Whatever you want, God gives

Part I — Three classical Indian stories1

WYW 1e1. Sri Chinmoy recounted these three classical Indian stories to a group of children during August and September 1994.

Whatever you want, God gives

This story shows that whatever you want, God gives. If you want material things, God gives them to you. If you want spiritual things, God gives them to you. In this story, Lord Sri Krishna represents God in a human form.

When he was of a tender age, Krishna had a very close friend named Sudhama. Sudhama was very pure and very poor. He and Krishna used to study together, along with a few other students, under the spiritual guidance of a Guru named Sandipani.

For Lord Krishna, this spiritual figure was like a kindergarten teacher. When you are a little kid, you go to kindergarten. The kindergarten teacher perhaps knows only how to teach you kindergarten subjects. Then you spend years in the library and become the ocean of wisdom. You get your Master’s degree and PhD But your kindergarten teacher remains at the kindergarten level. In the same way, Lord Krishna eventually went far beyond his teacher; there was no comparison between the two.

When Sudhama came to realise who his friend and playmate was, he became an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. He used to spend his days singing spiritual songs in the street, especially bhajans. He composed them in his own way and they were all dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Eventually, Lord Krishna became the King of Dwaraka, but Sudhama remained very poor. He depended entirely on others’ generosity for his livelihood. With the money he collected, first he used to offer something to Lord Krishna, to God. Then he used to buy food for his children. If there was any money left over, he would buy food for his wife and himself.

When his children got older, it became extremely difficult to meet the family’s living expenses. One day his wife, Kalyani, said to him, “You know that you and Krishna were very close friends. Do you not think you could ask him for some material wealth?”

The husband said, “When you ask someone for money or for any kind of material wealth, friendship disappears.”

The wife said, “No, no, no! Your friendship will not come to an end.”

Finally her husband agreed. He said, “I will go to him to see how he is doing. Now that he has become King of Dwaraka, I hope he still remembers me. Even if he doesn’t remember me, inwardly I know he is King of the world. I will go for his affection, love and blessings.”

His wife was very happy and excited that her husband was going to see Lord Krishna. She felt that her husband would not even have to tell Krishna about their poverty. As soon as Krishna saw her husband, Krishna would know everything about him and give him material wealth. Then they would become rich overnight.

As Sudhama was leaving for Krishna’s palace, his wife did not forget to give him a small quantity of puffed rice that she herself had prepared. It was a gift for his dearest Friend, Lord Krishna.

When Krishna saw his old friend from a distance, the King literally ran towards him and embraced him. Krishna showed him such affection, saying, “Sudhama, my childhood friend, you have come! Where can I get another friend like you?”

Krishna’s wife Rukmini fed Sudhama because he was a very special guest. Then the two friends enjoyed a siesta. After the siesta, Krishna asked him, “By the way, are you married?”

Sudhama replied, “Yes, I am married, and I have a few children.”

“How is your wife? Is she nice to you?” Krishna asked.

“She is very, very devoted to me,” Sudhama answered.

Krishna said, “If you have a wife, then I am sure you have brought me something from her. She wouldn’t have allowed you to come to see your friend without giving you something.”

His friend said, “Yes, but I am embarrassed to give it to you because you are the King.”

Krishna said, “No, you have to give it to me. I have to get from you what your wife has sent me.”

Very fearfully, Sudhama gave Krishna the small portion of puffed rice that his wife had given him. Krishna was so delighted. He said, “This is most delicious!” and he ate to his heart’s content.

Then Krishna asked, “Do you have any news for me?”

“Oh no, I have no news,” answered Sudhama. “Everything is all right with me. Only I have come here to see you and receive from you your love and blessings. I have not come here for anything material.”

Krishna asked, “You don’t need anything?”

“No,” his friend answered.

“What about your children?” the King asked.

“Oh no,” said Sudhama. “They don’t need anything. God is everywhere. He will take care of them, so I don’t need anything. You have given me such compassion, affection and blessingful love. I don’t need anything more.”

So the friend went home very happy and pleased that Krishna had showered upon him such blessings and affection. But when he arrived at his village, he discovered that his little hut had been replaced by a big beautiful mansion. It was like a palace, with lots of servants. His wife, Kalyani, was also transfigured. She was dressed like a queen and she was so happy.

