Everything sacred has to be touched with the right hand. Manasha said, “You promised that you would worship me. It was well understood that you would have to worship with your right hand, not with your left hand. Two hands are not necessary, but at least you should use your right hand.”

But Chand had got back all his sons and all his possessions, and Lord Shiva was once again protecting him. So he worshipped Manasha with his left hand only. Lord Shiva again gave the boon of immortality not only to Chand but also to his daughter-in-law, Behula.

Even now it is said that if you want to worship the goddess Manasha you can do it with your left hand, whereas all other gods and goddesses have to be worshipped either with both hands or with the right hand.

A father's oneness-heart

An elderly gentleman named Ramesh went out early one winter morning to get some fresh air. It was extremely cold. When Gokul, a friend of his, happened to see him, he said, “Ramesh, what are you doing? You are not wearing winter clothes. You are wearing spring clothes. You will suffer badly from this cold! Why are you acting like a fool?”

Ramesh thanked Gokul and said, “Yes, you are right, you are right. I am going home.”

He returned home and said to his son, who was a businessman and had amassed vast wealth, “Son, I went out this morning, but my friend Gokul asked me why I was acting like a fool and wearing spring clothes in winter.”

The son said, “He was right, Father. Let me go and get you some warm winter clothes.”

“Wait,” said Ramesh. “You know that thousands of people who live right around our house are so poor that they cannot afford to have warm clothes and shoes. My heart will not permit me to wear winter clothes and shoes unless I see them also warmly clothed.”

The son said, “Father, I know you have a big heart. Since I am your son, I shall without fail fulfil your desire.”

Ramesh blessed his son, saying, “I am so proud of you.”

The son went out and, in a few hours’ time, brought home winter clothes and shoes for 25,000 people. He said to Ramesh, “Father, I don’t think you will need more, but if you do, I will give them to you.”

Then Ramesh said to his son, “Son, since I am a Brahmin, now you have to invite all the poor Brahmins.”

But his son asked, “Why only Brahmins?”

Ramesh said, “You are right; I should not discriminate. It should be first come, first served.”

Soon thousands of people belonging to different castes started pouring in — about 25,000 people in all. They were delighted and, at the same time, extremely grateful to receive this unexpected gift.

Ramesh blessed his son from the very depth of his heart for fulfilling his desire, and the son said to him, “I am so proud that I have a father who is so kind to the poor.” In this way the father and son mutually appreciated each other. Finally, the son said to his father, “Now that I have fulfilled your desire, Father, will you now take your own winter clothes and shoes?”

Ramesh said, “My foolish son, am I not wearing winter clothes and shoes through these 25,000 people? Why do I need one extra? Do they not represent me, and do I not represent them? I do not need winter clothes or shoes. In their happiness is my happiness. In their comfort is my comfort. I assure you, I will not fall sick, for my oneness-heart with them will definitely keep my body warm.”

His son shed profuse tears of gratitude and pride that he was blessed with such a divine father.

Laosen does the impossible

There was once a King named Karnasen who was a great hero. For many years he defeated all his enemies in battle, but eventually he lost to a most powerful King. King Karnasen lost his wife, his hero-sons and all his dear ones. He himself would have been killed by his opponent, but that King showed him compassion. He said, “You are an old man. I don’t want to kill you. I have killed your wife and sons and all your relatives. I have destroyed your army. Now you can go peacefully on your way.”

Karnasen felt miserable. Since nobody in his family was still alive, he went to another kingdom and took shelter there. The King of that particular kingdom, whose name was Gaur, was very kind to him and showed him great hospitality. He invited Karnasen to spend the rest of his life there. One day King Gaur said to Karnasen, “If you would like to marry, I will ask one of my sisters-in-law to marry you.”

King Karnasen said, “I am an old man. At this age, why should I again enter into family life?”

But King Gaur replied, “No, no, you will be happy. It is good to have some near and dear ones.”

King Karnasen finally agreed, and soon he married a sister-in-law of King Gaur named Ranjabati. At that time Kripan, Ranjabati’s brother, was away from the kingdom. When he returned and heard that his sister had married without his knowledge, especially to someone who was now a true beggar, he became furious. Kripan also became jealous, since King Gaur was showing Karnasen considerable affection and love. Kripan had hoped that he would become the dearest to the King, but now he saw that somebody else was becoming the dearest. He could not insult King Gaur, but he wanted to punish Karnasen.

