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Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

The Story of Rose

Posted by kathavarta on December 22, 2008

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.

I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m 87 years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends.

Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk non-stop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium.

As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success.”

(1) You have to laugh and find humour every day.
(2) You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
(3) There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
(4) Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.

She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.” She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be…..YOU!!

Moral:
Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
If God brings you to it … he will bring you through it. It’s better to try and fail, than fail to try.

Source: http://hinduism.co.za
Visit www.etirth.com for more religious information.
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Honesty

Posted by kathavarta on December 20, 2008

A king in ancient times, by the name of Mahendra, was famous for his wisdom and righteousness. People in his kingdom were very happy because their great king ruled justly, and looked after the needs of his subjects.

Alas, each episode of happiness has its flipside also. The law of the opposites is relentless. Heat and cold, pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness; they revolve and put in an appearance in turn.

King Mahendra was also subject to the law of the opposites. The king had one regret. He had no children. The question about the successor to the throne was worrying the king. His ministers were becoming anxious because the king was advancing into old age and his subjects were also becoming unsure about their own future.

To solve the question about the successor to the throne, King Mahendra thought of looking for a person with good character. He announced throughout his kingdom that people were invited to the palace grounds and from amongst the people present a successor to the throne may be chosen.

People flocked to the palace on the appointed day. King Mahendra addressed the people and told them that he would hand out seeds to each person present. The seeds were to be planted and whoever brought back the best-grown and most colourful flowers would be chosen as the crown prince. A person that can take care of plants and make them prosper can also make the kingdom prosper.

The people took the seeds and went back home.

Some weeks later, people started bringing flowerpots with some amazing results. There were happy plants all over the palace grounds and the plants were displaying their bright smiles through their colourful flowers of great variety. Each pot plant was bearing the name of the owner written in big bold letters on a tag that was attached to the plant. Some of the ministers even appointed a team of judges to help select the winner on the appointed day.

One man, however, had not succeeded in growing any plant in his flowerpot. There was just the soil and not even a tiny plant in his flowerpot. When he brought his empty flowerpot to the palace grounds, people stared at him in disbelief. Some even ridiculed him. His flowerpot with no plant in it was drowned in a sea of colourful flowers. There was no plant to which he can fasten his nametag. He simply attached the tag to the side of the flowerpot.

The whole palace ground was turned into another Vrindavan
garden. There were rows upon rows of flowers of the most magnificent varieties that one ever saw and the colours were breathtaking. The judges thought amongst themselves that it would be a difficult task to choose the winner. Such was the enthusiasm of the people.

On the appointed day, the whole population turned up at the palace grounds. Speculations were rife as to which flowerpot would get chosen. The ministers looked at the judges and the judges again went into last minute consultations. The harbinger then announced the imminent arrival of his majesty, king Mahendra. There were loud cheers as the king entered the royal pavilion erected specially for this occasion. Long live the king! Long live the king! The people started singing in chorus. The king was then seated on his throne.

The king asked the ministers to brief him about the efforts of the people and the ministers told the king about the incredible variety of flowers that were brought back by the people. One minister announced to the people that his majesty had decided to walk amongst the plants to savour the wafting scents of the flowers and to behold the beauty of the colourful flowers.

Accompanied by his ministers and by the palace gardener, the king was walking and observing each flower pot and now and again made some comments about the spectacular colours and the pleasing aroma that permeated the palace grounds. Upon completing his tour, the king returned to the royal pavilion.

The final hour had arrived. The time for announcement about the successor to the throne was approaching by the minute. The king rose from his throne to address the people. There was a pin drop silence. People felt their heartbeats quicken. The expectations were very high and so were the high standards of the flowerpot entries. The ministers were looking at the judges who signalled that they were ready to announce their decision.

The king started to address the people. In a sombre tone, king Mahendra enquired about one failed entry where the flowerpot had only soil in it and asked its owner to come forward and explain to him. A man right at the back of the huge crowd raised his hand and started making his way towards the royal pavilion. He could hear people making caustic remarks about him. His ears were getting full with sarcasm and stinging words that were being tossed about by the people. An expression of timidity began to creep upon his countenance as he came face to face with his majesty, king Mahendra.

The king requested an explanation as to why his flowerpot had no plant. The man answered that he had tried his best, even adding more fertilizer and carefully watering the seeds, but that he was disappointed and sorry that he could not grow anything. The king stood up and told the people present that he had chosen his successor. It was none else than the man whose effort at growing flowering plant from the seeds that were given to him by the king was a total failure.

The people were incredulous and the ministers and the judges were dumbfounded. With a look full of puzzle on their faces, they awaited an explanation from the king. King Mahendra placed his hand upon the shoulder of the man that was chosen as his successor and spoke to the people.

