The king's challenge

There once was a king who was going to put to death many people, but before doing so he offered a challenge. 

If any of them could come up with something which would make him happy when he was sad, and sad when he was happy, he would spare their lives. All night the wise men meditated on the matter. 

In the morning they brought the king a ring. The king said that he did not see how the ring would serve to make him happy when he was sad and sad when he was happy. The wise men pointed to the inscription. When the king read it, he was so delighted that he spared them all.

The inscription read - “This too shall pass.“



(Originally, said to be a sufi legend but many versions exist. This version is from here.)

The stone soup

Long, long ago a traveler was visiting a town suffering from a famine. The town's residents try to discourage the traveler from staying the night, fearing that he is looking for food. They tell him right away that they don’t have any food at all, and that he should look elsewhere. The traveler explains with a smile that he doesn’t need any food, and that he was actually planning on making a soup large enough to feed the whole town. 




The town people watch suspiciously as he collects firewood from the nearby forest and lays it in a neat pile on the ground. They also watch carefully as he fills his cauldron with water from the stream by the town's entrance. The traveler builds a fire and places the cauldron of water over it, watching happily as it bubbles. With great confidence he reaches into his bag and pulls out a big stone, dropping it carelessly into the pot of water. He leans close to the pot and sniffs his brew, exclaiming how delicious stone soup is. The villagers are all very interested by now and one by one they check up on the bubbling cauldron.

A man walks by with hunger written on his face and stares down into the stone soup, the traveler says how delicious the soup will be if it had a little bit of cabbage; the man says he has some and runs home, returning moments later with a cabbage, which he drops into the cauldron. Later a woman walks over to the soup, she smells the cabbage and licks her lips hungrily. The traveler tells her how delicious the soup would be if it had just a little bit of carrot; the woman proudly replies that she has carrots growing in her garden and she rushes off to collect them, when she returns she drops the carrots into the soup. 

Throughout the day this episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, and of course, the big stone. Eventually the traveler takes the stone out of the soup and proclaims that the stone soup is ready. Everybody help themselves to a big serving and enjoys the soup together; they all talk about how delicious it is. Plenty of soup remained in the cauldron after the feast was over, and so the town was relieved of their famine.

Keep living. Keep rocking.

Story source : http://bit.ly/1q2lCK8
Image source : http://bit.ly/VPJX9J

It's my nature

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature..."

- An Aesop fable

Being free

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful monastery where a spiritual teacher and his disciples practised meditation. Whenever the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise, that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up.  
Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

This is a very old story on how beliefs and superstitions are made and then followed blindly for generations to come. It gets so rooted in our daily activity that it soon transforms into "our culture" and later becomes "our tradition".

Today on this Independence day, the day we got freedom from our oppressors; I wish that we free ourselves from the superstitions, beliefs and religious extremisms that has blinded us for generations. May we free ourselves from shackles and cages we have made for ourselves that segregates us into groups of color, race, religion or ethnicity.

May we be free in our minds and thoughts. Because only then, we are truly free. 


Happy Independence day !