Great Indian meals: divinely delicious and supremely nourishing, part 2

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A son's devotion1

One day an old man walked a long distance to see how the rice was growing in his paddies. When he came home, he was dead tired. His son, who was very, very spiritual, began to devotedly massage his father’s feet while the old man was resting. The father was relaxing with his eyes closed, appreciating his son’s devotedness and the good massage. After about half an hour, the father fell fast asleep.

All of a sudden the son saw Lord Krishna standing right before him, watching his devotedness with appreciation and admiration. For a few seconds the son folded his hands and then he continued massaging his father’s feet.

He said to Krishna, “O Lord, I am so happy that you have come to see me. I pray to you every day most soulfully, but now you have come at a time when I am massaging my father’s feet. Look, there is a chair over there. Would you kindly get the chair and sit down? At this moment I cannot bring it to you.”

Krishna said, “No, I have been sitting for a long time. I can’t sit anymore. And you are massaging your father’s feet, so you are unable to come over here to me.” The son said, “Krishna, I see your presence inside my father. Since I have already started massaging him, will you not forgive me?”

“What is there to forgive?” asked Krishna. “Nothing pleases me more than to see someone do his duty. You have received illumination. In your father you see my presence, so you don’t have to come to me.”

While this conversation was going on the father woke up. “What are you doing?” he asked his son. “With whom were you speaking?”

“I was speaking with Lord Krishna,” replied the son.

“Lord Krishna! Where is he?” said the father.

The son said, “He appeared here. And I did not go to him because I was massaging you.”

The father said, “You fool! I have been crying to see Lord Krishna and you have actually talked to him without even offering him something to sit on.”

The son explained, “I did ask him, but he said he was not tired, and he appreciated my devotedness to you.”

“What kind of son do I have?” lamented the father. “I am only a mortal, an ordinary human being. The Lord Himself came, but you could not go and see him. O Lord Krishna, forgive my son and forgive me for having such an idiot in the family.”

The son said, “Say what you want. But you know that in you I always feel the presence of my Lord Krishna. So when I didn’t go to him, he did not mind. On the contrary, he was very proud of me because I was doing my duty. Krishna said that nothing pleased him more than to see someone doing his duty.”

The father said, “If what you are saying is all true, then I am really blessed that I have such a nice, wise, soulful and devoted son who can bring Krishna to us. But blind I shall always be. It seems I shall never see him. Even if my eyes had not been closed, perhaps I would not have seen him with my naked, human eyes. You were able to see Krishna because he opened your third eye, the eye that sees. I am so proud that at least my son has seen him. But how I wish I could know for sure that this is all true.”

At that moment Krishna appeared and said, “It is all true, all true. It is because of your son’s faithfulness and one-pointed devotedness to you that today you are seeing me. In you your son saw me, and that is the supreme realisation. Now you, the father, try to see me also in your son. Then you will also be blessed with the supreme realisation that I am in all, with all and for all. I am the creation, I am the Creator; I am the life of the creation and the Light of the Creator. Again, I am the one who is all light, all life, all compassion, all oneness, all satisfaction and all perfection. See this and feel this in all, and then grow into this realisation.”

Both father and son fell down at Krishna’s feet and said, “Krishna; O infinity’s Lord, you have come to us with a finite form so we can touch you, feel you and become like you. Infinite is your greatness, eternal is your goodness.”

GIM 21. 8 January 1979

Three categories of disciples2

One day a spiritual Master was meditating with some of his disciples and a few seekers. After about twenty minutes, he looked around and said, “Is there anyone who would like to ask me a spiritual question?” One disciple raised his hand and asked, “Master, could you please say something about your disciples’ spiritual development?”

“My child,” replied the Master, “I can only tell you that I love all my spiritual children dearly, no matter what their level of spiritual attainment may be.”

“Please tell us more,” begged the disciples. “Can you tell us more about the different levels of development?”

The Master paused. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “Once there were three dolls. These dolls were conscious dolls. One was made of sugar, one was made of cloth and one was made of burnt stone. Now it happened that each of these dolls entered into the sea. When the one that was made of sugar entered into the sea, it totally dissolved. The second doll entered into the sea, and came out fully soaked. Then the third doll entered bravely into the sea. When it came out it just shook its body, and not a trace of water was left on it.

There also, my children, I have three types of disciples. One type, when he enters into the ignorance-sea, is totally lost, totally melted. When the second type enters into the ignorance sea, he is able to come out. But ignorance is all around his consciousness. He still carries ignorance with him. The third type enters into ignorance bravely and fights against ignorance. He not only comes out victorious, but he also takes up the challenge of transforming ignorance into wisdom-light.

“I do hope one day all of my disciples will fit into the third category: brave soldiers of the Supreme entering into the sea of ignorance like warriors, fighting against ignorance and coming out victorious, and finally changing ignorance-sea into wisdom-light.”

The disciples bowed down to their Master and said, “You have inspired and illumined us. We shall all strive from now on to become brave soldiers of your mission, soldiers of the Supreme, fighting against the forces of ignorance and ultimately transforming them.”

GIM 22. 9 January 1979

In progress is the presence of Vishnu3

Once Narada, the great devotee of Vishnu, was angry with his Lord. He said to himself, “Who cares for Vishnu? If he is really inside my heart, then why do I have to worship him? Is it not enough that he is inside my heart? And if he is not inside my heart, if he is not anywhere to be found on earth, or if he is non-existent, then why do I have to worship him? So in no way do I need Vishnu. Whether he is in my heart or in this creation, or whether he is nowhere to be found or does not exist at all, I don’t need him.”

Like this Narada went on for a few days, but all the while he was feeling miserable. Something was killing him inwardly. On the one hand, he was feeling very haughty and proud that he had discovered that he could live without Vishnu. On the other hand, his aspiration-heart was crying and dying for Vishnu’s presence and Vishnu’s Light.

Finally he went to Lord Shiva for advice. Lord Shiva said, “You fool, how can you live without Vishnu?”

Narada said, “I know I cannot. That’s why I have come to you. Vishnu was my all once upon a time. Now he does not care for me; therefore, I have stopped caring for him. But I need him badly. Alas, I don’t feel his presence inside my heart. I don’t see him anywhere in my consciousness or in my aspiration-cry.”

Shiva said, “I feel sorry for you. Now you have to develop devotion. There is nothing as important and meaningful in the spiritual life as devotion. If you develop and increase your devotion, then you are bound to feel Vishnu’s presence inside your heart, just as you did before.”

