Yogi Stories 2
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THERE was a wood-cutter sage who had a delightful dream. It was just a dream, and he soon had to go to work to make a living. So he said,
"Get away, dream state. Now it's time for the wood-cutting I try to live by."
By this attutide he showed himself capable of staying awake, and hence worthy of sayings and deeds too.
Much wisdom is had from studying nature. Our id system is nature inside us, quite so. To arrange conditions and personal liberty fit for it, should be good help.
Feel free to go for sound, beneficial, and decent conformity.
If reading is a help, reading good literature should be the fit priority. An we may study domesticated and placated animals so as not to behave like all of them ourselves.
ONCE on a time a woodcutter went into a forest to chop wood. There suddenly he met a holy man who said to him, "My good man, go forward."
On returning home the woodcutter asked himself, "Why did the holy man tell me to go forward?"
Some time passed. One day he remembered the holy mans' words. He said to himself, "Today I shall go deeper into the forest."
Going deep into the forest, he discovered some sandalwood trees. He was very happy and returned with cartloads of sandalwood. He sold them in the market and became rich.
A few days later he again remembered the words of the holy man to go forward. He went deeper into the forest and discovered a silver mine near a river. This was even beyond his dreams. He dug out silver from the mine and sold it in the market. He got so much money that he did not know how much he had.
A few days more passed. One day he thought, "The holy man did not ask me to stop at the silver mine; he told me to go forward."
This time he went to the other side of the river and found a gold mine. Then he exclaimed: "Ah, just see! This is why he asked me to go forward!"
Again, a few days afterwards, he went still deeper into the forest and found heaps of diamonds and other precious gems. He took these also and became so exceedingly rich that he feared thieves and robbers each day from then on.
[This tale too is retold and hence slightly modified - Tas 221-22]
You may find better and better things if you go forward. After that, God knows what will happen to you.
It is not to be overlooked that having splendid things increases the need for vigilance or safeguards.
Hard work is by no means the goal of life. Go forward as best you can.
In an Aesop's fable a found a jewel one day on the farmyard and dismissed it as useless to him, as he could not sell and buy and barter.
You may feel a little ecstasy as the result of sound meditation, but don't conclude from this that you have achieved everything in spiritual life.
About the hidden nature of Atman [Soul]:
A LIONESS was big with young and going about in search of prey when she saw a flock of sheep. She jumped upon them and died in that effort. But her little baby lion was born, motherless. The sheep took care of it, and the sheep brought it up. It grew up with them, ate grass, and bleated like the sheep. In time it became a big, full-grown lion, and still it bleated like a sheep and thought it was a sheep.
One day another lion came in search of prey, and was astonished to find that in the middle of this flock of sheep was a lion who fled like the sheep at the approach of danger. He tried to get near the sheep-lion, to tell it that it was not a sheep but a lion, but the poor animal fled at his approach.
However, he watched his opportunity, and one day found the sheep-lion sleeping. He approached it and said, "You are a lion."
"I am a sheep," cried and bleated the other lion, and could not believe otherwise.
The lion dragged him towards a lake and said, "Look here, there is my reflection and yours."
Then came the comparison. The bleating lion looked at the lion and then at its own reflection, and in a moment came the idea that it was a lion. The lion roared, the bleating was gone. [Adapted from a tale by Vivekananda in the lecture "The real nature of man", given in London, 1899 or near by]
❖ "You are lions . . . and perfect." - Swami Vivekananda.
A hindrance or a help or both - stick to the good thing till you have something better
THE COSMIC tale-teller around Jotunheimen once sat down on his veranda and laughed over master teachings of killing the bear of egohood. He said:
You have to be tough enough. Once on a time a wandering man in Jotunheim valleys gained majestic powers as a magician and became quite vain about it. But he was a good man too, and suffered from his wanderings. Then one day the vast Jotunheim troll disguised himself as another wanderer, came to him and said,
"Ho-ho, I've heard that you have great miracle powers."
The man received the other heartily, offered him a shower and a seat. Just then a good old bear passed by. The troll, still disguised as one of the wanderers in Jotunheimen, said to the other,
"Pinch my leg, but is it true as they say, that can you kill a good old bear if you like?"
The vain man said, "Yes, it can be done."
There and then he muttered some rune slogans over the bear. The bear looked up, struggled a while in pain and then dropped dead.
The Jotunheim troll said, "What power! What thought! You've killed the good old bear without raising even a stick!"
The wanderer laughed. Again the troll said, "Now, can you bring it back to life for me?"
