Unconditional Love

Shri Mataji with KalpanaWhen a child is born, the first thing that it responds to is the Spirit of its mother. At the moment of his birth he is not aware of his body or that of this mother, but he is aware of the Spirit. The moment he comes out of the womb he suffers a shock, and his first reaction is to get back to the womb. At this stage his mind, conditionings and ego aspects are not developed. He is pure Spirit, and it is this pure Spirit that finds comfort in the Spirit of this mother and through that comfort, sustenance in the new alien environment. This response is true love or unconditional love; it is not a conditioned response, but the sheer joy of the fusion of two Spirits.

In the picture: Shri Mataji with Her daughter Kalpana

Determination

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge. Continue reading “Determination”

A Story from Gandhiji’s Life

In South Africa Gandhiji set up an ashram at Phoenix, where he started a school for children. Gandhiji had his own ideas about how children should be taught. He disliked the examination system. In his school he wanted to teach the boys true knowledge—knowledge that would improve both their minds and their hearts.

Gandhiji had his own way of judging students. All the students in the class were asked the same question. But often Gandhiji praised the boy with low marks and scolded the one who had high marks. This puzzled the children.

When questioned on this unusual practice, Gandhiji one day explained, “I am not trying to show that Shyam is cleverer than Ram. So I don’t give marks on that basis. I want to see how far each boy has progressed, how much he has learnt. If a clever student competes with a stupid one and begins to think no end of himself, he is likely to grow dull. Sure of his own cleverness, he’ll stop working. The boy who does his best and works hard will always do well and so I praise him.”

Gandhiji kept a close watch on the boys who did well. Were they still working hard? What would they learn if their high marks filled them with conceit? Gandhiji continually stressed this to his students. If a boy who was not very clever worked hard and did well, Gandhiji was full of praise for him.

by Uma Shankar Joshi

In the picture: Gandhi in South Africa, 1895 

You can read more on Gandhi here

Who is the Doer?

Jesus Once Jesus was traveling on a donkey. Along his way there were many people who felicitated him. The donkey also got his share of felicitation as there was a garland of flowers hanging on his neck. And that made him think that it was actually he who was praised so much. As the donkey’s ego bloated so much, he considered himself a very important figure.

Jesus stopped on his way and was resting while the donkey thought he was now indispensable as it was he was doing the main part of work. After his rest, Jesus took another waiting donkey and left that place…

So, the moral of the story is that it is God Who chooses His instruments for the work to be fulfilled. And the humbler we are, the purer we are, the more developed we are, the more Divine work can be done through us.

A Toy and a “Teacher”

Little children like stuffed animals. An idea with a little elephant (like Shri Ganesha)  is – it could be a mascot. The little elephant could express perfectness. To show the children how to behave or in some cases how not to behave (if we have a casualty of a child who is doing something else than expected). We could react to the elephant: “Oh, no, little elephant what are you doing? You have to sit with hands open….

Like Shri Mataji suggested once to do it with a doll. So, the child will not feel offended in the group.

It is not necessary that the toy-elephant should be bought. It actually wouldn’t take that long and could be done by almost any age (a sewing machine would help).

Two Frogs

a pic of a frog 

Photo by Anastasia

One hot summer there was no rain for a long time, and the lakes and the wells dried up almost everywhere. The frogs were very unhappy as they could not live without water. So, they went to different places to look for water.

Two frogs who were good friends decided to travel together till they found water. They went down a hill and up another hill again. Then they crossed a road and there, near a village, they saw a well. They looked in and saw that it was very deep. They sat at its edge and did not know what to do. They were afraid to jump down into the well.

One of the frogs said to her friend,

“Let is jump down now. The water is fresh and cold there, and we are so thirsty. I cannot wait any longer.” Continue reading “Two Frogs”

Keeping the Promise

“My wife called, ‘How long will you be with that newspaper? Will youcome here and make your darling daughter eat her food?’ I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene.

My only daughter, Sindu looked frightened.Tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with Curd Rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age.She has just turned eight. She particularly detested Curd Rice. I cleared my throat, and picked up the bowl. ‘Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthful of this Curd Rice? Just for Dad’s sake, dear.

Sindu softened a bit, and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. ‘OK, Dad. I will eat – not just a fewmouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should…’ Sindu hesitated. ‘Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?’………..Oh sure,darling’….’Promise?’……………..’Promise’. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal.’Ask Mom also to give a similar promise’, my daughter insisted.My wife put her hand on Sindu’s, muttering ‘Promise’.

Now I became a bit anxious. ‘Sindu dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. OK?’ ‘No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive’. Slowly and painfully,she finished eating the whole quantity. After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her………….

‘Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!’ was her demand. ‘Atrocious!’ shouted my wife, ‘A girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!’ ‘Never in our family!’ my mother rasped. ‘She has been watching too much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!’ ‘Sindu darling, why don’t you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head.’ ‘No, Dad. I do not want anything else’, Sindu said with finality.’Please, Sindu, why don’t you try to understand our feelings?’ I tried to plead with her. ‘Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice’. Continue reading “Keeping the Promise”

The Signs of Happiness

There was a young couple who led a very happy life together. The only thing that they worried about was whether their happiness would last forever or would they too have to face problems.

One day, they heard that a wise old man had come to town; he could solve all kinds of problems and guide people. So the couple decided to visit the wise old man and tell him their source of worry.

The wise old man told them, “Travel around the world and seek a man and a woman who are perfectly happy as a couple. When you find such a couple, ask them for a piece of cloth from the man’s shirt, then keep that piece of cloth with you, and you always remain happy.”

The young couple began their journey to find the happiest couple in the world. In one place they heard that the governor and his wife were the happiest people, so they went to their palace and asked them, “Are you the happiest couple?”

The governor and his wife replied, “Yes, we are happy in every way except for one thing; we do not have any children.”

Well that didn’t make the governor and his wife the happiest couple. So they continued their journey. They arrived in one city where they had heard that the happiest couple lived. They went to their house and asked them, “Are you the happiest couple?” Continue reading “The Signs of Happiness”