Mercury and the Woodman

A poor woodman was working in the forest on the bank of a river and quite by chance dropped his axe into the river. The man was very sorry to lose his axe and he sat on the bank and lamented his loss.

Mercury*, the god, heard his voice and appeared before him.

“Why do you lament, my good man?” asked the god/

“I am a poor man”, said the woodman, “and now I cannot work, as I have lost my axe”.

Mercury dived into the water and then appeared with a golden axe in his hand.

“Is it your axe?” he asked.

“No, it is not”, said the man.

Mercury dived a second time and appeared again with a silver axe.

“Take this axe,” said the god.

“It is not my axe,” said the poor man again.

The Mercury dived a third time and appeared with the axe which belonged to the woodman.

The poor man was very glad to get his axe back and thanked Mercury heartily.

Mercury was so pleased with the man’s honesty that he gave him the golden axe as a reward for it.

The woodman went to the village and told his neighbours about Mercury and the axes.

One of them was a very greedy and selfish man and he went to the bank of the river and dropped his axe into the water. Then he sat down upon the bank and lamented his loss. Continue reading “Mercury and the Woodman”

The Vain Crow

A crow who thought that she was very beautiful – though really she looked just like any other crow – sat on a branch of a tree. She had a piece of cheese in her beak which she had stolen from a farmer’s house.

At the foot of the tree there sat a fox who saw the piece of cheese in the crow’s beak and he wanted to get it.

The fox stood up and cried to the crow:

“I am very glad to see you, my friend. You look very beautiful today”.

The crow sat quietly and did not say anything, though she was very pleased.

“You are so beautiful that I think you must be our queen. Can you talk? I am sure that your voice is very beautiful, too”. Continue reading “The Vain Crow”

Obstacles

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.

Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand.

Moral: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition.

Butterfly

 Butterfly

photo by Anastasia

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

Filling of an Empty Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the story of an empty jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks until the top of the jar.He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was! So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. Continue reading “Filling of an Empty Jar”

The Courteous President

Abraham Lincoln was driving in his state carriage one afternoon. An old man walking along the road, recognised the American President. He took off his hat and bowed in respect.

Lincoln responded to his gesture by tipping his hat and bowing in return.

One of his companions riding in the carriage with him told the President,”Why did you have to do that? After all he was only a poor man!”

“I don’t want anyone to be more courteous than I,” said the gracious President with a smile.

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”

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.

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”

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”