The stolen diamond

A very, very rich man had a diamond shop. His assistant was extremely sincere and devoted. This worker asked the owner for a loan so that he could make preparations for his daughter’s marriage.

The owner said, “No, no, I do not give loans. You are a good worker. I give you a salary, but I cannot give you a loan. I do not trust people, so I do not give loans.”

The worker was miserable. He was worried that although his daughter was still beautiful, she was getting old. In a few years, who would marry her? He said to himself, “What can I do now?” He was thinking of going to some nice, kind-hearted man to borrow money.

Later that day, a wealthy man came to the shop and wanted to buy a most beautiful, most precious diamond. While he was selecting the diamond, the owner suddenly had to attend to an urgent matter, so he said to his assistant, “You take care of him. I have to leave now.”

The worker accepted the rich man’s payment and put the diamond in a small package. Meanwhile, a very old friend of the rich man saw him in the shop and came inside. They embraced and talked to each other for a long time. Finally, the rich man and his old friend went away together. When he left, the rich man forgot to take the diamond.

The boss had left, so the worker was the only person in the shop. The worker said to himself, “At this time in my life I have to do something so important. My daughter is supposed to get married.” What temptation can do! He said, “Now this is the time for me to act. The owner has left, and the rich man has forgotten to take his diamond. He is so rich. Nothing will happen if he does not get this particular diamond. He will be able to buy another diamond.”

The worker put the diamond, which he had already packed nicely, in his pocket and started walking to a nearby pawn shop to sell it. He was practically at the pawn shop when his conscience started haunting him. He said to himself, “I have been honest all my life. What am I doing? My daughter wants to get married, and I badly need money. If I can sell this diamond, then my daughter will have a beautiful wedding and she will be very honoured. She will be so happy, and her husband will be so happy. All right, just once in my life let me do this, although I know it is very bad.”

When the worker reached the pawn shop, he discovered that his pocket had a hole and the diamond had fallen out! He said, “O God, You have saved me, You have saved me, You have saved me!” Then again, he was extremely afraid of what would happen the next day. His conscience was bothering him ruthlessly. He said to himself, “All my life I have been such a nice, honest man. Now what have I done? I have lost the diamond, so tomorrow I will be punished. This is the result of my wrong action! I did something bad, so now God will punish me. Anyway, let me see what my fate will be, now that I have become so bad.”

The worker went to the temple next door to the shop and started praying and crying: “God, save me, save me, save me! What have I done? What have I done? Now I will be blamed by my boss. He will not believe me, no matter what I say. And I will also be blamed by the rich man.”

The worker decided that if sincerity had any value, then he should tell the whole story to his boss and to the fellow who had bought the diamond. He said, “Let them punish me. How could I become so bad?”

Early the next morning, the rich man who had bought the diamond started walking toward the shop. All of a sudden, he saw a young man pick up something from the street. It happened that this young fellow was the servant of the assistant who had stolen the diamond. This assistant had gone to work, and the servant was carrying a special message from the assistant’s wife, asking him to buy something on his way home.

The rich man said to the young servant, “Let me see what you have found.”

What did he see? It was exactly the same diamond that he had bought the day before! The rich man told him, “This is mine! I dropped it yesterday.” He was sure that he had dropped it while he was walking with his dearest friend.

The servant did not question him because he was a very rich man. The rich man said, “I am taking my diamond, and I am giving you a very large sum of money.” Immediately he gave ten thousand rupees to the servant.

The servant said, “What shall I do with this money?”

The rich man said, “You deserve a reward. Just take it.” Then he continued walking.

The servant said to himself, “My master is so nice, so kind to me. He is dying with worries about his daughter’s marriage. I like him, and I also like his daughter so much. Let me give this money to my master.”

Meanwhile, the assistant in the diamond shop was dying of anxiety. He opened the shop, but then he said, “My boss will come late today. Now let me go to the temple and pray again.”

Again he went to the temple to pray to God for forgiveness. He said, “God, tell me what to do. My boss will be furious, and the man who bought the diamond will also be furious.”

The servant saw his master entering into the temple to pray. He went up to his master and said, “I have such good news, such happy news!”

The assistant said, “What kind of good news?”

The servant said, “You see, your wife asked me to bring you a message. On the way, I found something in the street. I did not see you in the shop, so I was about to go back home when I found you here in the temple. Now let me give you some good news: I have received some money out of the blue, and I am giving it to you.” Then the servant gave his master the money.

The assistant asked, “How did you get this money?”

The servant said, “I found a diamond in the street, and the owner came up to me to claim it. He said that yesterday he bought it from the shop where you work, and on his way home he dropped it. Since I found it, he was so pleased with me that he gave me ten thousand rupees. What do I need this money for? You are so kind to me. Your wife is also so kind to me. You have made me so happy by accepting me as your servant. Therefore, I am giving you the money.”

Look how God saved this fellow! On the way to the pawn shop to sell the diamond, he lost it. His own servant found it, and the man who had bought it retrieved his diamond. The servant was amply rewarded and he gave the entire amount to his master. Later, when the daughter came to know what had happened, she hugged the servant and said, “You have saved me! Now I will be able to get married.”

The assistant went back into the temple, crying and crying and crying with gratitude to God. When his boss came to the diamond shop, he saw that it was closed. Finally, the assistant arrived with his servant.

The boss asked, “Why are you late today? What have you been doing? Why are you crying?”

The assistant said, “Today I was in the mood to pray because God is so kind to me.” He was still crying out of sheer gratitude to God for saving him.