The king said: I was looking for a man with character and I have found him. I had all the seeds roasted before I gave them out. This fact was kept a secret. It was not possible for any seeds to germinate. People who received the seeds from me bought other seeds for their flowerpots when they did not see any plants growing in their flowerpots. I was on the lookout for that honest person who would produce the correct results and when I saw that one flowerpot without any plant, at that moment I knew that I had found that honest man. The man with the strength of character displaying purity of heart, fearlessness, straightforwardness, truthfulness, absence of crookedness.

The people were taken aback. The ministers and the judges stood there with their heads bowed in agreement. The minds of the people were filled with wonderment and satisfaction. A sense of authority prevailed when king Mahendra bestowed the title of the crown prince upon the man whose honesty won over the hearts of the people.

The king, who was learned and full of wisdom, concluded his address by saying that he was searching for a man, who possessed the Divine Wealth (Daivy Sampat), to become his successor.

The description of this Divine Wealth is given in the first three verses of the 16th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

From the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 16.
Translated by Swami Shivananda
The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga, almsgiving, control of the senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness.
-Gita, Ch.16, verse 1.

Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of crookedness, compassion towards beings, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness.
-Gita, Ch. 16, verse 2.

Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride- these belong to the one born of a divine state, O Arjuna.
– Gita, Ch. 16, verse 3.

Source: http://hinduism.co.za
Visit http://www.etirth.com for more religious information.
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Man with an umbrella

Posted by kathavarta on December 19, 2008

Whatever is sacrificed, given or performed, and whatever austerity is practised without faith, it is called ‘asat’, O Arjuna, it is naught here or hereafter (after death).
From The Bhagavad Gita; Chapter 17, verse 28

A long time ago, there was a severe draught in certain parts of India. One village in particular was caught up right in the middle of this draught belt. The economy of this village was entirely dependent on agricultural produce. Without rains, the villagers faced a bleak future, indeed. The extreme heat of the sun had dried up the rivers and the lakes. There was hardly any water left in the wells. The people were really desperate for water.

The villagers approached the village pundit (priest) and asked him to organise a prayer-for- rain meeting in the temple. The whole village turned out at this prayer meeting. One man was among the last group of people who arrived at the temple and every body with strange quizzical looks on their faces, was looking at this one man. This man was carrying an umbrella and he was the only man who brought his umbrella to this prayer meeting. No villager was ever seen carrying an umbrella outside of the rainy seasons. To the villagers, it was as strange as seeing a housewife going everyday to the vegetable market dressed in a bride’s costume! For it seemed unconventional to carry an umbrella when there was not one rain cloud in the sky.

The prayer meeting commenced and at the end of all the rituals and ceremonies, when people were about to leave the temple, they could not hold back their curiosity about the man and his umbrella.

‘Why was he carrying the umbrella?’ the people asked.

Upon being questioned, the man with the umbrella replied:

“The Lord will provide. He gives and He takes away. The Lord will surely answer our prayers for rain and I will need the umbrella for the rains”.

The villagers laughed him off. Not one of the villagers could appreciate the absolute and sincere faith of the man with the umbrella. The scorching heat of the sun outside the temple was still fresh in their minds.

And then……..

Behold, a miracle took place. As the people were streaming out of the temple door and putting on their shoes, rain clouds appeared in the sky, the gentle breeze gave way to gusting winds, the pallor of the sky darkened and thunder and lightning heralded the coming of the rains. And a sudden downpour opened the eyes of the villagers. Their ridicule of the man with the umbrella changed to amazement, disbelief, and they now understood the intense faith of this man. All the villagers agreed that it was the sincere prayer of this one man with his total faith and devotion that the Lord simply had to answer.

Source: http://hinduism.co.za
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If I could do it, you can too!

Posted by kathavarta on December 12, 2008

I began life, literally, with nothing. Given up as an infant by my biological mother, an unmarried young woman from the small town of Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Canada, I was adopted by a poor, middle-aged couple, John and Mary Linkletter.

My adoptive father was one of the warmest men I’ve ever known, but he had absolutely no ability as a businessman. A part-time evangelical preacher, he also tried selling insurance, running a small general store and making shoes, all rather unsuccessfully. Eventually we found ourselves living in a charity home run by a local church in San Diego. Then Dad Linkletter felt called by God to become a full-time preacher, and we had even less money. And what we did have was usually shared with whatever neighborhood derelict happened to be looking for a meal.

I graduated from high school early and hit the road as a hobo at the tender age of 16 with the idea of finding my fortune. One of the first things I found, however, was the wrong end of a pistol: my traveling companion and I were held up by a couple of toughs who found us sleeping in a boxcar.

