Set yourself free and move in right direction:

Once upon a time, a boatman wanted to go from Mathura to Gokul. He sat in his boat on the banks of river Yamuna. But he was in a very dizzy mood because of excess intake of Bhaang (Mildly intoxicating version of buttermilk). It was quite dark in the evening. As soon as he sat in the boat, he started rowing the boat. He had complete faith in his muscular strength. He was pretty sure that by dawn, he would reach his destination. He was shouting that his boat would reach to Gokul anytime.

The rowing continued all night. The boatman was rowing with all his strength. Soon the dawn was upon him. With the sunlight visibility, boatman was perplexed looking the ambience similar to that of Mathura on the shore. He shouted at a person passing and asked him which village was that. The person replied Mathura.

It was then that the boatman realized that it was the same port where he was the previous night. He was in the same boat at the same place and the boat had not left its position.  After he was sober, the boatman realized his foolishness. He rowed immensely but failed to untie the rope which tied the boat with the dock.

The boatman because of his dizziness makes effort for the whole night and still stays at the same place he was. Because he forgets to free himself from what is holding him back.

If you do not leave where you are, you will never be where you want to be. You have to leave a place to be at another. It is like everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

In life also, we behave like this boatman. We set new goals for ourselves every time but we fail to understand the essence of going away from our old self. You cannot achieve new things by following same old methods. You cannot change if you do stay the same old you.

More importantly, you have to set yourself free from all the anchors holding you back. Just like a ship, we all have anchors holding us back. We need to set ourselves free from them.

Another thing that we have to learn from this boatman is sense of direction. It simply does not matter how hard you work if you do not have any right direction. Boatman is working extremely hard but is not moving at all. Even if boatman was free and was moving in opposite direction, he would not reach his destination. So it is very important to go with hard work focused in right direction after setting oneself free.

Good teacher and Good student:

Good Teacher:

Once, the queen went to the Guru (teacher) of the prince and said he eats lots of sweets every day. The queen requested the Guru (teacher) to scold the prince and tell him that eating of so many sweets is bad. Guru politely told the queen to come next week. The queen was initially surprised by the lack of compliance but since he had a good reputation, she agreed.

After one week, the queen again came with prince. Guru explained the prince in detail why it was bad to eat so many sweets and asked him to listen to his mother. The prince left for play after that. The queen stopped Guru and asked him why didn’t he do the same thing last week? It was not as if you had to prepare for this speech or make any documents. The Guru smiled and replied: “Before 1 week, even I was eating too many sweets. If I eat sweets and I instruct my student not to eat sweets, that teaching will not have any effect. So I stopped eating sweets since that day. A teacher has right to instruct only those things which he practices”

This is the level of honesty and integrity which a teacher should practice if his learnings are to yield any fruit.

 

Good Student:

Once Guru (Teacher) Drona had taught a lesson to his class. The lesson was “I shall speak the truth”.

He asked everyone to write this sentence 10 time and understand the lesson properly.

Next day, he asked the class who has not done the homework. Yudhisthir (Eldest prince) raised his hand and apologized earnestly that he could not complete his lesson. Since Yudhisthir had an excellent past record, Guru Drona allowed him to attend the lecture and told him to complete the assignment the next day.

Again on the next day, Guru Drona asked Yudhisthir if he had completed his assignment. Yudhisthir replied in the same apologetic way that he failed to complete the assignment. Now Guru Drona got angry and scolded Yudhisthir and mocked him in front of entire class. Everyone was laughing at him. Guru Drona gave Yudhisthir one more chance to complete the assignment next day or be prepared for expulsion.

On the next day, Guru Drona asked Yudhisthir if he completed the lesson. Yudhisthir apologized again and replied I did not. Guru Drona scolded him badly and asked him what is taking him so long. It is a simple one line lesson. Why is it so hard for you?

Yudhisthir replied: “I try very hard. I swear I try daily but one way or another, a lie slips out of my mouth and my lesson remains incomplete. I know I should speak the truth and I honestly try it every day. But even if one lie slips from my mouth, I consider the lesson incomplete. This is why it is taking so much time.”

Before Yudhisthir could speak any further, tears rolled down through Guru Drona’s cheeks. He was proud to have a student like Yudhisthir. A good student always learns the lessons in detail and implements them in his life.

Classical Friendship: Krishna and Sudama

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Friendship is one of the most commonly used or rather misused term of 21st century. This article is about the classical friendship of Lord Krishna and Sudama. It is of the time when the term friends had deep relationships.