The assistant was about to tell the whole story. He was going to be very frank about what he had done, but the servant stopped him. The servant said, “I found a diamond in the street on my way to the shop. A rich man came up to me and said it was his, so he gave me a large amount of money. He said he had dropped the diamond in the street.”

The owner of the diamond shop was quite pleased. Then his sincere assistant said, “Please, please, I want to tell you the whole story.”

He confessed the whole thing. The owner of the diamond shop was simply shocked. He said, “How can you be so bad?” Then he fired the assistant.

Soon the rich man came to learn that the assistant had been fired. The rich man himself went to give the assistant a very, very large amount of money. He said, “You are an honest man. You did one thing wrong out of desperate necessity for the sake of your daughter’s marriage. Now you can open up a diamond shop of your own.”

The marriage did take place, and the man opened up a shop with the money that the rich man had given him. Soon he also became very rich.

Bad people can do many bad things every day and it does not bother them. But when good people do one bad thing, their conscience tortures them so much. They really suffer until they have rectified their mistake.

The great philosopher

There was a great philosopher. He had acquired name and fame, but he wanted to renounce everything. He said that name and fame did not bring him inner joy.

One day the great philosopher was swimming in a pool. The swimming pool was dirtier than the dirtiest, but he was getting tremendous joy. The philosopher was in his own world. After some time, a minister came from the king’s palace and said to the philosopher, “You have to come with me now. The king wants you to come and stay at the palace, so you have to come immediately. The king wants to utilise your wisdom.”

The philosopher said, “Please tell me, does the king have a turtle in his palace?”

What kind of question was this? The king had summoned him, and the philosopher had to ask if the king had a turtle! The minister started laughing and said, “This kind of philosopher the king will keep in his palace? All right, I shall tell you. Yes, the king has one turtle, and he keeps it in a very beautiful glass container. When people come to visit, they ask to see the turtle and we show it to them inside the glass container.”

Then the philosopher said, “Look here, I do not want to be in the king’s showcase. I am also a turtle, and I am satisfied with this swimming pool. Even if it is dirty, here I am enjoying my life. Here I am my own boss. In the palace I will not be my own boss. The king will utilise me at his sweet will. He will ask me all kinds of silly questions. If I do not answer, he will be upset. Again, if I answer the questions correctly, then he will try to show off by telling the whole world about me.”

The minister said, “I do not want to hear your philosophy. You have to come with me. The king has called for you. What the king wants to do with your life, the king alone knows. It is not my problem.”

Then the philosopher said, “I want to have peace of mind. With great difficulty I have entered into the spiritual life, and I have given up studying philosophy. I shall not answer questions with regard to philosophy. Just as there is no peace in politics, there is no peace in philosophy. Philosophy is in the mind. Let us bring Sri Ramakrishna into the picture. Sri Ramakrishna said that in the Vedic era, people used to pray for years and years to have darshan, the direct vision of God. But nowadays people can buy a book for ten rupees to learn about darshan, which is the Sanskrit term for philosophy. Now that I have entered into the spiritual life, I am so happy. I am getting peace, peace and peace. I do not want to lose my peace, so I do not want to go to the palace.”

The minister said, “You have to come! Otherwise I will arrest you.”

Then the philosopher said, “All right, take me. You may take my body, but you cannot take the real me.” Again he started giving his philosophy!

The minister brought the philosopher to the king, and the king asked him a few questions. After each question the philosopher said, “God alone knows, God alone knows.”

The king became annoyed. He said, “God alone knows? Then where is God? And how do you know that God alone knows?”

The philosopher said, “I know that God alone knows.”

“Then prove it,” said the king. “Where is God?”

The philosopher said, “I am searching for Him. Once I find Him, I will bring Him to you.”

Then the king said, “You are a hopeless case! Go back home. Find God first, and then bring Him to me.”

Then the great philosopher was released and allowed to go back home.

The teacher and the student

Once a teacher said to a particular student, “You have to form a sentence or a few sentences containing the words ‘something’ and ‘everything’.”

The student thought for a long time. He said, “I am finding it difficult to form a sentence using both ‘something’ and ‘everything’.”

The teacher said, “I will help you out in case you cannot do it.”

The young boy finally gave his answer: “An executive is he who is supposed to know something of everything.”

The teacher clapped enthusiastically for the student.

Then the young boy gave another example: “A technician is he who knows something perfectly, whereas a barber is he who knows everything imperfectly.”

The teacher was very happy.

Finally the student said, “There is something of truth in the statement: ‘A lawyer ruins everything’. There is more truth in the statement: ‘A doctor butchers everything’. And there is one hundred per cent truth in the statement: ‘My little dog eats up everything’.”

The teacher was so thrilled with her brilliant student. She said, “I did not know all these things. I am the one who posed the question, but you have answered it to my full satisfaction.”

A widow is the answer

A teacher asked his student, “Can you show me someone who is both ‘bereaved’ and ‘relieved’? I am sure you know the meaning of these two words. If somebody dies, you are bereaved. And if you have some pain, when the pain goes away, you are relieved.”

The clever student said, “Your question is so easy. I know a certain widow. Let me bring her here. Because her husband has passed away, she is bereaved. Again, since she had no love for her husband, she is greatly relieved!”

Two grandmothers

Two grandmothers met to chat together. One of them said, “Please, please, I have to tell you something very significant about my granddaughter. It is so cute, so cute.”

The other grandmother said, “All right, what is it? If you want to tell me about your granddaughter — how beautiful and how good she is, and how she has done something very great and significant — I shall listen to you without fail. But there is one condition: you have to listen to all my stories about my twenty grandchildren.”

