Spiritual Awareness Stories
Sometimes we have to relate some spiritual short stories just to help you all understand the meaning of Existence.
We know that we exist here on earth but why are we here?
From where do we come from?
Where will we go when we die?
The name of God is mentioned by all but when we see the position of God in the list of many people, God is the last number in the list.
Many people's priority are career, money, family and many others and they forget that God must be the first on that list. God has created us, how can we make Him wait for us, instead we must walk on the path to Him.
These spiritual stories are shared for increasing your awareness on your own existence.
A Zen Story
There was a Zen master, Hotei.
One day, he was passing through a village. On his shoulders, he always carried a very big bag full of many toys, chocolates and sweets for children. Somebody asked him, "Hotei, we have heard that you are just playing a role, acting. We have heard that you are a Zen master, so why do you go on wasting your time just giving toys to children? And if you are really a Zen master then show us what Zen is."
Zen means the real spirit of religion.
Hotei dropped his bag, immediately he dropped his bag. They couldn't follow, so they said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "This is all. If you drop the burden, this is all."
They asked, "Okay, then what is the next step?"
So he put his bag again on his shoulders and started walking. "This is the next step. But now I am not carrying. I know now that the burden is not me. Now the whole burden has become just toys for children and they will enjoy it."
~ The lesson behind this short story is, that the second step is to drop the bag that you are carrying, and carry it again only when you are not carrying it. Then you can carry the whole world; then there is no problem - you are not identified with it. The bag you are carrying consists of sadness, ugliness, hatred, suffering, anger, jealousy. So, you have to throw down whatsoever there is in it.
A story on Lord Shiva's boons
Once it happened that a man was worshiping Lord Shiva. He prayed and prayed for years. Then Lord Shiva appeared and He said, "You can ask for three blessings, three gifts: three boons can be given to you."
The man had been worshiping for so long that he really had forgotten why he had started. His mind was so constantly changing. The worship had become an obsession. He had forgotten for what, so he said, "Let me think."
Then, he asked for one gift. The gift was given. Then he became aware that this wouldn't do; he had asked for something wrong. He was angry with his wife, so he had said, "Kill her!" Immediately she was dead. And this can happen to any husband or any wife. They are fighting, filled with hate. But hate is also not total, there is love also. Mind is divided: you love the person and you hate the same person. It is always fifty-fifty. He asked that the wife should be killed, and the wife was dead; immediately she fell down. The moment she was dead, he became aware that he loved her very much, so he said, "Please, revive her again." So, the second gift was wasted. Two gifts wasted; first she was killed, second she was revived - only one was left. Then he said, "Now, give me time enough to think; otherwise I will again make a mistake, and then there is no fourth."
Lord Shiva waited and waited. Years passed and He would come again and again and He would ask, "Now you ask for the third."
The man was so puzzled he couldn't sleep. He became almost insane just thinking about the one wish, because only one was left. He went visiting all the persons he knew who were wise, and they suggested many things, but nothing seemed worthwhile. Then he asked Lord Shiva himself. "You tell me. I am going mad!"
And what Lord Shiva told him is to be remembered. He said, "There can be only one wish, one desire which is worthwhile. Ask for desirelessness, otherwise nothing is worthwhile. Whatsoever you ask, the next moment you will want something else, even just the opposite of the first."
~ The mind is divided; our prayers are through that divided mind. A sage is a person who has become undivided. He cannot pray; his prayer is not through words, his prayer is through his being. The way he is, is his worship. In this story, desirelessness means that you have dropped all desires, you are just living in the moment, enjoying it.
What comes to you in that moment, you accept it totally.
A Sufi Story
Once it happened that one king had a dream. In the night, when he was fast asleep, he dreamed he saw a shadow, a very dark, dangerous looking, ferocious shadow, standing just behind him. He asked, "Who are you?"
The shadow said, "I am your death, and before the sun sets tomorrow, I am coming to meet you. I have come just to inform you."
The king wanted to ask, "Is there any way to escape from you?" but he became so afraid that he was awakened. He couldn't ask, and the dream disappeared. So, in the middle of the night, he gathered all his wise men and he said, "There is no time, so you decide immediately what this dream means. What does this symbol mean? Interpret it."
