Tag Archives: dharma

TO ABANDON A DEPENDENT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE EVEN FOR HEAVEN

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DHARMRAJ YUDHISTIR’S RELIGIOSITY

 

    When, Maharaja Yudhistir came to know that Sri Krishna has ended his jeewanleela. And, post that Yadav’s too, have undergone self-destruction, because of infighting. He decided to coronate Arjun’s grandson Parikshit as the king of Hastinapur and head for sanyas. Keeping the difficult decision in mind he started preparing for it. To begin with he decided to give up the prestigious and coveted king’s costume and its jewelry. Following, which, he decided to enter into a maun-vrat and unlock his hair. Finally, he entered into veer-sanyas and left his Raj Bhawan and started walking towards the north. When, his brothers and even his wife Draupadi started following him.

    Yudhistir’s decision to renounce the world and it’s so called—moh-maya created ripples in his own mind. As a result of which, he stopped eating food and drinking water. He even stopped resting his body and mind and refrained from looking at anyone, in the eye. And, decided to keep moving without stopping anywhere. Until, he crossed Badrinath in the Himalayas. Where, his brothers and even his queen Draupadi were pacing up with him.

        After crossing Satyapath, Yudhistir entered the divine land of Swarga-rohan. But by now his brothers and his queen were extremely exhausted and they fell sick. Soon Draupadi, Nakul, Sahdev and even Arjun—they all fainted one by one and fell on the ground. The weather was freezing in Himalayas. So they couldn’t revive themselves and soon attained Him-Samadhi. Thereafter, the divine powers of the holy land sent them to Swarg where they attained moksha. But even these stupendous calamities, couldn’t stop Yudhistir. As, he was continuously moving, and never looked back even to catch a glimpse of his brothers and his wife. He was now bereft of rag-dwesh. In the end even Bhimsen, the strongest out of them, also collapsed and went into Him-Samadhi.

    When, Yudhistir was about to reach the top most mount of Swarga-rohan. He was not alone, in spite of the fact, that his brothers and his wife Draupadi, had entered into Him-Samadhi on the way. As, there was a dog, that was continuously following him, right from Hastinapur. When, Yudhistir finally reached the mount. Devraj Indra sat in his viman and descended on earth to meet him. He welcomed him and said—‘you’re the epitome of Dharma. So the swarg belongs to you. Please sit in my viman. So, that, I can take you there.’

    When, Yudhistir asked about his brothers and his wife Draupadi and requested, they too, be taken to swarg. Devraj replied—‘they have already reached.’

    Yudhistir then made another request—‘can we take this dog also in this viman.’

    Indra replied—‘you being the quintessential of dharma. Why do you talk like a novice? How can a dog enter swarg? Isn’t it enough that this desecrated being has had my darshan.’

    Yudhistir, wasn’t convinced by Indra’s logic. So he said—‘but the poor dog is dependent on me. Because of my devotion he has followed me all the way from Hastinapur. To renounce a living being that is dependent on you is adharma. So, deserting this dependent is not acceptable to me. And without him, I’m not willing to enter swarg.’

        Indra tried to counsel Yudhistir again—‘Rajan! You attain swarg only with the fruits of punya. Had this dog been a punyatma. He wouldn’t have been born as a dog.’

    Yudhistir politely said—‘God if that is the case. Then, I would like to donate half my punya to this dog.’

    ‘Dhanya ho, dhanya ho Yudhistir! I am very happy with you. And discarding the dog’s form, the Dharm-Devta appeared in front of him and blessed him.

    Moral of the story: Think thousand times, before you abandon someone who is dependent on you.