"That too," said the other. He threw a pinch of special cream-coloured mountain moss at the animal. The old bear writhed about a little and came back to life. Then the troll said:
"Wonderful. You can kill a good bear and revive it, as I've seen. So what has it done to you? Do you feel ay-ay uplifted or lucky after it, in any way? Will you discern judiciously as to your own way?"
All of a sudden the troll disappeared. [Retold. Cf. Tas 57-58]
TWO FROGS - a big one and a small one - hopped into a pail of milk. The sides of the pail were shiny and smooth. The frogs were swimming round and round without being able to get out of the pail again, and every time they lifted their mouths to catch a little air to breathe, down they went. They kept on swimming and gasping like this till the big frog gave up and drowned. Then the little frog said to himself,
"Well, well. I will hang on as long as I can, too."
It kept on for hours, when suddenly it found something solid under its feet - milk was churned to butter! Out jumped the little frog!
❖ Said Yogananda: "Be like the little frog. By all means keep battling."
❖ Churn your difficulty well or it may be to your loss.
TWO FROGS dwelt in the same pool. When the pool dried up under the summer's heat, they left it and set out together for another home. As they went along they chanced to pass a deep well, amply supplied with water, and when they saw it, one of the frogs said to the other, "Let us descend and make our abode in this well: it will furnish us with shelter and food."
The other replied with caution, "Hm, but if the water should fail us, can we get out again from such an alarming depth?"
❖ Look well before you leap well.
A Hindu devotee was puzzled to decide what idol he should worship. He bought one idol, and then he would be afraid the others would get angry, and so he bought another. In the end he had two big trunks which he used to carry with him, suspended from his shoulders on a pole. and every day somebody would say, "You had better worship this idol god and that idol god," — so the trunks grew heavier and heavier.
He thought he would have to buy a third trunk. Then he thought it was not possible to have three trunks and carry those himself, so he sat by the side of a pond and began to weep; "As soon as I worship one god I think the others are getting angry."
A holy man passed by, and seeing the crying man, said: "Why are you weeping? What is the matter?"
"I do not know which idol to please," sobbed the man.
The saint said, "Close your eyes and drop the idols on a rock. The one that does not break, worship that one."
Most of the idols were made of earth, and all broke except one which was made of solid stone. Then the saint suddenly came back and said, "I forgot to tell you something. Now that you have found your god, go back home. But if you find a more powerful god than this one, worship him. Always worship the more powerful god."
The man went home and put the stone idol on a little altar he had there, worshipping and offering fruits. Every day he discovered the fruit was gone, so he thought, "The saint told me of the right idol god. Since he has eaten the fruits he must be a living god."
One day he just opened his eyes a little while sitting in front of the altar, and saw a big mouse come and eat the fruit. The he said, "The idol cannot eat the fruit, but the mouse can, so it is a more powerful god."
No sooner had he thought this than he caught the mouse by the tail and tied it on the altar. His wife said, "You have gone crazy."
"No, I am just following the instructions of the holy man to worship more and more powerful gods."
Te threw the stone idol away and began to worship the mouse. One day he was meditating when suddenly he heard a great noise, and opening his eyes he saw a pussycat eating the mouse. He thought, "That is interesting. The pussycat is more powerful than the mouse. So I must worship the cat."
He got hold of the cat and put it on the altar. The cat did not have to catch mice any more, and got fat getting milk every day without any labour. Day after day the man's meditation grew deeper and the cat got fatter.
Every day when the man woke up he used to drink a bowl of milk. The pussycat was not satisfied with what she got, and one day she drank up the milk and went back and sat on the altar. The wife came in, saw the milk gone, looked at the innocent-looking cat sitting on the altar, and went and got the broom. Her husband's meditation broke with the noise of the broom-stick falling on the cat. He looked at his wife pounding the cat, and he thought, "That is interesting. My wife is more powerful than the pussycat, so she is a better god than the cat."
Then he demanded that his wife sit on the altar. So she sat, and every day he meditated on her.
The wife used to cook food for her husband, and after he finished worshipping her he would eat his meal. One day he found a piece of charcoal in the rice. "Why did you put charcoal in the rice?" the man shouted at his wife.
The wife replied, "I did not put charcoal in the rice on purpose. Do forgive me."
He said, "That's interesting. This says I am more powerful than you are. Then I am the most powerful god in this house."
❖ "If you find Him in the temple of your soul, you find Him in all temples and churches. Find Him within, you find Him without.." - Yogananda, East-West, JanuaryFebruary, 1929 Vol. 41. Abridged.
Cos: Vivekananda, swami. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vols 1-8. 6th ed. Calcutta: Advaita Asram, 1977. Online.
Tas: Ramakrishna. Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna. 5th ed. Madras: Ramakrishna Math, 1974.
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