Sudhama asked, “How did this all happen?”

“You do not know?” his wife asked. “When you went to see Krishna, all of a sudden our little hut was transformed into a palace.”

Sudhama started shedding tears of gratitude, saying, “Lord Krishna, you fulfil everybody’s desires. My wife needed material wealth; you have fulfilled her desire. I needed spiritual wealth — your affection, love and blessings; you also fulfilled my desire.”

Commentary to _Whatever you want, God gives_

Whatever we want from God, whether we have earthly desires or Heavenly desires, He will give us. Since Sudhama’s wife sincerely wanted material wealth, her desire was fulfilled by Lord Krishna. Her husband wanted spiritual blessings, affection, love and compassion, and Lord Krishna also fulfilled his desires. So we have to be careful what we ask of God. If we pray and pray for the fulfilment of earthly desires, God will fulfil them. Only we have to have patience. Again, if we want our aspiration to be fulfilled, God will also fulfil it, but this takes longer. The only problem is that when earthly desires are fulfilled, they are not really fulfilled. They only increase and increase and increase. Desire is like a ceaseless hunger that can never be appeased. Nobody will be able to derive lasting satisfaction from the fulfilment of earthly desires. But if we get only an iota of spiritual wealth, we are satisfied. And this spiritual wealth we can increase by increasing our aspiration. As our inner hunger increases, we are able to receive more and more of God’s Blessings, Love, Compassion, Light and Delight.

The Grace of Mother Kali

There was a great, great, great poet of ancient India named Kalidasa. As in English literature the author Shakespeare is an immortal figure, even so, in the firmament of Indian literature, Kalidasa is definitely an immortal figure. He wrote his plays and poems in Sanskrit. His most beloved epic poem is Megha Dutam, the cloud-messenger.

Kalidasa lived during the reign of a good, kind, benevolent and powerful king named Vikramaditya. To encourage inspiring, illumining and divine activities in his court, he appointed nine extraordinary figures, who were known as navaratna, the nine gems. They were experts in various fields, such as medicine, astronomy, painting and so on. Kalidasa happened to be one of those nine gems. He was the asthana kavi, the poet of the royal court.

This is the story of how Kalidasa became a great poet. When he was still a young man, there lived a king who had a very beautiful daughter. She was extremely well versed in the scriptures. Unfortunately, pride very successfully entered into her mind and she declared that she would marry only the person who could defeat her in philosophical or spiritual argument. Many, many pundits and great Sanskrit scholars who knew Indian scriptures accepted her challenge. But, to their extreme sorrow, one by one they were all defeated and badly humiliated. The disappointed suitors wanted to find a way to retaliate against the princess for their humiliation, but no matter how hard they tried they could not succeed.

One day, four of these pundits happened to be in a tiny village when they saw a young shepherd. The shepherd was unclean and untidy; his face appeared to be dull, to say the least. When they first saw him, he was sitting on a branch of a tree, enjoying some fruits. At the same time, he was chopping off the very branch on which he was sitting!

A brilliant idea flashed across the foreheads of those pundits. They said, “We shall play a trick on the princess and get even with her by bringing her this shepherd and pretending that he is the greatest scholar. Who knows, perhaps this unparalleled idiot will even defeat the princess in argument.”

So they brought him down from the tree, helped him to take a bath, gave him most delicious food and put nice clothes and a turban on him. Now he looked like a real pundit. Then they escorted him to the city and advised him: “You have to keep absolutely silent, for we are going to take you to the princess.”

The young man got frightened: “The princess? What for?”

They told him, “So that you will be able to defeat her in argument and marry her.”

On the one hand, the poor shepherd was frightened to death; on the other hand, he was tempted. He was ready to go and defeat the princess in argument. The pundits told him, “Whenever the princess asks you a question, only answer with gestures — by raising your hands and fingers.”

When the shepherd and the pundits entered the palace, they told the princess that the shepherd was a great saint who had taken a vow of silence. When the princess asked him her first question, she pointed one finger at him. The shepherd knew nothing, but since she had shown him one finger, it came to him to show her two fingers in reply. Then the pundits gave a wonderful explanation of what his gesture meant. Like that, she asked him many questions, and whatever came to this idiot’s mind, with his fingers he answered. Then the clever pundits gave super-excellent explanations.

