Enjoy Our Favorite Short Stories...
Told by the ancient sages and passed on from generation to generation via the oral tradition each story holds a key to unlock the mystery within. We invite you to take some time and listen deeply to allow these truths to ignite within you the remembrance of our true nature….
St. Augustine's Dream
ST. Augustine's Dream - Read the Story Here
St. Augustine after many years of studying, searching and meditation had found no inner peace.
He wanted to know the supreme consciousness so badly that he became like a mad man.
One night he had a dream in which he was walking along the sea shore. At a short distance he saw small child standing near shore. The child had a small cup in his little hand and there was intense troubled look on his face.
When Augustine got closer he asked the child what the problem was. The child told him that he was trying to scoop up the ocean with his little cup. Augustine laughed and said, “My dear child will never be able to scoop up the whole ocean with your little cup.”
The child looked at Augustine and said “How is what I am trying to do, different from what you are trying to do? Are you not also attempting to scoop up the whole of the cosmos with your little cup?!”
The child then said, “But I will show you how it can be done…” and he threw the cup into the ocean.
Augustine immediately understood and tears of joy arose within him.
The message of this story is that we cannot contain consciousness. And no matter what we do, how hard we try, whatever techniques we may use to attune our minds to consciousness; it will never be enough. As there’s nothing that can be done… Other than completely surrender deeply into That which pervades All.
The Tenth Man
The Tenth Man - Read the Story Here
Once upon a time ten men decided to cross a river and on reaching the opposite shore wanted to
make sure that all of them had in fact safely crossed the river.
One amongst them began to count but while counting others left himself out. He said “I see only nine! Sure enough we must have lost one.”
“Yet who can it be? !” he said. Another asked “Did you count correctly? !” and then proceeded to count everyone again.
But he too counted only nine. One after the other each of them counted in turn, always missing himself. “So we are only nine,” they sadly agreed. “But who is the missing one? ”
They made strenuous efforts to discover their missing friend, but had no luck. At last they agreed that whoever it is that is lost much surely have drowned. “We must have lost him” they said. And so saying they burst into tears and all were left in a pathetic condition crying by the side of the river.
Seeing them weeping on the riverbank a sympathetic woman inquired as to the cause.
They told her what had happened and said that even after counting themselves several times they could still find no more than nine.
On hearing the story, yet seeing all the ten before her, the woman guessed one must have happened. And in order to make them know for themselves that they were really ten, and that all of them had come safe from the river crossing she told them: “Let each one of you count out loud one, two, three and so on, while I give you each a slap on the face – that way all of you may be sure to have been included in the count and included only once.
The tenth missing man amongst you will then be found.
Hearing this they rejoiced at the prospect of finding their lost friend and accepted the method suggested by the woman. So the woman proceeded to give a slap on the face to each of the ten men in turn, and he that got hit counted himself out loud.
“Ten!” said the final man as he got the last slap in his turn. Bewildered they looked at one another and said “we are ten” with one voice.
They thanked the kind woman for having removed their grief.
This story is a metaphor for the path of Self-Realization. The river is a symbol of crossing from the shore of samsara to the shore of Nirvana – from crossing over from suffering into our own natural liberated state.
Yet, once there, we lapse and often forget that we have already found freedom. We forget ourselves, we get lost and we begin to feel that something is missing – that the one is missing.
We make very strenuous efforts to discover the missing one, yet no matter what we do and how much effort we make, we always forget that which is essential – our self.
The woman in this story is our teacher, who upon finding seeing our sorrow showers us with infinite compassion and helps us remove the fundamental delusion that we are under. She gives us a method, a means whereby we can know directly for ourselves that we are in reality already free.
The methods that are given aren’t always easy. And in this story it was likened to a slap to the face. Once implemented, once we take on the Sadhana or self discipline that our teacher instructs we realize directly from ourselves that nothing is missing and we have been here the entire time.
God's Holy Name
God's Holy Name - Read the Story Here
Once the great mystic Shri Ramakrishna was giving a talk on the power of God’s name. He was saying: “Do not exhaust yourself by resorting to difficult practices. Simply keep repeating the name of God and you will realize him in a very simple and natural way.”
Among the listeners in the crowd was a well known surgeon who was also a cynic. He stood up and interrupted the master midway, saying, you’ve been going on and on about the wonders of this divine name. It doesn’t make any sense to me. What’s the point of saying a word over and over and over again?! Can a man fill a stomach saying bread, bread, bread?!”
Ramakrishna who had never abused anyone in his entire life suddenly shouted aloud “Shut up you bastard and sit down!.”On hearing this the man completely lost his composure. His face got red with anger and his body began to tremble. He tried to speak but could not. Then Ramakrishna put his hands together and pleaded with him saying “Oh sir, calm down, calm down – look what has happened to you.”
The man then said, “You are asking me to be calm – after you have insulted me in front of everyone. How dare you!” Ramakrishna asked, “But what have I done?! Where is my fault? !” The man said “You dare to pretend to be ignorant – to pretend you don’t know what has happened. You called me a bastard!”
Look Ramakrishna said, I called you a bastard just once. And look how it has affected you! You have lost your composure and your body started to shake violently. I only answered your question in the manner it was put to me. I simply used one word and it has changed you completely.
When an ordinary term of abuse can produce such an effect. What makes you think that God’s holy name will have none.”
The surgeon then fell silent…