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Table of Contents:
Story 1: A Lesson in Geometry Story 2: The Exploded Frog Story 3: Golden Stone-pot Story 4: Yes, No, Very Good Story 5: Honey and the Foolish Bumblebee Story 6: Seeing the Sun at Night Story 7: Family for the Gita Story 8: "There Runs a Thief" Story 9: "All Glories to Balam Rice and Cow Ghee!" Story 10: Lalu and Kalu Story 11: Rowing Along the Wind Story 12: Kite Play from an Unwalled Roof Story 13: Physician's Knife Story 14: "Kastvam, Khastvam" Story 15: A Frog's Half-rupee Coin Story 16: Prudence of a Woodcutter Story 17: The Boatman's Dreaming Story 18: Any Pleasure and Sacrifice in Devotion? Story 19: Naked Penco Story 20: The Wise Old Monkey Story 21: Cracking Nuts with a Saligram Story 22: Dr. Frog's Thesis Story 23: Fisticuffs to the Sky Story 24: Half-young and Half-old Fallacy Story 25: Mercy for the Earnest Only Story 26: Popcorn Bondage Story 27: Fallacy of Custom Story 28: Blind Following Fallacy Story 29: The Blind Man and the Elephant Story 30: Blind Man Led by a Cow's Tail Story 31: The Right Whip for the Right Dog Story 32: The Ancestral Draw-well Story 33: "B-B", "M-A" Story 34: "Who's in the Deity Room?" --I Didn't Steal Banana!" Story 35: How Bhagavan Became a Ghost Story 36: "I'll Cross When the River is Dry" Story 37: Safety in Swimming Story 38: Garbage In, Garbage Out Story 39: Blacksmith and Potter Story 40: The Idiot Gardener and the Silly Pandit Story 41: "Open the Door to get Light on Your Floor!" Story 42: How Often does a Shaved Head Visit a Wood-apple Tree? Story 43: Broken-cot Renunciation Story 44: The Flying Popcorn Offering Story 45: Spitting Upward Story 46: Cutting One's Own Nose to Spoil Another's Journey Story 47: Hellish Pandemonium Story 48: Doing Sums for Teacher Story 49: Golden, Silver and Iron Shackles Story 50: The Pauper and the Omniscient Sage
A poor widow was trying to educate her young son despite their meager existence, for he was her only future. By borrowing money she had managed to send him through grammar school. Now she hired a tutor to teach her boy higher studies.
The teacher began with a lesson in geometry. From the next room the mother heard him say to her son, "Let ABC be a triangle.."
Very upset, the woman burst in and stopped the man. She then upbraided him, crying, "You are wasting my time and money! I demand that you leave my house and never return." The tutor, shocked, asked why.
"You advertise yourself as a teacher of higher studies, but you are only giving lessons on ABC. My boy learned his ABCs long ago. Now go! You are fit only for teaching primary school." Seeing that the woman was adamant, the man quietly left.
Similarly, materialists attempt to denigrate the teachings of bhakti by arguing that the root of human ills is servitude. They aspire to become masters of this world, and cannot under- stand why they must revert to servitude even after liberation. Servitude is the condition of ignorance and illusion, they believe. Bhakti is the cultivation of a slave mentality that is unworthy of human aspirations. Liberation means the end of service and the realization that I am Brahman.
But devotees know that devotion or service is the eternal function of all living beings. But realization of eternality through service must be cultivated in stages known as sadhana bhakti, bhava bhakti and prema bhakti. This advancement of devotional consciousness may be compared with advancement in the use of the alphabet. Just as it is that from grade school to post-graduate studies the alphabet remains the basic medium of all learning, so from sadhana to prema bhakti yoga, service remains the medium of progress in God consciousness.
The proposal of the impersonalist, that at the higher stage service is dispensed with, is comparable to a student's rejecting the alphabet upon his graduation from the upper class. For a man to go through years of education only to renounce reading and writing the alpabet at the end would be ludicrous. In the same way, impersonalists who reject devotion at the last stage make a mockery of the whole path of spiritual advancement given in the Vedic scriptures.
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