The princess was highly pleased with the shepherd and his answers, and she said, “I am now prepared to marry this great scholar.” The pundits also received generous rewards from the princess for bringing such a great scholar to her.

So the princess and the young man got married. Oh God, hardly two hours had elapsed before she came to discover that this fellow was the worst possible fool in God’s entire creation! When he started talking, nothing made any sense. She was miserable that she had been fooled by the pundits, but what could she do? She said to her new husband, “I will keep you as my husband provided that you listen to my request. Otherwise, I am going to throw you out of my palace.”

He said fearfully, “Yes, I will listen to you.”

She told him to go to the Mother Kali temple that very evening and bolt the door from the inside. Then he had to pray to Mother Kali. When Mother Kali knocked at the door, he had to tell Her that he would allow Her to come in only if She agreed to bless him and make him a great scholar.

The young man obeyed his wife. He went to the Mother Kali temple and bolted the door from the inside. Then he started praying most devotedly. After a few hours, Mother Kali came and knocked at the door. As he was opening the door for Her, he said, “Mother, Mother, I will let You in only if You bless me. Otherwise, I will not allow You to come inside.”

Seeing his sincerity, Mother Kali looked at him and poured all Her Compassion into him. She said, “Open your mouth and show Me your tongue.” When he did so, She wrote down on his tongue an esoteric mantra — something most sacred and secret. Immediately, he was endowed with divine gifts: he became very cultured; he was able to speak Sanskrit fluently and he started composing poems.

When he returned home later that night, his wife was so pleased with his transformation. To her greatest joy, he had become a great scholar and poet overnight. The two lived very happily together. The young man became known as Kalidasa. ‘Dasa’ means slave or servant. He received wisdom-light from Mother Kali; that is why his name was Kalidasa — the servant of Mother Kali.

Commentary to _The Grace of Mother Kali_

When the Grace of Mother Kali or any aspect of the Divine Mother enters into us, miracles can take place in the twinkling of an eye. You saw that those real scholars who went to the princess all lost to her. Then the scholars played a trick on her and defeated her by using foul means. But the story does not end there. The story ends very sweetly, very satisfactorily. Kalidasa, her husband, became the greatest scholar and poet.

I wish to tell you that there is a great difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge comes from books, but wisdom comes either from the inmost recesses of our heart, or directly from our soul, or from Above. This kind of wisdom is infinitely, infinitely superior to knowledge.

If you pray to the Supreme for inner wisdom, He will definitely give it to you. If you want to be of service to Him in raising the consciousness of humanity, if you want to take part in His Cosmic Game, if you want to be His supremely chosen instrument, then He will grant you the golden opportunity.

Sweetest children, you will live on earth for another fifty, sixty or eighty years, and then your body will go. You will see how fleeting these years are! But if you have aspiration, then you can grow into the eternal Life. The more you become consciously aware of the soul, which is a direct representative of God, the more you will grow into God’s infinite Light, Peace and Bliss and the more you will be able to manifest these qualities on earth.

Everybody wants happiness. But true happiness comes only from oneness with the will of your soul, with the Will of God. If you obey His Will, sleeplessly and breathlessly, then you will be happy.

So, dear ones, value your spiritual life. Do not depend on others to inspire you and help you. Be your own inspiration. The good things that you are doing, increase. Do not trust your mind when it says, “This is right.” One moment the mind will say, “Go this way.” The next moment it will say, “Go that way.” The mind is only playing football with you. But the heart does not do that. The heart knows the Will of the Supreme, and the heart will always tell you to go towards the Light. So if you can always remain in the heart, then you will always be able to proceed towards the Golden Shore. With infinite love, compassion, concern and divine pride I am requesting you, sweet children, to always remain most beautiful and fragrant flowers inside the Heart-Garden of the Supreme.

A child's love for God

I am telling this story for children. But since we are all God’s children, this story is applicable to each and every one of us. You have heard many stories about the love that children can have for God. But this particular story is extremely significant, especially for those who accept the spiritual life at a tender age. From this story you will learn how a little girl’s love for God increased and increased as she grew older.

I am sure some of you have heard the name Mirabai. Mirabai was a devotee of the high, higher, highest order. Among the saints of India, she is absolutely unparalleled. She composed many, many bhajans, which are prayerful songs to God. Each song Mirabai wrote expressed her inspiration, aspiration and sleepless self-giving.

