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Monday, December 7, 2009

I want You to Need Me - by Celine Dion

video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxk7HeYfaaQ&feature=related

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hansel and Gretel

HANSEL & GRETEL

Once upon a time a very poor woodcutter lived in a tiny cottage in the forest with his two children, Hansel and Gretel. His second wife often ill-treated the children and was forever nagging the woodcutter.

"There is not enough food in the house for us all. There are too many mouths to feed! We must get rid of the two brats," she declared. And she kept on trying to persuade her husband to abandon his children in the forest.

"Take them miles from home, so far that they can never find their way back! Maybe someone will find them and give them a home." The downcast woodcutter didn't know what to do. Hansel who, one evening, had overheard his parents' conversation, comforted Gretel.

"Don't worry! If they do leave us in the forest, we'll find the way home," he said. And slipping out of the house he filled his pockets with little white pebbles, then went back to bed.

All night long, the woodcutter's wife harped on and on at her husband till, at dawn, he led Hansel and Gretel away into the forest. But as they went into the depths of the trees, Hansel dropped a little white pebble here and there on the mossy green ground. At a certain point, the two children found they really were alone: the woodcutter had plucked up enough courage to desert
them, had mumbled an excuse and was gone.

Night fell but the woodcutter did not return. Gretel began to sob bitterly. Hansel too felt scared but he tried to hide his feelings and comfort his sister.

"Don't cry, trust me! I swear I'll take you home even if Father doesn't come back for us!" Luckily the moon was full that night and Hansel waited till its cold light filtered through the trees.

"Now give me your hand!" he said. "We'll get home safely, you'll see!" The tiny white pebbles gleamed in the moonlight, and the children found their way home. They crept through a half open window, without wakening their parents. Cold, tired but thankful to be home again, they slipped into bed.

Next day, when their stepmother discovered that Hansel and Gretel had returned, she went into a rage. Stifling her anger in front of the children, she locked her bedroom door, reproaching her husband for failing to carry out her orders. The weak woodcutter protested, torn as he was between shame and fear of disobeying his cruel wife. The wicked stepmother kept Hansel and Gretel under lock and key all day with nothing for supper but a sip of water and some hard bread. All night, husband and wife quarreled, and when dawn came, the woodcutter led the children out into the forest.

Hansel, however, had not eaten his bread, and as he walked through the trees, he left a trail of crumbs behind him to mark the way. But the little boy had forgotten about the hungry birds that lived in the forest. When they saw him, they flew along behind and in no time at all, had eaten all the crumbs. Again, with a lame excuse, the woodcutter left his two children by
themselves.

"I've left a trail, like last time!" Hansel whispered to Gretel, consolingly. But when night fell, they saw to their horror, that all the crumbs had gone.

"I'm frightened!" wept Gretel bitterly. "I'm cold and hungry and I want to go home!"

"Don't be afraid. I'm here to look after you!" Hansel tried to encourage his sister, but he too shivered when he glimpsed frightening shadows and evil eyes around them in the darkness. All night the two children huddled together for warmth at the foot of a large tree.

When dawn broke, they started to wander about the forest, seeking a path, but all hope soon faded. They were well and truly lost. On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.

"This is chocolate!" gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.

"And this is icing!" exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage.

"Isn't this delicious?" said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice.

"We'll stay here," Hansel declared, munching a bit of nougat. They were just about to try a piece of the biscuit door when it quietly swung open.

"Well, well!" said an old woman, peering out with a crafty look. "And haven't you children a sweet tooth?"

"Come in! Come in, you've nothing to fear!" went on the old woman. Unluckily for Hansel and Gretel, however, the sugar candy cottage belonged to an old witch, her trap for catching unwary victims. The two children had come to a really nasty place.

"You're nothing but skin and bones!" said the witch, locking Hansel into a cage. I shall fatten you up and eat you!"

"You can do the housework," she told Gretel grimly, "then I'll make a meal of you too!" As luck would have it, the witch had very bad eyesight, an when Gretel smeared butter on her glasses, she could see even less.

"Let me feel your finger!" said the witch to Hansel every day to check if he was getting any fatter. Now, Gretel had brought her brother a chicken bone, and when the witch went to touch his finger, Hansel held out the bone.

"You're still much too thin!" she complained. When will you become plump?" One day the witch grew tired of waiting.

"Light the oven," she told Gretel. "We're going to have a tasty roasted boy today!" A little later, hungry and impatient, she went on: "Run and see if the oven is hot enough." Gretel returned, whimpering: "I can't tell if it is hot enough or not." Angrily, the witch screamed at the little girl: "Useless child! All right, I'll see for myself." But when the witch bent down to peer inside the oven and check the heat, Gretel gave her a tremendous push and slammed the oven door shut. The witch had come to a fit and proper end. Gretel ran to set her brother free and they made quite sure that the oven door was tightly shut behind the witch. Indeed, just to be on the safe side, they fastened it firmly with a large padlock. Then they stayed for several days to
eat some more of the house, till they discovered amongst the witch's belongings, a huge chocolate egg. Inside lay a casket of gold coins.

"The witch is now burnt to a cinder," said Hansel, "so we'll take this treasure with us." They filled a large basket with food and set off into the forest to search for the way home. This time, luck was with them, and on the second day, they saw their father come out of the house towards them, weeping.

