Volume 10 - Issue 01
January 2011
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Posted on : Jan 27, 2012


PART-5 (51-60)

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point




The only mission Bhagawan Baba is engaged in is to raise the level of awareness of man from the mundane to the divine. And He has done this through His own life as well as His teachings. Every discourse of Baba is charged with powerful messages delivered in a manner that is simple and lucid, practical and penetrating.

Almost on every such occasion, Bhagawan begins with a poem and ends with a bhajan which is sung en masse. And the main message is conveyed through the elucidation of deep insights ably supplemented and illustrated with interesting and inspiring anecdotes; and each of these tales is fascinating and worth ruminating over repeatedly.

It is for this reason that we have culled out 85 such stories from the huge treasure of His divine discourses to present them in the form of quizzes. Here is the fifth part of this series which has 10 questions. We hope this will serve you in revisiting and reminiscing His message.


51. During a Divine Discourse given in 1997, Swami narrated a story that teaches a profound lesson:

“When the Queen was attending on King Bhoja, she noticed signs of his hair beginning to grey owing to old age and felt sad about it. But the King told her that these were the first signs which indicated that he should start preparing for his final moments.

“There are four signs from providence about what is in store for man. The first warning comes as grey hair. The next, cataract appears dimming the sight. The third message is the appearance of wrinkles. The fourth warning comes when the hands and feet begin to tremble. If all these are ignored the final end comes at the appointed time.

“Taking heed of the first warning, the king summoned his Chief Minister and told him that he was planning to go to the forest for penance, leaving the affairs of the kingdom in the ministers' charge. The moment the subjects heard about the king's decision, they declared that they would leave for the forest to do penance for securing a long life for the king. They felt that there was no use in them staying in the kingdom without their loving and lovable king. Thus the people offered penance, and the Lord appeared before them and asked what they wanted. They prayed to the Lord to bless their king with a long life. ‘So be it,’ said the Lord. The people returned to the kingdom and announced to the king with joy, the Lord's boon. The moment the Queen heard this, she sought the king's permission to go to the forest for doing penance.”

Why did the Queen want to leave for the forest?

To pray in isolation for the long life of the King!
To see if the Kingdom would miss her! 
To pray for the longevity of the Kingdom too! 
To achieve Self-Realization!

52. During a Divine Discourse given in 1998, Swami narrated a story of the great King Akbar and his wise minister Birbal:

“Birbal could always give satisfactory replies to the questions of the Emperor. Seeing how much the Emperor relied on him, other ministers and dignitaries in the court grew envious. The Commander-in-Chief of the army, who was one of this group, seized the opportunity of Birbal’s absence from the durbar hall one day and told the Emperor: ‘Your Majesty! Here we are so many of us with considerable experience. Please do consult us also. Why do you ask Birbal everything?’

“On another day, Akbar came to the audience hall and asked for Birbal. The Commander-in-Chief informed the Emperor that Birbal was away and that he was ready to answer the Emperor's questions. All others also got up and said they too were prepared to do so. Akbar got up and put the first question to the assembled dignitaries. He warned them that their answer should satisfy him.

“His first question was: In this world, which is the best flower? The Commander-in-Chief replied that the rose was the best flower. Other ministers mentioned the names of jasmine, champak, and other flowers. The Emperor was not satisfied.

“He then put a second question: Which milk is the best milk? Once again, there were a variety of answers, none of which satisfied the Emperor. He then put the third question: What is the sweetest thing in the world? Many replied: jaggery (brown sugar), honey, so on and so forth. The Emperor then passed on to the fourth question: Which leaf ranks highest among leaves? The assembled men gave different answers. Akbar was not satisfied.”

By this time, Birbal had entered the hall. Akbar then put to him the four questions. What was birbal's reply when the emperor asked him, “Which is the best flower in the world?”

The lotus.
The flower of the cotton plant.
The cactus flower
The flower of the tulsi (basil) plant.

53. During a Divine Discourse given in 1984, Swami narrated another story from the life of the great King Akbar, to emphasize to us the power of devotional singing:

“There was a great musician in Akbar's Court known as Tansen. He used to sing night and day and the music was mellifluous. Though it was perfect music, there was no deep feeling in his singing.

“One day Akbar and Tansen were going around the city. Akbar found an old man singing to himself songs in praise of God. Akbar stopped his chariot and listened to the song of the devotee, inadvertently shedding tears. His heart was deeply moved. He went some distance and told Tansen: ‘You have been singing for a long time before me and I have always found your music very sweet to the ears, but it has never moved my heart. But the music of this devotee has melted my heart. I wish to know the difference between your singing and that of this devotee!’