The first grandmother immediately said, “In that case, I have changed my mind. I do not want to tell you about my granddaughter. Let us change the topic!”

The theft of the five mangoes

There was an old man who had stationed himself on the sidewalk of a busy street. There he was selling very ripe and delicious mangoes to the passersby. He did very brisk business and soon five mangoes were all that remained. Suddenly a young man came and snatched away the mangoes without paying. The old man cried, “What are you doing?”

The young man haughtily replied, “Look, I am the servant of a very important person. If you do not believe me, you can ask anybody. My master lives in a splendid tent near the palace. He is such a great man. So why should I have to pay you for these mangoes? On the contrary, you should be very proud that I am taking your mangoes for my master.” So saying, the young man left the vicinity with his stolen goods.

The old man cried bitterly. Then he decided to take his case to the king because he knew that the king was extremely kind-hearted. As soon as he appeared before the king, the king asked, “Please tell me why you are crying. What has happened to upset you so badly?”

The old man replied, “I am crying because five of my mangoes were just stolen. One young man came and took them for his master. He said that his master is a very great man and I should be proud to provide mangoes for him free of charge. He also told me that this master of his lives near your palace in a most beautiful tent.”

“Then I can easily trace him,” said the king, and he sent his bodyguards to search for the tent of that important person. If they found even one mango inside, then it would be taken as proof of the old man’s story.

The bodyguards went out of the palace and easily located that particular tent. Inside it were the five mangoes, still uneaten. When they reported their discovery to the king, the king summoned the owner, who happened to be a very wealthy man. The king asked him, “Do you own the five mangoes that my guards found inside your tent?”

The rich man said, “Yes, they are mine.”

The king asked, “Then where did you obtain them?”

“Oh, I do not know,” answered the rich man.

“If you did not buy them, who did?” continued the king.

“My servant presented me with these mangoes,” said the rich man. “I have no idea what he paid for them or where he bought them.”

The king said, “I would like to speak with your servant.”

“Your Majesty,” said the rich man, “I have sent my servant on an errand.”

The king asked, “When will he return?”

“It may take a little time,” said the rich man, “but I assure you, I have not stolen these mangoes. As for my servant, I simply have no idea whether he paid for them or not.”

The king said, “I believe you. You are innocent, but your servant is so bad. Now listen to me, kindly return the mangoes to this old man. Still you deserve more punishment. I order you to be the slave of this old man for five days — one day for each mango. Whatever he asks you to do, you have to do immediately. And if he makes any complaint against you, then I will punish you further.”

So for five days the rich man and not his servant had to be the slave of the old mango-seller. Anything that this old man asked him to do, he had to do.

After a few days, the servant-thief completed his errand and came back to the tent. He saw that his master was not there and he made enquiries as to his whereabouts. In this way, he came to learn what had befallen his master. The servant immediately ran to the street where he had first seen the old mango-seller, and there he discovered his master doing some menial work.

“You rogue!” said the master. “I gave you money to buy mangoes for me, but you told this poor man that you did not have to pay because you were my servant. Since I am such an important person, you told him that you were entitled to take the mangoes for me. Then this old man lodged a complaint with the king himself. Now I am being punished for your misdeed! Tell me the truth — do you still have the money I gave you for the mangoes?”

The servant quickly produced the money. Then the rich man asked the mango-seller, “If I pay you for the five mangoes, will you allow me to go back to my home?”

The mango-seller said, “I cannot make any decision on this matter. It is in the king’s hands. I would not have dared to make you my slave, but the king has ordered it. If you want to be released before the end of the five days, you must ask the king.”

Since the rich man was still the old man’s slave, his servant went to the king on his behalf. The servant cried and cried. He confessed to the king, “I did have the money, but I did not want to part with it. Therefore, I told the old man lies.”

The king said, “Now the punishment will be that you have to be the old man’s slave for five months. For each mango, you have to be a slave for one month. You will start when your master has completed his five days. On that day, you will go and take his place as the old man’s slave and he will be free to go home. One thing more I am adding — if you come back before five months has ended, then you will be his slave for five years. And if I receive any complaint from the old man against you, then the term of your punishment will increase even more!”

So the master completed his punishment of five days, and the servant became the slave of the old man for five long months. During this time, he performed all his tasks very, very well. At the end of five months, the king asked the old man, “Did this fellow listen to you all the time?”

The old man said, “Oh yes, he always listened to me. He was very obedient.”

The servant was then released and the king gave five hundred rupees to the old man.

A peaceful solution

There were two brothers who were constantly fighting and quarrelling. The younger brother instigated these fights. The elder brother was good in every way, but for his own protection he had to fight against his younger brother. Outwardly the neighbours condemned this family fight, but inwardly they all enjoyed it.

The elder brother had a servant who was extremely pious. One day the elder brother saw this servant leaving the temple in a prayerful mood. The elder brother said to him, “I see that you have been praying. Please tell me what it is that you need. You are such a good person. Whatever you need, I will gladly provide. I can see that you have been praying so sincerely.”

The servant said, “I was praying so sincerely for you.”

The elder brother was surprised. He said, “For me? Why do you need to pray for me?”

The servant replied, “I was praying for your victory. Next time you will defeat your brother in such a way that he will never come to fight with you again. I was praying also for your brother’s death.”

“My brother’s death!” cried the elder brother.

“Yes,” said the servant. “He is so bad. He harasses you all the time.”

The elder brother became furious. He said, “I am simply shocked to learn that you have been praying for my brother’s death. You must not go to the temple any more with this kind of prayer. Granted my brother has been torturing me for years and years, but he does not deserve to die because of his behaviour.”