"Your stepmother is dead. Come home with me now, my dear children!" The two children hugged the woodcutter.

"Promise you'll never ever desert us again," said Gretel, throwing her arms round her father's neck. Hansel opened the casket.

"Look, Father! We're rich now . . . You'll never have to chop wood again."

And they all lived happily together ever after.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Twelve Dancing Princesses


There was a king who had twelve beautiful daughters. They slept in twelve beds all in one room; and when they went to bed, the doors were shut and locked up; but every morning their shoes were found to be quite worn through as if they had been danced in all night; and yet nobody could find out how it happened, or where they had been.

Then the king made it known to all the land, that if any person could discover the secret, and find out where it was that the princesses danced in the night, he should have the one he liked best for his wife, and should be king after his death; but whoever tried and did not succeed, after three days and nights, should be put to death.

A king's son soon came. He was well entertained, and in the evening was taken to the chamber next to the one where the princesses lay in their twelve beds. There he was to sit and watch where they went to dance; and, in order that nothing might pass without his hearing it, the door of his chamber was left open. But the king's son soon fell asleep; and when he awoke in the morning he found that the princesses had all been dancing, for the soles of their shoes were full of holes. The same thing happened the second and third night: so the king ordered his head to be cut off. After him came several others; but they had all the same luck, and all lost their lives in the same manner.

Now it chanced that an old soldier, who had been wounded in battle and could fight no longer, passed through the country where this king reigned: and as he was travelling through a wood, he met an old woman, who asked him where he was going. 'I hardly know where I am going, or what I had better do,' said the soldier; 'but I think I should like very well to find out where it is that the princesses dance, and then in time I might be a king.' 'Well,' said the old dame, 'that is no very hard task: only take care not to drink any of the wine which one of the princesses will bring to you in the evening; and as soon as she leaves you pretend to be fast asleep.'

Then she gave him a cloak, and said, 'As soon as you put that on you will become invisible, and you will then be able to follow the princesses wherever they go.' When the soldier heard all this good counsel, he determined to try his luck: so he went to the king, and said he was willing to undertake the task.

He was as well received as the others had been, and the king ordered fine royal robes to be given him; and when the evening came he was led to the outer chamber. Just as he was going to lie down, the eldest of the princesses brought him a cup of wine; but the soldier threw it all away secretly, taking care not to drink a drop. Then he laid himself down on his bed, and in a little while began to snore very loud as if he was fast asleep. When the twelve princesses heard this they laughed heartily; and the eldest said, 'This fellow too might have done a wiser thing than lose his life in this way!' Then they rose up and opened their drawers and boxes, and took out all their fine clothes, and dressed themselves at the glass, and skipped about as if they were eager to begin dancing. But the youngest said, 'I don't know how it is, while you are so happy I feel very uneasy; I am sure some mischance will befall us.' 'You simpleton,' said the eldest, 'you are always afraid; have you forgotten how many kings' sons have already watched in vain? And as for this soldier, even if I had not given him his sleeping draught, he would have slept soundly enough.'

When they were all ready, they went and looked at the soldier; but he snored on, and did not stir hand or foot: so they thought they were quite safe; and the eldest went up to her own bed and clapped her hands, and the bed sank into the floor and a trap-door flew open. The soldier saw them going down through the trap-door one after another, the eldest leading the way; and thinking he had no time to lose, he jumped up, put on the cloak which the old woman had given him, and followed them; but in the middle of the stairs he trod on the gown of the youngest princess, and she cried out to her sisters, 'All is not right; someone took hold of my gown.' 'You silly creature!' said the eldest, 'it is nothing but a nail in the wall.' Then down they all went, and at the bottom they found themselves in a most delightful grove of trees; and the leaves were all of silver, and glittered and sparkled beautifully. The soldier wished to take away some token of the place; so he broke off a little branch, and there came a loud noise from the tree. Then the youngest daughter said again, 'I am sure all is not right--did not you hear that noise? That never happened before.' But the eldest said, 'It is only our princes, who are shouting for joy at our approach.'

Then they came to another grove of trees, where all the leaves were of gold; and afterwards to a third, where the leaves were all glittering diamonds. And the soldier broke a branch from each; and every time there was a loud noise, which made the youngest sister tremble with fear; but the eldest still said, it was only the princes, who were crying for joy. So they went on till they came to a great lake; and at the side of the lake there lay twelve little boats with twelve handsome princes in them, who seemed to be waiting there for the princesses.

One of the princesses went into each boat, and the soldier stepped into the same boat with the youngest. As they were rowing over the lake, the prince who was in the boat with the youngest princess and the soldier said, 'I do not know why it is, but though I am rowing with all my might we do not get on so fast as usual, and I am quite tired: the boat seems very heavy today.' 'It is only the heat of the weather,' said the princess: 'I feel it very warm too.'

On the other side of the lake stood a fine illuminated castle, from which came the merry music of horns and trumpets. There they all landed, and went into the castle, and each prince danced with his princess; and the soldier, who was all the time invisible, danced with them too; and when any of the princesses had a cup of wine set by her, he drank it all up, so that when she put the cup to her mouth it was empty. At this, too, the youngest sister was terribly frightened, but the eldest always silenced her. They danced on till three o'clock in the morning, and then all their shoes were worn out, so that they were obliged to leave off. The princes rowed them back again over the lake (but this time the soldier placed himself in the boat with the eldest princess); and on the opposite shore they took leave of each other, the princesses promising to come again the next night.