“How can I develop devotion?” Narada asked.

Shiva answered, “Mix with the people who have failed in life. Mix with the people who are full of sorrow. Mix with the people who feel that they cannot exist even for a second without Vishnu. Mix with the people who feel that, without God, they are helpless but, with God, they are everything and have everything.”

Narada said, “Alas, there was a time when people used to come to me to increase their own devotion because I was all devotion to my Lord Vishnu. Now is this my fate? I have to go to other people and mix with them to develop devotion. What irony!”

Lord Shiva said, “One has to aspire consciously and constantly to make progress. In your case, you were satisfied with what you had. You did not care for further progress. I tell you, in the spiritual world if you do not make continuous progress, then ignorance is bound to pull you down. There is no fixed resting place. Every moment you are going either forward or going backward.

“If you are conscious and constant in your prayer and meditation, then you will always make progress and, while making progress, you are bound to feel Vishnu’s presence. So make progress every day, every hour, every minute. Then you are bound to feel Vishnu’s presence in yourself and your presence in Vishnu. You will not only feel him but also see him as your Compassion-Lord, Illumination-Lord and Fulfilment-Lord.”

Narada said, “My Lord, I shall.”

Shiva said, “And you can!”

GIM 23. 9 January 1979

The three types of eaters4

One day a spiritual Master was playing his flute while his disciples were eating. He was getting joy from watching them eat. After some time, he asked them if they would like to hear a story from him. They said, “Of course, of course.”

The Master said, “I will tell you a very short story. There are three kinds of eaters. One type of eater will eat voraciously no matter how the food tastes. He feels that since God has given him the body, he must eat. The more he eats, the more he thinks that he is pleasing God, since the body is God’s creation. So he eats anything he gets.

The second type will eat whatever he is given, no matter what quantity. If the food is good, he is happy. If the food is bad, he accepts this, knowing that every day one cannot eat most delicious food. He tolerates the fact that, from worldly human beings who cook every day, one cannot always receive a delicious meal. After all, not even one day is the food unbearable; always there is some standard. Therefore, whatever he gets is all right.

The third type of person says to God, ‘O God, today by Your Grace I am eating. Tomorrow I may not get any food, but that also I shall take as Your Grace. Whatever happens to me I feel is an experience that You are giving me. So if You give me food, it is wonderful, and if You do not give me food, it is also wonderful, for I will feel that You want to give me a specific experience. I shall be equally satisfied in Your divine dispensation. If You give, I feel that for my progress You are doing so. If You do not give, it is again for my progress. Your Will is my will. I don’t want to have any will of my own.’

To the first group the Lord says, ‘My Eternity will take care of you.’

To the second group He says, ‘My Divinity is pleased with you.’

To the third group He says, ‘My oneness-life is all pride in you. Your oneness in My Greatness and your oneness with My Goodness will always satisfy Me. Your aspiration is great, your dedication is good. Your realisation of My highest Height and deepest Depth is not a far cry, but imminent.’”

GIM 24. 9 January 1979

Perseverance, patience and self-giving are of paramount importance5

Once two partridges, a husband and wife, were going out on a trip. Before they left, the wife laid some eggs near the ocean. Then the husband said to the sea, “We are going on a sea voyage. You have to take care of these eggs for us. On our return, if we don’t find the eggs, then we shall empty you.”

The sea agreed to take care of the eggs, and it kept the eggs safe. A few days later the two partridges came back, but they could not find the eggs. They began screaming at the sea. The sea wanted to give the eggs to them, but it could not find them anymore. The birds cursed the sea and started emptying it. The husband and wife each began taking out a drop of water at a time, throwing it onto the land.

“We are going to empty you,” they said to the sea.

Some little birds saw all this and they asked, “What are you doing?”

The partridges replied, “We are punishing the sea. The sea is very bad because it didn’t keep its promise to look after our eggs.”

The little birds thought it was a noble task and they joined the partridges. After a while, some big birds took up their cause. They were very sympathetic and self giving, and they also started taking out water drop by drop. This went on for days and weeks.

One day, the Conveyor of Lord Vishnu, Garuda, came and asked, “What are you doing?”

The birds said, “Can’t you see? We are emptying the sea.”

Garuda said, “You fools, how long will this take you? You will never be able to do it. The sea is very vast, infinite.”

But the birds answered, “No, we have determination and perseverance.”

Garuda was very surprised and said, “Let me show them some compassion. Let me ask Lord Vishnu to help them. If Vishnu helps them, then certainly they will be able to find their eggs. If the eggs are still in good condition, Vishnu will be able to return them. But if they are destroyed, he can do nothing for them.”

He went to Vishnu. “Vishnu, I have never seen fools like these. If you really care for fools, then will you do them a favour?” Garuda then told him the whole story.

Vishnu said, “No, they are not fools. They are showing the spirit of patience and perseverance. This is how human beings must try to empty the ignorance-sea, drop by drop. It is what the seekers must and should do. Ignorance-sea is very vast. If sincere seekers want to empty it to replace it with knowledge-light, then they have to do it the same way, drop by drop. So I am very pleased with those partridges. I am commanding the sea to return the eggs.”

Garuda said, “The sea wanted to give them the eggs but it misplaced them and feels that they are all destroyed.”

Vishnu said, “I am using my own occult power to show the sea where it has kept the eggs.”

He used his occult power and the sea immediately found the eggs and returned them to the partridges. Then Vishnu said to the birds, “Perseverance, patience and self-giving all are of paramount importance to fulfil one’s divine task.”

GIM 25. 9 January 1979

The Buddha's message6

There was a great King named Vindusar who ruled his kingdom wisely. When he died, his eldest son, Ashoka, became King. Ashoka’s brothers were all handsome and strong, but Ashoka was not at all beautiful. His brothers always used to cut jokes with him because he was not good-looking.

When Ashoka became King with the help of the minister, he wanted to take revenge. So when he got the throne, he killed his brothers one by one. Then he killed all his relatives who spoke ill of him. Whoever spoke ill of him, he killed. He also wanted to be the lord of a vast kingdom, so he went and conquered a place called Kalinga, destroying many Buddhist temples and killing many Buddhists.

One day he was in his palace-fortress when he heard some most pitiful cries. The relatives of the thousands of people whom he had killed were cursing him and lamenting and grieving for their dear ones. Ashoka felt sorry. Suddenly he heard a voice chanting, Buddham saranam gacchami, “I take refuge in Lord Buddha.” Again and again he heard this voice chanting the same words. It was so soothing to him. He thought of the Buddha’s Compassion and he felt that a change was taking place in his life, but he could not account for it.