Karnasen and his wife lived together for a number of years, but unfortunately Ranjabati was not blessed with a child. According to Indian tradition, if you do not have children, then you are not a woman of good character. So one day, in public, Kripan said to her, “You are a useless woman. You are a barren field!”

Poor Ranjabati felt miserable. She prayed and prayed to the Sun god to grant her a child. Finally the Sun god listened to her prayer and she did have a child. Karnasen gave this son the name Laosen.

Laosen was extremely beautiful. Right from his childhood he showed tremendous physical strength, and he became a great wrestler in his youth. He could defeat three or four wrestlers at a time. Laosen even used to fight with tigers and whales. Now Kripan, Laosen’s maternal uncle, once again became extremely jealous. First he had been jealous of Karnasen because he was getting so much affection from King Gaur. Now he was jealous of Karnasen’s son because he had become so powerful.

Kripan tried in many ways to kill Laosen. Once he hired ruffians to kill him. Another time he cleverly invited his brother-in-law and nephew to visit him so that he could honour them, and then he put two mad elephants along the route to kill his so-called guests. In many ways he made their lives miserable and caused suffering for them.

One day Kripan became so desperately angry that he said to King Gaur, “I shall leave this kingdom if you do not banish Laosen.”

King Gaur said, “How can I do it, and why should I do it? Laosen is unconquerable. I am so happy that he is a relative of mine. If anyone attacks our kingdom, he will be able to defeat the enemy.”

Kripan said, “Do you think that he can defeat anybody?”

The King said, “He is unconquerable. Nobody can defeat him — nobody, nobody.”

Kripan said, “Can he do the impossible?”

King Gaur said, “I will call nothing impossible. There is nothing on earth that Laosen cannot do.”

“All right, I will believe it if he can compel the sun to rise in the West.”

King Gaur said rashly, “Yes, he will be able to do even that.”

Kripan was delighted to hear this. He knew that Laosen could never compel the sun to rise in the West.

When Laosen heard of this, he went immediately to the King. King Gaur was extremely fond of Laosen’s father and extremely proud of Laosen. But now he was worried. On the one hand, he believed that Laosen could do the impossible because he had so much faith in the young man. On the other hand, he could not help feeling that it was truly impossible to make the sun rise in the West.

But Laosen said to the King, “Don’t worry. If you have made a promise, I will fulfil it.” Then Laosen started praying to the Sun god as his mother had done many years before. Soon the Sun god came to him and said, “Please continue to pray. I will see if it can be done. Just pray, pray, pray.”

So Laosen prayed and prayed. Meanwhile, his maternal uncle was very happy. Kripan was sure that the sun would never rise in the West. One day he said to King Gaur, “Laosen is unable to fulfil your promise. Now you have to fulfil my desire. He has to leave the kingdom since he can’t do the impossible.”

King Gaur said, “Give him some more time. He has said that he will be able to do it. Just give him some time.”

Laosen prayed and prayed. One day one of his maids said to him, “Don’t worry. The sun will be pleased with you someday.”

Laosen said, “I have been praying and praying for such a long time. I am afraid he will never grant me this boon.”

Then the maid said, “Just cut off your head and he will be pleased with you.”

Laosen said, “If I cut off my head, then I will only die, and if the sun still does not rise in the West, I will not be able to do anything more. But if the Sun god agrees to fulfil my desire, then I am ready to kill myself.”

The maid said, “No, do it now. The Sun god will definitely be pleased with you.”

So Laosen chopped off his head and immediately the Sun god appeared. He brought Laosen back to life and said, “Now I am truly pleased with you. I shall fulfil your desire. Tomorrow the world will see that instead of coming from the East I will appear in the West. You can go and tell King Gaur and your father.”

Laosen was filled with joy. He ran to tell his father and King Gaur. Both of them, as always, believed him. Then King Gaur told Kripan, “Tomorrow morning you will see that Laosen has really done the impossible.”