The servant bowed and the elder brother entered into the temple and began praying. When he emerged some time later, the servant was still standing in the same position waiting for his master. The servant asked, “Will you please tell me what you were praying for just now? Can you tell me?”

The elder brother said, “Yes, I can tell you why I prayed to God. My younger brother thinks that I am richer than he is. Truth to tell, I do not know whether he has more money or I have more money. I was praying to God to make both of us happy. If my brother wants to have more money or property from me, I will be equally happy. By taking this money or property from me, if he becomes happy, then I will also become happy. I do not want him to attack me any more. So I am prepared to give him whatever he wants.”

The servant said, “O master, how can you offer this kind of prayer? Do you not see that he is fooling you? The truth of the matter is that he has much more money than you do, and yet he is telling you that he has no money. He is trying to take away all your money.”

The elder brother said, “All right. I am going once more to the temple to pray. This time I will pray for something else. Then I will come and let you know the result.”

The elder brother entered into the temple and began praying: “O God, I do not need my money or my property. Let my younger brother take away everything that I have. I do not even need a servant. I only need You. It is You alone who will give me peace and happiness.”

All of a sudden, this elder brother heard a loud noise. This loud noise was actually made by the servant and an assistant, but inside the loud noise, the elder brother saw only light, light, light. This light gave him the answer to his prayer. He came out of the temple and sent the servant to his younger brother’s house, requesting his brother to come and visit him. The younger brother was extremely suspicious. He thought that his elder brother might do something, so he began making preparations to go and fight.

The servant said, “Come with me peacefully. This is a totally different thing.”

The younger brother believed the servant and he went to see his elder brother. Immediately his elder brother embraced him and said, “My brother, my brother, in terms of material wealth and property, I do not know whether I have more than you have or not. It is of no consequence to me. You can take my money, my property, everything. Only let me go peacefully. I shall become a sannyasin. Let us both be happy in our own way. You want to be happy with my money-power. So be it. You may take it all. I have found my money-power in God. He is my real wealth.”

So the elder brother became a sannyasin. And what did the servant do? He followed his master and entered into the spiritual life.

I need only God

There was once a wealthy man who was quite advanced in years. In the course of time, he passed away and his son inherited all his money and property. Unfortunately, this son used to smoke and drink and lead an undivine vital life. Soon he had squandered all his father’s money. Because of his desperate financial situation, he could no longer drink or smoke or enjoy his pleasure-life. He was so miserable because he had acted so foolishly and so unwisely.

One night this young man had a dream. In his dream, a most luminous being came to him. He said to this being, “Ah, you are God. I am sure you are God Himself.”

The luminous being said, “No, I am not God, but I have come from God. I have been sent by God to help you.”

The son had been cursing God for not stopping him from drinking and smoking and living an undivine life. He felt that if God had given him some common sense, he would not have behaved in this manner. Because he had been cursing and insulting God, God sent this particular angel to him.

The angel then asked him, “Do you want to have all your money and property restored to you?”

The young man replied, “Yes, I want to get back my old way of life.”

The angel said, “All right. From now on, for one full year, you have to do something. If you can do it successfully, you will get back all your wealth. You will be able to lead your old pleasure-loving way of life. This is what you must do: you must not tell a lie for one year and you must stop smoking.”

The young man said, “How can I smoke? I have no money!”

The angel said, “All right. Smoking is taken care of. Now tell me, do you have anger?”

The young man answered, “Yes, I have been literally cursing God day in and day out.”

The angel told him, “Then this is what you must do for one full year: you must stop telling lies and you must never be angry with anybody under any circumstances. Then everything you have lost will be restored to you.”

One full year passed by. True to his word, the man did not tell a single lie and he did not get angry with anybody. Then he asked himself, “Did God’s angel tell me a lie? One year has gone by since the angel visited me. In which way has the angel fulfilled his promise? Where is my long-lost wealth? Where are my former days of happiness? They have not been restored to me.”

That night the same angel appeared to the man. The man was furious with the angel. He said, “You have told me a lie! I have not told a lie for one year and I have not done anything bad. How is it then that I am not getting back my property, my money and everything else?”

The angel said, “True, they have not come back, but tell me, when you had so much material wealth, were you happy?”

“Yes,” the man said, “I enjoyed it to the fullest extent.”

“And now,” said the angel, “what is happening?”

“I cannot enjoy it,” said the man, “because you did not keep your promise.”

The angel went on, “Tell me frankly, do you think it will be possible for you to think of your life in a different way?”

“What do you mean?” cried the man. “I do not understand.”

The angel continued, “Previously, you enjoyed the world in a special way. You fell in love with material prosperity and you craved worldly pleasures. Now, can you not fall in love with yourself?”

“What are you saying?” cried the man. “Please explain what you mean.”

The angel explained, “There are two ways to derive joy. One way is through possession and another way is through renunciation. Once upon a time you possessed many things, but you misused them and you lost everything. Now you do not have anything, but you do have a heart, a beautiful heart.”

“Is it true? Do I have a beautiful heart?” asked the man.

The angel said, “You not only have a beautiful heart, but also a most beautiful soul.”

“What will happen now?” asked the man.

The angel replied, “If you continue to bring to the fore this most beautiful heart and soul of yours, then you will find that in a few years’ time you will gather many disciples. These disciples of yours will be at your beck and call. They will listen to you at every moment, they will obey you unconditionally and in every way they will make you a real prince. True, you have lost your material wealth. But, I assure you, you will gain so much spiritual wealth if you just fall in love with your soul and with your heart.”

The man was wonderstruck. “Is it true?” he asked.