When he went outside into the streets, he saw one of the greatest followers of the Buddha, Upagupta, chanting nearby. Ashoka approached him and said, “Please forgive me, but I have heard some chanting, and now I wish to be initiated. I want to be a follower of the Lord Buddha.”

Upagupta told him, “It was I who was chanting before.” The King was deeply moved. Upagupta initiated him and he became Upagupta’s disciple.

After that, Ashoka took refuge in the Lord Buddha — in the Buddha’s Compassion and in the Buddha’s Light. He no longer paid any attention to his Kingdom nor to his throne. Eventually he became a religious mendicant. He put on an ochre cloth and roamed from place to place all over the world, chanting the Buddha’s glory and establishing Buddhist temples. He opened up free hospitals for the poor and unreservedly gave away things to the poor and the needy. He became compassion incarnate. Even his own daughter went to Ceylon to spread the Buddha’s Light. Everywhere Ashoka went — even inside mountain caves and on pillars — the Buddha’s message was inscribed: Ahingsha parama dharma, “Non-violence is the greatest virtue.”

GIM 26. 9 January 1979

Babar's sacrifice7

The first Mogul Emperor Babar was a good poet, a great hunter and a man of wisdom. Very often he had to fight against his enemies in order to maintain his own kingdom, but he had a good army and he always won.

Babar had a son named Humayun, which means “fortunate.” Sad to say, a series of unfortunate events took place in Babar’s and Humayun’s lives.

When Humayun was sixteen years old, his father wanted to conquer a particular place ruled by Ibrahim Lodi. The son said, “Father, you know our army is nothing in comparison to Ibrahim Lodi’s army. How can you dare to fight with them?”

But Babar replied, “No, my son, we shall conquer them. Let them have the number; we have the quality and the capacity.”

The son said, “Father, I will always abide by your will. Let us go.”

Both the father and son were great heroes and with their small army they went to conquer Ibrahim Lodi’s army. Surprisingly, they defeated the enemy. The people were very pleased with their new conquerors, for the old ruler had not been at all nice. One of the local governors owned India’s most precious diamond, which was called Kohinoor (the British government later took this diamond away from the Indians.) The governor gave Kohinoor to Babar’s son, Humayun, because of his bravery. Humayun showed it to his father and said, “Father, this is for you.”

But Babar replied, “No, my son, you deserve it. You have got it and you should keep it. I am very proud of you. You have fought so bravely. That’s why you have been given this diamond. Now you keep it. I will be so happy if you do.”

Father and son were extremely kind to each other and they returned to their own kingdom. Alas, in a few hours’ time Humayun fell sick. Day by day his condition grew worse. Many doctors came to try to cure him, but none succeeded. They all said that his days were numbered. Many people prayed to Allah for Humayun’s recovery, but to no avail.

Then a saint came to Babar and said, “If you make a great sacrifice, if you sacrifice something most precious, only then your son will be cured.”

Babar asked, “What kind of thing should I sacrifice?”

The saint said, “Give away Kohinoor. It is most precious.”

But Babar said, “Kohinoor is my son’s possession. What kind of sacrifice would that be? I have to sacrifice something of my own. I have so much wealth and prosperity, and such a vast kingdom. But the most precious diamond Kohinoor is not mine; therefore, I cannot sacrifice it. “And even if I did own Kohinoor, it would not be a real sacrifice to give it away. Even if I give away my wealth, power and kingdom, I don’t think this is the most precious sacrifice I could make. My life alone is most precious. I am ready to give my life.”

Then he walked around his son three times, praying to Allah, “For me, my most precious thing is my own life. The saint said to sacrifice something most precious, so take my life instead of my son’s. This is my only prayer, and I sincerely mean it.”

To his wide surprise, after he completed three rounds his son stood up completely well. But immediately Babar fell deathly ill.

Humayun cried and said to Allah, “My father is going to die, but I shall eternally treasure my father’s fondness for me and my father’s implicit faith in Your Compassion.”

Allah listened to the father’s prayer, and in three months’ time Babar died. This is the love that a human father can have for his son.

GIM 27. 9 January 1979

Satyavama's perfect husband8

When Satyavama reached the age for marriage, her parents wanted to find a husband for her. Satyavama said to them, “I will only marry that person who always listens to me. If I say sit down, he will sit down. If I say stand up, he will stand up. If I say eat, he will eat. If I say run, he will run. It has to be that kind of man; only then I will marry him.”

The parents said, “Who needs that kind of wife?”

Satyavama insisted, “No, if you do not find that kind of husband for me, then I am not going to marry.”

Her parents pleaded with her. “We want you to get married. You are grown up. Now that you are of age, what will people think of us? It is not good to keep an unmarried girl at home.”

Satyavama said, “I agree with you, and I am ready to get married, but my husband has to be at my beck and call.”

The parents were helpless. They looked everywhere for a husband for her. They found many handsome and learned men who were willing to marry their daughter. But then they would say, “There is only one unfortunate thing. You have to be at her beck and call and always listen to her.”

“Shame, shame,” the men would reply. “We shall have to listen to our wife’s command? It is the husband who is supposed to lord it over the wife.”

So everybody got angry with the parents. Some laughed at them, some insulted them. “Why are you coming with this kind of proposal?” they asked. The parents were helpless. They were not getting anybody to agree to their proposal.

Then Krishna happened to hear about the situation. He said, “I am the right person for her.” So he went to their home and said, “Satyavama, you are looking for a husband. I am ready.”

At that time Krishna already had a few wives, but he said, “If she wants that kind of husband, I am ready. If she wants me to do something, I am ready to be her perfect slave.”

Satyavama was so happy to have Krishna as her husband. She had said that she would marry anybody who agreed to this proposal. Now, of all people, Krishna wanted to be her husband. He was so venerated by everyone. Although Krishna had other wives and children, he married Satyavama.

As soon as they were married, Satyavama started telling Krishna, “Do this, do this, do this!” Whenever she asked him to do anything, he did it. But Krishna’s smile conquered her. Each time he smiled, she would forget to give him a new job. “O Krishna, what am I going to do?” she said. “As soon as I see your face, as soon as I see your smile, I feel that it is I who have to listen to you. You are all love and joy. By asking you to do things, do I get any joy? Only by looking at your face, do I get satisfaction.”

Krishna said, “I knew it, I knew it.” So Krishna and Satyavama were very happy together.

