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A 'Vedanta Mission' Page

Snippits from Lists-4

(Collection of reading material from Mailing Lists)


INDEX

(Click on 'Subject' to jump to that particular Article)

No.

Subject of the Article

Source

1.

Heaven and Hell

Arjunas/Apr99/Pranjal

2.

God's plan for you !

Arjunas/May99/Richa

3.

The Carpenter

Arjunas/Apr99/Vaibhav

4.

Two Boxes

Arjunas/Apr99/Pranjal

5.

Instructions for Life

Arjunas/Apr99/Vaibhav

6.

Doubling happiness

Arjunas/May99/Vaibhav

7.

You are Valuable !

Arjunas/June99/Vaibhav

8.

Divine liveliness

Arjunas/June99/Pranjal

9.

Donít worry for Ö

Arjunas/June99/Pranjal

10.

Prayer of Being

Arjunas/June99/Pranjal

- 1 -

Heaven and Hell

A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, "Come, I will show you hell." They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.

"Come, now I will show you heaven," the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first - the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished. "I don't understand," said the man. "Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?" The Lord smiled, "Ah, it is simple" he said. "here they have learned to feed each other."

Arj/Apr99/Pranjal

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- 2 -

God's plan for you !

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day he saw a small opening in the cocoon. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further... So, the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But, it had a swollen body, and small shrivelled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly, because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It was never able to fly.

What he had done in his well intentioned kindness and haste, he did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into it's wings so that it would be ready for flight ONCE it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been...... And we could never fly....... Have a great day, a great life, and struggle a little... Remember... GOD WANT'S YOU TO FLY!

Arj/May99/Richa

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- 3 -

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created, and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.

The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past.Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

Arj/Apr99/Vaibhav

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- 4 -

Two Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes, which God gave me to hold. He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black, and all your joys in the gold."

I heeded his words, and in the two boxes both my joys and sorrows I store. But though the gold became heavier each day, the black was as light as before.With curiosity, I opened the black box I wanted to find out why and I saw, in the base of the box, a hole which my sorrows stored had fallen out.

I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud, "I wonder where my sorrows could be." He smiled a gentle smile at me.

"My child, they're all here with me." I asked, "God, why give me the boxes, why the gold, and the black with the hole?"

"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings, the black is for you to let go."

Arj/Apr99/Pranjal

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- 5 -

Instructions for Life

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Memorize your favorite poem.

3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

4. When you say, "I love you," mean it.

5. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Believe in love at first sight.

8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

11. Don't judge people by their relatives.

12. Talk slowly but think quickly.

13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Call your Mom.

16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.

19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps.

21.Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

23. Spend some time alone.

24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

26. Read more books and watch less TV.

27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.

28. Trust in God but lock your car.

29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.

30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

31. Read between the lines.

32. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

33. Be gentle with the earth.

34. Pray. There's immeasurable power in it.

35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.

36. Mind your own business.

37. Don't trust a man/woman who doesn't close his/her eyes when you kiss.

38. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.

40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.

41. Learn the rules then break some.

42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.

43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

44. Remember that your character is your destiny.

45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Arj/Apr99/Vaibhav

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- 6 -

Doubling happiness

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in is bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families,their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow.

Grand old trees graced the landscape,and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with desriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.

Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He trained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outsid this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue. . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.

Arj/May99/Vaibhav

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- 7 -

You are Valuable !

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Arj/June99/ Vaibhav

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- 8 -

Divine liveliness

I had offered to watch my 3-year-old daughter, Ramanda, so that my wife could go out with a friend. I was getting some work done while Ramanda appeared to be having a good time in the other room. No problem, I figured. But then it got a little too quiet and I yelled out, "What are you doing, Ramanda?" No response. I repeated my question and heard her say, "Oh...nothing." Nothing? What does "nothing" mean?

I got up from my desk and ran out into the living room, where upon I saw her take off down the hall. I chased her up the stairs and watched her as she made a hard left into the bedroom. I was gaining on her! She took off for the bathroom. Bad move. I had her cornered. I told her to turn around. She refused. I pulled out my big, mean, authoritative Daddy voice, "Young lady, I said turn around!"

Slowly, she turned toward me. In her hand was what was left of my wife's new lipstick. And every square inch of her face was covered with bright red (except her lips of course)! As she looked up at me with fearful eyes, lips trembling, I heard every voice that had been shouted to me as a child. "How could you...You should know better than that...How many times have you been told...What a bad thing to do..." It was just a matter of my picking out which old message I was going to use on her so that she would know what a bad girl she had been. But before I could let loose, I looked down at the sweat-shirt my wife had put on her only an hour before.

In big letters it said, "I'M A PERFECT LITTLE ANGEL!" I looked back up into her tearful eyes and instead of seeing a bad girl who didn't listen, I saw a child of God...a perfect little angel full of worth, value and a wonderful spontaneity that I had come dangerously close to shaming out of her.

"Sweetheart, you look beautiful! Let's take a picture so Mommy can see how special you look." I took the picture and thanked God that I didn't miss the opportunity to reaffirm what a perfect little angel He had given me.

Arj/June99/Pranjal

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- 9 -

Donít worry for Ö

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance; Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet to be born.

This leaves only one day, Today. Any person can fight the battle of just one day.It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternitiesYesterday and Tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad, it is theremorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time.

Arj/June99/Pranjal

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- 10 -

Prayer of Being

 

Oh Nameless One,

if I, as I, am not meant to be,

then how could I sit here writing

a prayer of thanks for my being and

for the far reach I am from dust?

My prayer only asks

that, to the sea of goodness that I feel

all around me, I might be allowed to add

my anonymous drop.

 

Today you overwhelm

my most lovingness by how strangely deep

you go into, through, and around me.

 

Waitingly, doingly, goingly, searchingly,

my heart offers back to its Source a hum

that sounds as much like a Bach Prelude

as an OM.

Arj/June99/Pranjal

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OM TAT SAT