Spiritual Stories

The Lotus And The Pond...

A grey bearded old man and a young man were observing the blooming of a lotus, sitting on a shore of a silent pond, when a young man interrupted the silence.

“Master, why the meaning of life is hidden from us? We meditate trying to understand the logic of things happening around us, we see separate parts and we are aware of their interrelations. But all of our efforts appear to be vain when a new component appears, destroying all of the previous logical constructions.”

“The meaning of life,” the teacher reluctantly turned his eyes from the flower, “can only be understood by someone whose mind isn’t clouded with earthly troubles, wishes and passions. Only new-borns are close to that state. The essence of a new-born reminds a lotus, soaring on the unshakable stillness of the pond. The surface of their soul isn’t touched by the wind of aspirations, the rain of attachments, the snow of grievance, and the ice of loss. Their moistness isn’t dried by fears, malodorous bubbles of fear don’t take to the surface the slime from the bottom, their shores are empty, and the forest by the shore doesn’t defile the child’s clean water with fallen leaves, branches and needles. And later the World appears, with all of its meaningless worldliness. On the shores of the pond an impenetrable thicket of teachers grows up, mentors, friends, enemies, lovers, children, relatives. Constantly, the surface of the water becomes inseparable from the thick garbage on the shore. Every word, every moral, every kiss, every punch or kindness, every our influence disturbs the untouched soul of a child, making him to grow up and go further and further from the understanding of the meaning of life.”

“But we can’t get rid of all of this,” the student shouted out heatedly. “We are people! Our life consists of the course of these actions, this coil, the boiling of these passions and wishes! Or are you asking people to become ferns?!!”

“You’ve understood everything right, my boy,” a light smile touched the lips of the old man. “You want to search for the meaning of life? Search for it. But to do that, you will need to refuse every carnal wish, attachment and feeling, become the grass, the fern, go live in the temple, become a hermit, rip all of the ties that join you with worldly troubles and passions, and then, possibly, you will be able to go back to the beginning. But what all of this is for? Is the search worth it? Ask yourself this question and if the answer will be negative, remain the person between the people.”

The teacher turned his eyes towards the lotus again and finished, “And about the meaning of life you will always be able to talk with friends, while sitting in the shade of your home terrace, listening to the cheerful laughter of children, and drinking green aroma tea, that your loving wife brings you.”

Once a student came to a wise sage and asked...

Once a student came to a wise sage and asked:

— What else do people lack to make the world better?

— They lack things that they do not ask about, — he answered. And, seeing the perplexity of a person who asked the question, explained:

— What people ask God for? Happiness, wealth, love, even talent – for the sake of success and fame. But did you hear that someone asked to make him smarter or kinder?

The student thought and shook his head.

— That‘s it! — The sage said regretfully. — Everyone consider himself sufficiently intelligent and kind, willing himself entirely different. And so the world does not become any smarter and kinder.

Leaving, the student repeated himself: “Good mind – that‘s what people do not think to ask for that the world would become better.”

But the thought to start from himself did not occur to him.

The sage, after travelling a half of his life...

The sage, after travelling a half of his life and being an advisor of the king, has retired and prayed, preparing to stand before God. But still he communicated with students, who were allowed to ask him the trickiest questions.
So, he was asked:
— Why the Creator does not let people make a paradise on the earth during their lifetime?
— If they could, they would do it, — was his answer.
But his student continued asking:
— It comes so that people cannot be better? But it‘s all in God‘s hands, isn‘t it? And he wishes his children to joy him. How it can be?
The sage looked at him, smiled and asked:
— Do you want to say that God can do nothing with us and ask to give him an advice?
The student bowed his head silently.
The sage said:
— Isn’t it better to start from your own? Do not think about people too much, remember about yourself. Everyone will have to answer for his own.

One day a young man asked his Master, “I fear death. How can I get rid of this fear?”...

One day a young man asked his Master, “I fear death. How can I get rid of this fear?”