GIM 28. 9 January 1979

Renunciation is not the answer9

There was once an Indian spiritual Master whose disciples were extremely fond of him. They were especially fond of his infinite wisdom.

One day the Master gave a talk on the acceptance of life. Everybody was deeply moved. Only one person did not fully appreciate it. She came up to the Master and said, “Master, you know that I have been worshipping you soulfully ever since I accepted your spiritual path — of course, according to my own capacity. But today I simply can’t accept your advice.

“You know I have been cursed by God with two sons. They make demands on me in season and out of season, and they don’t allow me to pray and meditate. I feel miserable. If I had not been married like my spiritual sisters, I would have made very fast progress. I am sure that renunciation is the easiest way to make the fastest progress. One should reject life right from the beginning.”

The Master said, “My child, don’t be a fool. With boundless compassion I am telling you something. There are many women on earth who were once upon a time married, but whose husbands and dear ones left them one by one. Now they have nothing on earth to bind them, but they are not meant for the spiritual life. What they do is this. They tame a cat or a dog or some pet animal. Some of them are very poor; with greatest difficulty they maintain their livelihood. Yet they buy milk for their cats. They manage to feed their dogs with utmost love and concern.

“And then, if the cat leaves their house and goes to eat elsewhere, they search and search for the cat. Then if they find the cat at a neighbour’s house, they accuse the neighbour of tempting the cat to come and eat there. They scold the neighbour mercilessly, and the neighbour insults them like anything: ‘Who needs your cat?’ Often there are fights between the owner and the accused neighbour. Nobody else needs the cat, but the owner feels that her cat was tempted and that this is the reason it goes elsewhere to eat. In this way their disputes never end, and village quarrels have no mother, no father, no beginning, no ending.

“Now isn’t a child of your own flesh and blood infinitely more important than a cat? You will give up your sons, but if you don’t conquer attachment, then you will feel compelled to replace them with cats, dogs and pets. It is better to have human beings, who are much more evolved than animals. To deal with an evolved being is infinitely more meaningful and fruitful.

“The best way is to see God inside your own children. If you could see God and your Master inside your children, then you would regard them in a different way. You would not feel miserable, but you would show them more affection, more love and more concern. In this way you would have more peace of mind.

“So try to see me inside them. Then all your problems will be over. Renunciation is not the way. For if today you renounce something, then tomorrow you are bound to get attached to something else. Just accept what you have, and illumine your sons with your inner light, if necessity demands. That is the correct way, the spiritual way.”

GIM 29. 9 January 1979

Play your role as a daughter of God10

A spiritual Master was with some of his disciples when an elderly woman came up to him one day and said, “Master, I am not now totally devoted to you. But I assure you, in the course of time I will become totally devoted and dedicated. I will aspire infinitely more than I do now.”

The Master said, “How will you do this?”

The woman said, “Right now my sons are studying, but once they complete their studies I will be free. One will practise medicine, the second will practise law and the third will be in gymnastics. It is only a matter of time, and then you will see how devoted I will be.”

The Master said, “God bless you. First of all, your children have to complete their studies, and then they will enter into their respective professions. At that time you will say, ‘Oh, now that they are mature and established, let me help find proper marriages for them. They have to get married and be bound to one individual; otherwise, they may not lead decent, faithful lives. The best thing is for them to get married!’

“After you marry them, you will say, ‘Marriage is not enough. They should have children!’ When you have grandchildren, you will have tremendous joy. But then you will say that it is your duty to bring them up in the same way you have brought up your own sons. The grandchildren will go to school and grow up, and some of them will listen to you while others won’t. So every day you will be in the world of worries and anxieties. This is how your life will end.”

The woman said, “No, Master, you wait and see. Even if what you say is true, one day, when my grandchildren grow up, I will be ready.”

“Yes,” said the Master, “at the age of ninety you will be ready for the spiritual life.”

The woman insisted, “No, I will accept spirituality in this life.”

“When you have one foot in the grave,” commented the Master.

“Duty is duty,” said the woman. “These are my sons. God brought them into my family.”

The Master said, “Yes, you are doing your duty. Again, you have to know that it is God who brought you to me. Your children now want you to stop worrying about them. You have played your role as a mother. Now you should play your role as a seeker.”

“It is very difficult for me to accept what you are saying,” said the woman.

The Master explained, “Look at the sea. If you go to the sea and wait for the waves to subside, will this ever happen? There will always be waves. If you want to swim, you have to dive into the sea. In the spiritual life also, you have to brave all kinds of opposition. Because of your sons, you are unable to meditate all the time. But if you really want to see God, then this opposition you have to face and conquer. You have to dive into this opposition and be very brave. And for God’s sake don’t create any more obstructions for yourself by thinking of your sons’ jobs, careers, marriages and children. By doing this you are only inviting more waves of obstruction to enter into your life. If you are wise, you will stop here.

“As a mother you have played your role. As a daughter of God, as a spiritual daughter of mine, you now have a new role to play. Think of God alone. God will take care of your sons. He is the only one who can take care of His creation, not you nor me nor anyone else.”

The disciple said, “Your words are most illumining, but my capacity is very limited.”

The Master said, “Your capacity is limited but my Compassion is unlimited. So you stay with your limited capacity and let me stay with my Eternity’s Compassion-Capacity.”

GIM 30. 9 January 1979

Three mothers11

Once an elderly lady was illumining her grandchildren by telling them stories. The grandchildren wanted to hear stories from their grandmother, so she decided to tell them a beautiful story. She said, “We human beings use the term ‘mother’ to refer to the one from whom we came into existence. We also call a cow ‘mother’ because it is associated with the cosmic gods. Again, we speak about ‘Mother Earth.’ So there are three mothers. These three mothers help us at each step of life.

“When we are born, we take our mother’s milk for some time. Then we take cow’s milk, and then we eat vegetables that we get from Mother Earth. Mother Earth produces food and we eat her food. We appreciate, admire and adore these three mothers, but we have to see them in a different light and deal with each of them in a different way. They can’t be put together.

“The physical mother cannot eat the same food that nourishes Mother Earth. The earthly ground needs cow dung and manure for its food. Again, the cow cannot live on human milk or be kept in a house. And a human mother cannot live on grass or be put in a cow shed.