Mirabai came of a royal family in Rajasthan. Her father was named Ratna Singh. He was often away from home, fighting the Mogul emperors. He was a very brave warrior. One day, a sadhu came to visit her parents. He stayed at their palace for one day as a special guest. The sadhu was very pleased with her father’s nobility and saintly qualities. So, as he was leaving, he presented Ratna Singh with a very beautiful doll or statue of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is the embodiment of God.

At this time, Mirabai was only three years old. She was dying to have the doll that her father had been given, but he did not want to give it to her. You may think that the father was mean. But he had two special reasons for keeping the doll. The first reason was that since this doll came from a sadhu or holy man, it had very special blessings. Ratna Singh wanted to preserve these blessings, not in a miserly way, but so that they could be assimilated properly. The other reason he had for not giving the doll to Mirabai was that he thought she would spend all her time playing with it.

When Mira saw that he was not going to give her the doll, she stopped eating. Then what could the poor father do? Since she was refusing to eat, he gave her the doll. From that time on, Mira was always playing with her doll. She used to talk to the doll and sing to it; she was so fond of it.

When she was five years old, a wedding procession happened to pass in front of her father’s palace. Mira asked her mother, “What is happening?”

Her mother replied, “It is a wedding. These two are getting married.”

Out of curiosity, Mirabai asked her mother, “Whom am I going to marry?”

For some reason, her mother answered, “You are already married, my child.”

“Who is my husband?” cried Mira.

“This doll, Lord Krishna, is your beloved husband,” said her mother. Mira was so happy to learn that Krishna was her husband.

As time went on, Mira’s prayers increased and they also became more soulful. Every day, for hours on end, she would talk to the doll and sing and dance before the doll. She acted as if the doll were a real human being. In her case, the doll was a real being. Lord Krishna’s living Presence was inside the doll.

Her grandfather and the other members of her family were confused. What should they do with this little girl? They decided that the sooner they could give her in marriage, the better. As her love for her husband increased, perhaps her devotion to this doll would decrease. Plus, she would have many household duties to attend to.

At this time, Mira was only eight years old. But in those days, it was quite acceptable for parents to arrange their children’s marriages when the children were very young. So Mira was given in marriage to Prince Bhoja Raj. He was the eldest son of Rana Sanga of Chittor. The ruler of Chittor was considered to be the leader of the Hindu royal houses, so this marriage raised Mira to a very high social position.

Mira’s husband was a very great warrior. During the day, Mira would carry out her duties and listen to her mother-in-law devotedly. Then in the evening, she would take her little doll into the temple. There she would talk to the doll and sing and dance.

Unfortunately, her mother-in-law did not approve of this at all. She said to Mira, “You cannot keep late hours like this. You are just a little girl. You have to stay at home and go to sleep.”

But Mira insisted, “I want to go to the temple and pray every night.”

Her mother-in-law raised another objection. “You are praying to Krishna, but Krishna is not our family deity. Our deity is Gauri, an aspect of Durga, and Durga is the consort of Lord Shiva. So you cannot continue praying to Krishna in our family.”

Mira paid no heed to her mother-in-law. She said, “No, I will not listen to you. My Beloved is Lord Krishna. It is to Him that I must pray.” So Mira and her mother-in-law had a serious fight. But from then on, the mother-in-law remained silent and allowed Mira to continue with her spiritual activities.

Mira was now very happy. In the day she would work and in the evening she could go to the temple to meditate, sing and dance with her Lord Krishna.

She worshipped Krishna as Gopala Giridhara — the young cowherd boy who played His flute on the banks of the Jamuna River in Brindaban. Brindaban was Krishna’s childhood home. To protect His devotees from a deluge, He once raised aloft a mountain so they could take shelter under it. That is the meaning of the epithet ‘Giridhara.’ When Mira worshipped her doll, Lord Krishna would appear before her in that form and play with her and talk to her.

It happened that her husband’s sister became very jealous of Mira. She had heard her mother say that Mira was very spiritual and talked to God all the time. This sister-in-law wanted to punish Mira. So she started spreading rumours that Mira had quite a few lovers. She told people that Mira was bringing them into the temple at night and mixing with them there. Mira heard the court rumours, but she didn’t pay any attention to them. She was twelve or thirteen years old at that time.

