Who can be admitted into Heaven?

Three men died on the same day. They went to Heaven and they were all waiting for Saint Peter to open the gates to Heaven so that they could enter. One of the men had been a doctor, another an engineer and the third a consultant. Unfortunately, Saint Peter was very, very busy on that day. While they were waiting for him to come, the three men became very anxious. They were worried about what would happen to them if he did not accept them into Heaven.

At long last Saint Peter came. He announced, “Today there are not enough vacancies in Heaven, so I can take only one of you. I cannot admit three new souls today. Whoever is the most important of you three, I will take.”

The doctor immediately said, “Clearly, I am the most important. Why? Everyone knows that God created Adam, and from Adam’s side God removed one rib and thus created Eve. This happened right at the beginning of creation. Adam came into existence directly from God, but through a doctor’s surgical operation on one rib, Eve was created. I am the most important because God depended on medical skill to start His creation.”

The engineer protested, “No, no, not at all! Before Adam and Eve were created, this universe was full of chaos and confusion. First God had to create the earth, and for that God needed an engineer. An engineer created the world. Therefore, I am the most important.”

Now the third one, the consultant, spoke up. He said, “No, no, no! God needed a consultant to decide where and how He would position the earth in the universe. There was so much chaos and confusion, it is true. But before God actually created the earth, He needed the help of a consultant to remove all the chaos and confusion and come up with a good design. So the consultant was the one who was needed most.”

The doctor claimed that he was the most important. The engineer claimed that he was the most important. Then the consultant claimed that he was the most important. Now Saint Peter was in trouble. Since he could not decide whom to choose, he went to God. Saint Peter said to God, “I have three new candidates for Heaven. Kindly tell me whom to choose.”

God said, “Throw them all out! I am telling you how the creation actually took place. Before I created the world, I had the Vision of this creation. But even before this Vision, my omnipotent Will-Power existed. My omnipotent Will-Power existed long before anything else. With this I started. My omnipotent Will-Power was and shall forever remain the most important thing on earth and in Heaven. So throw these three out. Do not allow these liars — the doctor, the engineer and the consultant — to enter into Heaven.”

So none of the three could enter into Heaven.

When God was called as a witness

One day a thief was seen stealing valuables from a house. Three members of the family witnessed the theft. The thief took the valuables and ran away, and the members of the family chased him. Unfortunately, the thief ran so fast that the members of the family could not catch him. Since they knew who he was, they brought the case to the village court. There were many cases before the village judge, but when the thief came before the judge, he was not at all afraid. In fact, he was very confident.

The judge said to him, “You are accused of theft. Have you stolen anything?”

The thief said, “Where is the proof? I do not have anything.” The thief had carefully hidden the stolen things at his place, and nobody could find them. The thief continued, “They are telling lies. I have not been near their house.”

The judge said, “You say they are telling lies. I am telling you that if we find the stolen goods at your place, then for ten years you will be in jail.”

The thief said, “But I have little children at home. They are so young. If I go to jail, who will take care of them?”

The judge said, “If you want to take care of them, go and bring what you have stolen.”

The man replied emphatically, “No, I have not stolen anything.”

The judge said, “You have not stolen anything? Are you saying that these three people are telling lies?”

The man said to the judge, “Your Honour, three people are saying that they observed me while I was stealing. On the word of three people, you are ready to put me in jail? It is a joke! I can easily bring one hundred witnesses who will say that they have not seen me stealing at all.”

The judge asked the three plaintiffs, “What should we do?”

They said, “Your Honour, how could one hundred people have been inside our house on that night to observe him stealing? It is simply impossible.”

The man said, “No, they need not have been inside the house. You say that I was running away with the loot, and you were chasing me. How is it that nobody saw me in the street running away? I can bring hundreds of people from the village who will say that they did not see me running away. If your story were true, would there not have been one person at least to see me while I was running away?”

The man argued so powerfully in his own defense that the judge could not decide the case. The judge felt miserable. He said to the three plaintiffs, “I am so sorry. In one sense, he is right. Nobody saw him running away from your house. So I cannot decide whether he is guilty or not guilty.”

Then the judge continued, “The thief is challenging you to find your stolen property. If you find it, then I will definitely punish him. But he is saying that he has not taken it. You three are witnesses to the crime, but he can bring one hundred witnesses who will say that they have not seen him stealing. What can I do? Let us pray to God, and God will give us illumination. If God comes here in person, then God will show us where the thief has actually kept the stolen things.”

