About the Author
Sri Swami Sivananda, in his great love and compassion, left no stone unturned in order to wake up slumbering mankind. In his own time he did it through personal contact or letters, by teaching, by giving, through love and through humour. However, for those who would come after his Mahasamadhi he did it by writing books on the highest philosophical topics like the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma- sutras. But he also wrote his wisdom in stories, plays and poems: they appeal to the heart, and the truth contained therein inspires instantly and spontaneously.
This little book, ‘Philosophical Stories’, saw the light of day in 1939 and had its second edition in 1945. Now after 68 years the third edition is appearing for the joy, reflection and benefit of all of us.
You dream sometimes that you are dead and that your relatives are weeping. Even in that supposed death state, you see’ and hear them weeping. This clearly indicates that even after apparent death, life really persists. You exist even after the physical sheath is thrown out. That existence is Atma or the big I.
In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad II-4, 13, you will find: “Then by what should he see whom?” This clearly indicates that Atman is not an object of perception. It is always the knowing subject. There is neither an agent nor an object of action, nor an instrument. In the physical plane only there is the Triputi or the triad, viz., seer, sight and seen. Who can know the knower? How should one know him by whom He knows all this? You could not see the seer of sight; you could not hear the hearer of the hearing; you could not perceive the perceiver of perception; you could not know the knower of knowledge.”
Whatever you see is Bhava Padartha. Padartha means a thing. That which exists is Bhava. When you say: “It is very very big. It is very very sweet. London is a very very big city,” this”very” indicates “Abhava Padartha.” It cannot be conceived even by the mind. Brahman or the Absolute comes under the category of “Abhava Padartha” because it is infinite.
All differences are due to Upadhis or limiting adjuncts. As the limiting adjuncts are illusory or else, the differences caused by them are also false. Therefore Brahman alone who is one without a second is the balance left behind. He alone exists in the three periods of time.
You will realise that the Lord whom in ignorance you worship as separate from yourself is not far from you, is not dwelling outside. He is the Self or Atma residing in the chambers of your heart. He is the Inner Ruler.
Call it by whatever name you like, rest or peace, perfection or freedom, fullness or life or Nirvana, Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Sahaja Avastha, Kaivalya or Moksha, towards it you strive in all activities unconsciously as these transient, mundane objects do not give you full satisfaction. Every movement of the foot is towards Sat Chit Ananda Brahman. Even a rogue or a vagabond is marching towards that immortal city of Brahman though he is in a circuitous or zigzag path.
Maya and Avidya-Just as the mirror is rendered dim by a layer of dirt attaching to it so also knowledge is veiled by Avidya. Therefore all people are deluded. They cling to things unreal and mistake the body for the pure Atma. They think that this illusory world of names and forms is quite real.
Mula-Prakriti is the slumbering or latent state of the Universe, called also Maha-Sushupti when the Gunas are in a state of equilibrium. When the Gunas are disturbed, Mula-Prakriti is called by the different names of Maya, Avidya, Tamas, etc. Brahman is beginningless and endless. Maya is beginningless but she has an end. She vanishes as soon as one gets the knowledge of the Self.
Valragya-Why do you laugh in vain, friend, when you have just cause really to weep? You have wasted this life in foolish mirth and carnal pleasures. You have done various sinful acts. You have not done anything to improve your nature. You have no clear-conscience. Your heart is filled with all sorts of impurities. You have no peace of mind. Remember that all carnal pleasures will bite and sting you to death in the end.
In the Gita (Chap. XVIII-38), you will find : “The pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense organ with the object is at first like .nectar but in the end is like poison.” Open your eyes now. Do virtuous actions. Seek the company of the wise. Remember Him. Practise meditation. You will have a new glorious life.
Vairagya is purely an internal mental state. A man may remain in the world amidst luxuries, woman and riches and yet may possess perfect Vairagya; while a Sadhu who remains in a cave in Himalayas may be attached to his Kamandal, stick or a piece of cloth. Raja Janaka was a perfect dispassionate man though he ruled a kingdom. So was Raja Bhagiratha too. Queen Chudalai possessed perfect Vairagya though she ruled a dominion, while her husband who retired into the forest was intensely attached to his body and Kamandal. You cannot form a correct opinion of any Sannyasin or a householder as to his state of Vairagya or mental condition by a casual talk with him for a few hours of staying with him for a few days. You will have to live with him for a very long time and study his internal attitude. Generally people make serious mistakes. They are deluded by external appearances. They take a physically nude Sadhu for a great Mahatma in the beginning. Later on they have to change their impression after close contact. Physical nudity alone will not constitute real Vairagya. What is wanted is mental nudity i.e. complete eradication of Vasanas, Egoism, etc. Do not be deceived by external appearances. Beware.
Control The Mind-If you take pure food you will have a pure mind. Mind is formed out of the subtlest essence of food. If you have purity of mind, you will remember God or Atma. If you always remember Atma, the knots of the heart, viz, Avidya, Kama, Karma (ignorance, desire, and action) will be rent asunder. You will attain Moksha.
That form which the infinite, all-pervading Atma has assumed through its power of imagination is called mind. Mind creates and destroys. It creates the whole Universe by its power of imagination. It is the creator and enjoyer of all happiness and miseries. It is the cause for bondage and liberation. Mind is all. It is everything. It is your true friend .and bad enemy. The lower mind is your enemy. It causes various attachments. It is filled with various base desires and appetites. The highest mind is a rare friend and benefactor because it imparts true counsels in the way of obtaining the supreme goal of life. The higher mind becomes your guiding Guru. Hear its sweet, small voice and follow its instructions. The voice of the pure mind is the voice of God. It is an infallible voice. In Gita you will, find: “A man should uplift himself by his own self, so let him not weaken this Self for this self is the friend of oneself, and this Self is the enemy of oneself. The Self is the friend of the self for him who has conquered himself by the self. But to the unconquered Self the self is inimical (and behaves) like an external foe.” (Chap.VI-S-6.). There is no other vessel on this earth to wade the ocean of the lower instinctive mind.
Your character depends upon the quality of thoughts held in your mind and the mental pictures and ideals entertained by you. If your thoughts are of a base nature, you will have a bad character. If you entertain noble thoughts, sublime ideals and holy pictures, you will be a centre of joy, power and peace. If you develop the practice of cultivating sublime divine thoughts, all base thoughts will ‘perish by themselves gradually. Just as darkness cannot stand before the sun, so also, evil thoughts cannot stand before sublime thoughts.
Pundit Krishna Shastri
Lord Krishna and Sudama
The Rich and the Poor
The wise Lady
Lord Gouranga and a Leper
The Action of Yama
Honesty of a Fruit seller
A Village Munsiff
Moha or Infatuated Love
Lakshmi and Saraswati
A Kaviraj and His Son
A Practical Vedantin
Raghavan and His Wife
A Son-in law.
Two Young Yogis
Conference of Mosquitoes
A Cobbler Saint
A Shameless Man
The Youngman and the Pundit.
Two Nambudiris .
Jiva and Karmas.
Karmas and Dreams.
Story of Kali
Brahma Sutras (81)
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