What was Tansen's reply to the king?

The old man had more knowledge of music than Tansen.
The old man's Guru is better than Tansen's.
Tansen sings for the King but the old man sings for God.
The old man sings devotional songs (bhajans) where as Tansen sings purely classical compositions.

54. During a Divine Discourse given in 1965, Swami narrated a story of yet another great King from India, Janaka:

“Reality can be grasped in a flash of illumination, as happened to Emperor Janaka. One evening, Janaka was in his Durbar Hall, surrounded by his courtiers and a bevy of female musicians. They sang sweet melodies and the Emperor enjoyed the music so well that he fell asleep, while on the throne. No one had the temerity to wake him up; they all quietly slipped into the inner apartments, lest their talk and movements should disturb him. He was left alone with an attendant and the queen.

“At about midnight, he screamed pitiably and woke up. His queen ran towards him; the Emperor asked her, ‘Is that real? Or is this real?’ She could not find an answer to this question, for how could she know which was 'that' and which was 'this'? The Emperor asked every one the same question; in fact, he spoke no other word. That question was continuously on his lips. News spread that Janaka had gone mad; there was mourning everywhere.

“A sage who heard of this came to the palace and was brought to the imperial presence. He assured Janaka that he will answer his question provided he told him what he saw in his dream while sleeping on the throne and why he screamed so.

“Janaka dreamt that rival kings joined forces and invaded his dominion and captured his capital and that to save himself from them he ran into a forest. Fleeing from his foes, he had no food for days together. He was too exhausted to move. But, hunger dragged him on. When he came to the outskirts of a tribal village, he saw a man washing his plate after taking food. He shouted to him asking for a few particles. The man gave him a small morsel, but, as bad luck would have it, a crow flew in at that moment and snatched it away! That was the reason why he screamed in agony. That was why he asked, ‘Is that real? Or is this real?’

What did the sage tell the king on hearing his dream and when he repeated the question?

55. During a Divine Discourse given in 1991, Swami narrated a story which reveals, what one needs to obtain a vision of God:

“King Vikramaditya was once going round his country incognito to find out what the people were doing. He noticed an old Brahmin performing a yajna (fire-sacrifice). Apparently as the yajna had been performed over many years, a huge mound of ash had come up near the sacrificial fireplace. Questioned by Vikramaditya about his sacrifice, the old Brahmin replied: "I have been performing a yajna for the past 60 years. This mound you see is the accumulated ash from the yajna. Though I have been ceaselessly performing this yajna, I have not yet had a vision of the Yajna-Purusha (the Lord of the Sacrifice)."

“Vikramaditya was deeply moved by the anguished utterance of the old man. He sat in meditation himself and performed a severe penance. Despite this, he too could not have a vision of the Yajna-Purusha. He felt: ‘Of what use is all the penance I have performed? If I cannot get the grace of the Lord, what use is there in living?’

“Thinking in this way, he drew out his sword from inside his cloak and decided to end his purposeless existence. Addressing mentally the Yajna-Purusha, he said: ‘If You will not appear before me, I am offering my life to You.’

“As he raised his sword to offer his head, the Yajna-Purusha appeared before him and seized the sword from the king's hand.”

After stopping Vikramaditya from giving up his life, what did the deity tell the king?



56. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1964, Swami narrated a short story to point out the pitiful state of man:

“There was a king who had an abiding faith in astrology. So when his son was born on a day when the Moola Nakshathra (Star) was in the ascendant, he feared that the child would bring calamity to the line; he therefore asked his soldiers to slay the infant and throw the carcass in the jungle. The servants were so overcome by pity that, instead of killing the child, they just cast it away in the jungle and returned.

“The child was discovered by a washerman who fostered it for many years. The boy was engaged in watching the clothes spread out to dry, when one day, the king lost his way and strayed into the village where the washerman lived with the prince. While resting there, the king discovered that the boy who watched the clothes was his own son. He took him back and crowned him Yuvaraaja.”

Swami went on to say: “You are all in the same plight!” What was Swami referring to?

57. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1963, Swami narrated a story to reveal how we can earn God’s vision:

“A great painter once came to a prince and offered to do a fresco on the palace wall; behind him came another, who declared that he would paint on the wall opposite, the very same painting the first one drew, even if a curtain hid it from view and even if he was not told the subject of the fresco! Both were commissioned to the tasks they had accepted.