“Each of the three mothers has her own way of pleasing us. No one can please us at every moment in our own way. Even your own father cannot please you at every moment in your own way. He has many interests in life. He has to go to work, he has to mix with his friends and there are so many things that he has to do. So do not expect the same thing from each individual, and do not expect everyone to please you in your own way. Also, do not think that you will be able to change the respective roles of human beings. If people are doing different things, you cannot just change them. Each one has to do his and her duty in a different way. And it is you who have to receive from each individual according to the way that he wants to give, not according to the way that you want that person to give.

“Your mother is your friend, the cow is your friend and earth is your friend. But you cannot ask these three friends to always help you all at the same time or to change their respective roles. So, my grandchildren, when your mother gives you something, be happy at the time she gives and feel that this is the only way you can be satisfied. And when the cow gives you milk or when Mother Earth gives you something in the form of food and fruits, you have to be satisfied in the same way. Accept everything from each individual in the way the individual wants to give it, and never expect all earthly beings collectively to please you in your own way. Be happy with what you get, and make others happy in your cheerful acceptance.”

GIM 31. 9 January 1979

Everyone has his own role12

A great spiritual Master once asked his close disciples to come and meditate with him. When they came and sat in front of him, he said, “Today I have a special request to make, and I hope each of you will fulfil my request. God has made a serious mistake, and I want all of you to help me in rectifying the mistake.”

Some of the disciples bowed down, puzzled, while others burst into laughter. Then the Master said, “I am serious. Please take me seriously, all those who are laughing. And others, I am telling you not to be so puzzled. You will see that this is something truly illumining.

“You know that in God’s creation there are tigers, lions, bears and other animals that eat only meat. Again, in God’s creation there are also cows, buffaloes, goats and animals that eat only grass and leaves. Now, why should it be that one party will eat only meat while another party will eat only grass? Let us have both parties eat both meat and grass. Or let us reverse it, so the tiger, lion and bear will eat grass and the cow, buffalo and goat will eat meat. In this way we shall fulfil them.” Again, some of the disciples laughed; others grew more puzzled.

The Master continued, “There is nothing to laugh at, and there is nothing to be puzzled over. Now, for God’s sake help me.”

“What kind of help would you like?” asked the disciples. “We don’t understand.”

“You don’t understand?” said the Master. “Is it such a difficult thing that I am speaking about? In a family one brother may be sick and another may be healthy and strong. So the mother will not give the same food to both. To the one who is really sick the mother will give one type of food and to the one who is strong and stout the mother will give another type.

“Again, usually we eat ordinary food at home, but when a relative or friend comes, we make a special meal. Now, rich people eat richer, more fattening food. Poor people, on the other hand, eat simple food. When rich people come, I try to give them rich food because they are in the habit of eating it. But since you people have accepted the spiritual life, an austere life, you do not need that kind of food. Still, some of you feel miserable that I don’t give you the same food that I give rich people. But God is not that kind of communist. He feels that what you need is best for you and what I need is best for me. Your needs are different from my needs. That does not mean that either your need or my need is superior or inferior. Only we are meant for two different things.

“So God wants to please each individual in his own way. If for everybody God has to do the same thing, then individuals will start doing everything wrong. Everybody has to perform his own role and fulfil God’s Will in God’s own Way. Some of you find fault with me because to some I give rich food, to others I give simple food. To some I give a smile, to others I don’t give a smile. Always you find fault, wondering why I am not doing the same thing for each person. But all human beings cannot be treated in the same way, if one really cares for humanity’s progress. Even in a family each member has to be treated differently so that he can make the best progress. It is absolutely necessary that a little child be treated one way and a grownup another. The child cannot be treated like an older person and an older person cannot be treated like a child.

“Each soul evolves, starting from the stone life. From the stone consciousness it goes to the animal world and then to the human world. Many of us once upon a time were tigers, lions and bears or cows, buffaloes and goats, and the food was different for each of us. Each one has to eat according to his own nature. Some people eat ignorance-food, some people eat knowledge-food. People who need aspiration are of one type, and those who need desire are of another type. So aspiration-lovers and desire-lovers cannot go together. They have to be kept separately, like the animals who need different food. That is how all parts of God’s creation fit together and that is why God’s creation is perfect. God wants to be pleased in many ways by many people, and each individual in His infinite creation is pleasing God in the special way that God wants to be pleased.”

At this point two of the Master’s disciples came forward and bowed down to the Master, saying, “You have read our mind. This morning we were criticising you because you gave rich people richer food than poor people. We felt that you were partial to some and cruel and indifferent to others. Now we see that you are neither partial nor indifferent; you favour neither the rich nor the poor. You are only dealing with each individual according to his necessity. Now we have understood. Please forgive us.”

The Master said, “I have already forgiven you. That’s why I took the time to illumine you. Had I not forgiven you, I would not have taken the time to illumine you. And I am saying this in front of the others so that they do not make the same deplorable mistake.

“Live in the sea of my love. Then only there will be no confusion, no misunderstanding and no problem. Nothing can separate you from my love, from my oneness and from my satisfaction in you, if you please me in my own way.”

GIM 32. 12 January 1979

Brother, come and save me!13

The Emperor Humayun was in his palace one day when he heard a commotion. He asked his guards, “What is happening?”

The guard said, “A messenger has come from Chittor. Queen Karmavati of Chittor has sent a message for you.”

“How strange!” exclaimed the Emperor. “Let him in. I am curious to know what a Hindu Queen has to say to a Muslim Emperor.”

When the Emperor opened the letter, he found a special bracelet. It is traditional for sisters to offer this kind of bracelet to their brothers once a year on the Indian festival day of Rakhi. When offering the bracelet, the sister asks her brother to protect her honour and save her if anything should happen during the coming year.

The message read: “To Emperor Humayun, this bracelet is given by your sister to her adopted brother. Your sister needs your help to save Chittor from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.”

Humayun said, “Karmavati! Karmavati is a Rajput Queen, a Hindu Queen, and I am a Muslim. She calls me her brother? If I am her brother, this means that all Hindus and Muslims are of one family, that Hindus and Muslims will not remain enemies forever but will one day live together as a single family. This is the happiest day of my life.”

Humayun immediately rushed to Chittor with his army. Before he reached Chittor, he heard the horrible news that Karmavati had taken her life. When her husband had been killed in battle, she had written to Humayun and had been waiting for his arrival ever since. But when she was about to be captured by the Muslim King Bahadur Shah, she threw herself into fire rather than surrender to him.

Humayun was shocked and horrified. He felt miserable that he had not come in time to save her. He cried out, “I shall take revenge. Karmavati called me her brother. A Hindu Queen called a Mogul Emperor ‘brother’. This brother shall not rest until he avenges his sister’s death. This is my promise.”

