Children stories

Once a beggar was walking on the streets of Ayodhya. He was very hungry as he did not get enough alms for the day to procure his meal. Alongside him was a dog silently trotting with him, matching his gait. A hungry man is an angry man, it is said. Hunger begets anger and it is common sense that this anger can only been shown to a lower being. Unfortunately, the beggar held a stick in his hand and with it, gave a hard blow to the dog. The dog writhed in pain.

Rama Rajya that it was, it arraigned the beggar to Sri Rama’s judicial court for justice.

The Last Leaf

                         -- O. Henry

O. Henry is the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). Porter's most prolific writing period started in 1902, when he moved to New York City to be near his publishers. He wrote 381 short stories while living there. He wrote a story a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. His wit, characterization and plot twists were adored by his readers, but often panned by the critics. Yet, he went on to gain international recognition and is credited with defining the short story as a literary art form.

Long long ago, in a holy city lived a pious man. He had a very fickle mind. He would read many spiritual books and ask for advices from every one around regarding spiritual matters.

He was in utter penury. He sought advices from different ‘wise men’ to get rid of his poverty and make a good living. One of them suggested that he worship the six faced Lord Karthikeya who would shower him with all the wealth needed.

Immediately, on his way back, he brought a beautiful photograph of Lord Muruga, got it framed and kept it in his pooja room. He prayed to the deity for a couple of days, when he felt that he should consult some more learned men before he continued this worship.

A couple brought their dead son to cremate him in the cremation ground.

The parents placed the body on the ground and were sitting beside it.  Seeing this, an eagle, being a scavenger advised them to cremate the body quickly. 

It said, 'Sir! Your dearest son who was alive so long and now he is no more.  The human body is so impermanent!  There is no use sitting and crying over the dead body. There are a lot more tasks waiting for you back in the city.
 Moreover, this is a deserted place and there are evil spirits around.  After sunset, the evil spirits become active and will trouble you.  So leave the dead body here and get back as soon as possible'

The parents felt enlightened and awakened by the advice of the eagle. They had almost decided to leave the corpse of their son and get back.

In the corner was standing a fox, witnessing the whole conversation.  It stepped in and spoke up.  “Sir ! It was your one and only beloved son, and now he is no more.  Till yesterday you were seeing his beautiful face every moment.   Henceforth, you can never come back another day to see your dead son. Stay here for as long as you want.  Admire his beauty all day today.  Sit around him.  Experience his physical proximity for one last time.”

The parents were moved by the parental love and affection that the fox talked about.

Children, now, let us analyze the scene a bit:

Was the eagle concerned about the security of the parents or was it really imparting the lessons to the them?   No! It wanted to eat the dead boy sooner to satisfy its hunger before the 'cunning' foxes devour it. 

Was the fox empathizing with the love that the parents had for their son? No!  It wanted to make sure that it could have the corpse in full to eat it all by itself, for it knew the eagles get blinded after sunset.

Thus, both the eagle and the fox though seemed to advise the couple for their goodness, in reality, they have an ulterior motive, seeking personal gains from it by changing the situation to their favour.  

Moral: We should be cautious of the world.  People in this world are always self-centered.  In any situation they try to twist favour for their benefit to make the most out of it.

 

Note: The above story is adopted from the giant Hindu epic Mahabharata.

Once upon a time, a Guru lived in an Ashram in the outskirts of the city. One day, when he sat down for meditation, he noticed a cat moving hither and thither across the room. He tried to ignore the cat and continue his meditation. As the cat was distracting him too much, he asked his foremost disciple to throw a basket made of straw over the cat to arrest its movement. The disciple did as bid, and soon, the Guru, by dint of his meditation, attained liberation.

Months passed by and the foremost disciple became the successor of the earlier Guru. One day the new Guru decided that he should spend some time meditating. At once, he remembered his Guru, who had the cat trapped in the basket when he went into meditation. Following the same sentiment, he caught hold of the same cat, trapped it in a basket and placed it in the corner of the room, and then sat down to meditate. He too, attained perfection in his Sadhana.

"God is hungering only for love. He is not satisfied with mere religious forms and ceremonial worship. Pure love and devotion alone satisfies Him”, Papa Ramdas used to say.  In this context, he narrates a beautiful story.

[This story has been adapted from  the book 'The Gospel of Swami Ramdas' by Swami Satchidananda.]

Once there was a butcher in a small town . He was a great devotee . Even while doing his business, he used to chant God’s name mentally, and in course of time started feeling bad about killing animals. But he had to carry on his business as he had no other means of livelihood. So he purchased meat and sold it at a small profit. For weighing the meat, the butcher used a stone which happened to be a ‘salagram’ (a holy pebble like stone which has all the attributes of an idol, the sanctity of which, he had no idea about. He did not even remember how the stone came to his hands. He had been using it for a long time.

To depict the greatness of Mahatmas Swami Sivananda used to narrate the following story:

The Mogul Emperor Akbar, during his rule from Delhi, hosted a big feast. Many people partook in this feast. Thousands of people, without any discrimination of poor or rich, were offered food.

Before partaking of the food all but one loudly hailed the Emperor, “Long live Badshah Akbar!” Akbar, who was watching this from the sit-out on the top floor, became very angry and commanded to bring over this person to him. But even before he was brought up to the Badshah, Akbar ordered, “Refuse food for him. Tell him that unless he says along with the others “Long Live Akbar Badshah” he cannot enter the palace. Throw him out!”

Long ago, in a small village lived a poor mother with her only son Gopal. Gopal was 5 years old. Though she was poor, she wanted Gopal to be well read. She went around the village and begged the villagers to support her only son's education. They gave her enough money for Gopal to join a school in the next village. Gopal was happy, but there was a problem.

The next village was across a dense jungle. Gopal was a small boy. He was very afraid to walk across this jungle alone. He told his mother, 'Ma! I am afraid to go alone in the dark. Can you come with me?' What Could the mother do? She had to work all day to make a living. She sadly shook her head and said, 'No my dear child, I cannot come...' Seeing the little child's face darken with fear and disappointment, she immediately closed her eyes, chanted ‘Hare Hare Rama RamaRama Hare HareHare Krishna Hare Krishna KrishnaKrishna Hare Hare’ and prayed to Lord Krishna. She then said with a smile, 'Gopal! Do not worry! Your brother - Krishna is there in the jungle. He is very strong and affectionate too. Whenever you need anything, just call out his name and he shall give you what you want.' She just told so to Gopal to give him some strength so that he at least starts going to school.

Once upon a time there lived a great Sikh Guru. One day, he sat on the banks of a river which was flowing in great force, reading the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

A rich man approached him. Drunk with pride of wealth, he wanted to show off his affluence to the Guru. With him, he had brought a pair of very expensive bangles made of gold. He placed two beautiful bangles on a plate and offered it to the Saint.

The Guru could not care less. He continued with his parayan and never looked up. When the rich man realized that his gift had failed to grab the Guru’s attention, he politely called him and brought the Guru’s attention to the exquisite gift that he was offering, and said, ‘This is my simple and humble offering. You should accept it.’