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Short Stories


Ahalya a the most beautiful, and all the Devas, including Indra had wanted to marry her. Ahalya was married to Gautama Maharishi by Brahma. Later, Indra tricked Ahalya by appearing in the form of her husband Gautama, but was caught by the husband. Gautama cursed Indra, and turned Ahalya into a stone. After this Gautama left the hermitage. Years later, when Rama and Lakshmana were going to Mithilapuri with Sage Vishwamitra, Rama touched the stone with his foot, and the stone changed into the beautiful and pure Ahalya.



The Virtues, who are usually dispersed throughout the worlds, meet in the Hall of Intelligence within the precincts of the palace of Truth. There is Sincerity with a "'Cube of the purest Crystal through which things could be seen as they were", and many other guests who have already gathered, among them Humility, Courage, Prudence, Charity, Justice, Kindness and Patience. Last comes a guest who seems , to be a stranger to the assembled Virtues: She was, indeed, very young and frail, dressed in a white robe, very simple, almost poor. She came forward a few steps with a timid, embarassed air. Then, obviously at a loss on finding herself in the midst of such a crowded and brilliant company, she stopped, not knowing towards whom to go. " At last Prudence turns towards the shy guest and asks her for her credentials. The unrecognized Virtue answers with a sign " Alas! I am not astonished that I seem a foreigner in this palace. I am so seldom invited anywhere. My name is Gratitude."


Narada, the Rishi and the Bhakta 

Narada who was going to heaven to meet the Lord. When he was passing through the jungle, he met a rishi who was meditating. He said, "Where are you going, Narada?" Narada said, "I am going to heaven to see the Lord." So the rishi said, "Please find out how many births I have to take before I am liberated." Narada said, "Okay, I will do it." Some distance later he found a bhakta who said, "Narada, please find out when I will be liberated." After some time Narada returned. The rishi asked, "Have you brought my answer?" He said, "Yes, you have two more births." "I have done so much tapasya, I have meditated so many years, I have been devoted and yet I have to live two more?" the rishi said in despair. Then Narada came to the Bhakta who asked him, "Narada, what about my answer?" He said, "You have to live as many lives as there are leaves on this neem tree before you are liberated." The man said, "That is all?" and he was dancing with joy. And a voice from above said, "You are liberated this instant."


The Arab and his Camel

One day an Arab was crossing the desert on his camel. Night came and the Arab put up his tent and tied the camel to it. The Arab went to sleep in the text. As it grew cold, the camel asked the Arab if it could just put its nose in the tent to keep warm. The Arab agreed and the camel put its nose in. After a while, the camel asked the Arab if it could just put its fore legs in because they were very cold. The Arab reluctantly agreed. Later in the night, the camel asked the Arab again if it could put in its hind legs inside. Before the Arab could reply, the camel was inside the tent, and the Arab found himself kicked out.



A Pandyan king announced a prize of one thousand gold coins for anyone who could compose the best poem according to the highest standards of literary composition prevailing at that time. A poor poet Dharmi prayed to Lord Shiva, who in turn gave him a poem to be taken to the Pandyan king. When the poem was read before the king, the court poet Nakkeeran found fault with a particular line in that poem. This saddened the poet Dharmi because it was an insult to Lord Shiva. Consequently Lord Shiva himself came and appeared and supported the correctness of Dharmi’s thought and diction. But Nakkeeran maintained his stand. Lord Shiva threatened to annihilate Nakkeeran by opening his third eye, but Nakkeeran firmly asserted that a mistake was a mistake, even if it was committed by the Lord. Eventually, he suffered the consequence of his arrogance and got rid of his incurable ailment after undertaking a pilgrimage to Mount Kailasa.


The Saint, the Crane and the Housewife

Konganavar was a religious man who did great penance and acquired great powers. One day, while he was meditating, a crane was sitting on a branch abover his head and its droppings fell on his lap. Enraged at being disturbed in his prayers, he looked at the bird, which immediately started to burn. His very look burned the bird.

It was customary for Konkanavar to beg for food. On the day he burnt the crane, he decided to visit the house of the poet Thiruvalluvar. The poet's wife Vasuki was serving her husband when the Sage arrived. On hearing Konganavar call for alms, she called out to him to wait until she had served her husband. Konganavar was annoyed at the delay. He thought to himself, “If only the poor lady knew that I am a great saint and have the power to burn a bird by merely looking at it, she would not keep me waiting”. When Vasuki finally came out, Vasuki said, “Oh Konganavar, do not think I am a like the bird you burnt today”. Konganavar was amazed. The incident had occurred deep in the forest and no one had witnessed it. Yet Vasuki knew about it. He bowed humbly before her and asked her how she knew. She said “Go to the house of the butcher, who lives down the road, and he will enlighten you”. The sage immediately did so. The butcher was bathing his old and blind parents and hence could not give the saint his immediate attention. But this time Konganavar`s curiousity was so great that he waited without getting annoyed .

After serving his parents the butcher brought food for the saint and said, “Oh holy man, please eat my humble food and I shall tell you why the wife of the poet asked you to see me”.

Normally, Konganavar would not have had anything to do with a butcher, but now he was willing to do anything to get at the truth behind the extraordinary powers of an ordinary housewife and a butcher. After a good dinner, Konganavar asked him, “Please tell me the secret of the powers that you and the poet`s wife have”. The man replied, “We have no extraordinary powers. We say what we feel, and we feel for others as much as we feel for ourselves. We carry out our duties to the best of our abilities. There is nothing more than that”. On hearing this Konganavar bowed down low in reverence to the butcher and said, “Teacher, you have enlightened me, I shall always be grateful to you”.


Beautiful stories. Really

Beautiful stories. Really enjoyed reading them.

The ones on Gratitude, Narada & Konganavar were very touching.

Thanks for sharing the stories!!

book | by Dr. Radut