“Tell me,” the old man answered, “When you borrow a few coins, are you afraid to give them later back?”

“Of course not,” the student answered with surprise, “but what does this have to do with my fear?”

The teacher picked up a small piece of soil from the ground and continued, “You have received your body in debt with required return. And every bite of bread eaten by you, every sip of water drank by you increases that debt. You are made from dust on which you walk and the ground is your main creditor, constantly reminding you of this debt. It is pulling you down towards it. In the end, the ground will swallow you whole, without any remains.”

The old man threw the soil into the air, after attaining its fall, he finished, “No matter how high you rise, how long you are in the flight, you will still need to fall down. That is given. And to cope with the fear of this fall is very easy – stop thinking about yourself as the master of your body. Face the thought that you are just a tenant. And because you don’t know the length of your rent, remember that it can end at any second. We are all debtors, and our debts will certainly be recovered, no matter if we are afraid of it or not. So is there a point of being afraid?”

A young man was looking for a wise man who could...

A young man was looking for a wise man who could help to find answers to his question about life and God. He met lots of people, but neither of them could answer him. One day, he met a Muslim scientist and asked him these questions:
The first question was: Is there God? And if there is, show me his outlines.
The second one: What is destiny?
And the third one: If Devil is made from fire and he is placed in hell where everything is made from fire, he won’t feel pain, will he?
Suddenly, the scientist slapped him in the face. The young man was confused by this action and asked:
– Why did you get mad at me?
Scientist answered:
– I didn’t get mad; it was the answer to your question!
– How is it so?
– What did you feel when I hit you in the face?
– I felt pain, of course!
– That means you believe that pain exists?
– Yes!
– Then show me its outline?
– I can’t!
– It’s the answer to your first question. Tell me now, did you see yesterday in your dream that I would slap you in the face?
– No.
– Did you ever think that you will be slapped by me today?
– No.
– That’s destiny. What is covering my hand that hit you in the face?
– Skin.
– And your face?
– Skin.
– Did you feel pain?
– Yes, very much!
– It’s the answer to your third question.

A university professor asked his students a question...

A university professor asked his students a question:

– Does everything that exist was created by God?

One student answered bravely:

– Yes, created by God.

– Did God create everything? – asked the professor.

– Yes, Sir, – the student answered.

Professor said:

– If God created everything, that means that God created evil, because it exists. And according to this principal, the things we do determine who we are, that means – God is evil.

The student got quiet after hearing that answer. Professor was very happy with himself. He boasted to the students, that he proved once again that God is a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said:

– Can I ask you a question, professor?

– Of course, – professor answered.

The student got up and asked:

– Professor, does cold exist?

– Of course it exists. Didn’t you ever get cold?

Students laughed at the question of the young man. The young man answered:

– Actually, Sir, cold doesn’t exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider to be cold truthfully is the absence of heat. You can study a person or a thing according to its ability to transfer energy. An absolute zero (-460 degrees according to Fahrenheit) is a complete absence of heat. The whole substance becomes inert and unable to react in that temperature. Cold doesn’t exist. We created that word to describe what we feel at the absence of heat.

The student continued:

– Professor, does the darkness exist?

– Of course it exists.

– You are wrong again, Sir. The darkness also doesn’t exist. Darkness is actually the absence of light. We can study the light, but not the darkness. We can use the prism of Newton to expand the white light into many colours and study the different lengths of the waves of each colour. You can’t measure the darkness. A simple ray of light can burst into the world of darkness and light it up. How can you find out, how dark is some kind of a space? You measure the quantity of light submitted. Isn’t it? Darkness is an understanding which people use to describe something that happens in the absence of light.

Finally, the young man asked the professor:

– Sir, does evil exist?

The professor timidly answered:

– Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. Cruelty among the people, lots of crimes and violence around the world. These examples are nothing other than the manifestations of evil.