As soon as Bahadur Shah heard about Humayun’s arrival in Chittor, he fled and went into hiding. But Humayun made a pledge, both to himself and before the Hindu Queen’s subjects: “O Bahadur Shah, no matter where you go in Allah’s entire creation, I shall find you and keep my promise to Karmavati. Now, my Hindu sister, you are in the other world, but I shall carry out my promise. I shall be worthy of your trust in me.”

GIM 33. 13 January 1979

Akbar is saved14

Humayun promised his father on his father’s deathbed that he would always be kind to his brothers. When Humayun became Mogul Emperor, his brothers turned very greedy. They betrayed him many, many times and wanted to dethrone him, but Humayun forgave them time and again. When his only son, Akbar, was a baby, one of Humayun’s brothers, Carmen, set a cannon in a tricky way in order to kill the child. But when Akbar’s nurse came to know of it, she shielded and protected the child, saving his life by giving up her own.

Akbar would one day become the greatest of all Mogul emperors. In his court there were many Hindus with high posts, and he even married a Hindu princess. It was he who made the Hindus and Muslims one. He ruled his Kingdom with compassion and truth. In every way he was the greatest of all Mogul emperors.

Everybody wanted Humayun to kill Carmen for the attempt on baby Akbar’s life, but Humayun said, “I have forgiven my two brothers Carmen and Hindal many times. This time also I have to forgive him.” But his subjects said, “No, this time you have to listen to our request. We are so faithful to you. We offer you our constant admiration and adoration. It is your duty to listen to us.”

Finally the Emperor said, “All right, what do you want?”

His subjects said, “Blind him, so that he cannot be of any harm to us any more.”

Humayun said, “I am ready to send him into exile, but it would be so difficult for me to blind him.”

But they said, “No, if you send him into exile, in some tricky way he will escape and form an army to attack you. So the best thing is to blind him.”

Humayun finally listened to his subjects’ request.

GIM 34. 13 January 1979

The water carrier's bravery15

Once the Mogul Emperor Humayun was fighting a terrible battle against his enemy. The enemy’s army was extremely powerful and outnumbered Humayun’s army. What was worse, Humayun’s treacherous brothers, Carmen and Hindal, had turned traitors to the Emperor. In their greed to capture his kingdom and dethrone him, they had joined forces with the enemy. As Humayun’s army was falling back, the Emperor’s horse slipped and fell into a nearby river. The horse drowned and Humayun, badly hurt, was being tossed around helplessly in the rough current.

A water carrier named Nizam, who was a humble man of low caste, saw the Emperor’s plight and cried out, “I fear for the Emperor’s life! His subjects admire him and adore him as such a just and great Emperor. If the Emperor drowns, we will lose our only hope for a better and more illumining life. I can see that he is wounded and will not be able to save himself.”

The water carrier dove bravely into the river and held out his leather bag so the Emperor could float across the river to safety. Both men held the bag, and the water carrier protected the wounded Emperor until they reached the other shore. The Emperor was so moved. He said, “You have come and saved me. Now I am helpless, but I promise you that when I go back to Agrah and am once more seated on my throne, I shall give you my throne for one day. Believe me, this is my solemn promise. You are not a mere water carrier. You are the saviour of the Mogul Emperor Humayun.”

The water carrier Nizam was overwhelmed. He fell at the Emperor’s feet: “Please, I did not expect any reward. My reward is your safety.”

But Humayun insisted, “You, a water carrier of low caste, have shown such loyalty and love for your Emperor, whereas my own brothers have become traitors. I will always be kind to them and forgive them, for this is the promise that I made to my father Babar when he was on his deathbed. But of all of my subjects, you are the one who deserves my throne for one day. You deserve not only my throne, but my eternal gratitude. All my subjects should show you admiration and adoration for your heroic bravery.”

The Emperor kept his promise, and Nizam did sit on his throne for one day.

GIM 35. 13 January 1979

Akbar's birth16

The Mogul Emperor Humayun was fighting a terrible battle against his enemy in a neighbouring Kingdom. The battle was raging and Humayun was leading the attack. Suddenly Humayun saw his faithful palace messenger trying to make his way towards him, but the soldiers were not allowing him to come to the front of the army. Humayun ordered that the messenger be allowed through.

Humayun took shelter for a moment in a secluded spot to receive the messenger. The messenger bowed to the Emperor and said: “O Great Emperor Humayun, the Empress Hamida Bhan has delivered a son.”

Humayun was so delighted and excited. Across the battlefield he cried out, “Allah be praised! We shall call him Akbar.”

Then he said to the messenger, “Alas, this is my fate! My son was born, yet I am still fighting my enemies and no victory is in sight. I have nothing with me to give you, O messenger, for bringing me the happiest news. All I have is a small quantity of musk in this tiny box. This is the only thing I can afford to present you with. But I tell you, one day my son’s fame will cover the length and breadth of the world as the fragrance of the musk fills the air here. Like perfume, my son’s fame will one day spread throughout the world.”

When Humayun was finally able to return to his palace to see his son, he was so moved and excited. He said to his son, “My father gave me the name Humayun, which means ‘fortunate.’ He was right. I am truly fortunate, for I see in you, my son, all the world’s fortune. I clearly see that you will be the greatest of all the Mogul Emperors. I see it and I feel it.”

He said to his wife, “I am once more leaving you with our child, for I have to go and fight against the enemy again. I am a warrior. I fight with the outer enemy, while religious mendicants, spiritual people, fight with the inner enemies: anger, pride and so forth. I do not have time to fight against the inner enemies. Outer enemies are more than enough for me to cope with. But our son, Akbar, will also fight against the inner enemies. He will be inwardly and outwardly great and good.”

GIM 36. 13 January 1979

Humayun's death17

One day the great Mogul Emperor Humayun came back victorious from a battle. His subjects were extremely happy and excited that the Emperor had won. The whole Kingdom had turned out to cheer him, lining the streets to the palace. All his subjects wanted to touch his feet and sing his praises.

When the Emperor got to his palace, he said to his army, “We have won, but it is all by Allah’s Grace. Otherwise, we would not have won. Let me go and offer my gratitude to Allah in the mosque.”

In the mosque Humayun offered his soulful prayer and heart’s gratitude to Allah: “Allah, You have always been kind to me. Even my own brothers, not to speak of kith and kin, have deceived and betrayed me many times. But I promised my father on his deathbed that I would be kind to them. Therefore, I have forgiven them every time. I myself have also done so many things wrong in this life and, Allah, You have forgiven me as I have forgiven my own brothers and relatives. You have always taught me that forgiveness is the answer, not revenge. To satisfy oneself, forgiveness is the only answer. Allah, accept my gratitude-life and my gratitude-heart for this great victory.”