    Story is from Mahabharat

GLOSSARY

  • Maharaja—Great king
  • Jeewan-Leela—mortal role
  • Sanyas—life stage of renunciation within the Hindu philosophy
  • Maun-vrat—avow to remain silent
  • Veer-sanyas—renunciation from exercising strength
  • Raj-bhawan—official residence of king
  • Moh-maya—all things in the world are not real; they are fallacy, a presumed reality of the world held by people.’
  • Dharmacharn—good virtues
  • Him-Samadhi—meditative trance
  • Swarg—Heaven
  • Moksha—released from the cycle of rebirth
  • Rag-Dwesh—love and hate
  • Viman—mythological flying palace or chariot described in Hindu texts
  • Dharma—eternal law of cosmos
  • Darshan—divine audicience
  • Adharma—going against the law of cosmos
  • Punyatma—blessed soul
  • Dhanya ho—be blessed
  • Dharm Devta–God

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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STORY: EVEN CURSE BECOMES A BLESSING: IF YOU DEFEND DHARMA (RIGHTEOUSNESS)

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arjun

arjun1

arjun2

    Pandavas were leading a tough life in forced exile somewhere deep in the forests. And as advised by sage Vyas. Arjun had left in search of isolation for a prolonged tapasya. Where, he was able to please lord Shiva. This was when Shiva presented him with his pashupatastra. Amid all of this Devraj Indra took Arjun in his chariot to Swarg Loka, where, he and other Lokpals of heaven, also presented their divyastra to Arjun for his final victory. With these divyastras, Arjun waged a war on asuras known as ‘Nivaatkavach.’ Whom, even, the Devatas were unable to defeat, and repeat attack by them had frustrated the Devatas. In the war that followed. Arjun finally defeated them. They could not withstand the powerful attack from the renowned Gandeev dhanush of Arjun and they ran towards paatal (hell) to save themselves.

    After defeating these asuras when Arjun returned to Amravati all the Devatas welcomed him in a grand fashion. The assembly of Devraj Indra was decorated and he along with Arjun sat on the throne. The Gandharvas picked up their veenas to sing. The beautiful Apsaras of swarg one by one started dancing to the melodious tunes of the Gandharvas. Devraj at any cost wanted to please Arjun. He was therefore, very intently noticing Arjun just to find out what was attracting him.

    Arjun was now residing in heaven. The one and only one heaven, that was majestically decorated. The apsaras were busy dancing and while dancing they wanted to attract and cajole the favourite guests of Devraj Indra. After each dance representative of Devraj used to introduce another apsara and in this manner the assembly swung into a band of melodies. But Arjun, in whose honour all this was being done was quietly sitting with his head down and eyes staring at the ground. And while the grand show in heaven was in progress. He was only remembering his exiled brothers who were living in extreme austerity by eating fruits and roots and by sleeping on the ground. He was therefore not at all attracted towards Amravati.

    Suddenly, Devraj Indra uttered the name of Urvashi. Arjun looked at Urvashi several times, who was dancing in the assembly. Devraj Indra noticed Arjun, while he was looking at Urvashi. After the celebrations got over. Devraj called Gandharva Raj Chitrasen and said—‘go across to Urvashi and tell her. Tonight she needs to spend with Arjun. He is one of our most loved ones and she should make him happy.

    Urvashi herself was attracted towards Arjun, and therefore when she received the message of Devraj she willingly accepted the same. She then decorated herself as much as she could to look ravishing. In the night after decking up. She reached the residence of Arjun.

    When Arjun saw Urvashi he got up from his bed. With both hands he offered his pranam and said—‘Mata! what brings you here at this time? And what can I do for you?

    Urvashi was astounded in the manner Arjun had addressed her—as mother. She minced no words. When, she clearly said, she was attracted towards him, as if in love and that she had also received a message from Devraj to make him happy. She prayed to Arjun to accept her. But Arjun with a stable mind said—‘please don’t say these unbecoming words again. You are the mother of kurukul (Kauravas). I have heard this from many rishis. Today in the sabha when the pratihari called your name, I felt like seeing you. Considering, you as the mother of my kul. I several times, glimpsed your feet. I feel this is what led to some misunderstanding in Devraj’s mind.

    Urvashi says—‘Parth! This is not earth. This is heaven. We apsaras are neither any ones mother, nor sister nor wife. Anyone coming to heaven as per his punya can benefit from us. So you please accede to my request.’

    In the middle of a romantic night the most beautiful apsara of the heaven was incessantly requesting Arjun to accept her. But Dharmyug Arjun was adamant, where Kamdev could not even touch him. Arjun, with folded hands continued praying to Urvashi—‘just as Kunti is my mother, just as Madri is my mother, in the same manner I consider you like my mother. Kindly consider me as your son and shower your affection.’