The student answered to this:

– Evil doesn’t exist, Sir, at least, it doesn’t exist for itself. Evil – is just an absence of God. It is similar to darkness and cold, created by people, to describe the absence of God. God didn’t create evil. Evil is not the faith or love, which exists like light and heat. Evil – is the result of absence of Godly love in a human heart. It’s like the cold, which comes when there is no heat, or like the darkness, which comes when there is no light.

These words left the professor speechless.

 

One day a samurai came to...

One day a samurai came to Dzen Master Hakuin and asked:

– Where is paradise? Where is hell? And where are the gates of heaven and hell?

Samurai knew only two things: life and death. He did not have any philosophy, he just wanted to know where were the gates – to escape hell and go to heaven.

– Who are you? – Hakuin asked.

– I’m the leader of samurais – the warrior replied – and the Emperor pays a tribute to me.

Hakuin laughed and said:

– Are you really the leader of samurais? You look like some poor raga-muffin!

Samurai’s pride was hurt. He forgot why he had come for, whipped out his sword and was going to kill Hakuin. And Hakuin laughed again and said:

– This is the gate of hell. With a sword, being in anger, with your ego you will open it.

Samurai realized that idea, calmed dawn and sheathed his sword. And Hakuin continued:

– And now, when you calmed down, you open the gate of heaven.

Heaven and hell are inside you. And the gates are inside you. If you are not conscious, this is the gate of hell. If you are vigilant and conscious, this is the gate of heaven. But people continue to think that heaven and hell are somewhere outside. Heaven and hell are not after life, they are here and now. And the gates are always open. At any moment you make your choice between heaven and hell.

One man complained that his life is...

One man complained that his life is too hard for him. He came to God, told him about his troubles, and asked:
– Can I choose another cross for myself?
God looked at him smiling, took him to the store of crosses and said:
– Choose…
A man came into the store, looked around, and was surprised: There is such a great variety of crosses – little, big, medium, heavy and light.
A man was walking by the store for a long time looking for the littlest and lightest cross and finally found it, then came to God and asked:
– May I take this one?
– Yes, you may, – answered God. – It is your own cross.

Someone asked a wise man Ho: – Is it worth praying?...

Someone asked a wise man Ho:

– Is it worth praying?

The wise man answered:

– Do not ask such questions. You pray, when there is nothing else left. But if you do pray, it should not be when you need something. You should try doing it on your own. And after that it is worth helping God by taking some burden off him.

– And what is the best way to pray? What words to use? – The person said.

– I think, it is better to pray from the bottom of your heart, it will tell you the words, – Ho answered, – But can I ask you something?

The person got surprised but didn’t object.

– Why people ask: Is it necessary to pray and how?, but no one asks: About whom?.

– Strange, – even more surprised the person said, – it is obvious that about themselves or about their closest people. And you, about whom do you pray?

Ho looked at him and said:

– Really, it seems strange. Many years ago I knew a monk. He prayed to Almighty about the Almighty, to support him. He did not hide it, but he was considered a madman- even among his fellows. He told me: “Everyone else prays to him about themselves, but who will ask the same about him?” The person was confused. He looked at the wise man not daring to utter anything.

– I do not know if that monk is still alive, that is why I use his prayer, – Ho explained.

The person didn’t ask anything else.

Someone asked a wise man...

Someone asked a wise man:
– It is said that everyone’s destiny is determined.
The wise man nodded:
– Yes. For those who believe in it. If they think so, they believe that the circumstances of life are inevitable, consciously submitting to them and to those who created them. But there are people who do not believe in predestination, preferring to be the predestination of others.
The one who asked grunted sceptically:
– And how would then God know everything beforehand if there was no predestination? – And triumphantly looked at the wise man.
He simply raised his hands:
– I don’t know about God… He did not instruct me to answer on his behalf. But if I were him, I would be extremely bored knowing everything beforehand; it would be the same as you would be playing giveaway with yourself. I would most likely come up with a game, that would entertain me endlessly, and I would never know what the next move will be.

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