When they came to the stairs, the soldier ran on before the princesses, and laid himself down; and as the twelve sisters slowly came up very much tired, they heard him snoring in his bed; so they said, 'Now all is quite safe'; then they undressed themselves, put away their fine clothes, pulled off their shoes, and went to bed. In the morning the soldier said nothing about what had happened, but determined to see more of this strange adventure, and went again the second and third night; and every thing happened just as before; the princesses danced each time till their shoes were worn to pieces, and then returned home. However, on the third night the soldier carried away one of the golden cups as a token of where he had been.

As soon as the time came when he was to declare the secret, he was taken before the king with the three branches and the golden cup; and the twelve princesses stood listening behind the door to hear what he would say. And when the king asked him. 'Where do my twelve daughters dance at night?' he answered, 'With twelve princes in a castle under ground.' And then he told the king all that had happened, and showed him the three branches and the golden cup which he had brought with him. Then the king called for the princesses, and asked them whether what the soldier said was true: and when they saw that they were discovered, and that it was of no use to deny what had happened, they confessed it all. And the king asked the soldier which of them he would choose for his wife; and he answered, 'I am not very young, so I will have the eldest.'--And they were married that very day, and the soldier was chosen to be the king's heir.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Three Little Pigs



Once upon a time there were three little pigs, who left their mummy and daddy to see the world.

All summer long, they roamed through the woods and over the plains, playing games and having fun. None were happier than the three little pigs, and they easily made friends with everyone. Wherever they went, they were given a warm welcome, but as summer drew to a close, they realized that folk were drifting back to their usual jobs, and preparing for winter. Autumn came and it began to rain. The three little pigs started to feel they needed a real home. Sadly they knew that the fun was over now and they must set to work like the others, or they'd be left in the cold and rain, with no roof over their heads. They talked about what to do, but each decided for himself. The laziest little pig said he'd build a straw hut.

"It will only take a day,' he said. The others disagreed.

"It's too fragile," they said disapprovingly, but he refused to listen. Not quite so lazy, the second little pig went in search of planks of seasoned wood.

"Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!" It took him two days to nail them together. But the third little pig did not like the wooden house.

"That's not the way to build a house!" he said. "It takes time, patience and hard work to build a house that is strong enough to stand up to wind, rain, and snow, and most of all, protect us from the wolf!"

The days went by, and the wisest little pig's house took shape, brick by brick. From time to time, his brothers visited him, saying with a chuckle.

"Why are you working so hard? Why don't you come and play?" But the stubborn bricklayer pig just said "no".

"I shall finish my house first. It must be solid and sturdy. And then I'll come and play!" he said. "I shall not be foolish like you! For he who laughs last, laughs longest!"

It was the wisest little pig that found the tracks of a big wolf in the neighborhood.

The little pigs rushed home in alarm. Along came the wolf, scowling fiercely at the laziest pig's straw hut.

"Come out!" ordered the wolf, his mouth watering. I want to speak to you!"

"I'd rather stay where I am!" replied the little pig in a tiny voice.

"I'll make you come out!" growled the wolf angrily, and puffing out his chest, he took a very deep breath. Then he blew with all his might, right onto the house. And all the straw the silly pig had heaped against some thin poles, fell down in the great blast. Excited by his own cleverness, the wolf did not notice that the little pig had slithered out from underneath the heap of straw, and was dashing towards his brother's wooden house. When he realized that the little pig was escaping, the wolf grew wild with rage.

"Come back!" he roared, trying to catch the pig as he ran into the wooden house. The other little pig greeted his brother, shaking like a leaf.

"I hope this house won't fall down! Let's lean against the door so he can't break in!"

Outside, the wolf could hear the little pigs' words. Starving as he was, at the idea of a two course meal, he rained blows on the door.

"Open up! Open up! I only want to speak to you!"

Inside, the two brothers wept in fear and did their best to hold the door fast against the blows. Then the furious wolf braced himself a new effort: he drew in a really enormous breath, and went ... WHOOOOO! The wooden house collapsed like a pack of cards.

Luckily, the wisest little pig had been watching the scene from the window of his own brick house, and he rapidly opened the door to his fleeing brothers. And not a moment too soon, for the wolf was already hammering furiously on the door. This time, the wolf had grave doubts. This house had a much more solid air than the others. He blew once, he blew again and then for a third time. But all was in vain. For the house did not budge an inch. The three little pigs watched him and their fear began to fade. Quite exhausted by his efforts, the wolf decided to try one of his tricks. He scrambled up a nearby ladder, on to the roof to have a look at the chimney. However, the wisest little pig had seen this ploy, and he quickly said.

"Quick! Light the fire!" With his long legs thrust down the chimney, the wolf was not sure if he should slide down the black hole. It wouldn't be easy to get in, but the sound of the little pigs' voices below only made him feel hungrier.

"I'm dying of hunger! I'm going to try and get down." And he let himself drop. But landing was rather hot, too hot! The wolf landed in the fire, stunned by his fall.

The flames licked his hairy coat and his tail became a flaring torch.

"Never again! Never again will I go down a chimney" he squealed, as he tried to put out the flames in his tail. Then he ran away as fast as he could.

The three happy little pigs, dancing round and round the yard, began to sing. "Tra-la-la! Tra-la-la! The wicked black wolf will never come back...!"