Krishna and Sudama were friends in Gurukul. Gurukuls are the ancient versions of educational institutions with hostel facilities. After the education was complete, both went to their respective works. It was the time where caste governed the work of individual. Sudama was a Brahmin, that too a very poor one. On the other hand, Krishna was a Kshatriya, that too a prince.

Years passed by. Sudama’s family was struggling to have 2 meals a day whereas Krishna was the king of golden city Dwarka. Once Sudama’s wife complained to him that why doesn’t he go to his rich friend Krishna for help? She taunted him by asking him why his rich friend does not even think of his poor friend.

Finally Sudama succumbed to her wife’s continuous nagging. He agreed to go and meet Krishna at Dwarka. But despite being poor, Sudama asked his wife to prepare something to give his friend some gift as he thought it would be inappropriate to meet a friend after so long without any gift. This is called friendship. Just imagine if you are poor and you decide to go to one of your rich friends, would you even think of thinking something like this.

Sudama’s wife borrowed some rice from neighbours and packed them in a bundle. Sudama went to Dwarka. Sudama was startled. The entire town was built with gold & the people were very well-off. He asked for directions for Krishna’s palace & finally reached there. The guards stopped him and asked, “Why have you come here?”

Sudama replied “I want to meet Krishna, he is my friend. Go & tell him that Sudama has come.”

The guard laughed on seeing Sudama’s attire. However, he hesitantly went & informed Krishna of Sudama’s arrival. On hearing Sudama’s name, Krishna stood up & ran bare foot to meet him.

Krishna brought Sudama into the palace. They recalled their childhood days at the Sandipani’s Gurukul. Seeing Krishna’s wealth, Sudama felt ashamed of the gift (rice) that he had brought for Krishna. He tried to hide the bundle but Krishna snatched it from him. While eating the rice Krishna said, “I have never tasted such sweetness in anything else.”

Later, they sat to have their meal which was served in gold plates. Sudama felt sad as he remembered his children at home without food. He stayed there for two days but he couldn’t gather courage to ask Krishna for any favors. On the third day, he got ready to go back home. Krishna embraced Sudama & escorted him out as he bid him farewell.

On the way back, Sudama was thinking “What would I say when my wife asks me what I’ve brought back?”

As Sudama approached home, he could not find his hut. Instead, his wife came out from a magnificent palace & dressed in elegant clothes. She told Sudama, “Look at Krishna’s generosity; we have been ridden of our poverty. Krishna has ended all our miseries.” Sudama recollected Krishna’s pure love & his eyes welled up with tears of joy.

This is how friendship should be. Just see the level of selflessness, respect for each other and caring shown by both of them.

 

Race of the world:

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Once upon a time in Mount kailash, the 2 sons of Lord Shiva:  Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeyan were playing. Suddenly they got into an argument about who is better among them. At that time Naarad muni visited kailash. Both the brothers presented their question to Naarad muni. Naarad muni was known for his diplomacy and knowledge. He did not want to directly answer anyone’s name. So he proposed a race. Whoever does the 64 parikramas (rounds) of world first will be the best among them.

As soon as Naarad muni completed his instructions, Lord Kartikeyan sat on his giant peacock and started flying around the world. Soon he completed his first round around world. Meanwhile Lord Ganesha was wondering how he could compete with Kartikeyan. Lord Ganesha’s vehicle was also rat which could not win over the peacock. At that time, Lord Ganesha devised a strategy. He asked his parents Lord Shiva and Lady Parvati to sit on a stone. Then he quickly walked 64 rounds around them.

Then he began eating and went to sleep. After few days, Lord Kartikeyan returned from his 64 parikramas and claimed to be the winner. Lord Ganesha refused to accept his claim. Both went into argument and again asked for Naarad muni’s opinion on it. Naarad muni first asked Lord Ganesha to justify his claim. Lord Ganesha replied politely: “Bet was to take rounds of world. I walked 64 rounds around my world. My world starts with my mom and ends with my dad. There is nothing more in my world. Than why should I walk around the places and people who have no significance at all in my life.”

Lord Ganesha’s claim was accepted by all and he was declared the winner.

The important thing to learn from this race is to know who comprises your world. We try to please everyone around us. We must learn from Lord Ganesha that the whole world does not matter to us. What matters to us is our family, friends and few selected people. We should know what comprises of our world and then act accordingly.

Lord Ganesha was not naturally faster than Lord Kartikeyan but he eventually managed to win a race by just playing with the words in the right manner. More importantly, he won everyone’s respect by stating that his whole world is his parents. We must stop pleasing the people who have no significance in our life and pay attention to people like our parents who have contributed so much in our life.