They came with their big scriptures, books and charts, and the king became afraid. He said, "Don't waste time! You have to decide immediately!"
They said, "It is a very intricate thing, very complex, and it has never happened before so there is no precedent. We cannot decide immediately, it has to be analyzed and it will take time."
But he king prayed to them, "Do it as soon as possible, because I have to decide and do something. The sun is just going to rise, and once the sun has risen it has already set, then there is no time. The sun will move and set, and within twelve hours everything will be finished!"
They started discussing, and there was much discussion - as it always happens with persons whose minds are filled with knowledge. Everyone was of a different opinion and the king was still more confused.
The king had one old servant. The old servant came near to him and whispered in the king's ear, "Don't wait. I know these people. Even if you have one hundred years to live, they will not come to any conclusion - they have never come to a conclusion. For centuries they have been discussing; conclusion is not their goal at all, discussion is their interest. These are philosophers. For thousands of years they have been discussing and have reached no conclusion - philosophy has no conclusion. And every answer that has been given by these fellows creates one hundred questions, so simply don't wait for them."
The king said, "Then what am I supposed to do?"
The old man said, "I am a common man, not a learned man, and as far as I can see, you should do a commonsense thing: you take your fastest horse and escape from this palace, this palace is dangerous. At least this much is certain that you should not be here at that moment when death comes. Go as far away as possible."
It was worth considering. The king said, "Okay. There is no other possibility, because these fellows are confusing me even more. So let them discuss and let them decide, and I will escape."
When you have fear, escape seems to be the only door. So, he took his fastest horse, a wonderful horse, and he escaped from the palace. When the sun was rising he was out of the town, when the sun was setting, he was hundreds of miles away. And when the sun was just going to set, he reached a big tree. He thought, "This will be a good place for the night." He came down from his horse and he thanked the horse, saying, "You are just wonderful. You are the only friend who helped me in such a great difficulty. When scholars were of no use, you helped me. At least you have brought me so far away."
While he was saying this and patting the horse, suddenly he saw the same shadow behind him. He trembled and he said, "What! You have come?"
The shadow said, "Yes, I was waiting under this tree for you the whole day. Let me thank your horse, he is really wonderful."
~ Whatsoever you do, and wherever you escape, you cannot escape death, wherever you reach, death will be waiting for you there. If you are rich, you can have a fast horse; if you are poor you will have to walk, but you will reach - you will reach anyway. Fear is there around the heart, the heart is in the grip of the fear of death. And it spoils everything. You cannot really love. When you are in love, death is there. And love is so deathlike that lovers always become conscious of death. If you have loved anyone you will be aware of it. You may not have noticed, but whenever you love someone the lover is bound to ask, "Will you love me forever?" - the fear of death. "Will you always be with me?" - the fear of death.
A Korean Zen Story
Once it happened that two monks were travelling. They crossed a river in a boat, and the ferryman said to them, "Where are you going? If you are going to the city beyond this valley, go slowly."
But the old monk said, "If we go slowly we will never reach, because we have heard that the gates of that city are closed after sunset, and we have just one or two hours at the most, and it is a very long distance. If we go slowly we will never reach, and we will have to wait outside the city. And the outside of the city is dangerous - wild animals and everything - so we will have to make haste."
The ferryman said, "Okay, but this is my experience: those who go slowly reach."
The other monk listened to it. He was a young man and he thought, "I don't know this part of the country, and this ferryman may be right, so it is better to follow his advice." So he walked slowly, as if not going anywhere, not in a hurry, just for a walk.
The old man hurried, started running. He had many scriptures on his back. Then he fell down: tired, carrying weight, old, and in such a hurry, so tense, he fell down. The man who was not in a hurry simply walked and reached.
The ferryman was coming and he came near the old man. He was lying by the side of the road; his leg was broken and blood was oozing out. The ferryman said, "I told you that this has been always so: those who walk slowly reach, those who are in a hurry always manage to stumble somewhere or other. These parts are dangerous. The road is rough and you are an old man. And I had advised you, but you wouldn't listen to me."
~ This is how it is in life. Go slowly, patiently, not in a hurry, because the goal is not somewhere else - it is within you. When you are not in a hurry you will feel it; when you are in a hurry you cannot feel it because you are so tense. If you are not going anywhere at all, then you can feel it more immediately.