One day this unbearable sister-in-law told Mira’s husband: “Are you blind? Your wife has so many boyfriends. I can easily prove it. Just go and see what happens in the temple at night.”

Mira’s husband became furious, and that night he waited outside the temple. When he heard Mira talking with someone, he broke open the temple door and rushed inside with his naked sword. Mira had been talking to Lord Krishna. He had appeared to her in His celestial Form. But as soon as the husband came, He disappeared. Mira’s husband saw only his wife and her little doll; no other human being was present. He laughed and said, “My sister told me nothing but lies!” Then he went away. After he left, Mira was crying and crying for her Lord Krishna: “Where have You gone, where have You gone?”

Even after this episode, the sister-in-law went on telling spiteful stories about Mira. It was too much for Mira, but what could she do? At least she was able to go to the temple every evening and worship her Beloved Lord in her own way.

By this time she had composed quite a few prayerful and soulful bhajans. People started singing her bhajans in the street. In this way everybody in the kingdom came to know the name Mirabai. They all were very proud of her.

At that time, Akbar succeeded his father as the Mogul Emperor. Although he was a Muslim, he liked the Hindu culture. At his court he retained all kinds of talented and extraordinary people from various religions. Akbar always appreciated others’ good qualities. In the course of time, he came to hear about Mirabai, so he wanted to go and see her.

At first it seemed impossible to fulfil this wish. Mirabai’s family and the Mogul emperors had always been the worst of enemies! If he went to see Mirabai, he would be risking his life and he would also be placing Mirabai in great danger. But Akbar was determined to go. He said, “I won’t go as the Emperor with my army. I will go in disguise.”

So he and his court musician, Tansen, dressed themselves in ochre robes like wandering sannyasins. In this disguise they approached the temple where Mirabai was worshipping. In the temple the devotees were singing and dancing. Right in the centre was Mirabai, singing most soulfully.

Akbar and Tansen were deeply moved by Mirabai’s voice and prayers. To show his gratitude, Akbar placed a diamond necklace at the feet of Mirabai’s little statue of Lord Krishna. People who were present were amazed at the mendicant’s gesture. They wondered if perhaps somebody quite rich had come in the form of a mendicant. Akbar and Tansen then went away.

In a few days’ time, it became known that it was the Emperor himself who had come. Mirabai’s husband became enraged and said to his wife, “You have incurred the worst possible sin. You are a Hindu princess, but you have allowed a Muslim to look at your face. I can look at you no more. You have to go to the river and drown yourself.”

Poor Mirabai! She was so miserable at this turn of events. She was not responsible for what had happened. But even so, she was ready to enter into the river and commit suicide. She walked towards the river, accompanied by some of her followers and devotees. She was about to enter into the river when Lord Krishna appeared and grabbed her. He said to His dearest devotee, “No, I don’t want you to commit suicide. You have done nothing wrong. Please leave this place and come to Brindaban. There you will see Me.”

So Mirabai left her husband and, with a few followers, went to Brindaban. There she was able to spend all her time worshipping Krishna and singing Krishna bhajans. Her bhajans were simpler than the simplest. Sometimes they consisted of only four or five words. Sometimes they consisted only of her name and Lord Krishna’s name: “Mira Gopala Giridhara.” Like that she would go on and on singing in her devotional way. The whole community was so pleased with her, so proud of her and so grateful to her.

Meanwhile, Mirabai’s husband became miserable. He realised how pure and pious his wife was. Her name was fast becoming a household word. He did not want to listen to his relatives’ advice any more. So he went to Brindaban and brought Mirabai back to the palace. There he treated her well and allowed her to continue worshipping in the temple. But the other relatives mistreated her badly.

When Mirabai was only twenty-three years old, Bhoja Raj died. Then the throne passed on to a relative who behaved in a very undivine way towards Mirabai. When he saw everybody appreciating her spiritual qualities, it was too much for him. The flame of jealousy burned inside him, and he wanted to kill her. He knew that early in the morning she used to pray for hours to Lord Krishna and adorn the shrine with most beautiful flowers. So one day he sent her a basket of flowers as a gift. Inside the flowers, he concealed a deadly snake. He knew perfectly well that it would bite her the moment she touched the flowers.

