^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ SYMBOLS OF TWELVE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^





9. FIRM FAITH [POSTED ON 13.11.10]

10. POWER OF FAITH [POSTED ON 13.11.10]:




Some cowherd boys used to tend their cows in a meadow where a terrible poisonous snake lived. Everyone was on the alert for fear of it.

One day a brahmachari was going along the meadow. The boys ran to him and said: 'Revered sir, please don't go that way. A venomous snake lives over there.' 'What of it, my good children?' said the brahmachari. 'I am not afraid of the snake. I know some mantras.' So saying, he continued on his way along the meadow. But the cowherd boys, being afraid, did not accompany him.

In the mean time the snake moved swiftly toward him with upraised hood. As soon as it came near, he recited a mantra, and the snake lay at his feet like an earthworm. The brahmachari said: 'Look here. Why do you go about doing harm? Come, I will give you a holy word. By repeating it you will learn to love God. Ultimately you will realize Him and so get rid of your violent nature.' Saying this, he taught the snake a holy word and initiated him into spiritual life. The snake bowed before the teacher and said, 'Revered sir, how shall I practise spiritual discipline?' 'Repeat that sacred word', said the teacher, 'and do no harm to anybody'. As he was about to depart, the brahmachari said, 'I shall see you again.'
Some days passed and the cowherd boys noticed that the snake would not bite. They threw stones at it. Still it showed no anger; it behaved as if it were an earthworm. One day one of the boys came close to it, caught it by the tail, and, whirling it round and round, dashed it again and again on the ground and threw it away. The snake vomited blood and became unconscious. It was stunned. It could not move. So, thinking it dead, the boys went their way.
Late at night the snake regained consciousness. Slowly and with great difficulty it dragged itself into its hole; its bones were broken and it could scarcely move. Many days passed. The snake became a mere skeleton covered with a skin. Now and then, at night, it would come out in search of food. For fear of the boys it would not leave its hole during the day-time. Since receiving the sacred word from the teacher, it had given up doing harm to others. It maintained its life on dirt, leaves, or the fruit that dropped from the trees.

About a year later the brahmachari came that way again and asked after the snake. The cowherd boys told him that it was dead. But he couldn't believe them. He knew that the snake would not die before attaining the fruit of the holy word with which it had been initiated. He found his way to the place and, searching here and there, called it by the name he had given it. Hearing the teacher's voice, it came out of its hole and bowed before him with great reverence. 'How are you?' asked the brahmachari. 'I am well, sir', replied the snake. 'But', the teacher asked, 'why are you so thin?' The snake replied: 'Revered sir, you ordered me not to harm any body. So I have been living only on leaves and fruit. Perhaps that has made me thinner.' The snake had developed the quality of sattva; it could not be angry with anyone. It had totally forgotten that the cowherd boys had almost killed it.

"The brahmachari said: 'It can't be mere want of food that has reduced you to this state. There must be some other reason. Think a little.' Then the snake remembered that the boys had dashed it against the ground. It said: 'Yes, revered sir, now I remember. The boys one day dashed me violently against the ground. They are ignorant, after all. They didn't realize what a great change had come over my mind. How could they know I wouldn't bite or harm anyone?' The brahmachari exclaimed: 'What a shame! You are such a fool! You don't know how to protect yourself. I asked you not to bite, but I didn't forbid you to hiss. Why didn't you scare them by hissing?'

So you must hiss at wicked people. You must frighten them lest they should do you harm. But never inject your venom into them. One must not injure others.

SOURCE: ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’


10. POWER OF FAITH [posted on 13.11.10]

A man was about to cross the sea from Ceylon to India. Bibhishana said to him: ‘Tie this thing in a corner of your wearing – cloth, and you will cross the sea safely. You will be able to walk on the water. But be sure not to examine it, or you will sink.’ The man was walking easily on the water of the sea – such is the strength of faith – when, having gone part of the way, he thought, ‘What is this wonderful thing Bibhishana has given me, that I can walk even on the water?’ he untied the knot and found only a leaf with the name of Rama on it. ‘Oh, just this!’ he thought, and instantly he sank.

SOURCE: ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’


9. FIRM FAITH [POSTED ON 13.11.10]

A Brahmin used to worship his family Deity with food offerings. One day he had to go away on business. As he was about to leave the house, he said to his young son: ‘Give the offering to the Deity today. See that God is fed.’
The boy offered food in the shrine, but the image remained silent on the altar. It would neither talk nor eat. The boy waited a long time, but still the image did not move. But the boy firmly believed that God would come down from the His throne, sit on the floor, and partake of the food. Again and again he prayed to the Deity, saying: ‘O Lord, come down and eat the food. It is already late. I cannot sit here any longer.’ But the image did not utter a word. The boy burst into tears and cried: ‘O Lord, my father asked me to feed You. Why won’t You come down? Why won’t You eat from my hands?’ The boy wept for some with a longing soul. At last the Deity, smiling, came down from the altar and sat before the meal and ate it.

After feeding the Deity, the boy came out of the shrine room. His relatives said: ‘The boy replied innocently, ‘Why, God has eaten the food.’ They entered the shrine and were speechless with wonder to see that the Deity had really eaten every bit of the offering.”

SOURCE: ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’


8. CHILDLIKE FAITH [Posted on 13.11.10]

A boy named Jatila lived with his mother near a forest. He used to walk to school through the woods, and the journey frightened him. One day he told his mother of his fear. She replied: ‘Why should you be afraid? Call Madhusudana (a name of Sri Krishna).’ ‘Mother,’ asked the boy, who is Madhusudana?’ The mother said, ‘He is your Elder Brother.’
One day after this, when the boy again felt afraid in the woods, he cried out, ‘O Brother Madhusudana!’ But there was no response. He began to weep aloud: ‘Where are You, Brother Madhusudana? Come to me. I am afraid.’ Then God could no longer stay away. He appeared before the boy and said: ‘Here I am. Why are you frightened?’ and so saying He took the boy out of the woods and showed him the way to school. When He took leave of the boy, God said: I will come whenever you call Me. Do not afraid.’
One must have childlike faith and intense yearning to attain God.

SOURCE:’ The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’


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