    Urvashi never expected this kind of a treatment even from the rishis who led a life of extreme austerity. So this was least expected of Arjun. In all of this she felt as if her beauty had been insulted. She then in the lust of love cursed Arjun—‘like an impotent man you did not accept my request. Therefore, for a year you’ll live as a hijra, where, you’ll only sing and dance amidst women.’

    After cursing Arjun, Urvashi left. Arjun too had the power to curse her, especially, when she had cursed him wrongly. But even then Arjun was looking down with his hands folded as a mark of respect, conveying his pranam.

    In the morning Devraj came to know what had transpired during the night. He was happy and said—‘Dhananjay! People who follow the righteous path are never surrounded by calamites. And even if calamity strikes it turns into a lucky mascot. The curse of Urvashi will be for only a man year, after which it will turn into a blessing when after exile you enter a year of anonymity where no will recognise you.’

GLOSSARY

Tapasya–intense meditation and austerity

Pashupatastra–Shiva’s destructible weapon

Swarg Loka–Heaven

Lokpals–Caretakers

Divyastra–Weapons of God

Asuras–Demons

Devatas–Gods

Gandeev Dhanush–Arjun’s famous bow

Paatal–Hell

Amravati–Abode of the deathless

Gandharvas–Melodious singers of heaven

Veenas–Stringed instrument

Apsaras–Beauties of heaven

Pranam–Greetings

Mata–Mother

Rishis–Sages

Sabha–Assembly

Pratihari–Chamberlain

Kul–Lineage

Parth–Nam given to Arjun (An archer who never misses his targets)

Punya–Collective virtues

Dharmyug–Righteous

Kamdev–God of love

Hijra–Eunuch

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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STORY: HONEST TRADER

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jajli kashi sadhu with jatas

    Brahmin and Mahatapsvi (Great hermit) Jajli till late in his life practiced vanprastha (retiring into a forest) with great discipline and reverence. In fact he had pushed it to the next level and was now surviving only on atmospheric air. He had also stood still on one leg for long period of time in intense tapasya (meditation). When birds mistook him for a tree and made nests in his long jatas (long, dense hair) and even delivered their eggs in it. But the kind maharishi quietly stood there. Soon the eggs hatched and broods came out of it and grew up to be beautiful birds and started flying. When the birds gained proficiency in flying, and they didn’t return for a month, Maharishi Jajli decided to let loose a bit. When he was surprised at the intensity and perfection of his own tapasya, and started considering himself as having obtained moksha. Just then there was an akashwani (celestial announcement from the sky)—‘Jajli! Don’t pride about yourself so much, because you are not as virtuous, righteous and religious, as trader Tuladhar, of Kashi.

    Upon hearing the akashwani Maharishi was quite surprised. He immediately left for Kashi to meet Tuladhar. After reaching there he found Tuladhar to be just an ordinary shopkeeper, who was sitting in his shop. He was continuously weighing and selling daily household products to his customers. But Jajli was surprised, when Tuladhar without enquiring got up and said ‘pranam’ to him and even described his tapasiya and the akashvani in great detail. Jajli asked, ‘you are an ordinary baniya, but then how do know so much about me?’

    Tuladhar politely said—‘Respected Brahmin! I very carefully follow the religion of my caste in which I’m born. I don’t sell wine, nor do I sell any stuff which is cursed and forbidden. I never cheat my customers on the weighing scale. I sell all my products at the correct price no matter who the customer is, whether a child or grown up, and whether he knows the price or doesn’t. I don’t mix any product with anything harmful. I don’t exploit my customers in an unfair manner after taking their feed backs.  It is my duty to serve my customers and I always keep this in my mind. I build my relationship on the premise of benefits, for my customers, and that is my fundamental religion and reason for existence.’

He further said—‘I am not greedy and I keep myself away from anger and disparity. I donate as much as I can, and always serve my guests with love and respect. And I prefer non-violence. I don’t promote greed and excessive desire and I consider everyone as equal in my eyes, and pray for everyone’s well being.’