Since God did not appear in court in person, the case was dismissed. God Himself was definitely the prime Witness, but how could He come?

What I need is money

There was a young student who was very sad and miserable. His friends and colleagues asked him, “Why are you so sad?”

The student said, “I am so sad because I wrote to my parents to give me money so that I could buy a wristwatch. And what have they done? They have sent me a wristwatch.”

His friends were puzzled. They said, “What is the matter? You wanted money to buy a wristwatch, and your parents have sent you a nice wristwatch.”

The student said, “Oh no, no, no! That is not what I wanted at all. Each time I ask them for something, they usually send me money to buy that particular thing. Then I use the money in my own way. Last time I asked them to give me money to buy some books. Immediately they sent me money. They said they did not know which books I needed, so they gave me the necessary money. Of course, I spent the money in my own way.

“The previous time, I told them that I needed notebooks and a small tape recorder. They sent me money, and I used that money for some other purpose. At night I enjoy going to the movies or I buy other things with their money. Always I use the money for my own pleasure. But this time I cannot do that. They have given me the actual wristwatch, so what am I going to do? I am so miserable. It is not what I wanted at all. Now I have to think of something else which they will not be able to send, so that they will give me the money.

“I need money more than anything else. I am supposed to study for my examination, but many text-books I do not have because I used the money for other things. Who wants to study? But it is good to remain a student. As long as I am a student, I can ask them for money. Now I have to think of something else that they will not be able to send. I asked for a wristwatch, and they have given me a wristwatch. What I need from my parents is only money.”

This is how the young student deceived his parents.

The cheater

One day two friends were relating all the village gossip. One friend said, “I feel so sorry for Peter. He is a good person, but when it comes to horse races, his horse always loses. So I feel very, very sorry for him.”

The other one said, “You feel sorry for Peter? Do you not know that he is a real rogue? Whenever we play cards, he shuffles the cards in a tricky way in order to win. Since he cannot shuffle the horses, he loses all the time. You feel sorry because his horse loses every time. I do not feel sorry for him at all. He deserves to lose. There he cannot shuffle, whereas when he plays cards, he shuffles the cards dishonestly and defeats everybody.”

The first one said, “I never knew that Peter was such a rogue. I will tell him that everybody knows what he is doing.”

The first friend was sympathising with Peter, but the other one felt that Peter deserved to lose money at the horse races. The first one went to his friend Peter and said, “Peter, I never knew that you were such a bad fellow. I have come to learn all about your cheating at cards. Since you do this kind of thing, your horse deserves to lose.”

Peter became furious and said, “Tell the fellow who says that I cheat at cards that God has given me a brain. I have more intelligence and more talent than any of you. That is why I defeat you all. Who asked you all to be idiots? You deserve to lose to me. Unfortunately, my horse does not have brains. I have been trying so hard to give him some brains so he can defeat the other horses. I am praying and praying to God that one day my horse will also be very clever the way I am clever. Just wait! When I do tricky things while playing cards, none of you can catch me. But someday my horse will acquire my intelligence. Then my horse will defeat all the other horses.”

The friend said, “All right, then let us wait. I am waiting for the day when your horse will have your brain!”

The humble politician

A politician came out of his office only to find many, many voters screaming at him and hurling insults at him. They were berating him at the top of their lungs. He said to these angry voters, “Why are you behaving like this? What have I done?”

The voters said, “You rogue! We do not want you to represent us. You are no good.”

The man said, “I am no good? What have I done?”

One voter was so mad that he screamed, “I am going to stone you.”

Then he threw a stone at the politician. The politician bent his head, and the stone flew by without striking his head. The politician said to the unruly crowd, “Look, here is the proof that I am a good person. You are all saying I am a very, very bad person. No, I assure you I am a good person. Other politicians always keep their heads straight. They never bow to anybody because they feel they know everything; they believe they are perfect. They are sure that they will make you all happy. In my case, I am not like that. I am modest, I am humble. When you threw the stone, it did not strike me. Why? Because of my humility. When I bowed to you, your stone did not strike my head.”

An old lady happened to be there. The politician went to the old lady because she had a reputation for being extremely honest. All the others were watching. He said to this old lady, “Please tell me, who will you vote for?”