From that terrible day on, the wisest little pig's brothers set to work with a will. In less than no time, up went the two new brick houses. The wolf did return once to roam in the neighborhood, but when he caught sight of three chimneys, he remembered the terrible pain of a burnt tail, and he left for good.

Now safe and happy, the wisest little pig called to his brothers. "No more work! Come on, let's go and play!"

The Wise Little Girl

Once upon a time in the immense Russian steppe, lay a little village where nearly all the inhabitants bred horses. It was the month of October, when a big livestock market was held yearly in the main town. Two brothers, one rich and the other one poor, set off for market. The rich man rode a stallion, and the poor brother a young mare.

At dusk, they stopped beside an empty hut and tethered their horses outside, before going to sleep themselves on two heaps of straw. Great was their surprise, when, next morning they saw three horses outside, instead of two. Well, to be exact the newcomer was not really a horse. It was a foal, to which the mare had given birth during the night. Soon it had the strength to struggle to its feet, and after a drink of its mother's milk, the foal staggered its first few steps. The stallion greeted it with a cheerful whinny, and when the two brothers set eyes on it for the first time, the foal was standing beside the stallion.

"It belongs to me!" exclaimed Dimitri, the rich brother, the minute he saw it. "It's my stallion's foal." Ivan, the poor brother, began to laugh.

"Whoever heard of a stallion having a foal? It was born to my mare!"

"No, that's not true! It was standing close to the stallion, so it's the stallion's foal. And therefore it's mine!" The brothers started to quarrel, then they decided to go to town and bring the matter before the judges. Still arguing, they headed for the big square where the courtroom stood. But what they didn't know was that it was a special day, the day when, once a year, the Emperor himself administered the law. He himself received all who came seeking justice. The brothers were ushered into his presence, and they told him all about the dispute.

Of course, the Emperor knew perfectly well who was the owner of the foal. He was on the point of proclaiming in favor of the poor brother, when suddenly Ivan developed an unfortunate twitch in his eye. The Emperor was greatly annoyed by this familiarity by a humble peasant, and decided to punish Ivan for his disrespect. After listening to both sides of the story, he declared it was difficult, indeed impossible, to say exactly who was the foal's rightful owner. And being in the mood for a spot of fun, and since he loved posing riddles and solving them as well, to the amusement of his counselors, he exclaimed.

"I can't judge which of you should have the foal, so it will be awarded to whichever of you solves the following four riddles: what is the fastest thing in the world? What is the fattest? What's the softest and what is the most precious? I command you to return to the palace in a week's time with your answers!" Dimitri started to puzzle over the answers as soon as he left the courtroom. When he reached home, however, he realized he had nobody to help him.

"Well, I'll just have to seek help, for if I can't solve these riddles, I'll lose the foal!" Then he remembered a woman, one of his neighbors, to whom he had once lent a silver ducat. That had been some time ago, and with the interest, the neighbor now owed him three ducats. And since she had a reputation for being quick-witted, but also very astute, he decided to ask her advice, in exchange for canceling part of her debt. But the woman was not slow to show how astute she really was, and promptly demanded that the whole debt be wiped out in exchange for the answers.

"The fastest thing in the world is my husband's bay horse," she said. "Nothing can beat it! The fattest is our pig! Such a huge beast has never been seen! The softest is the quilt I made for the bed, using my own goose's feathers. It's the envy of all my friends. The most precious thing in the world is my three-month old nephew. There isn't a more handsome child. I wouldn't exchange him for all the gold on earth, and that makes him the most precious thing on earth!"

Dimitri was rather doubtful about the woman's answers being correct. On the other hand, he had to take some kind of solution back to the Emperor. And he guessed, quite rightly, that if he didn't, he would be punished.

In the meantime, Ivan, who was a widower, had gone back to the humble cottage where he lived with his small daughter. Only seven years old, the little girl was often left alone, and as a result, was thoughtful and very clever for her age. The poor man took the little girl into his confidence, for like his brother, he knew he would never be able to find the answers by himself. The child sat in silence for a moment, then firmly said.

"Tell the Emperor that the fastest thing in the world is the cold north wind in winter. The fattest is the soil in our fields whose crops give life to men and animals alike, the softest thing is a child's caress and the most precious is honesty."

The day came when the two brothers were to return before the Emperor. They were led into his presence. The Emperor was curious to hear what they had to say, but he roared with laughter at Dimitri's foolish answers. However, when it was Ivan's turn to speak, a frown spread over the Emperor's face. The poor brother's wise replies made him squirm, especially the last one, about
honesty, the most precious thing of all. The Emperor knew perfectly well that he had been dishonest in his dealings with the poor brother, for he had denied him justice. But he could not bear to admit it in front of his own counselors, so he angrily demanded:

"Who gave you these answers?" Ivan told the Emperor that it was his small daughter. Still annoyed, the great man said.

"You shall be rewarded for having such a wise and clever daughter. You shall be awarded the foal that your brother claimed, together with a hundred silver ducats... But... but..." and the Emperor winked at his counselors.

"You will come before me in seven days' time, bringing your daughter. And since she's so clever, she must appear before me neither naked nor dressed, neither on foot nor on horseback, neither bearing gifts nor empty-handed. And if she does this, you will have your reward. If not, you'll have your head chopped off for your impudence!"

