TALES AND PARABLES


In The Dense Forest Of This World

Once a rich man was passing through a forest, when three robbers surrounded him and robbed him of all his wealth. After snatching all his possessions from him, one of the robbers said: 'What's the good of keeping theman alive? Kill him.' Saying this, he was about to strike their victim with his sword, when the second robber interrupted and said:'There's no use in killing him. Let us bind him fast and leave him here. Then he won't be able to tell the police.' Accordingly the robbers tied him with a rope, left him, and went away.
After a while the third robber returned to the rich man and said: 'Ah! You're badly hurt, aren't you? Come, I'm going to release you.' The third robber set the man free and led him out of the forest. When they came near the highway, the robber said, 'Follow this road and you will reach home easily.' 'But you must come with me too', said the man. 'You have done so much for me. We shall all be happy to see you at our home.' 'No,' said the robber, 'it is not possible for me to go there. The police will arrest me.' So saying, he left the rich man after pointing out his way.
"Now, the first robber, who said: 'What's the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him', is tamas. It destroys. The second robber is rajas, which binds a man to the world and entangles him in a variety of activities. Rajas makes him forget God.Sattva alone shows the way to God. It produces virtues like compassion, righteousness, and devotion. Again, sattva is like the last step of the stairs. Next to it is the roof. The Supreme Brahman is man's own abode. One cannot attain the Knowledge of Brahman unless one transcends the three gunas."

The Tiger Lurking Behind Worldly Happiness

"God is like a wish-fulfilling tree. Whatever the prayers to Him, he is capable of bestowing. But we have to think carefully about what we are asking for before praying to Him."

A traveller in the course of his journey came across a stretch of woodland. He was very tired and thirsty and he sat under a tree to take rest. As he was resting he thought, 'How nice it would be if I had a soft bed to rest on. I would have enjoyed a good nap.' Now, he was unaware of the fact that the tree he was resting under was a Wishfulfilling Tree. No sooner had he expressed this desire that a bed with soft bedding appeared by his side. He was very surprised, but he was very tired to pursue the reasons behind this strange happening. He lay down on the bed and as he was enjoying its comfort he started thinking : 'Ah it would be so nice if a maidservant were to massage my aching feet.' And immediately a beautiful damsel appeared and started massaging his feet. The travellers joy knew no bounds. As the moments passed he became aware that he was hungry and thought : 'Whatever I am desiring it is being fulfilled. So now won't I get good food?' Immediately a plate filled with the best of dishes appeared before him. He ate to his fill and lay down on the bed. He started pondering over the wonderful things happening that day and it came to his mid : 'What if from the woods a tiger were to come and attack me!'. Immediately a tiger appeared from the woods and jumped on him and devoured him. The traveller thus lost his life.


Souls Caught In The Net

"Men may be divided into four classes: those bound by the fetters of the world, the seekers after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-free."

"Among the ever-free we may count sages like Narada. They live in the world for the good of others, to teach men spiritual truth."

"Those in bondage are sunk in worldliness and forgetful of God. Not even by mistake do they think of God."

"The seekers after liberation want to free themselves from attachment to the world. Some of them succeed and others do not.

"The liberated souls, such as the sadhus and mahatmas, are not entangled in the world, in 'woman and gold'. Their minds are free from worldliness. Besides, they always meditate on the Lotus Feet of God.

"Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never caught in the net. They are like the ever-free. But most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of them try to free them. selves from it, and they are like those who seek liberation. But not all the fish that struggle succeed. A very few do jump out of the net, making a big splash in the water. Then the fishermen shout, 'Look! There goes a big one!' But most of the fish caught in the net cannot escape, nor do they make any effort to get out. On the contrary, they burrow into the mud with the net in their mouths and lie there quietly, thinking, 'We need not fear any more; we are quite safe here.' But the poor things do not know that the fishermen will drag them out with the net. These are like the men bound to the world."

"The bound souls are tied to the world by the fetters of 'woman and gold'. They are bound hand and foot. Thinking that 'woman and gold' will make them happy and give them security, they do not realize that it will lead them to annihilation. When a man thus bound to the world is about to die, his wife asks, 'You are about to go; but what have you done for me?' Again, such is his attachment to the things of the world that, when he sees the lamp burning brightly, he says: 'Dim the light. Too much oil is being used.' And he is on his death-bed!"

"The bound souls never think of God. If they get any leisure they indulge in idle gossip and foolish talk, or they engage in fruitless work. If you ask one of them the reason, he answers, 'Oh, I cannot keep still; so I am making a hedge.' When time hangs heavy on their hands they perhaps start playing cards."









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