“Yes,” said the angel. “Just be fond of yourself because you have such a beautiful heart and beautiful soul. I am telling you, very soon you will have so many disciples and these disciples will do everything for you. You will be like a prince.”

The man followed the angel’s advice. He did not smoke or drink and he led a very good life. He became extremely spiritual. Almost overnight, disciples began to flock to him. He was very happy that his disciples were obeying him in every way.

Alas, alas, in a few months’ time these same disciples started making his life miserable. They began making complaints against each other and displaying so much jealousy and insecurity.

For a few months, the man had enjoyed his newfound life as a Guru. Then, when his disciples started fighting and quarrelling, the idea of guruship no longer appealed to him. This time, however, he did not curse God. He prayed to God most sincerely, “O God, when I squandered all my wealth, I cursed You because You took away everything. I could no longer smoke or drink to my heart’s content. Now it seems that You have cursed me by giving me all these undivine disciples. O God, please, please, can You not save me?”

Once again in a dream God’s messenger appeared. This time the luminous being said to the man, “Indeed, you are caught. You cursed God because you were unable to lead your old life. Now you are saying that God has cursed you by giving you such bad disciples. Make up your mind. What would you like to do now?”

The man said, “I will not curse God any more and I do not want God to curse me any more. Please, please inform God that I am renouncing this whole world. I do not want to drink and lead that wild life any more, and I do not want the name and fame of a Guru. I need only God.”

Where is God?

There was a teacher who taught a class of young boys. One day he asked his students a very simple question: “Can you tell me where God is?”

Quite a few students raised their hand. One said, “God is in Heaven.”

Another boy stood up and said, “God is everywhere, except in hell.”

A third boy stood up and said, “My mother told me that God is only in good people, not in bad people.”

A fourth student stood up and said, “God is in everybody. My grandmother has taught me that God is in everybody, good or bad.”

Still another one stood up and said, “My grandfather has told me that God is everywhere and in everybody. Even in hell, God is there.”

The teacher said, “All right, all of you have given excellent answers. Is there anybody who has anything new to say?”

Finally one little boy stood up and said, “Teacher, they are all wrong. I know where God is. God is in our kitchen! Every morning my father comes into the kitchen and says to my mother, ‘My God! Are you still cooking? It is so late!’”

The stupid judge and the clever judge

A courtroom was filled with convicts who were waiting to be tried, and also with lawyers, prosecutors and spectators. A judge was presiding over everything. One after another, cases were being heard to determine who was guilty and who was not guilty.

A murder case came up. The accused was a young man who was very thin but spirited. He was seated behind his lawyer. The judge asked this young man, “Tell me, how could you kill someone with only one blow? Many witnesses have said that it took only one blow to kill the deceased. They say they saw you give him one hard blow and then he fell down on the ground unconscious. Shortly afterwards, he died. With one single blow, how could you do that?”

The young man replied, “Your Honour, may I show it to you?”

In the courtroom, some people began roaring with laughter. Others became frightened and quickly left the building, while others were very curious to see the young man’s technique. And what did the judge do? The judge ran away!

Then the accused jumped over the bench and started chasing the judge! He soon caught the judge and the judge begged him, “Please, please do not harm me! I dismiss the charges. I will not punish you. You are free, you are free. Do not hurt me!”

The young man said, “No, I want to show you how it can be done.”

The poor judge fled for his life. He knew that if the young man demonstrated his technique, then his own life would end. In the meantime, another judge had come to replace this judge. The new judge ordered quite a few guards to go and bring the culprit back into the courtroom. Still there were many spectators remaining in the courtroom. They were eager to see how the new judge would deal with the case.

When the culprit was brought back, the judge said to him, “Now you can demonstrate how you killed your victim.”

The young man said, “No, I will not be able to show it.”

The judge said, “I am ordering you to show us your technique.” Then the judge held a mirror in front of the young man and said, “You will strike this mirror and not any human being. In this way I will be able to see what you do and I will also be able to see your own face reflected in the mirror.”

The young man struck the mirror with tremendous force and smashed it. But his hand was badly hurt and it began bleeding profusely. The judge said, “You deserve this kind of punishment. You have killed someone and you will go to jail. But first I wanted you to feel the suffering of your victim.” Then the guards took the murderer away.

This is how two judges tried the same case. The first judge was stupid — he ran for his life. The second one was wise — he made the murderer inflict the injury on himself.

The faithful spouses and the unfaithful spouses

There was a man who loved to play golf. One day the wife of the golfer was crying and crying and crying. A neighbour came and said, “Why are you crying?”

The wife said, “This time my husband has left me for good.”

The neighbour was shocked. He said, “What?”

The wife sobbed, “Four times he has left me, but he has always come back. Now this is the fifth time.”

The neighbour reassured her, “He will come back again. If he told you four times that he would leave you, and then he came back, the fifth time also he will come back.”

The wife said, “No, this time he will not come back.”

The neighbour said, “How do you know this?”

She said, “Because this time he has taken his golf clubs. That is a sure sign that he will not come back any more!”

The neighbour said, “If he does not come back tomorrow, let me know.”

The next day the neighbour came and found the wife still crying and crying. All of a sudden she stopped crying. The neighbour asked, “What happened? All of a sudden you stopped crying.”

The wife looked at him and said, “You are so handsome. I want to marry you.”

He said, “I am already married. How am I going to marry you?”

The wife said, “I do not care for my husband at all! Let him not come back. I am praying to God, ‘Let him not come’.”