Kripan said, “Tomorrow morning! You yourself have given the time. If Laosen doesn’t make the sun rise in the West tomorrow morning, then you have to throw him out of this kingdom.”

King Gaur said, “Yes, but he will do it.”

Kripan was the first person to disbelieve it, and the following morning he got up long before anybody else to see the sunrise. But to Kripan’s amazement the sun did rise in the West. Then the Sun god appeared before everyone and said to Kripan, “You have caused so much suffering for Karnasen and his son Laosen. Laosen is my devotee, and you have tortured him for many years. Now you deserve some punishment. From now to the end of your life you will suffer from leprosy.” This was the worst possible punishment that he could have given.

Then King Gaur asked the Sun god, “How could you do it? How could you rise in the West?”

The Sun god said, “Is there anything that I will not do for my true devotee? If somebody were to insult me and say, ‘Sun, you always have to rise in the East. Obviously you can’t appear in the West; you don’t have the power,’ immediately I would agree. I would say, ‘You are right. I can’t do it!’ But my devotee is dearer to me than my life itself. When he accepts a challenge, I also have to accept it. Kripan could have challenged me personally, but if he had done it, I would not have taken the trouble of breaking the cosmic law. But he challenged my true devotee, who is so dear to me. And Laosen was ready to sacrifice his own life in order to keep his promise.

“You can defeat me, but not my devotee. A true devotee can always do the impossible. God Himself may not want to do a particular thing; there is no need for Him to show the world that for Him nothing is impossible. But God does want to show the world that there is someone else who can do everything, and that is His true devotee. So don’t challenge a devotee. You will always lose.”

Sympathetic oneness

A father and son were walking together, enjoying the early morning breeze. They had covered a good distance when all of a sudden the father said to the son, “Son, stop!”

The son said, “Father, has something happened? Is anything wrong?”

The father said, “Nothing in particular, but let us not walk any farther on this road.”

“Why not, Father?” asked the son.

“Do you see that elderly man coming towards us?” the father asked, pointing down the road.

“Yes, I can see him,” replied the son.

“That man is a friend of mine,” said the father. “He has borrowed some money from me and now he is unable to pay it back. Each time he sees me he tells me that he will get the money from somebody else and, without fail, will give it to me. This has been happening again and again, so I don’t want to embarrass him anymore.”

The son said, “Father, if you don’t want to embarrass him, why don’t you tell him that you have given him the money and you will not take it back, that it is just a donation?”

“I have already told him that,” said the father. “When I said, ‘I don’t want it back; it is an offering,’ he got mad. He said, ‘Am I a beggar? I am your friend. When I was in need, you gave me money, and when I am no longer in need, I will give it back. I want to remain your friend and not a beggar.’ Now I don’t want to embarrass him, and I don’t want to be embarrassed myself. So let us quickly take another road and avoid him.”

The son said, “Father, you are really good and great. I am so proud of you. It is usually the one who owes the money who tries to avoid the person from whom he has borrowed it. In your case you are desperately trying to avoid this man, although you are the giver. It is usually the receiver who is embarrassed, not the giver. But you want to spare him the embarrassment. I am truly grateful to you and proud of you, Father. What I have learned from you is sympathetic oneness.”

Purity: selfless oneness with God

Once there lived a pious youth named Nagamuddin who came from a Muslim family. He used to study all day and night. His father died when he was still quite young, and suddenly Nagamuddin had to support his poor mother. He started looking for a job here, there and everywhere, but he did not succeed in getting one.

One day he went to a Muslim priest and begged him to give him a job in any line, although he said he would be very happy if he could also become a priest. The priest said, “I will give you a job, but I can’t make you a priest, for you will far surpass me and every other priest on earth. You have no idea how great you are. One day everybody will come to know of you. Even the Emperor of Delhi will come to you to honour you.”

A burning desire to realise God had long been consuming Nagamuddin. He had been looking for his Guru everywhere. Finally one day he went to a very spiritual man named Phariduddin and said to him, “Please become my Guru. I am tired of searching for a Guru.”

Phariduddin accepted Nagamuddin as his devoted disciple, and Nagamuddin learned to cook so that he could prepare meals for his Master. He enjoyed the Master’s deep affection for him. But the Master and the disciple were very, very poor. Sometimes for days on end they had no food to eat. They spent most of their time praying and meditating and totally neglected the demands of the body.