    On Jajli’s request Tuladhar then explained the pillars of dharma to him. He explained any violent yagya (Hindu religious sacrifice) will always have devastating consequences. And even otherwise in such yagyas there are great possibilities of blunders that give negative results. And people who give pain to others never reach heaven and never meet up with goodness in life. And non-violence alone is the best religion.’

    The birds that were born in the jatas of Jajli returned to him when he called them. They also heard the sermons on dharma from Tuladhar. And with Tuladhar’s sermon Jajli’s pride vanquished.

    *

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                    https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

SHORT STORY: WHEN YOU PROTECT DHARMA, DHARMA PROTECTS YOU

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

dharma yaksha yaksha1

    The story relates to Mahabharat.

    During vanvas (forced exile into forest). Pandavas, were spending time in the Datya forest. Where, while roaming around, they felt thirsty. Is when Dharmraj Yudhistir climbed a tree. To see if there was any water in the vicinity. At one spot he could see a lot of greenery. That gave an indication as if water was around. He then requested his youngest brother Nakul to get some water from that place. And in obeyance, Nakul left immediately.

    Soon, he found a lake brimming with clear blue water. But the moment he went down to drink some. He heard a loud voice warning him, ‘do not dare to have the water from this lake. For I have established my authority on it and it belongs to me. First reply, to my queries before you even touch it.’

    Nakul, was extremely thirsty. He, therefore, did not pay attention to the warning. That the Yaksha (nature-spirits, usually benevolent) perched on a tree was passing. But the moment he tasted the water. He fell down and soon expired on the spot.

    Back here, in the Pandav’s camp. There was a bit of restlessness now. As Nakul had still not returned. Worried Yudhistir, then sent Sahdev after Nakul. He too heard the warning of Yaksha. But tried to drink the water, ignoring his advice and died on the spot. In the same manner. Yudhistir then sent Arjun and Bhimsen. But they too came one by one and met with the same fate.

    Yudhistir soon realised. That all his four brothers had not returned from the lake. From where they had gone to get water. He therefore, readied himself to go there, suspecting something was wrong in spite of his being tired. Soon, he was there. But upon seeing his valiant brothers lying dead. He went into a deep gloom. After mourning and wailing for sometime on the bodies of his brothers. He felt thirsty. When, he too decided to have water from the lake. Yaksha, who was still there. First tried to stop him from having water in the disguise of a crane. But when Yudhistir asked him, ‘who are you?’ He then dawned the form of a Yaksha and appeared on the tree top.

    When, peaceful and saint like Yudhistir said—‘Revered Yaksha! I do not want to acquire anything that doesn’t belong to me. You have laid down your authority, on the water of this lake. So let it be yours. If you want to ask any questions, please ask. I will try and reply to the best of my ability.

    Thereafter, Yaksha asked many questions. Yudhistir, replied to all of them correctly. Satisfied with the answers. Yaksha said, ‘Rajan! (King) you have correctly answered, to all my questions. Therefore, I grant the life of one of your brothers. So, whom do you want alive, out of the four?’

    Yudhistir replied, ‘kindly grant life to my younger brother Nakul.’

    Yaksha in a surprised tone asked—‘you are wandering in life without a kingdom in these dense forests. Where, you need to wage a fierce battle against your enemies to protect dharma. In such a situation you are not asking for the life of your most powerful brother Bhimsen or Arjun. Who are the best fighters in the world. On the contrary you are asking for the life of Nakul. Why so?’

    Dharmraj Yudhistir said—‘Respected Yaksha! The bliss of ruling a kingdom. Or the torture of vanvas depends on your fate and destiny. But a human being shouldn’t abrogate dharma. One, who protects dharma, is protected by dharma itself. And that is why I won’t deviate from the path of dharma. Kunti and Madri, both are my mothers. I am Kunti’s live son. And, I want the lineage of my second mother Madri also to remain intact. Therefore, I am requesting you to bring back Nakul to life. So that both the mothers have at least one child alive.