The golfer’s wife and the neighbour fell in love, and they were both praying to God that the golfer would not return. The neighbour stayed with the golfer’s wife and they were both extremely happy. This went on for about a week. The neighbour’s wife did not know that her husband was just next door. He had told her that he was going out of town on business for a week. The wife was absolutely sure that he was going away for a week, and then he would come back. She did not suspect him at all.

One week passed, and the neighbour’s wife started worrying that something had happened to her husband. Next door, the golfer had not returned, so the golfer’s wife and the neighbour were very happy together. They were absolutely in love.

After three weeks, the golfer came back and discovered the neighbour living in his house. He immediately started beating up the man. He said, “What right do you have to live in my house?” Then he kicked the neighbour out onto the street.

The golfer’s wife said to her husband, “I do not want to remain with you any longer. I love this man and I want to marry him.”

The poor golfer said, “Can this be my wife?”

In the meantime the neighbour had no choice but to return home. His wife heard the whole story. She told him, “You are such a rogue! I will not take you back.”

So the unfortunate neighbour could not marry the golfer’s wife because her husband had badly thrashed him and kicked him out. Then his own wife did not accept him back because he was so undivine and unfaithful. So he had lost on both sides: he lost his wife, and he lost his lover. Meanwhile, the wife of the golfer did not want to remain with her husband any more. She said, “No, I love our neighbour far more than I love you.”

Her husband said, “You are so unfaithful! It is much better for me to remain a bachelor. If your love is for our neighbour, then I do not need you. I do not want to be with you any more. In fact, I do not need marriage any more. All women are like you.”

The two couples went to a judge to help them resolve their situation. The judge said, “What is all this about?”

The golfer explained that he did not want to keep his wife because she was so unfaithful. The neighbour’s wife explained that she did not want to take her husband back because he was unfaithful to her.

The judge said, “This matter is so easy to settle.” He asked the wife of the golfer, “Do you still love your neighbour most?”

She said, “Yes, yes, I love him so much.”

Then the judge asked the neighbour, “Do you still love the wife of the golfer?”

The neighbour said, “Yes, I still love her.”

The judge said, “Then you two should get married.” Then the judge turned to the neighbour’s wife and asked her, “Will you not be happy to have a faithful husband?”

She said, “Yes, I need a faithful husband.”

The judge asked the golfer, “Will you not be happy to have a faithful wife?”

The golfer said, “Yes, that is why I do not want to remain married to my wife any more — because she has been unfaithful.”

The judge continued, “Then can you not marry your neighbour’s wife? She is faithful and she wants a faithful husband. You are faithful and you want a faithful wife. Such being the case, can you not switch? You be faithful to your new wife and your former wife can be faithful to her new husband. At least with one person you should be faithful.”

The golfer and the neighbour’s wife saw the wisdom of the judge’s suggestion. They said, “Let us get married.”

So the unfaithful pair got married, and the faithful pair got married. This is how the judge wisely solved the problem.

The mother-in-law’s insult

A young girl had been recently married. She was always afraid of staying alone. She wanted to be with her husband, but she could not accompany him to his office. So whenever her husband was at home, she was always nearby him, feeding him and so forth. She was absolutely so fond of her husband and he, in turn, was very, very happy that his wife was so fond of him.

One evening, the husband returned home and saw that his wife was crying and sobbing. He asked, “What has happened? What has happened?”

His wife said, “Your mother has insulted me so badly.”

He said, “My mother? How can it be? My mother is not here. She lives hundreds of miles away. How can she insult you? Did she call you on the telephone?”

The wife said, “No.”

He asked, “Did you call her for anything?”

The wife said, “No, I would not dare to call her.”

“Did she call you?” the husband asked again.

The wife said, “No, she did not call.”

Now the husband was really puzzled. He asked, “Then how could she insult you so badly?”

The wife said, “A letter came for you from your mother, so I opened it.”

The husband was shocked. He said, “You opened my letter?”

She said, “I am your wife. We two are one. So I am entitled to open your mail.”

He said, “This is true. Now tell me, what has my mother written?”

The wife said, “Your mother has written how much she loves you, and how much she is missing you.”

“Then where does the insult lie?” asked the husband.

The wife said, “In a postscript she says, ‘Dear Linda, please do me a big favour and give this letter to my darling son Patrick’. What an insult! What an insult! Throughout the whole letter she has repeated how much she loves you, and she has not mentioned my name at all. Then at the very end, she had to add this postscript. Can you imagine! She knew that I would read the letter before you. As if I would not have given you the letter! Your mother does not trust me in the least. How can I live with you when my mother-in-law does not trust me at all?”

The poor husband said, “What am I going to do? I am not responsible for what my mother says.”

The wife continued, “In her letter she has said again and again, ‘Dear Patrick, darling, you are so good. Nowadays you have no time to think of me, but before you got married you were always thinking about me. Now you are all the time thinking of your wife. You never think of me.’ She used the word ‘darling’ over and over. Your mother calls you darling. I lost my mother at a tender age. My mother is not here to call me darling.” With that, she burst into a fresh flood of tears.

He said, “But I call you darling, I call you darling.”

She said, “You call me darling, but your mother calls you darling, and my mother is not here to give me that kind of affection.”

The husband said, “What can I do? Your mother has passed away. How can I bring your mother back here? If you want a mother’s affection, then you have to start pleasing my mother.”

The wife said, “I do so much for your mother whenever she comes here. I try to please her, but she has never liked me, and she says she will never invite me to come to her place.”

The husband said, “Who cares? If she does not invite you, then I am not going to her place.”

Then his wife became so happy that her husband would not go to his mother’s place if his mother did not invite her as well. She was very, very happy with her husband’s loyalty to her.