She said, “Young man, I do like you, but I want to tell you that you are my second choice.”

Everybody started roaring with laughter and saying, “Oh, he is the second choice, second choice!”

The politician was miserable. He thought that he had convinced the crowed that he was a very humble man, if not the most humble man.

Then the old lady said, “My first choice is anyone who is not a politician!”

The rogue ascetic

There was a village where people were extremely worried because there had been no rain for a long time. They were suffering from a severe drought. The farmers could not produce any crops in their fields, and everybody was suffering so much.

An ascetic happened to come to the village. He observed the plight of the villagers and said, “Why do you have to worry? Just bring some money and gifts and I will worship God. God will definitely listen to my prayers. Anything that you give me, I will accept, but it has to come from honest people. If you are dishonest, then do not bring me anything. I am a very pure person. I do not want to have anything to do with impure and insincere people. Only my sincere prayer will reach God. So if you are dishonest or insincere people, then do not bring me anything. Only honest people should bring gifts.”

Naturally everybody was of the opinion that he was honest. So the ascetic received a great deal of money and many gifts. He told the villagers that he would use some of the gifts to do a very, very special puja. The ascetic said, “I will have to pray for three days privately and secretly in my hut. Nobody should watch me. Then when I come out, it will be the signal that I have finished.”

All the villagers waited outside the ascetic’s hut for three days and three nights, but there was no speck of rain, not to speak of a torrential downpour. The villagers became furious and many started crying. They had given the ascetic so much money and so many gifts, but it had all come to nought.

Finally the ascetic emerged. He told the villagers, “Did I not tell you that it would work only if you were all sincere and honest? What can I do? I have prayed for three days. Obviously you are not honest. That is why my prayer was not granted. Even if I pray for ten days, nothing will happen because there are dishonest people who have given me gifts. I have never seen a village where people were so bad!”

When they heard this, the villagers cursed the ascetic. They wanted to retrieve their money and valuable things and they even went to the extent of thrashing him. They thought that perhaps he had hidden some of the money, but when they could not find it, they finally kicked him out of the village.

The old man’s prayers for the king

There was a king who became very, very sick. His queen was extremely worried and his sons, the princes, were also very worried that their father would die. For months and months the king suffered, and it seemed his days were numbered. He was almost like a dead man.

Finally, after many months, the king’s health changed for the better and he managed to come to the court for the first time. Everybody was so happy and delighted that the king was getting better. All were in the seventh Heaven of delight, specially the queen and the princes. They were shedding tears of joy.

While they were all celebrating, the gatekeeper of the palace opened the gates for some courtiers to enter, but an old man came inside instead. This man was old, but he was quite fast. The gatekeeper chased him, but the old man ran and fell flat at the king’s feet, saying, “O King, I am so grateful to you.”

The gatekeeper began apologising profusely to the king. He said, “Your Majesty, for five days this old man has been loitering near the gates. I suspected him, but I never thought that he would be so smart as to come through the gate when I was distracted. With your permission, I will now stop chasing him and start thrashing him.”

The king said, “Wait, wait. Let us give this old man a chance to tell his story.”

The old man said, “Your Majesty, we heard in our village that you had fallen very, very ill. I am extremely devoted to you. Like me, there are many, many villagers who are so devoted to you. You are such a kind-hearted king. Where will we find another king like you? For the past few months we have been praying and praying. Along with many others, I prayed to Mother Kali: ‘Divine Mother, please, please, cure our king. He is so good. We will never be able to find another king who is so kind-hearted, so compassionate, so forgiving.’ We prayed and prayed, and Mother Kali listened to our prayers. Four or five days ago, I received the message that you were getting better. I was so happy. I offered prasad to Mother Kali, and I have brought some prasad for you.”

The old man had brought the prasad in a small bowl inside a dirty, filthy bag. He dropped the bag, touched the king’s feet and ran away. Everybody was shocked. The bag was dirty and filthy and it had a terrible odour. Some members of the court wanted to chase the old man because they believed he was a rogue. But the king held a different opinion. He said, “Where can you find such a nice person? I know he is telling the truth.”

Then the king told the gatekeeper, “I am giving you ten thousand rupees. Run as fast as you can and catch him and give him the money. If you cannot give him the money, then I will fire you. What kind of gatekeeper do I have?”