One day somebody gave Nagamuddin some flour so he could make bread. Nagamuddin did not have money, and he knew that his Master also had no money to buy one of the necessary ingredients to make bread — salt. So he went to the village market and borrowed some salt from a shop. The shopkeeper readily gave him the salt because he knew that Nagamuddin was a spiritual man, and that his Master was very great.

Nagamuddin brought the salt back and made delicious bread for his Master. But when he offered Phariduddin a few pieces of bread, something unusual happened. On other days when he would give something to his Master, the Master would eat it happily and bless Nagamuddin for the food. But that day Phariduddin said, “I shall not eat your food. There is tremendous impurity in it.”

Neither the Master nor the disciple had eaten for three days, but because there was tremendous impurity in the food, the Master would not eat it. Nagamuddin felt miserable. He could not account for it.

Then his Master said, “I can clearly see that you have borrowed salt from a shopkeeper to make this bread. This is indeed a disgraceful act. Never borrow anything from anyone. If you borrow, your consciousness descends and you become impure. The man who gave you the salt is so proud that he has given you something, so he is treasuring impurity. And when you borrow something, you become a victim to worries and anxieties. Worries and anxieties are also a kind of impurity. If you do not have total purity in your system, in every cell of your body, then you will not be able to realise God. So from now on, don’t borrow anything — money or material gifts. Worries and anxieties will assail you and purity will leave you.

“If you have purity, then you have everything. There are two ways to have purity. One is by seeing God inside everyone, consciously and constantly. The other is by imagining God and consciously repeating His Name as many times as possible. My son, if you have purity, you do not have to go to God. God Himself will make you see His infinite Divinity. What God is will be reflected in you. You will be an exact replica of God.

“Purity expedites God’s Hour. Purity embodies God’s Power. If you have purity, then there is nothing that you cannot accomplish. Purity is the harbinger of selfless oneness — Eternity’s perfect, selfless oneness with God.”

I wish to be fair

A Sanskrit scholar used to teach in a college. One day the principal of the school said to him, “I have a piece of good news for you: you have been promoted.”

The scholar said, “How can it be? I don’t deserve a promotion!”

“But we need a teacher for the higher course,” said the principal.

The Sanskrit scholar said, “Oh, I can easily solve that problem. My own teacher is now out of employment. It is he who deserves this post. He knows Sanskrit far better than I do. Let me go and tell him that you have a post for him. He will be able to teach very well. I assure you that you will be satisfied with him.”

The principal said, “Oh no, we can’t take your teacher for the higher class when we do not know him at all. He can take your class, and you can teach the higher class.”

The scholar said, “That is absurd. I can’t allow that. My teacher knows much more than I do!”

The principal said, “You have served this college for several years, so we know your capacity. Without knowing your teacher’s capacity, how can we give him that post?”

The scholar said, “You have faith in me, and I have faith in my teacher. I know his capacity.”

The principal said, “If you do not accept this offer, you will stay where you are forever.”

“You are trying to tempt me, but I am not tempted by you,” said the scholar. “Just because you have tried to tempt me, you deserve punishment. Either you accept my teacher for the higher class, or I am leaving this school.”

The following day the scholar did not come to the school. The principal was utterly amazed at this professor’s love for his teacher. On the one hand, he was helpless. On the other hand, he was proud that he had such a self-giving man teaching in his college. So the principal informed the scholar to bring his teacher.

When they were both standing before him, the principal said to the scholar, “I have never seen and perhaps will never see a man like you.”

“No, you will see many, many who will far surpass me,” said the scholar. “But I wish to tell you that, in life, when I am fair to someone, then God is fair to me — only then, and not even one second before. So I always try to be fair.”

Then the principal gave the higher post to the scholar’s teacher, and the scholar resumed teaching his own class.

A new kind of army

Once a boy of sixteen inherited the throne when his father died. A neighbouring king who had been his father’s enemy sent a letter to the young king, saying, “You are just a little boy. Surrender to me; otherwise, I shall come and capture your throne and kill you.”