In silence the unfortunate husband said, “Alas, alas! O God, why did You create both mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law on earth? Could You find nothing better to do with Your precious time?”

The kind mother-in-law

One mother had two married daughters. The husbands of these daughters were not so nice to their wives, and the mothers-in-law were simply unbearable. They tortured their daughters-in-law unimaginably. These two daughters suffered and suffered and suffered in the hands of their mothers-in-law.

Now the mother also had a son. When her son got married, she took an oath that she would be an exception. Everybody knows that mothers-in-law are bad everywhere. But this woman wanted to be an excellent, super-excellent mother-in-law. From the beginning, she was extremely, extremely kind to her daughter-in-law. Anything that was difficult or heavy or time-consuming, the mother-in-law would do herself. She would not allow her daughter-in-law to do it.

The mother-in-law would say to her, “No, you are still a young girl. A day will come when you will have to do everything yourself. I am an old lady. My time will soon come and I will die. When I die, then you can do everything that I am doing, but not now.”

Even when the daughter-in-law wanted to cook, her mother-in-law told her, “No, no, no! I have been cooking for my son since he was born, so I know what he needs and what he likes. I will look after the cooking, and when the time comes, I shall show you how to cook. Now you do other things. You can bring flowers and put them on the shrine and you can do a little bit of dusting around the windows and doors. Just do some easy household chores.”

The daughter-in-law was deeply moved that her mother-in-law was so kind to her and everything went on very harmoniously in the house. This young wife used to watch her husband eating his food. The husband was always very, very pleased, and the wife was also very pleased that her husband liked the food. One day the story changed. The husband said to the wife, “I am so sad that today your preparation is not up to its usual standard. Not even one curry is good.”

The wife was very sad. Then the husband asked, “What happened to you today? Why is the food so bad?”

The wife finally said, “Unfortunately, I am not the one who cooked your food.”

The son said, “You have not cooked today?”

With tremendous hesitation, the wife replied, “Your mother cooked.”

He said, “My mother cooked?”

The wife went on, “Your mother cooks every meal, every day.”

“My mother cooks?” the son cried. “Then what do you do? Why do I need a wife? You allowed my mother to cook at her age? I do not need you. Get out of my house!”

His wife pleaded, “Your mother does not allow me to cook. I want to cook, I want to learn from her, but she does not teach me. She gives me only very light jobs.” Then she started crying and crying.

The husband was furious. He began screaming at her, “Why did you not tell me that my mother has been cooking all the time?”

She said, “Your mother asked me not to tell you. Otherwise, I would have told you. Every day you have been appreciating your food and I have been getting the credit because your mother asked me not to tell you. Today you do not like the food. I could easily have said that I cooked. I could have taken the blame. Then you would have been very happy. Now what am I going to do? I have been sincere in telling you that your mother cooked. It is not that I am finding fault with your mother. She has been so kind to me. Your mother is so sincere. She would be furious if I told a lie. I was afraid that if I took the blame, she would ask why I told you a lie. So I revealed that your mother cooked the meal, which is so true.”

The wife was weeping profusely. The mother-in-law heard the commotion and entered the room. When she saw the wife’s tears, she became furious. She said to her son, “Luckily, your father is not here. Otherwise, I would have asked him to thrash you. Your wife is so nice. She is not my daughter-in-law. She is my real daughter. My own daughters who are married are suffering so much in the hands of their husbands. Their mothers-in-law are also so bad. They are literally unbearable. How badly my two daughters are being treated. Now you have also started torturing my daughter. She is absolutely like my real daughter. I will leave the house if you ever scold her again.”

The son said, “Mother, you do not have to leave the house. I promise that I will not scold her.”

But still the young wife continued crying and crying. Her mother-in-law said to her, “You are a young girl. Perhaps you are missing your own home. You go for a few days to your mother’s place. Your mother will give you so much affection.”

The girl said, “No, no, you are so kind to me, so affectionate to me. My mother is in no way more affectionate to me.”

The mother-in-law said, “I am sure that is the best remedy. After all, she is your true mother. In a few days’ time we shall send for you, and you can come back. Nobody can replace one’s mother. Your mother will show you much more affection than I can ever show you.”

Again the girl insisted, “No, no, you have so much affection for me. Your affection is absolutely equal to, if not more than, that of my own mother.”

The mother-in-law said, “Believe me, I know. I am not your mother, but your mother will have more affection. You go. I will bring you back very soon.”

So the young wife went back home. On the way, she was saying to herself, “If I go home crying and crying, then my mother will notice my tears and she will curse my mother-in-law. My mother will immediately think that my mother-in-law has been torturing me and making my life miserable. She does not know that my mother-in-law is so kind, so affectionate and so compassionate.” So the young wife dried her tears and arrived at her mother’s house with a happy face. Her mother was so thrilled to see her daughter again and she began questioning her about her husband and mother-in-law. The young girl was saying very, very nice things about her mother-in-law and about her husband also. She said, “He is so nice, so kind, so loving.” She fooled her mother with regard to her husband by not revealing that her husband had asked her to get out of the house. But when she said that her mother-in-law was so good, it was the truth.

Now her brother had recently married a young girl and they lived together with his mother. Unfortunately, his new wife was being treated mercilessly by her mother-in-law. The daughter liked her new sister-in-law very much and they soon became close friends. In the evening, they would sit together and talk and talk and talk. The daughter soon noticed how her mother treated her daughter-in-law, so she tried her best to console the young wife. She also spoke to her mother directly. She begged her mother, “Please, please do not scold her. She is only a young girl. She has joined our family and she has nobody but us. It is not good to scold her.”

