When we were kids, I don’t remember a day when we slept without hearing a story told by mom. These stories shaped us in ways that we can’t measure and still inspire us in different times..
She would read to us stories from authors of different lands, the amazing Gijubhai stories to Leo Tolstoy’s to panchtantra stories to witty Akbar Birbal ones and myriad others.. The collection of story books always kept increasing..
And now when we grow older and leave homes to pursue our goals, we tend to miss our collection of stories still lying in the cupboards at home..
Here, we begin to put some of them in our own reconstructed versions..
The Monk and the Scorpion
One day a monk was sitting on a river bank. He suddenly saw a scorpion struggling in the water. He immediately lifted it up and put him on the bank. In turn, the scorpion bit the monk. After a while, it fell into the water again and began to make frantic attempts to come out. The monk took it out of the water and put him on the soil. The scorpion but bit him. The cycle went on for a while until someone observing the scene couldn’t stand any more and came to the monk and asked “When it bites you each time you save it from drowning, why would you still lift it up?” To which the monk replied, “if I didn’t do that,then what would be the difference between me and the scorpion?”
A quite well-known story this one is and always holds relevance. We would always face situations where people and events hurt; but if we are to stay different from them, we have to keep the same sensitivity and hope towards life..no matter what…
Once in a small town somewhere, the people decided to get an idol of Buddha sculpted to place it in the center of the town. It was decided that the sculpture would be a huge one and the best people in the field would be put for the work.
A fundraising was announced by the king urging all the people to donate for the cause. After the announcement, the soldiers of the regiment started to go around collecting money.
There was a little girl in the town who also heard about the event and decided to donate the one penny that she had with her. In the following days when the soldiers arrived in her area, she went to them with all enthusiasm to give that single penny. When they saw what she had to give, they laughed out and asked to keep the penny for herself as it would hardly add anything in the total amount required. The little girl, disappointed, went back home.
All the town people donated generously and so in a couple of days, the arduous task began. Sculptors from all around the region started to work, day and night, to build the idol. A huge marvel on metal began to come up. The artists started to work on the face of the idol. All the town people eagerly waited to see how the final details were created. When the face was completed, everyone found that everything else on the idol was fine except the facial expression. The king ordered the artists to rework on the face to get the required expression. After a couple of days, when they completed it, the people still found that the face had something missing. The king disappointed with the sculptors, fired them all and invited other artisans from other kingdoms. The new set of people started to work on the face and when they completed it, everyone found that the face was hardly any better.
The king realized something was wrong and so discussed the matter with the court. He asked the members if there was any disappointing event during the entire proceedings. The ministers said that the donations came up generously and they couldn’t see anything strange. The king ordered an intense inquiry into the matter and all the soldiers involved were called and queried. The soldiers then narrated that a little girl had come to give a single penny and they did not accept it as it was too small a donation. The king ordered the soldiers to look for the girl in the town and take her donation respectfully. The soldiers then went around announcing for her. When she heard about it, she went running to them to hand over her penny. The soldiers thanked her for her contribution.
The king then asked the artists to put that penny also in the metal that was used to build the artifact, and then when the artists finished the work, Buddha’s face was serene.
Everyone in the town was happy and the little girl was praised by all and the king announced a big prize for her.
I particularly like this story because it describes the necessity & contribution of everything that exists in our environment, no matter how small or how different. Until we would respect the tiniest existence, we would lack something in the final understanding..
more stories to follow soon…