    Yaksha said–‘Yudhistir you are very knowledgeable and liberal in matters of interpretation, modesty and dharma. Therefore, I am happy with you and may God give life to all your four dead brothers. I happen to be your father ‘Dharma.’ I had come to see how you were doing and to test your love for dharma.’

    And, in the manner Yudhistir tried to protect dharma. Dharma too protected Dharmaraj Yudhistir. When all his four brothers got up, as if from deep sleep.

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SHORT STORY: ILL EFFECTS OF SINFUL BREAD

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bhishmapitamah draupadi mahabharat

    When the great war of Mahabharat got over. Dharamraj Yudhistir took over as the undisputed Emperor of the vast kingdom.

    And, with the permission of Lord Krishna. He along with his patrani (chief queen) Draupadi and younger brothers, went to the bloody battlefield. To meet and ask after Bhishma Pitamah who was lying on the bed of arrows. Waiting for the sun to move to the position of uttarayan (northward movement of the Sun in the celestial sphere). So that he could wilfully leave his body.

    Whereupon, on Yudhistir’s request. Pitamah began sermonising about the varn-ashram (natural phases of life) and the time tested relationship between the King and his subjects, to Yudhistir. When Pitamah was midway into his sermons, suddenly queen Draupadi laughed at him.

    Pitamah felt a bit awkward at this, and stopping his sermon he asked,

    ‘My dear daughter, what makes you laugh?’

    Draupadi hesitantly replied—‘It was a mistake Pitamah, I shouldn’t have laughed, so please excuse me.

    Pitamah, was not satisfied with her reply. He softly said, ‘Any well mannered daughter-in-law of such a great family doesn’t suddenly laugh, and that too without a reason in front of elders. I know you are extremely cultured and well mannered so your laughter cannot be without a reason. Don’t hesitate to tell me the real reason for your laughter.’

    With folded hands Draupadi said—‘Pitamah it may sound absurd and ill-mannered. But if you insist I will have no choice but to tell you, because I just cannot disobey your orders. You were just now giving rich sermons on dharma-updesh (Theology) but what came to my mind was. When Dushashan was disrobing me in Kuru-sabha (Kuru’s court) where was your dharma-updesh then? It appears to me, all this dharma-updesh that you learnt was only after the episode. With this thought in mind I couldn’t help but laugh. So, please pardon me.’

    Pitamah was stunned at this. He waited for some time and then very softly said, as he was badly injured.

    ‘Daughter there is no question of your seeking an apology because in some ways you are right. I was well conversant with dhrama-updesh during that time also. But then I was feeding myself with the polluted bread of Duryodhanya and that had polluted my mind too. That’s why in the Kuru-sabha when Dushshan was disrobing you I could not use the dharma-updesh and dharma-gyan judiciously to save you. But with all the innumerable arrows of Arjun that have pierced my body. All my polluted blood, made out of the polluted bread of Duryodhana  has drained out. With that my mind has become pure again and I’m able to think about religion and dharma-gyan in the right manner.

    Moral of the story: The source of your bread goes a long way in the making you.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

SHORT STORY: THE SIKH GURU

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

sikh flag gloom

An excerpt from the book ‘Gloom behind the Smile’

    It is amazing to see some cities and states losing people to other urban areas that are dynamic. This has also been happening across countries and continents. I guess this is how civilizations kept moving from one place to another. I was reading about a Sikh Guru. He once visited a village and stayed there for a few days and then prepared to leave. While he was leaving he blessed the village by saying ‘May you prosper by staying here only.’ Guru moved on and as night was setting in he camped in another village and stayed there for a couple of days and enjoyed their hospitality. While leaving he blessed the village by saying ‘May you prosper and move to other parts of the world.’ A keen follower.Who was watching. Asked the Guru as to why he had given two types of blessings. To his disciples in two different villages. The Guru replied that the people of the first village. Though looked after me, were not very cultured. Therefore, I blessed them. But prayed to God. That they should not move out and spread their culture. I found the second village well cultured. Therefore I wished to the Almighty. That these people should prosper and travel to other parts of the world. So that they spread the light of their sweetness and culture everywhere.

Write to us for hard copies. Or you could purchase the book online from any book store. E-book can be downloaded from Antrik.com or Pothi.com.

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