The gatekeeper took the money and ran after the old man. When the fellow saw that he was being chased, he cried, “I am outside the gate. Why are you still chasing me?”

The gatekeeper screamed, “Wait, wait, wait! The king has given me something for you.”

The old man did not believe him. He thought that the gatekeeper would thrash him, so he did not stop. The gatekeeper had to run very fast to catch him. He gave the old man the bag of coins, saying, “This money is for you from the king.” Then the gatekeeper returned to the palace.

The king told the members of his court, “Look, this old man has brought me stale food, but to me it is like nectar. He is poorer than the poorest. Five days ago he cooked this simple village food and offered it to Mother Kali. It smells bad, true. But his heart is made of beauty. His heart is full of love. His heart is full of fragrance. Do I have any person here like him? His heart is made of beauty, love and fragrance. I can feel it. I can see it. He is the one who really cured me. He and others from that village who really love me cured me. It was not your prayers. You only worried, and some of you perhaps were secretly happy because you thought that soon I would pass away and you would be able to exploit my kingdom. I need people like this old man. His heart is all beauty, all fragrance and all love for me.”

Mother Kali’s boon

One day a middle-aged man entered into a temple. He was looking at the statue of Mother Kali and crying and crying and crying. For some time the priest watched the man. Then the priest told him, “It is too much. You are making so much noise and disturbing everyone. Get out! Get out of this sacred place. Others have to pray and meditate in silence. You are ruining the atmosphere.”

Then the priest dragged the man outside with the help of some other worshippers. When the man was outside the temple, again he started crying. The priest became extremely irritated. He said, “Now you have to leave these precincts. Do whatever you want to in the street, but not near the temple.”

The man continued to cry and cry, so they took him about a hundred metres away from the temple. Some strong men remained with him to prevent him from re-entering the temple.

All of a sudden Mother Kali appeared in her fiercest aspect holding her sword. Those who were guarding the man got frightened because she looked at them with such powerful eyes. Then she turned to the man, full of compassion and full of love. She changed her mood completely. Mother Kali frightened those guarding the man, and then she was full of love, affection and concern for the man himself.

Mother Kali said to him, “Now tell me, my son, why are you crying?”

The man said, “I am crying because one of my friends has become a magistrate. One has become a doctor, and another has become an engineer. All of them have become very, very famous. Poor me, I am nothing. I studied with them, but now they have become so famous in their own fields, and I am nobody. I do not think I will amount to anything, so I am crying. I am so grateful to you, Mother, for coming. What am I going to do with my fate?”

Mother Kali asked him, “What do you want me to do?”

He said, “Please give me one boon.”

“What boon?” Mother Kali asked.

The man said, “I am so jealous of my friends who have become so great in their own fields. I am so embarrassed to see them. They invite me to come to their homes, but they are such big shots that I do not dare to accept. In my case, I do not even have a wife. I tried to find one, but nobody wants to marry me because I am not successful.”

Mother Kali asked, “Do you want to have a wife?”

The man said, “No, now that you have come, I want to die here and now, in front of you.”

Mother Kali said, “No, no, your time has not come. Please ask me for something else. Any desire you have, I will fulfil. I do not want you to die, but I am ready to fulfil any other desire. Tell me what you would like to have, what you would like to be.”

The man was thinking and thinking. Mother Kali continued, “Do you want to be another doctor or another engineer or another very important person? Anything that you want I will grant you.”

Still the man was thinking and thinking and thinking, but his mind was not functioning. He said, “Already there is a doctor, there is an engineer, there is a magistrate. What else can I become?” Nothing was coming to his mind.

Mother Kali said, “What am I going to do? I am ready to fulfil your desire, to grant you anything you want, but you have to name something.”

The man said, “I do not know what I want to be. I only know that my friends have all become so great.”

Mother Kali said, “My son, in life there should be a goal. You earned your degree, but you did not pursue any field. They wanted to become a doctor, engineer, magistrate and so forth. In your case, you had no goal. You have the arrow, but there should be a target. If you do not aim the arrow at the target, how will you reach your destination? You have become the arrow, but you have no desire to go to the destination, the target. Always you have to have a goal. Then you have to become the goal. This is what your friends did. In your case, you did not want to become anything. Now I am telling you that it is not too late. There is still a chance for you.”

“Oh no, it is too late,” lamented the man.

“It is not too late!” insisted Mother Kali.

