Parables and Meaningful Stories
Things about Faith and Spirituality.
If it is beyond words, the words can not show, but can help to indicate the direction.
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Parables and Meaningful Stories
The Narrow Path
God warned the people of an earthquake that would swallow up the waters of the land. The water that replaced them would make everyone insane.
- The way to Truth is narrow. You always walk alone.
Only the prophet took God seriously. He saved up a supply of water in his mountain cave to last him till he died.
Sure enough, the earthquake came, the water vanished and new water tilled the streams and lakes and rivers. A few months later the prophet came down to the plains.
Everyone had indeed gone mad, and attacked him, for they thought it was he who was insane.
So the prophet went back to his mountain cave, glad for the water he had saved. But he could not bear his loneliness so he went down to the plains once more. Again he was rejected by the people for he was so unlike them.
The prophet then succumbed. He threw away the water he had saved, drank the new water with the people and became one with them in their insanity.
The Dream Contract
Nasruddin was fast asleep at nine in the morning. The sun was in the sky, the birds were singing in the trees and his breakfast was getting cold. So his wife decided to wake him.
He woke up in a rage. "Why did you wake me up just now?" he yelled.
"The sun has risen in the sky", said she, "the birds are singing in the trees and your breakfast is getting cold."
"Breakfast be damned," he said, "I was about to sign a contract worth a million grammes of gold!"
With that he closed his eyes to recapture his shattered dream and those million grammes of gold.
Now Nasruddin was cheating in that contract and his business partner was a tyrant. If, on recapturing the dream, he stops his cheating, he will become a saint.
If he struggles to free the people from the oppression of the tyrant he will be a freedom fighter.
If, in the middle of it all, he suddenly realizes he is dreaming, he will become Awakened. Enlightened.
What kind of saint or freedom fighter are you if you are still asleep?
The Contented Fisherman
The industrialist saw a fisherman lying beside his boat, doing nothing.
Which would you rather have: a fortune or a capacity for enjoyment?
- Why aren’t you out fishing? said the industrialist.
- Because I have caught enough fish for the day.
- Why don’t you catch some more?
- What would I do with it?
- Earn more money. Then you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Thai would bring you money to buy nylon nets, so more fish, more money. Soon you would have enough to buy two boats... even a fleet of boots. Then you could be rich like me.
- What would I do then?
- Then you could really enjoy life.
- What do you think I am doing now?
The Master kept scraping a brick against the floor of the room where his disciple sat in meditation. At first the disciple was content, taking this to be a test of his powers of concentration. But when the sound became unbearable he burst out:
- What on earth are you doing? Can't you see I am in meditation?
- I'm polishing this brick to make a mirror out of it, said the Master.
- You're crazy! How can you make a mirror out of a brick?
- No crazier than you! How can you make a mediator out of the self?
To Search and Look
- Don't look for God, the Master said. Just look – and all will be revealed.
Easier said than done, but with practice, difficult things become easy.
- But how is one to look?
- Each time you look at anything, see only what is there and nothing else, without considering before that you know what it is, or think something.
The Governor on his travels stepped in to pay homage to the Master.
- Affairs of State leave me no time for lengthy dissertations, he said. Could you put the essence of Faith into a paragraph or two for a busy man like me?
- I shall put it into a single word for the benefit of Your Highness.
- Incredible! What is that unusual word?
- And what is the way to Silence?
- And what, may I ask, is meditation?
I have, unfortunately, had a surfeit of people to guide me. They badgered me with their persistent teachings till I could barely hear you through the din. I never thought I could have you for my teacher, for they said, "We are all the teachers you have; he who listens to us, listens to Him".
But I am wrong to blame them or deplore their presence in my life. It is I who am to blame. For I lacked the firmness to silence them; the courage to find out for myself; the patience to wait for your appointed time; and the trust that someday, somewhere, you would break your silence and reveal yourself to me.
I have been content, Lord, to learn about you at se-cond hand. From Scriptures and saints; preachers and popes. I wish I could say to them all, "It is no longer because of what you said that I believe, for I have heard him myself".
Vigilance and Presence
- Is there anything I can do to make myself Enlightened?
- As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.
- Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?
- To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.
- Where shall I look for Enlightenment?
- When will it happen?
- It is happening right now.
- Then why don't I experience it?
- Because you do not look.
- What should I look for?
- Nothing. Just look.
- At what?
- Anything your eyes alight upon.
- Must I look in a special kind of way?
- No. The ordinary way will do.
- But don't I always look the ordinary way?
- Why ever not?
- Because to look you must be here. But, You are mostly somewhere else in your mind.
The Seeing Projection
- Why is everyone here so happy except me?
- Because they have learnt to see goodness and beauty everywhere, said the Master.
- Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?
- Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.
- How shall I help the world?
- By understanding it, said the Master.
- And how shall I understand it?
- By turning away from it.
- How then shall I serve humanity?
- By understanding yourself.
A lecturer explained how a fraction of the enormous sums spent on arms in the modern world would solve all the material problems of every member of the human race.
The inevitable reaction of the disciples after the lecture was:
- But why are human beings so stupid?
- Because, said the Master solemnly, people have learnt to read printed books. They have forgotten the art of reading unprinted ones.
- Give us an example of an unprinted book.
But the Master wouldn't give one.
One day in response to their persistence, he said:
- The songs of birds, the sounds of insects are all trumpeting forth the Truth. The grasses and the flowers are all pointing out the Way. Listen! Look! That is the way to read!
A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the Master.
- People say you are a genius. Are you? he asked.
- You might say so. said the Master, without false modesty.
- And what makes one a genius?
- The ability to recognize.
- Recognize what?
- The butterfly in a caterpillar; the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being.