Put your hands straight out and lie flat! one of the men ordered. If this match goes out and I hear anything more I’ll shoot. As they searched our pockets and felt around our middles, I wondered if money was all they wanted. I was frightened because I had heard stories of older hobos sexually attacking young boys.

Just then, the match went out … and was hastily relit. We did not move! The thieves found $1.20 on me but missed $10.00 I had sewn into my coat lining. They also took two dollars from my friend, Denver Fox.

The match went out again and I could tell by their hesitation that they were undecided about something. As Denver and I lay there, inches apart in the darkness, I heard the hammer of the pistol click back and a cold chill ran down my back. I knew they were considering killing us. There was little risk for them. The rain hammering down on the outside of the boxcar would drown out any noise. Frozen with terror, I thought of my father and how he would have prayed for me had he known.
Suddenly fear left me and peace and calm returned. As if in response to my own restored self-assurance, they moved back toward us. Then I could feel one of the men push something against my arm.

Here’s your thirty cents, he said. Breakfast money.

Today I can look back on 45 yeas as a star of two of the longest-running shows in broadcasting history; I can reflect on the success I’ve had as a businessman, author, and lecturer; and I can be proud of my wonderful family life – 58 years with the same wife, five children, seven grandchildren, and eight great- grandchildren. I mention this not to be boastful but to encourage others who are at the lower rung of the economic ladder.

Keep in mind where I started and remember, if I could do it, you can, too! Yes – you can!

By Art Linkletter, posted on http://topmoralstories.blogspot.com, by Vikas Goyal.
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The 200th Hug

Posted by kathavarta on December 11, 2008

My father’s skin was jaundiced as he lay hooked up to monitors and intravenous tubes in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Normally a well-built man, he had lost more than 30 pounds.

My father’s illness had been diagnosed as cancer of the pancreas, one of the most malignant forms of the disease. The doctors were doing what they could but told us that he had only three to six months to live. Cancer of the pancreas does not lend itself to radiation therapy or chemotherapy, so they could offer little hope.

A few days later, when my father was sitting up in bed, I approached him and said, Dad, I feel deeply for what’s happened to you. It’s helped me to look at the ways I’ve kept my distance and to feel how much I really love you. I leaned over to give him a hug, but his shoulders and arms became tense. Come on, Dad, I really want to give you a hug.

For a moment he looked shocked. Showing affection was not our usual way of relating. I asked him to sit up some more so I could get my arms around him. Then I tried again. This time, however, he was even more tense. I could feel the old resentment starting to build up, and I began to think I don’t need this. If you want to die and leave me with the same coldness as always, go right ahead.

For years I had used every instance of my father’s resistance and rigidness to blame him, to resent him and to say to myself, See, he doesn’t care. This time, however, I thought again and realized the hug was for my benefit as well as my father’s. I wanted to express how much I cared for him no matter how hard it was for him to let me in. My father had always been very Germanic and duty-oriented; in his childhood, his parents must have taught him how to shut off his feelings in order to be a man. Letting go of my long-held desire to blame him for our distance, I was actually looking forward to the challenge of giving him more love. I said, C’mon, Dad, put your arms around me. I leaned up close to him at the edge of the bed with his arms around me. Now squeeze. That’s it. Now again, squeeze. Very good! In a sense I was showing my father how to hug, and as he squeezed, something happened. For an instant, a feeling of I love you bubbled through. For years our greeting had been a cold and formal handshake that said, Hello, how are you? Now, both he and I waited for that momentary closeness to happen again.

Yet, just at the moment when he would begin to enjoy the feelings of love, something would tighten in his upper torso and our hug would become awkward and strange. It took months before his rigidness gave way and he was able to let the emotions inside him pass through his arms to encircle me.

It was up to me to be the source of many hugs before my father initiated a hug on his own. I was not blaming him, but supporting him; after all, he was changing the habits of an entire lifetime – and that takes time. I knew we were succeeding because more and more we were relating out of care and affection.

Around the two-hundredth hug, he spontaneously said out loud, for the first time I could ever recall, I love you.

-By Harold H. Bloomfield; posted on http://topmoralstories.blogspot.com, by Vikas Goyal.
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The Fly and the Draught-Mule

Posted by kathavarta on November 30, 2008

A Fly sat on the axle-tree of a chariot, and addressing the Draught-Mule said, “How slow you are! Why do you not go faster? See if I do not prick your neck with my sting.”

The Draught-Mule replied, “I do not heed your threats; I only care for him who sits above you, and who quickens my pace with his whip, or holds me back with the reins. Away, therefore, with your insolence, for I know well when to go fast, and when to go slow.”

Moral:
Life is not just about Speed.
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