Then the man said, “Only give me this boon: I want to die because it is too late for me.”

Mother Kali said, “No, you can make a successful career.”

He said, “No, Mother, I want to die at your feet.”

Mother Kali said, “At my feet? Then where do you want to go?”

The man said, “I do not want to go anywhere. I will die at your feet and go wherever you take me.”

Mother Kali was full of compassion and affection for this soul. She said, “All right, I bless you. I will take you to the highest Heaven.” Mother Kali touched him, and he died. Then she disappeared.

Those who were passing by said, “What is happening? This noisy fellow is not crying and screaming any more?” They came closer and saw that the man was dead.

Those who had seen Mother Kali appear thought that she had looked at him with the same kind of anger and destructive power with which she had looked at them. They said, “We knew that he was a bad fellow. But he was also an idiot. He did not run away. That is why the Mother Goddess killed him. He deserved it.”

None of them wanted to take the dead body away. Everybody wanted to leave without taking care of this body.

Suddenly Mother Kali appeared. Once again the villagers all ran away. They were frightened to death. Then Mother Kali used her occult power and took the body away, flying in the sky. When the villagers came back, the body was not there and Mother Kali had also vanished.

The villagers thought that this man was very bad, but as it happened, he was the one to receive all Mother Kali’s love, affection and concern.

The loan

A villager needed a loan. He went from door to door, but nobody would lend him money. Finally he went to his landlord and asked, “Please, will you lend me three thousand rupees?”

The landlord said, “Why? Is there nobody else who can give you three thousand rupees?”

The villager said, “Certainly, I can borrow money from anyone, even from the worst possible miser.”

“Then why have you come to me?” the landlord asked.

The villager explained, “I have come here because you are very noble, kind-hearted and pious. I want to show off that I can take money even from a great landlord. It is only to boost my ego. Since you are so great, I will be able to tell others that I have taken a loan from a truly great man.”

The landlord said, “All right, since you have come here and since you are flattering me, I could give you three thousand rupees. But, instead, let me see if you can borrow money from the worst possible miser. You have to keep your promise. Go and borrow three thousand rupees from the worst possible miser in the world and then bring the money here and show me.”

“What will you give me if I do this?” asked the villager.

The landlord replied, “If you can bring back the money from the worst possible miser, I will give you this golden bangle, which is worth four thousand rupees. By selling this bracelet, you will be able to return three thousand to the miser and keep one thousand rupees for yourself.”

The villager agreed. Then he said, “I can tell you who I think is the worst possible miser, but do you have anyone particular in mind?”

The landlord replied, “Yes, I know who he is.” The landlord and the zamindar of a far-off village absolutely hated each other. The landlord told him the name of that person.

“Go to that village,” the landlord continued. “The village zamindar is so miserly. If you can bring money from him, I will be very proud of you.”

“But that miserly zamindar’s place is so far away,” complained the villager. “Can you not do me a favour? Will you not give me the bangle first and send one or two of your bodyguards to accompany me? I am sure I will be able to get the loan from that miserly zamindar. If I cannot borrow the money from him, you will get your bracelet back.”

The landlord agreed to the villager’s proposal and gave him both the bangle and the bodyguards to accompany him. Then the villager set off to fulfil his task.

They travelled very far. When they finally reached their destination, the villager immediately went to see the zamindar.

“What do you want?” the miserly zamindar asked.

The villager showed him the bangle and said, “If you give me ten thousand rupees, I will give you this most valuable bracelet.”

The miser examined the bangle and said, “It is so beautiful. Ten thousand rupees I am giving you immediately.” The zamindar was such a greedy fellow that right away he agreed to buy the bangle for a very high price. Although the first landlord had said it was worth four thousand rupees, the miserly zamindar thought it was worth much more. He was sure he would be able to sell it for at least fifteen thousand rupees, so he eagerly gave the villager ten thousand rupees.

Once the transaction had been completed, the villager said to the bodyguards, “Look, I came to your boss for a loan of three thousand rupees, but he sent me here to see if I could borrow from this man instead. Now I am ready to give you three thousand rupees to bring back to your boss, according to our agreement.”

The bodyguards exclaimed, “You rogue! You sold the bangle to get the money. But you were supposed to borrow the money. Only if you could borrow the money and bring it back to our boss would you be entitled to keep the bangle. Those were the terms of your agreement.”