Then her mother would say, “Do I have to learn from you how to behave in my own house? I tell you, she is useless, useless. We have gained nothing but a useless girl in our house.”

The daughter saw that her brother’s wife was very, very, very good. This girl was very kind, full of concern and she worked extremely hard. But no matter how hard she worked, her mother-in-law was not pleased at all. So she would cry before her husband’s sister, and the sister would console her and encourage her to be patient.

One day the daughter said to her mother, “Mother, if my husband’s mother, my mother-in-law, also treated me as ruthlessly as you are treating this young girl, what would you have thought of my mother-in-law? How would you have reacted?”

At once her mother replied, “I would have thought that she was a tyrant. I would have hated her. In fact, I would have gone and thrashed her. I might even have kicked her for daring to mistreat my daughter, my darling.”

The daughter said, “If you are saying that you would have beaten up my mother-in-law if the circumstances were reversed, how can you justify your behaviour? The way you want to treat my mother-in-law, will you not be treated in exactly the same way by the mother of this girl who has taken shelter in your house?”

Her mother said, “Oh, that will never happen. Her mother is gone. She is dead.”

Her daughter was shocked by her mother’s callousness. She said, “Are you not a Hindu? Do you not believe in religion? Have you not read the scriptures? Her mother’s soul is seeing from Heaven that you are torturing her daughter day in and day out! She is definitely alive in Heaven. Do you never feel her heart’s tears?”

Her mother was melting a little. In her heart she was deciding whether or not to scold her daughter-in-law any more. Each day she began to show a little more kindness to her daughter-in-law and soon the entire situation in the house was transformed.

One day the daughter saw through the window that her own mother-in-law was approaching the house. The husband was also missing his wife, but again he had pride. He knew that he had scolded her so mercilessly and he was afraid that perhaps his wife had told her mother how badly he had scolded her for the food and also for not cooking his meals. He felt that if he came to his mother-in-law’s place, his mother-in-law would scold him severely.

His mother had said, “No matter what happens, I am going to fetch your wife. She has to come back. I have been very, very nice to her. Even if they insult me, I am prepared to go because my love for her far exceeds all my problems with your mother-in-law.”

So she went there, and the young girl came running up to her, asking, “Why have you come, why have you come? I would have gone back. You only had to send for me. You did not have to come yourself.”

Her mother-in-law said, “You were not coming back, so I have come to take you.”

Then the good mother-in-law went inside and saw that the bad mother-in-law had changed completely because of her daughter. This mother-in-law changed the other mother-in-law through her own daughter-in-law. Both the families were now swimming in the sea of joy.

The first mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law returned to their place, and the husband was so happy that both his mother and his wife had come back home. They all lived happily together. Both the families were now genuinely happy.

This story shows how one person can be the instrument to make others good and to make everybody happy.

The hundred-year-old lady

There was a lady who was one hundred years old. Before she reached the age of sixty, she did not want to observe her birthday. When asked about her birthday, she would lie about the date so that people would not celebrate it. She would say, “Oh, my birthday is long since passed.” But from the age of sixty, for some reason, she became very eager to observe her birthday. Every year people gave her all kinds of beautiful gifts, and she was very, very happy.

After she reached the age of ninety, people started giving her only household things. They gave her everything that she could utilise in the house because she could no longer go out, and she did not need nice clothes.

Then when she turned one hundred years old, she said to quite a few relatives and friends, “This year, I need only one thing from each and everyone.”

They all asked, “What is that thing? We will give you anything you want.”

She said, “I need only a kiss from each of you.”

So everybody kissed her. Then they asked, “Why do you need a kiss? Is it because you feel that soon God will call you?”

She said, “No, no, no! God is not going to call me in the near future. But if I receive a kiss from you instead of a household object, then I will not have to wash so many pots and pans and other things. I will not have to dust the things that you give me for the house. Now I have to get up and dust them regularly. Every day I have to clean them and wash them. Now I do not want any new things to clean and wash. If you kiss me, then you will not create any more work for me. There is no dirt on my face that I have to wash off. Now I am so happy.”

One of her friends said, “There is something that will give you more joy than a kiss, and you will not have to wash it.”

The old lady said, “What is it?”

Her friend answered, “It is a fond embrace.”

“Let us try it then,” said the old lady.

So they all started embracing this very thin old lady with utmost love and affection. Afterwards, one of them asked her, “Now do you see the difference between being kissed and being embraced?”

The old lady said, “Yes, I am getting far more joy from being embraced.”

One of the ladies in the group said, “I know of something else that will give you much more joy than either being kissed or embraced.”

The old lady asked, “What is it? I want to have that thing. Before I die, I want to have it. Of course, I am not going to die today or tomorrow. Tell me, what is it?”

The other lady said, “I have a spiritual Master. If this spiritual Master looks at you and blesses you, you will receive tremendous joy.”

The old lady was not spiritual at all, but she was looking for new things that would give her joy. The kiss gave her joy, and the embrace gave her more joy. So the old lady said, “Can you go and request him to come here? I want to see your spiritual Master.”

The spiritual Master came and looked at her and blessed her. When he was blessing her, she was so thrilled. She fell flat at the spiritual Master’s feet and died then and there. At first everybody was very sad that she had died. Then they were so happy because the spiritual Master said, “As soon as her soul saw me, the soul said to me, ‘Now that I have been blessed by a true spiritual Master, there is nothing remaining here on earth for me. Only in Heaven will I get infinitely more joy. If I go to Heaven, I will receive infinitely more joy than you have given me. Therefore, with your permission, I am leaving behind this mortal coil’.”