The elderly ministers of the young king advised him to be very cautious. They said that this king, his enemy, was very strong, so he would have to be very careful.

But the young king said, “No, I won’t listen to you people. I will send my soldiers, but they will be different from regular soldiers. These soldiers will be sweepers and garbage collectors and so forth.”

The sixteen-year-old king supplied the sweepers with weapons which they didn’t even know how to use. The king’s soldiers showed the sweepers only how to carry them. Nonetheless, these new soldiers went to the enemy, shouting and screaming that they would kill all the enemy soldiers. When the enemy saw the modern weapons of these ferocious-looking soldiers, they all surrendered without even a fight.

The young boy arrested the enemy king and asked him to beg for forgiveness. The old king immediately asked for forgiveness, and the boy returned his soldiers.

The defeat of the Muslim ruler Pathan

The sixteen-year-old king then wanted to conquer Chittagong. He felt that Chittagong was a beautiful place, but the Muslim ruler Pathan was no good. The young king knew that the soldiers of this ruler were extremely powerful. So he said, “We shall have to play some tricks.”

He asked one of his men to go to Pathan’s soldiers and ask why they were fighting for the Muslim ruler, since Pathan was so bad. If they were fighting just for money, then the young king would pay them more. Let them leave the Muslim king and be his soldiers.

The enemy soldiers said, “If you can give us a higher salary, we will leave King Pathan immediately.” So the young king gave them a higher salary and took them away. Then he declared war against the ruler of Chittagong and easily won. He became the ruler of Chittagong and, for a long time, ruled Chittagong with utmost compassion and justice.

Chaitanya wins over the Muslim soldiers

Sri Chaitanya was one of India’s greatest spiritual Masters. Once there was a Muslim leader who turned against him. In the beginning, the Muslim leader was very nice and was not against Chaitanya and his followers. “They are Hindus, great worshippers of Vishnu,” he said. “There is nothing wrong in what they are doing. It is their faith. Why should we stand against their faith?”

But the leader’s admirers and followers said, “They must not be allowed to dance and sing in the street. They are destroying our peace. Let us send our soldiers into the city. The next time these devotees start singing and dancing in the street, our soldiers will beat them black and blue, and they will stop.”

After much persuasion, the Muslim leader finally agreed. But when his soldiers went to stop Chaitanya and his followers, the soldiers saw that thousands of people were singing and dancing with them. The soldiers felt utterly lost.

In a half hour’s time, the soldiers got so intoxicated from watching Chaitanya dance that they also started dancing. When the Muslim leader came and saw that his soldiers had been very nicely converted and were dancing with the enemies, the leader came and fell at Chaitanya’s feet and begged his forgiveness.

He said, “I didn’t want to torture you, but my followers instigated me. Now my army has seen something divine in you and your devotees, and my men have joined you.”

Chaitanya replied, “Whoever has faith in God and love of God has found the true religion.”


There was a great King, a great hero of the highest order, named Shivaji. He was from Maharastra, so he was called the Maratha King. Once he wrote a letter to Tukara, a great seeker who had become a saint, inviting him to come to his palace. Shivaji had heard much about the saint and had developed highest admiration for him.

But Tukara declined his invitation. He wrote back: “O King, you have invited me to come to your palace, but I don’t find any necessity to come. You will present me with gifts, but I do not need anything from you. If I want to eat, there are trees bearing fruits. When I walk along the street, I see that people have discarded their used, old clothes, and I can use them if I need clothes. If I want shelter, I already have a piece of metal, and also there are many caves all around where I can take shelter. What else do I need on earth? I cannot accept your invitation and I do not need anything from you.”

Shivaji realised his mistake, and he came to Tukara’s home, walking barefoot to honour him. India’s greatest poet Tagore wrote a most beautiful, soulful and powerful poem about Shivaji. That poem stands as one of Tagore’s greatest achievements.

Babar and the cave

The first Mogul Emperor’s name was Babar. He was not as great as Akbar, who was the greatest of all the Mogul Emperors, but he still was a very great Emperor. Since he was the first, he had to fight and fight and fight to establish his kingdom.