“The second man finished his work; at the very moment the first one announced that he had completed the task! The prince arrived in the hall, where a thick curtain partitioned off the two artists and their paintings. He saw the fresco and admired it very much. Then he ordered that the curtain be removed, and lo, on the wall facing the fresco, there was an exact replica of the picture that the first man had so laboriously painted!

“It was exact because he had polished the wall and made it a fine big mirror!”

What is the lesson Swami was driving home through this story?

58. During a Divine Discourse given in 1964, Swami narrated this story that offers a subtle but important message:

A raja (king) was out hunting in the forest and while pursuing a deer, he went too far and discovered that his retinue was left behind. He lost his way and was overcome by hunger and thirst. At last he saw a tiny hut where lived a poor woodcutter and his wife making a living selling fuel in the distant villages. Their larder was almost empty, but the wife managed to bring out a roti (Indian wheat bread), which the king ate with avidity. He had never known such taste, for he was never so hungry as then. And he slept soundly that noon as he was very tired. By that time, the courtiers and soldiers came to where he was and the astounded woodcutter learnt that his guest was no less a person than the monarch of the realm. He apologized for the poor fare he offered, though the king never uttered a harsh word.

“Next day, a man came from the capital to take him to the court and the poor fellow was certain that he was going to be punished for insulting the ruler. His wife accompanied him, for she offered to share the misery with her husband. The king gave him a seat and insisted upon his sitting, an honour that the woodcutter knew was usually given to animals that were about to be sacrificed. He and his wife were fed nicely, another honour that such animals usually get.

“Then the king asked him what boon he would ask from him, and the terrified man could ask for only this: ‘Please allow me to go home alive, with my wife! Please do not cut off my head’. The king said, ‘I am not an ungrateful person to treat you so cruelly. If I give you an estate you will ruin it, for you are unaware of agriculture. If I give riches, thieves will carry it away, for you live alone in the jungle. Well, I shall give you a sandalwood plantation in that forest, thirty acres in extent. Make good use of it and prosper.’ The woodcutter felt relieved and he went away into the woods.

“After about six months, the king went to the forest again for a hunt and remembering the bread, he went in search of the woodcutter. He found him quite happy for he said that he had started selling charcoal instead of fuel.”

According to Swami, how is man’s plight similar to that of the woodcutter?



59. During a Divine Discourse given in 1968, Swami narrated a story of a king who reveled in self-glory:

“Once there was a Sultan, who heard of the Mahabharata, which the Hindus revere as the fifth Veda; he commissioned a Hindu poet of his kingdom to write a Mahabharata, with him as the hero who wins the empire back. He threatened the poet with dire punishment if he did not complete it within a stipulated time.

“The poet had to agree; but he pretended he was at it, and told the Sultan that he himself is being portrayed as the eldest of the Pandava brothers and the other 'four brothers' were his viziers. He said that in the Mahabharata he was writing, the enemies of the Sultan were the Kauravas. This made the Sultan very happy and he became impatient to read the epic as soon as it was finished. The poet however, delayed for long.

“One day when asked the reason, the poet told the Sultan, ‘Your Majesty! I am awaiting clarification of one simple matter from you; it is giving me a lot of trouble. The queen is, in my epic, the counterpart of the queen of the eldest of the Pandavas; this is as it should be, since you are eldest of the five heroic brothers. But, in the original Mahabharata, she is the wife of all the brothers. In my poem, your viziers are those brothers; they are allotted those roles in this new version. Now, shall I depict the queen as the wife of the viziers also, or...’

“The Sultan did not wait to hear the rest; he threw the entire project overboard and sent the poet way.”

After narrating this small humorous story, Swami went on to explain the symbolism behind these characters - the five brothers and their wife. Swami says: “The five brothers are the five praanaas (vital airs) in the human body and all of them constitute one entity; and Draupadi who according to the Mahabharata is born of fire, is __________”



60. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1999, Swami narrated this short story which is pregnant with a great wisdom:

“Once a king who had no children did penance. God manifested before him and asked him what he wished for. The king said, ‘Lord, I want to see my great grandson ruling the kingdom.’

“How many desires are contained in one desire! He should have children. His children should also beget children. The kingdom should be under his control till his great grandson grows up and rules over it. His eyesight should be intact to watch this progress. This single desire expressed by him contains all the other desires. Likewise, if you pray to God for love, all your worldly desires too will be fulfilled.”

Swami then when on to teach us a formula to win the love and grace of God! He said, “Pray to God for ______and ______ .”


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.


- Heart2Heart Team


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