The man said, “What is wrong? I am not supposed to give back the bangle. Your boss did not have any objection if I showed the bracelet to anybody. The main thing was for me to get the money. He told me that if I could borrow money, then I could keep the bangle. That is what I have done.”

The bodyguards were furious. They said, “But the bangle is not with you any more. You have just sold it. You were supposed to borrow the money without giving the zamindar anything.”

While the guards were arguing between themselves, the villager secretly told the miserly zamindar how his landlord had called him “absolutely the worst miser in God’s entire creation.” The zamindar, who hated the other landlord, immediately wanted to prove that he was not a miser and that his enemy was a fool.

He said to the villager in front of the bodyguards, “All right. Take your bracelet back. The money is a loan.” He was so smart. He knew he would be able to get the bracelet back from the villager.

The villager turned to the two bodyguards and exclaimed triumphantly, “You see that I have borrowed the money from this good zamindar. Now the bracelet is mine. But since he has lent me such a large amount of money, out of generosity, I am giving him the bracelet to keep. I only wanted three thousand rupees from your boss, but he ordered me to go and bring the money from the worst possible miser. Your boss chose this zamindar. I did not. So now I have succeeded in getting the money. It is up to me what I do after that.”

The miserly zamindar and the villager were now very nicely in collusion.

The villager said to the bodyguards, “Look, I have the bangle with me. Here is the proof that this good zamindar has lent me the money and not purchased the bangle.”

“Yes,” agreed the miserly zamindar. “I am confirming that I lent him the money. He did not sell me this bangle.”

The bodyguards were still arguing that it was not a loan. Because the zamindar wanted to keep the bracelet, he and his servants began striking the bodyguards mercilessly.

Finally, the villager said to the bodyguards, “Once and for all, I am requesting you to take the three thousand rupees. Either go back to your boss and show him that I have lived up to our agreement, or split the money and keep it yourselves.”

The prospect of keeping the money for themselves was too tempting for the bodyguards. They divided the money equally and did not return to their boss.

They were all such rogues. Instead of borrowing the money, as he had agreed to do, the villager sold the bangle to the miserly zamindar. Rather than giving the three thousand rupees to their boss, the bodyguards kept it for themselves.

The first landlord was the worst possible fool. He wanted to make fun of the villager by asking him to get a loan from his worst enemy. But the landlord did not get any satisfaction. On the contrary, he lost everything. He lost his money because his bodyguards decided to keep it for themselves, he lost the bracelet because the villager sold it for ten thousand rupees, and he lost his bodyguards because they never returned. So he was, indeed, the real loser.

God listened to his prayer

There were two Russian friends who happened to meet on the street. They went to have a cup of tea, and they were chatting.

The first friend said, “You must be so proud of your sons. One son is a doctor. One son is a lawyer. One son is a musician. You must be so proud!”

The other friend replied, “Yes, I am happy with those three sons. But I am truly proud of my fourth son, who lives in America. He has his American citizenship. He is now retired and receives a pension. From that he is able to send me money on a regular basis. With that money we are able to save the whole family from starvation.

The next day, the first man went to the post office and made friends with a postal worker there. He told him about his friend who received money from his son in America on a regular basis. He proposed, “Let us intercept his letters, since they contain money for his family.”

After that, every month, whenever there was a letter from America, the postal worker used to give it to this man. There was always money in it. The man used to give a little money to the postal worker, and the rest he would keep for himself.

This went on for one month, two months, three months. The father was not getting any money from his son in America, and he was becoming so sad and miserable. The son in America was also sad that his father was not thanking him for any of his letters. Although the father was worried, he did not write to ask his son what was the matter. He just waited.

After some time, the father finally sent his son a letter saying that he was not receiving any letters from him and asking if everything was all right. The son was sad and furious. He did not know where the money was going, whether it was being stopped in America or Russia.

Time passed by and one day the two friends again met in the street. This time the father of the son in America was so sad. His friend, the rogue, asked, “Why are you so miserable? What has happened to you?”

The father said, “I do not know what has happened to my son in America. He is not writing to me or sending me money any more. I do not know what is wrong with him.” He started crying and said, “I have no idea whether he is even alive or not!”

The heart of the rogue was touched by his friend’s sadness. “Let us pray to God for your son,” he said.

The father replied, “But we are communists. We do not believe in God.”