But something miraculous happened. When Mirabai placed her hand on the flowers, the snake was also transformed into flowers. So no harm came to her. The King could not believe that his ploy had failed.

A few days later, he sent her a cup of milk, saying that he was so pleased and happy with her. But the cup of so-called pure milk contained a very powerful poison.

Lord Krishna came to Mirabai and warned her that there was poison in the milk. Then He told her to drink it anyway. The Lord said that He would protect her. So, after she had finished her worship, she drank the contents of the cup. But Krishna had turned the poison into nectar. Needless to say, nothing happened to her.

The King tried many other methods of torturing Mirabai, but Lord Krishna saved her each time. Finally, Mirabai approached a few spiritual Masters to ask what she should do. They all advised her to leave the palace. So, after many long years of suffering, Mirabai went back to Brindaban on foot. By that time, she had many, many followers, and the whole of India resounded with her bhajans. Krishna-lovers especially were so proud of her and so grateful to her because her main theme was: “Krishna is my all; Gopal is my all!” One day, many years afterwards, Mirabai was in the temple singing. There were quite a few devotees around her and they were singing as well. Lord Krishna was so pleased with Mirabai that He appeared before her in His subtle human form. This form is so tangible when one’s third eye is open. Mirabai was able to see her Lord, but the others didn’t have the subtle vision to see Him. However, they did see something in her.

Lord Krishna opened up His heart chakra. Then Mirabai entered into His heart and disappeared. That is how she passed away. At that time she was in a high, ecstatic consciousness. And with her physical body she melted into His divine form and disappeared. This is how the story ends.

Commentary to _A child's love for God_

The Supreme is your Guru, my Guru, everybody’s Guru. He resides inside everybody’s heart. If you want to follow the spiritual life, if you want to inspire the whole world, then the Supreme should be your only Beloved. If you really need God, as Mirabai did, then He has to be your only joy, your only love, your only satisfaction and your only fulfilment.

Part II — Two stories by Mano Ranjan Ghose2

WYW 5e2. These two stories are by Mano Ranjan Ghose. They were translated from the original Bengali by his younger brother, Chinmoy. The stories first appeared in AUM Magazine, Volume 1, Number 1, printed in 1974.

Mirabai and the sannyasin

Mirabai was a princess of Rajasthan. She was a woman of immense beauty and virtue.

In the course of time Mirabai was married to a prince. In his family everyone was a worshipper of the Mother-Power. Mirabai was the only worshipper of Sri Krishna. Because of this, a sad dispute arose every day.

There came a time when, utterly dejected and frustrated, Mirabai left her husband’s palace and went to Brindaban to live. It happened that a Bengali sannyasin, who was also a great worshipper of Sri Krishna, went to Brindaban at the same time.

Mirabai expressed a deep desire to visit this Bengali sannyasin, but the sannyasin would not condescend to see her. She was told that the sannyasin lived a life of austerity and penance, hence it was impossible for him to see and speak to a woman. Mirabai was deeply hurt.

A few days later, without securing the sannyasin’s permission, Mirabai went to visit him. She said, “I have always known that in Brindaban there is only one man, and that man is Lord Krishna. The rest are all women, his devotees. How dare you claim to be another man? For me there is only one man, Krishna, here in Brindaban.”

The sannyasin recognised his mistake. His pride was smashed by Mirabai’s soulful wisdom-light. He spoke to Mirabai, and Mirabai became his disciple.

The Buddha's silence wins

One day the Lord Buddha was meditating. An elderly man came in and started abusing the Buddha most ruthlessly. The Buddha remained absolutely silent.

How long could he continue his abuse? After a while he stopped and was about to leave the place. But the Buddha said, “Just wait, please. I have something to ask you. Tell me, when you offer gifts to a person, if he does not accept your gifts, what do you do?”

“I just take them back.”

The Buddha said, “Well, you have been trying to offer me the gifts that you brought with you. Since I have not accepted your gifts, you are taking them back with you.”

The man felt sad and ashamed of his conduct. He begged forgiveness of the Buddha. The Buddha forgave him, and eventually he became a close disciple of the Buddha.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Whatever you want, God gives, Agni Press, 1994
Sourced from https://srichinmoylibrary.com/wyw