Once, with a group of friends and admirers, he went to visit his relatives. On their way back it started pouring. It was raining cats and dogs, and there was no place for them to take shelter. Then, to their wide surprise, they discovered a tiny cave, so they begged the Emperor to enter into the cave while all of them remained outside. They were ready to be thoroughly drenched.

But the Emperor said, “How can I do that? You are my intimate friends and admirers. This protection is not enough for all of us. Since it is not adequate for all of us, I don’t need it. I am more than happy to be outside with you.”

So Babar didn’t enter into the cave. The rain lasted for a long time and the following day they reached their destination. This was Babar’s loving oneness with his friends and admirers.

Solaman's one wish

During his lifetime, the Mogul Emperor Shahjan built the famous Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife, Mamataj. Shahjan had four sons. When he died, the second son, Aurongajeb, wanted to get the throne. So he killed his older brother, Dara, arrested his two younger brothers and declared that he would rule the entire kingdom. The son of Dara, Solaman, went to Sri Naga for shelter. But the King of Sri Naga, instead of giving him shelter, arrested him and sent him to Aurongajeb, who was in his capital in Delhi.

When Aurongajeb saw his nephew, for a moment he felt sad that Solaman was in such a miserable state. He asked his nephew what he wanted. If Solaman wanted to leave, he would not kill him. But Solaman said, “If you want to fulfil my only desire, then kill me immediately. You have killed my father. Now I don’t want to remain on earth.”

Aurongajeb said, “What are you talking about? I shall not kill you. I shall allow you to go in your own way.”

Solaman said, “I do not need that favour from you. Only one favour I want: kill me here and now.”

This was Solaman’s oneness with his father. Needless to say, Aurongajeb didn’t kill him.

Can you tell me where there is no God?

Nanak was the founder of Sikhism. He was an excellent, excellent Guru. When he was young, Nanak paid very little attention to sports. Unlike most of his friends, he didn’t care for games at all. Nanak always used to think of God and meditate on God. He only wanted to mix with spiritual people. In school he didn’t do well because he was all the time in his own world.

Since he was not doing well, his father, who was a businessman, said, “The best thing is for him to go into business.” So he opened up a shop for his son.

O God! Nanak was unlike other businessmen. He used to give away money to spiritual people, to saddhus. The father saw that he would soon go bankrupt if he kept his son in the shop. The father said, “In some way this boy has to become worldly-minded. If he remains all the time in the spiritual world, then he will be totally lost and our family will be disgraced.” So he asked his son to get married, even though he was quite young. Nanak obeyed.

But again it was the same story. Nanak was praying and meditating all the time. Whenever he got the opportunity, he used to go to see religious people, spiritual mendicants. His wife used to cry and cry for her husband. But what could she do? He was a hopeless case. Finally one day, without any rhyme or reason, the wife died. Nanak was quite happy. He said, “Now I can become a mendicant and go wherever I want to.” So he became a mendicant and went to many places to pray and meditate. He used to go to Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian churches alike. He used to go wherever he could find a place to meditate.

One day Nanak decided to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, which is the most holy place for Muslims. During his journey he happened to lie down for a while with his feet facing a mosque. A priest saw this and said to Nanak, “Look at your audacity! You are lying here with your feet pointing directly at the mosque. What are you doing?”

Nanak said, “Forgive me, I am very tired; I am simply exhausted. Please do me a favour. Will you kindly lift up my feet and point them in a direction where there is no God?”

The priest got the point. He said, “You have taught me that God is everywhere. I have been telling people that Allah is everywhere and in everything, and that the whole world is His creation. But today you have shown me that no matter which direction we face, God is there. So you have taught me a most significant lesson.”

Cremation or burial?

Usually one spiritual Master is not liked by the disciples of other Masters — especially by those following different paths or religions. But both Muslims and Hindus liked Nanak very much, although he was a Sikh and had his own path. Everybody used to speak very highly of him. As a matter of fact, he had many disciples and admirers who were Hindus, Muslims and followers of other religions as well.

When Guru Nanak died, there was a terrible controversy between his Hindu and Muslim disciples. The Hindus said he had to be cremated and the Muslims said that he had to be buried. What could be done? The two parties were about to fight for the dead body.