The rogue said, “No, when we are in danger, we can pray to God and God will save us. I am praying to God on your behalf, but will you start praying to God yourself?”

The father answered, “All right. If I again start getting money from my son, I will definitely believe in your prayers, and I, too, will start praying to God.”

Then the rogue went back to the post office and said to the postal worker, “We have enough money now. Let us not steal any more. From now on, whenever a letter from America comes, you should send it to the right person.”

When the father again began to receive letters from his son in America, he was so happy, so relieved and so surprised at the same time. He told his rogue-friend, “God has listened to your prayer! Now I am also going to become a devotee of God. I shall pray like you.”

So the father started praying to God — if there is a God — since God had listened to his friend’s prayer!

The Russian bank workers

There were once three workers in a bank in Russia. One day, one of the workers was fired because he had come late to work. Not only was he fired, but in those days in Russia if you came late to work, they would put you in jail. So he was thrown into jail.

On another day, the second worker came early. As a result, the manager of the bank suspected he was a spy, assuming he had come early to see if he could send some news or some sort of message to America. Otherwise, he thought, there was no reason for him to come early. So that worker was also arrested and thrown into jail.

The third worker always came on time. One day, the bank manager asked him, “How do you always come on time?”

The worker answered, “It is because I have an American wristwatch. It keeps perfect time.”

The manager said, “How is it that you have an American wristwatch? I do not have an American wristwatch. Communism means that all are equal. How can you have this wristwatch and not me? No, it is not good. I will have you thrown into jail for three months because you are not following communism. After three months, when you come back, I will give you back your wristwatch.” So the third worker was sent to jail without his wristwatch.

All three workers ended up in the same jail together.

The first worker said to the others, “What is this? I came late to work once and I ended up in jail! Look at my fate!”

The second worker exclaimed, “What about me? I came to work early and because of that I have been thrown into jail! Does it make any sense?”

The third worker said, “My case is the worst! For wearing an American wristwatch I have been put in jail! Because I wanted always to be on time for work, I used an American wristwatch which keeps the correct time, whereas Russian wristwatches do not.”

They all said to each other, “Now what shall we do?”

The three workers were all of the same opinion. They decided that since it was due to the policies of the bank that they were now in jail, they would rob the bank at the earliest opportunity.

All three agreed that once their jail terms were over, they would go back to the bank and cry and cry to have their jobs back. They felt that the manager would be very happy to give them back their jobs because he would feel badly that they had undergone imprisonment. On their first day back, they would all go to work at the same time. The best thing would be for them to go as early as possible. Then they could easily rob the bank. Afterwards, with the money they stole, they could go to a real spy. They would offer the spy a little money and ask him to help them to go to America, the land of the bold and the land of the gold.

When their jail sentences were over, the three workers went back to the bank crying and crying, and the manager did give them their jobs back. Then, as planned, they robbed the bank. Next, they went to see the spy to give him money so that he would make arrangements for them to go to America.

The spy said to the three workers, “You have given me money. Let me see what I can do for you. I am sure my friends in America will take care of you. I will make the arrangements for you.”

Overjoyed at the prospect of going to America, the three workers eagerly gave the spy even more money. Still they had some left for their journey to America. They were very happy.

Alas, after taking the money from the workers, the spy went directly to the manager of the bank and told him everything. The bank manager was furious and immediately had the three arrested and sent back to jail. The spy was honoured by the bank and received a cash reward from the bank manager, while the three workers ended up in jail again — this time indefinitely.

The German friend and the Russian friend

A German man and a Russian man were very good friends. But friendship is made of nothing, if not rivalry.

The German man had four or five children, and the Russian man also had four or five children. They lived on either side of a small river which divided Russia and Germany. Even though they lived in two different countries, their houses were so close to each other that they could even speak loudly to each other from one side of the river to the other.

The German friend used to go fishing on his side of the river, and the Russian would do the same on his side. They would often come at the same time. Smiling at each other, they would start fishing on their respective sides of the river.

One day, when they were both fishing, the German man caught many fish one after another. But his poor Russian friend did not catch any fish although he was just across the small river. It seemed that on the Russian side there were no fish, while on the German side there were so many fish! The German friend was catching fish again and again and again.

The Russian friend was so miserable. He said, “Why am I not catching anything, while you keep catching one fish after the other? Please tell me, what is the secret?”