The onlookers began to laugh, knowing that the poor man would never to able to fulfill the Emperor's conditions. Ivan went home in despair, his eyes brimming with tears. But when he had told his daughter what had happened, she calmly said.

"Tomorrow, go and catch a hare and a partridge. Both must be alive! You'll have the foal and the hundred silver ducats! Leave it to me!" Ivan did as his daughter said. He had no idea what the two creatures were for, but he trusted in his daughter's wisdom.

On the day of the audience with the Emperor, the palace was thronged with bystanders, waiting for Ivan and his small daughter to arrive. At last, the little girl appeared, draped in a fishing net, riding the hare and holding the partridge in her hand. She was neither naked nor dressed, on foot or on horseback. Scowling, the Emperor told her.

"I said neither bearing gifts nor empty-handed!" At these words, the little girl held out the partridge. The Emperor stretched out his hand to grasp it, but the bird fluttered into the air. The third condition had been fulfilled. In spite of himself, the Emperor could not help admiring the little girl who had so cleverly passed such a test, and in a gentler voice, he said.

"Is your father terribly poor, and does he desperately need the foal."

"Oh, yes!" replied the little girl. "We live on the hares he catches in the rivers and the fish he picks from the trees!"

"Aha!" cried the Emperor triumphantly. "So you're not as clever as you seem to be! Whoever heard of hares in the river and fish in the trees! To which the little girl swiftly replied.

"And whoever heard of a stallion having a foal?" At that, both Emperor and Court burst into peals of laughter. Ivan was immediately given his hundred silver ducats and the foal, and the Emperor proclaimed.

"Only in my kingdom could such a wise little girl be born!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At the Feet of The Master Chapter 4

Of all the Qualifications, Love is the most important, for if it is strong enough in a man, it forces him to acquire all the rest, and all the rest without it would never be sufficient. Often it is translated as an intense desire for liberation from the round of births and deaths, and for union with God. But to put in that way sounds selfish, and gives only part of the meaning. It is not so much desire as will, resolve, determination. To produce its result, this resolve must fill you whole nature, so as to leave no room for any other feeling. It is indeed the will to be one with God, not in order that you may escape from weariness and suffering, but in order that because of your deep love for Him you may act with Him and as He does. Because He is Love, you, if you would become one with Him, must be filled with perfect unselfishness and love also.


In daily life this means two things; first, that you shall be careful to do no hurt to any living thing; second, that you shall always be watching for an opportunity to help.

First, to do no hurt. Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world – gossip, cruelty, and superstition – because they are sins against love. Against these three the man who would fill his heart with the love of God must watch ceaselessly.

See what gossip does. It begins with evil thought, and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and it this way we can help or hinder evolution; we can do the will of the Logos or we can resist Him. If you think of the evil in another, you are doing at the same time three wicked things:
1. You are filling your neighborhood with evil thought instead of with good thought, and so you are adding to the sorrow of the world.
2. If there is in that man the evil which you think, you are strengthening it and feeding it; and so you are making your brother worse instead of better. But generally the evil is not there, and you have only fancied it; and then your wicked thought tempts your brother to do wrong, for if he is not yet perfect you may make him that which you have thought him.
3. You fill your own mind with evil thoughts instead of good; and so you hinder your own growth, and make yourself, for those who can see, an ugly and painful object instead of a beautiful and lovable one.


Not content with having done all this harm to himself and to his victim, the gossip tries with all his might to make other men partners in his crime. Eagerly he tells his wicked tale to them, hoping that they will believe it; and then they join with him in pouring evil thought upon the poor sufferer. And this goes on day after day, and is done not by one man but by thousands. Do you begin to see how base, how terrible a sin this is? You must avoid it altogether. Never speak ill of anyone; refuse to listen when anyone else speaks ill of another but gently say: “Perhaps this is not true, and even if it is, it is kinder not to speak of it.”


Then as to cruelty. This is of two kinds, intentional and unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins – the work of a devil rather than a man. You would say that no man could do such a thing; but men have done it often, and are daily doing it now. The inquisitors did it; many religious people did it in the name of their religion. Vivisectors do it; many schoolmasters do it habitually. All these people try to excuse their brutality by saying that it is the custom : but a crime does not cease to be a crime because many commit it. Karma takes no account of custom; and the karma of cruelty is the most terrible of all. In India at least there can be no excuse for such customs, for the duty of harmlessness is well-known to all. The fate of the cruel must fall also upon all who go out intentionally to kill God’s creatures, and call it “sport.”

Such things as these you would not do, I know; and for the sake of the love of God, when opportunity offers, you will speak clearly against them. But there is a cruelty in speech as well as in act; and a man who says a word with the intention to wound another is guilty of this crime. That, too, you would not do; but sometimes a careless word does as much harm as a malicious one. So you must be on your guard against unintentional cruelty.

It comes usually from thoughtlessness. A man is so filled with greed and avarice that he never even thinks of the suffering which he causes to others by paying too little, or by half-starving his wife and children. Another thinks only of his own lust, and cares little how many souls and bodies he ruins in satisfying it. Just to save himself a few minutes’ trouble, a man does not pay his workmen on the proper day, thinking nothing of the difficulties he brings upon them. So much suffering is caused just by carelessness – by forgetting to think how an action will affect others. But karma never forgets, and it takes no account of the fact that men forget. If you wish to enter the Path, you must think of the consequence of what you do, lest you should be guilty of thoughtless cruelty.

Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed, and by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food. 

Think of the treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood. Many crimes have men committed in the name of God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.


These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they sin against love. But not only must you thus refrain from evil; you must be active in doing good. You must be so filled with the intense desire of service that you are ever on the watch to render it to all around you – not to man alone, but even to animals and plants. You must render it in small things everyday, that the habit may be formed, so that you may not miss the rare opportunity when the great thing offers itself to be done. For if you yearn to be one with God, it is not for your own sake; it is that you may be a channel through which His love may flow to reach your fellow-men.

He who in on the Path exists not for himself, but for others; he has forgotten himself, in order that he may serve them. He is a pen in the hand of God, through which His thought may flow, and find for itself an expression down here, which without a pen it could not have. Yet at the same time he is also a living plume of fire, raying out upon the world the Divine Love which fills his heart.

The wisdom which enables you to help, the will which directs the wisdom, the love which inspires the will – these are your qualifications. Will, Wisdom and Love are three aspects of the Logos; and you, who wish to enroll yourselves to serve Him, must show forth these aspects in the world.

Monday, July 13, 2009

At the Feet of The Master Chapter 3

The six points of Conduct which are specially required are given by the Master as:
1. Self –control as to the Mind
2. Self-control in Action
3. Tolerance
4. Cheerfulness
5. One-pointedness
6. Confidence


(I know some of these are often translated differently, as are the names of the Qualifications; but in all cases I am using the names which the Master Himself employed when explaining them to me.)

1. Self-Control as to the Mind
The Qualification of Desirelessness shows that the astral body must be controlled; this shows the same thing as to the mental body. It means control of temper, so that you may fell no anger or impatience; of the mind itself, so that the thought may always be calm and unruffled; and (through the mind) of the nerves, so that they may be as little irritable as possible. This last is difficult, because when you try to prepare yourself for the Path, you cannot help making your body more sensitive, so that its nerves are easily disturbed by a sound or a shock, and feel any pressure acutely; but you must do your best.
The calm mind means also courage, so that you may face without fear the trials and difficulties of the Path; it means also steadiness, so that you may make light of the troubles which come into everyone’s life, and avoid the incessant worry over little things in which many people spend most of their time. The Master teaches that it does not matter in the least what happens to a man from the outside; sorrows, troubles, sicknesses, losses – all these must be as nothing to him, and must not be allowed to affect the calmness of his mind. They are the result of past actions, and when they come you must bear them cheerfully, remembering that all evil is transitory, and that your duty is to remain always joyous and serene. They belong to your previous lives, not to this; you cannot alter them, so it is useless to trouble about them. Think rather of what you are doing now, which will make the events of your next life, for that you can alter.

Never allow yourself to feel sad or depressed. Depression is wrong, because it infects others and makes their lives harder, which you have no right to do. Therefore, if ever it comes to you, throw it off at once.
In yet another way you must control your thought; you must not let it wander. Whatever you are doing, fix your thought upon it, that it may be perfectly done; do not let your mind be idle, but keep good thoughts always in the background of it, ready to come forward the moment it is free.
Use your thought-power every day for good purposes; be a force in the direction of evolution. Think each day of 

someone whom you know to be in sorrow, or suffering, or in need of help, and pour out loving thought upon him.
Hold back your mind from pride, for pride comes only from ignorance. The man who does not know thinks that he is great, that he has done this or that great thing; the wise man knows that only God is great, that all good work is done by God alone.

2. Self-Control in Action
If your thought is what it should be, you will have little trouble with your action. Yet remember that, to be useful to mankind, thought must result in action. There must be no laziness, but constant activity in good work. But it must be your own duty that you do – not another man’s, unless with his permission and by way of helping him. Leave every man to do his own work in his own way; be always ready to offer help where it is needed, but never interfere. For may people the most difficult thing in the world to learn is to mind their own business; but that is exactly what you must do.
Because you try to take up higher work, you must not forget your ordinary duties, for until they are done you are not free for other service. You should undertake no new worldly duties; but those which you have already taken upon you, you must perfectly fulfill – all clear and reasonable duties which you yourself recognize, that is, not imaginary duties which others try to impose upon you. If you are to be His, you must do ordinary work better than others, not worse; because you must do that also for His sake.


3. Tolerance
You must feel perfect tolerance for all, and a hearty interest in the beliefs of those of another religion, just as much as in your own. For their religion is a path to the highest, just as yours is. And to help all, you must understand all.
But in order to gain this perfect tolerance, you must yourself first be free from bigotry and superstition. You must learn that no ceremonies are necessary; else you will think yourself somehow better than those who do not perform them. Yet you must not condemn others who still cling to ceremonies. Let them do as they will; only they must not interfere with you who know the truth – they must not try to force upon you that which you have outgrown. Make allowance for everything; be kindly towards everything.

Now that you eyes are opened, some of your old beliefs, your old ceremonies, may seem to be absurd; perhaps, indeed they really are so. Yet though you can no longer take part in them, respect them for the sake of those good souls to whom they are still important. They have their place, they have their use; they are like those double lines which guided you as a child to write straight and evenly, until you learnt to write far better and more freely without them. There was a time when you needed them; but now that time is past.
A great teacher once wrote: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” Yet he who has forgotten his childhood and lost sympathy with the children is not the man who can teach them or help them. So look kindly, gently, tolerantly upon all; but upon all alike, Buddhist or Hindu, Jain or Jew, Christian or Muhammadan.