After offering his prayers of gratitude, Humayun knelt down with folded hands and began praying again most soulfully. Suddenly he collapsed on the floor, and everybody rushed over to him. He said, “This is my last prayer to Allah. Allah, I am soon going to be with You. My father died while praying to You. I was dying and he prayed that you would take his life instead of mine. You listened to his prayer. He died in my place and I was cured.

“Now I am dying while praying to You. My father died while praying to You for my life. I am dying praying for my kingdom, for my people and for my son. I know that there is only one way to gain victory, and that way is through prayer. Without prayer, there is no success and no glory. No prayer, no satisfaction! Allah, Allah, may Your Glory be praised in all human hearts throughout Your creation!

“I leave my son here on earth in Your care. You save him and protect him. You give him world-glory. My last prayer is not the prayer of the great Emperor Humayun, but the prayer of a soulful Muslim mendicant-seeker who needs no one but Allah for eternal peace and eternal satisfaction. Satisfaction is what I have always needed and shall always need forever and forever.

“Allah, You have given me that satisfaction now, not in the victory of the battlefield, but in allowing me to utter Your compassionate name. Your name is all Peace. Satisfaction abides and shall always abide in peace. Peace is satisfaction, satisfaction alone.”

GIM 37. 13 January 1979

The fight is for the brave18

One day, a new disciple approached his spiritual Master and said, “O Master, O Master, before I accepted the spiritual life, it seems I was quite happy.”

“Then, my child, why did you accept the spiritual life?” the Master asked.

“Oh, I accepted the spiritual life thinking that I would be happier, infinitely happier,” the disciple said.

“Then what is the matter with you?”

“The thing is, now I have problems every day. Today somebody is sick in the family, tomorrow some other calamity will take place in the family and the day after tomorrow something else will happen. I am so restless. Previously I didn’t have any insecurity problems or jealousy problems and so forth. Now everything has come into my life.”

“My son, previously you were not conscious of your problems. Now you have become conscious of them. So it is good. You have made progress.”

“But how can I get rid of these problems, Master?”

“You can get rid of these problems through your prayer and meditation.”

“But Master, around me I see a ferocious tiger. The tiger represents such destructive qualities. Previously I did not see any tiger around me. Also I see inside myself a snakelike quality. I see all animal qualities inside myself. Previously, I didn’t have these.”

The Master said, “Previously you did have all these qualities inside you, only they had not come to the fore. Now that they are coming to the fore, you should be happy.”

“Master, how can I be happy when God seems to be testing me like anything?”

“No, my son, God does not test you. You may think that He is testing you, but God only encourages you to become stronger. And even if He did examine you, you have to feel that it would be worth sitting for His examination, for if you did not pass the examination, you would not be happy. So if there are examinations, be happy that you are given the opportunity to take them and pass them. And if there are no examinations, feel that what you are going through is only an experience.”

“O Master, Master, what am I going to do with myself? It seems that problems will never end in the spiritual life.”

The Master said, “Problems will only end in the spiritual life. If problems come to you, so much the better. They have appeared in front of you only so that they can be removed. If they always remain hidden inside you, then you will never be able to cast them aside. But if they are standing right in front of you, then you can see them, face them and fight them. So you should be happy and grateful to God that they are right in front of you and not inside. When they are outside, they are infinitely easier to fight. So be happy, be happy. Fight! The race is for the swift, and the fight is for the brave. So dive deep within to run the fastest, and look all around to be the bravest.”

GIM 38. 13 January 1979

Master, stay in your reality-boat!19

One day a spiritual Master was answering a few questions asked by his disciples. Suddenly he paused and said to one of his stenographers, “Look, I can easily see that these questions and answers and the talks I give will be like Sri Ramakrishna’s Kathamrita, Sri Ramakrishna’s gospel.”

All of the disciples remained silent, but two or three inwardly laughed, because they felt that Ramakrishna was far superior to their own Master.

The Master immediately pointed to those unfortunate ones, and said, “You fools! If you think that Sri Ramakrishna is far superior to me, then why have you accepted my path? Go and follow Sri Ramakrishna’s path. If you think that just because he is not in the physical, you have to be satisfied with an infinitely inferior Master like me, then I want to tell you that you are making a deplorable mistake. Ramakrishna is definitely still alive; he is immortal. So go and follow him and worship him.”

The disciples who had implicit faith in their Master and who felt that he was by far the best stood up and said to those few unfortunate disciples, “Go away from here. We don’t want you. If you feel that our Master is inferior, then go and become Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples.”

Then the Master said, “I know why you think that Sri Ramakrishna is superior. Sri Ramakrishna used to enter into trance quite often, whereas I don’t go into trance. But do you think that I don’t have the capacity to enter into trance? I do have the capacity. A few days ago I showed you people my trance-capacity. The only thing is, when I enter into trance, I see more vividly your lower vital and emotional problems, and all kinds of problems. Who wants to see this? When I am in a simple, ordinary consciousness, I do not pay attention to your emotional problems and other problems. But when I enter into trance I see them very vividly, and at that time I find it more painful to have disciples like you. Therefore, deliberately, I don’t like to go into trance. But I tell you, it is not a difficult task to enter into trance.”

Some of the disciples said, “O Master, we knew it, we knew it. Who wants to see you in trance? If you are in trance, then we are totally lost. We enter into our own trance, which is all sleep. When you are in trance, you say that you are more conscious of what is happening in our lives. But we feel that this is the time for us to relax and enter into our own world, since you are not consciously seeing what is happening. That used to be our feeling, but now we see that this is not the case.”

Now the bad, unfortunate disciples said, “O Master, forgive us, forgive us. We will never compare you with anybody. You will always remain our best and highest.”

The Master said, “That should be your attitude. Even if your Master is not as high as another Master, if you accept him, then you have always to feel that he is the highest. If you accept a spiritual Master, it is because you feel that he is absolutely the highest and the best. If you do not feel this, if you have only limited faith and not implicit, one hundred per cent faith, then it is useless to accept a particular Master; for at every moment your mind will be thinking of somebody else. You will think, ‘Perhaps if I had the other Master, I would be making better progress. If I had been fortunate enough, I would have got that Master.’