In accordance with Indian tradition the dead body had been covered with a piece of cloth. All of a sudden, someone removed the cloth and everyone was amazed to see that the dead body had completely disappeared! In its place were hundreds of beautiful, fragrant flowers. So the Hindus and the Muslims each took half of the flowers.

Believe it or not, this is absolutely a true story. Real spiritual Masters can perform this kind of miracle. This story tells us that after the soul has left, you can discard the body in any manner you want. If you belong to the Hindu religion, then you will follow the Hindu system of cremation. If you belong to the Muslim religion, then you will follow the Muslim system of burial. But if you go beyond all religions, then you can do whatever you want to. When their life’s journey is about to come to a close, some spiritual Masters just run into a river or an ocean, never to be found. Some leave the body through their sahasrara or crown chakra. Some set fire to themselves, while others use their spiritual power to invoke burning flames from above, and when the flames descend they are totally burnt. So this is a most significant story.

The son of the Guru is to be worshipped like the Guru

Nanak’s successor was a very good spiritual Master, although he was not as great as Nanak. The successor of this Master was also very good. They were all good Masters.

Nanak’s successor had two sons. They thought that when their father left the body, one of them would become the new Master. But the father knew well that neither of his sons was spiritual, so he did not appoint either of them to be his representative. Before he died, he appointed one of his disciples to become the Guru in his physical absence. This made the two sons very angry with their father as well as with his successor. They became very jealous of the new Master, and always they used to speak ill of him. In every way they tried to hurt him.

This new Master was compassion incarnate. He used to say that the Guru’s sons have to be worshipped like the Guru himself, because the Indian system is like that. It is said that the son of the Guru is to be revered exactly like the father. But it has happened that the father has been a God-realised soul and the son nothing but a donkey.

One day this particular spiritual Master was giving a wonderful discourse. Many disciples were around him, listening with rapt attention.

Then the Master and the disciples meditated for some time with utmost sincerity. O God! All of a sudden the younger son of the previous Master came right up to the new Master and started beating him mercilessly. Finally he kicked the Master off his throne.

The disciples were shocked and horrified and ran up to save their Master. They wanted to kill the son of the previous Master then and there. But this Master said, “If you are my true disciples, then you must not touch him. I won’t allow you even to touch him, let alone strike him!” So they all had to prove that they were their Master’s loyal disciples.

The Master then said, “He is my Master’s son. Therefore, I have to treat him as my own son. This is our tradition. God will take care of him, so I am asking you not to take revenge. If somebody does something wrong to me, I will remain silent. Let him do it a second time and a third time, and I will still remain silent. But if the culprit does something wrong, something really undivine more than three times, then God will have special Concern for the victim. If the victim is repeatedly harassed or mistreated, then God Himself will take care of the aggressor. In some way God will punish him.

“I assure you, I have forgiven this fellow. He is my Master’s son. But if he goes on doing this kind of thing a few times more, then God Himself will punish him. As a matter of fact, he has done many undivine things. This is not the first incident. Soon he will start reaping the fruits of his misconduct. He will be severely punished in the very near future.” The Master’s prophecy proved to be true. This rogue did something very undivine to somebody else and that person punished the culprit so mercilessly that he was bedridden for months. Even then the spiritual Master said, “I feel really sorry for him. Although God Himself has punished him and he deserved this punishment, I feel sorry that my Master’s son had to be punished so badly.”

Look at the faith and love this Master had for his own Master! The previous Master’s son was undivine, to say the least, but he was always ready to forgive him, just because he was his own Master’s son.

Editor's preface to the first edition

Most of the stories in this and other books in this series are Sri Chinmoy’s retelling of traditional Indian tales. On rare occasions the Master has modified a story to make it more acceptable to the Western palate. And a few of the stories are Sri Chinmoy’s own. These tales are not only delicious and nourishing, but also encouraging and illumining. Some are quite entertaining. Others are surcharged with morality-flames and spirituality-fire, which easily enlighten the Western mind, strengthen the vital and quicken the journey of the body-consciousness. Together they represent two trees standing side by side: entertainment-tree and enlightenment-tree. Both trees are at your disposal. Appreciate their flowers and fruits to your heart’s content.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Great Indian meals: divinely delicious and supremely nourishing, part 10, Agni Press, 1982
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