4. Cheerfulness
You must bear your karma cheerfully, whatever it may be, taking it as an honour that suffering comes to you because it shows that the Lords of Karma think you worth helping. However hard it is, be thankful that it is no worse. Remember that you are of but little use to the Master until your evil karma is worked out, and you are free. 

By offering yourself to Him, you have asked that your karma may be hurried, and so now in one or two lives you work through what otherwise might have been spread over a hundred. But in order to make the best out of it, your must bear it cheerfully, gladly.
Yet another point. You must give up all feeling of possession. Karma may take from you the things which you like best – even the people whom you love most. Even then you must be cheerful – ready to part with anything and everything. Often the Master needs to pour out His strength upon others through His servant; He cannot do that if the servant yields to depression. So cheerfulness must be the rule.

5. One-pointedness
The one thing that you must set before you is to do the Master’s work. Whatever else may come in your way to do, that at least you must never forget. Yet nothing else can come in your way, for all helpful, unselfish work is the Master’s work, and you must do it for His sake. And you must give all your attention to each piece as you do it, so that it may be your very best. That same Teacher also wrote : “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the 

Lord, and not unto men.” Think how you would do a piece of work if you knew that the Master was coming at once to look at it; just in that way you must do all your work. Those who know most will most know all that that verse means. And there is another like it, much older : “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
One-pointedness means, too, that nothing shall ever turn you, even for a moment, from the Path upon which you have entered. No temptations, no worldly pleasures, no worldly affections even, must ever draw you aside. For you yourself must become one with the Path; it must be so much part of your nature that you follow it without needing to think of it, and cannot turn aside. You the Monad, have decided it; to break away from it would be to break away from yourself.

6. Confidence
You must trust your Master; you must trust yourself. If you have seen the Master, you will trust Him to the uttermost, through many lives and deaths. If you have not yet seen Him, you must still try to realize Him and trust Him because if you do not, even He cannot help you. Unless there is perfect trust there cannot be the perfect flow of love and power.
You must trust yourself. You say you know yourself too well? If you feel so, you do not know yourself; you know only the weak outer husk, which has fallen often into the mire. But you – the real you – you are a spark of God’s own fire, and God, who is Almighty, is in you, and because of that there is nothing that you cannot do if you will. Say to yourself : “What man has done, man can do. I am a man, yet also God in man; I can do this thing, and I will.” For your will must be like tempered steel, if you would tread the Path.


At the Feet of The Master Chapter 2

There are many for whom the Qualification of Desirelessness is a difficult one, for they feel that they are their desires. – that if their distinctive desires, their likings and dislikings, are taken away from them, there will be no self left. But these are only they who have not seen the Master; in the light of His holy Presence all desire dies but the desire to be like Him. Yet before you have the happiness of meeting Him face to face, you may attain desirelessness if you will. Discrimination has already shown you that the things which most men desire, such as wealth and power, are not worth having; when this is really felt, not merely said, all desire for them ceases.

Thus far all is simple ; it needs only that you should understand. But there are some who forsake the pursuit of earthly aims only in order to gain heaven, or to attain personal liberation from rebirth; into this error you must not fall. If you have forgotten self altogether, you cannot be thinking when that self should be set free, for what kind of heaven it shall have. Remember that all selfish desire binds, however high may be its object, and until you have got rid of it you are not wholly free to devote yourself to the work of the Master.

When all desires for self are gone, there may still be a desire to see the result of you work. If you help anybody, you want to see how much you have helped him; perhaps even you want him to see it too, and to be grateful. But this is still desire, and also want of trust. When you pour out your strength to help, there must be a result, whether you can see it or not; if you know the Law you know this must be so. So you must do right for the sake of the right, not in the hope of reward; you must work for the sake of work, not in the hope of seeing the result; you must give yourself to the service of the world because you love it, and cannot help giving yourself to it.

Have no desire for psychic powers; they will come when the Master knows that it is best for you to have them. To force them too soon often brings in its train much trouble; often their possessor is misled by deceitful nature-spirits, or becomes conceited and thinks he cannot make a mistake; and in any case the time and strength that it takes to gain them might be spent in work for others. They will come in the course of development – they must come; and if the Master sees that it would be useful for you to have them sooner, He will tell you how to unfold them safely. Until then, you are better without them.

You must guard, too, against certain small desires which are common in daily life. Never wish to shine, or to appear clever; have no desire to speak. It is well to speak little; better still to say nothing, unless you are quite sure that what you wish to say is true, kind and helpful. Before speaking think carefully whether what you are going to say has those three qualities; if it has not, do not say it.

It is well to get used even now to thinking carefully before speaking; for when you reach initiation you must watch every word, lest you should tell what must not be told. Much common talk is unnecessary and foolish; when it is gossip, it is wicked. So be accustomed to listen rather than to talk; do not offer opinions unless directly asked for them. One statement of the Qualifications gives them thus: to know, to dare, to will, and to be silent; and the last of the four is the hardest of them all.

Another common desire which you must sternly repress is the wish to meddle in other men’s business. What another man does or says or believes is no affair of yours, and you must learn to let him absolutely alone. He has full right to free thought and speech and action, so long as he does not interfere with anyone else. You yourself claim the freedom to do what you think proper; you must allow the same freedom to him, and when he exercises it you have no right to talk about him.