“No, no! If you accept a Master, you have to accept him wholeheartedly and give him all your devotion. Otherwise, you can’t expect anything great or good, not to speak of your total transformation and complete illumination from that Master.”

All the disciples bowed down and said, “Master, we do not want your trance, we want only your wakeful consciousness. Of course, there is no difference between your trance-life and wakeful consciousness. But when you are with us, when you talk to us in our own human way, when you cut jokes with us and tell us all kinds of juicy stories, when you answer our spiritual questions, at that time you make us feel that you are one of us and that you are for us. When you are mixing with us and cutting jokes, you make us feel that we are really in your boat. We want to be in your boat, and not the other way around. We don’t want you to be in our boat where there is constant fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, insecurity and impurity. No, we want you to be in your boat.

“We wish to be in your reality-boat all the time and not in your trance-boat. When you are in your trance-boat, we are totally lost, for we do not know what you are doing. We may feel that you are acting like a stranger to us and consciously or unconsciously neglect you. Or we may feel that this is an opportunity to deceive you, or that you don’t care for us. All these things are not helpful at all. So you remain with us in a human way. If you deal with us in a human way and mix with us and show us your utmost compassion and affection, we will feel blessed. This is the only way we feel that we will be able to reach our own highest heights.”

The Master said, “You are right, you are right. Because I act like a human being with you, in most cases you are able to talk with me and mix with me. But if I remain always in a divine consciousness, a trance-consciousness, then nobody will be able to understand me or approach me; nobody will be able to have higher goals. Strange feelings and fear will always assail you.

“But I am with you and for you. I am with you and beside you. I am right among you, so you can run with me and climb with me and take me as your comrade and friend. That is the easiest and the most effective way for you to reach your highest, which is my real height.”

GIM 39. 13 January 1979

Make only one promise20

There was once a rich man who took an oath that he would never invite Sanskrit scholars, learned people or seekers to his home. His best friend, who was also a very rich man, had once invited some scholars and seekers to come to a function and neither group came. So his friend was very sad. This particular rich man went to his spiritual Teacher and said, “I don’t care for knowledge; I don’t care for the pride of the seekers. I promise I shall never invite scholars and seekers into my home.”

The Master said, “Have you done the right thing? It is not good to make this kind of promise.”

“Why?” the rich man asked.

“If you fulfil your promise,” the Master said, “pride will enter into you. And if you don’t fulfil your promise, you will feel sad and disturbed. Who knows, one day you may want to invite some scholars and sincere seekers to your house. Then your pride will go and you will feel sad and depressed. And depression is destruction. Again, if you don’t invite them, you will feel very proud that you kept your promise, but pride is also destruction. You are the loser no matter what you do. So it is better not to make promises.

People say it is good to make promises; then only your inner capacities come forward. But I wish to tell you that only one promise is good: your promise that you will conquer ignorance and realise God in this life-time. That promise alone is worth making; other promises are all dangerous and destructive.”

The rich man said, “But look what happened to my best friend when he invited some seekers and scholars to his house. How badly he was insulted! If those people were sincere seekers, why did they not come to please my friend? And if they were real scholars, they should have had humility.”

The Master asked, “How do you know why they did not come? They may have thought that the rich man was inviting them only to add to his own glory. Perhaps they felt, ‘He does not care for knowledge or aspiration; he is just inviting us to show off to society. So why should we falsely glorify him? Again, they may have thought that he was inviting them to honour them. But then perhaps they felt, ‘We don’t need honour. We want only to remain in our own prayer and meditation.’ Especially the seekers may have felt like this.

“If scholars don’t come because of their pride and vanity, it is they who will be blamed. Again, if seekers don’t come because they feel that glory is nothing short of temptation and they do not want to be glorified, then they are doing the right thing. But whether they are doing the right thing or the wrong thing, whichever way they want to please themselves, let them do so. Your business is only to invite them, if that is what gives your heart joy. Again, if it is only your vital that wants to be glorified, then you are making a mistake by inviting them. And if you want to invite them because your vital feels that they are inferior and you are in a position to bless them and glorify them, then again you are making a mistake.

“This world is full of misunderstanding. So the best thing is not to make any promises. Only try to see the situation. Don’t have any specific hard and fast rules. When necessity demands, do something spontaneously, but don’t make it a law that you will do it. Wait for the inner command.”

“Master, Master, yes, I see that you are right. I will always wait for the inner command,” said the rich man. “Now, what is my inner command?”

The Master said, “In your case, the inner command is that you have to conquer your pride. If in the inmost recesses of your heart, at times you have the desire to invite people, then do so. Then, if they want to come, well and good, and if they don’t want to come, don’t say anything. But do not promise to yourself that you will not invite any scholars or seekers because certain ones have insulted your friend. Human knowledge you know, but there is also the supreme knowledge. The supreme knowledge is oneness, oneness with God’s Will. If you have oneness with God’s Will, then whether they come to you or you go to them is of no importance. What is of importance is only to remain in God’s Will. Then, no matter where they are and no matter where you are, all of you will please and fulfil one another.

“So my advice is not to make promises. Fulfilling your promises brings in pride, and the failure to fulfil your promises unnecessarily brings in sadness and frustration. Keep only one promise, and that is your promise to achieve God-realisation. And then modify that promise also.”

“How can I modify that promise?” asked the rich man. “I need that promise badly. I want only to realise God. No other promise will I make, Master.”

The Master said, “That promise also has to be made in a certain way. Your wish is to realise God, but it is up to God whether He will make you realise Him in this incarnation or in some other incarnation. So when you make this promise, add, ‘This is my wish. If Your Wish is otherwise, then please fulfil Yourself in and through me in Your own Way.’ That is the best promise: ‘I will fulfil my Beloved Supreme in His own Way, and for that only I shall pray to Him.’ That promise is the only promise which at every moment all seekers must treasure.”

GIM 40. 13 January 1979

Editor's preface to the first edition

Most of the stories in this and other books in this series are Sri Chinmoy’s retelling of traditional Indian tales. On rare occasions the Master has modified a story to make it more acceptable to the Western palate. And a few of the stories are Sri Chinmoy’s own.

These tales are not only delicious and nourishing, but also encouraging and illumining. Some are quite entertaining. Others are surcharged with morality-flames and spirituality-fire, which easily enlighten the Western mind, strengthen the vital and quicken the journey of the body-consciousness. Together they represent two trees standing side by side: entertainment-tree and enlightenment-tree. Both trees are at your disposal. Appreciate their flowers and fruits to your heart’s content.

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