The German man said, “My Russian friend, you are such a fool! Do you not know that in your country, you are not allowed to open your mouth? In our country we are allowed to open our mouths, and we do so as much as we like. In your country even the fish are afraid of opening their mouths! If they do not open their mouths, how will you catch them?”

The Russian friend said, “My German friend, how right you are! It seems the only way I will ever be allowed to open my mouth is to go to Germany. But how shall I get there?”

The German friend replied, “Do not worry. I will come to help you. One evening I shall swim across. Do you know how to swim?”

The Russian man said, “No, I do not know how.”

The German friend responded, “No harm. I will carry you on my back and take you to the German side.”

The Russian man said, “That is fine. You will save my life. You are so compassionate.”

The Russian fellow was so grateful to the German because he was prepared to smuggle him into Germany. Alas, while the Russian man was eagerly waiting for his German friend to cross the river, the German man was swimming very happily and making a great deal of noise. He was making so much commotion that he could not escape the attention of the guards who were patrolling the shore on the Russian side.

“What is that?” the guards exclaimed. Seeing the German man swimming towards them, they kept quiet, and when the German reached the shore, they grabbed him.

“What are you coming here for?” they asked.

The German man replied, “I came to save my friend.”

The guards said, “You came to save your friend? Now we are arresting both of you!”

So, if you have an open heart, you suffer. And if you make fun of someone, somehow God punishes you. At first, the German man was making fun of the Russian for not being able to catch any fish. Then, he became so sympathetic and tried to save the Russian, in spite of the fact that the Russian man did not even know how to swim. Then, unfortunately, both of them were caught.

The size of the communist party

In a primary school in Russia, one day the teacher asked the students, “Can you tell us the size of the Communist Party?”

Some students stood up and said, “It is so vast. It has countless people.”

Then another group of students stood up and said, “It is more than countless. It is infinite.”

Everybody was satisfied except one boy.

The teacher said to the boy, “Now there are two groups. One has said the Communist Party has countless people, and the other said it is infinite. What do you want to say?”

The young boy said, “I want to say that the size of the Communist Party is five feet, eight inches tall!”

Some of the other students laughed, some were shocked and some were furious at the boy’s answer.

The teacher asked the boy, “Why do you say such a thing?”

The boy replied, “My father is a communist leader. He is six feet, two inches tall. Every evening when he comes home from work, he says, ‘I have had enough of the Communist Party. I have had it up to here.’ Then he points to his chin, which is about five feet, eight inches high when he is standing up! He says, ‘I am not going to be a member of the Party any more.’ But again the following day he goes back to work.”

Everyone in the class was shocked because the boy’s father had spoken against the Communist Party. The other students wanted to thrash this boy. But the teacher said, “No, no. If all of you thrash him, he will die.” So the teacher did not allow the students to beat the boy.

After school, the teacher took the boy home and said, “From tomorrow, you will not be able to come to school. Otherwise, those unruly children will surely thrash you.”

The following day, the teacher felt compelled to go see someone very high-ranking in the Communist Party and report to him how a child in his class had told them his father’s words against the Party.

Meanwhile, the child was at home crying because he would not be able to go to school for a while. He did not know that his teacher was reporting his father to the Communist Party.

The parents were very concerned and asked their son, “What have you done that you are not allowed to go to school?”

The boy told his father, “When the teacher asked me what was the size of the Communist Party, I said that you always say that it is up to your chin — five feet, eight inches tall. For that, I cannot go to school.” The boy was so miserable.

No sooner had the boy uttered these words than the police came to the house, arrested the father and took him to jail. The child and the mother were crying and crying.

On hearing what had happened, the teacher felt sorry for what he had done. In a short time, he was summoned by the communist leader, who asked him, “How could you have kept such a bad student? Why did you not examine him previously?”

The teacher told him, “He is just a little boy. That day I had asked the students about the size of the Communist Party. He just repeated what he had been hearing from his father.”

The high-ranking communist leader said, “Have you nothing else to ask your students? Look what you have done! When the boy’s father’s jail term is over, he may create real problems for us. He is very talented. We are afraid that he will become a spy and send reports to America about us. Since you have done this, we have to take revenge on you. Since you are the problem-maker, you also have to serve time in jail.”

So the teacher was thrown into jail.

This story shows that at that time in Russia, nobody could open his mouth without getting into trouble.