If you think he is doing wrong, and you can contrive an opportunity of privately and very politely telling him why you think so, it is possible that you may convince him; but there are many cases in which even that would be an improper interference. On no account must you go and gossip to some third person about the matter, for that is an extremely wicked action.

If you see a case of cruelty to a child or an animal, it is your duty to interfere. If you see anyone breaking the law of the country, you should inform the authorities. If you are placed in charge of another person in order to teach him, it may become your duty gently to tell him of his faults. Except in such cases, mind your own business, and learn the virtue of silence.

Monday, June 15, 2009

At the Feet of The Master Chapter 1

The first of these Qualifications is Discrimination; and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal which leads men to enter the Path. It is this, but it is also much more; and it is to be practiced, not only at the beginning of the Path, but at every step of it every day until the end. You enter the Path because you have learnt that on it alone can be found those things which are worth gaining. Men who do not know work to gain wealth and power, but these are at most for one life only, and therefore unreal. 

There are greater things than these – things which are real and lasting; when you have once seen these, you desire those others no more.

In all the world there are only two kinds of people – those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs – these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge – the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful. So because he knows, he is on God’s side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.

If he is on God’s side, he is one of us, and it does not matter in the lest whether he calls himself a Hindu or a Buddhist, a Christian or a Muhammadan, whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a China-man or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do, and they are trying to do it; all the others do not yet know what they should do, and so they often act foolishly, and try to invent ways for themselves which they think will be pleasant for themselves, not understanding that all are one, and that therefore only what the One wills can ever be really pleasant for anyone. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God’s side, and so this discrimination is the first step.

But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.

Between right and wrong it should not be difficult to choose, for those who wish to follow the Master have already decided to take the right at all costs. But the body and the man are two, and the man’s will is not always what the body wishes. When you body wishes something, stop and think whether you really wish it. For you are God, and you will only what God wills; but you must dig deep down into yourself to find the God within you, and listen to His voice, which is your voice. Do not mistake you bodies for yourself – neither the physical body, nor the astral, nor the mental. Each one of them will pretend to be the Self, in order to gain what it wants. But you must know them all, and know yourself as their master.

When there is work that must be done, the physical body want to rest, to go out walking, to eat and drink; and the man who does not know says to himself: “I want to do these things, and I must do them.” But the man who knows says : “This that wants is not I, and it must wait a while.” Often when there is an opportunity to help some one, the body feels : “How much trouble it will be for me; let some one else do it.” But the man replies to his body : “You shall not hinder me in doing good work.”

The body is your animal – the horse upon which you ride. Therefore you must treat it well, and take good care of it; you must not overwork it, you must feed it properly on pure food and drink only, and keep it strictly clean always, even from the minutest speck of dirt. For without a perfectly clean and healthy body you cannot do the arduous work of preparation, you cannot bear its ceaseless strain. But it must always be you who controls that body, not it that controls you.The astral body has its desires – dozens of them; it want you to be angry, to say sharp words, to feel jealous, to be greedy for money, to envy other people their possessions, to yield yourself to depression. All these things it wants, and many more, not because it wishes to harm you, but because it likes violent vibrations, and likes to change them constantly. But you want none of these things, and therefore you must discriminate between your wants and your body’s.

Your mental body wishes to think itself proudly separate, to think much of itself and little of others. Even when you have turned it away from worldly things, it still tries to calculate for self, to make you think of your own progress, instead of thinking of the Master’s work and of helping others. When you meditate, it will try to make you think of the many different things which it wants instead of the one thing which you want. You are not this mind, but it is yours to use; so here again discrimination is necessary. You must watch unceasingly, or you will fail.

Between right and wrong Occultism knows no compromise. At whatever apparent cost, that which is right you must do, that which is wrong you must not do, no matter what the ignorant may think or say. You must study deeply the hidden laws of Nature, and when you know them arrange your life according to them, using always reason and commonsense.
You must discriminate between the important and the unimportant. Firm as a rock where right and wrong are concerned, yield always to others in things which do not matter. For you must be always gentle and kindly, reasonable and accommodating, leaving to others the same full liberty which you need for yourself.

Try to see what is worth doing; and remember that you must not judge by the size of the thing. A small thing which is directly useful in the Master’s work is far better worth doing than a large thing which the world would call good. You must distinguish not only the useful from the useless, but the more useful from the less useful. To feed the poor is a good and noble and useful work; yet to feed their souls is nobler and more useful than to feed their bodies. Any rich man can feed the body, but only those who know can feed the soul. If you know, it is your duty to help others to know.

However wise you may be already, on this Path you have much to learn; so much that here also there must be discrimination, and you must think carefully what is worth learning. All knowledge is useful, and one day you will have all knowledge; but while you have only part, take care that it is the most useful part. God is Wisdom as well as Love; and the more wisdom you have the more you can manifest on Him. Study then, but study first that which will most help you to help others. Work patiently at your studies, not that men may think you wise, not even that you may have the happiness of being wise, but because only the wise man can be wisely helpful. However much you wish to help, if you are ignorant you may do more harm than good.

You must distinguish between truth and falsehood; you must learn to be true all through, in thought and word and deed.

In thought first; and that is not easy, for there are in the world many untrue thoughts, many foolish superstitions, and no one who is enslaved by them can make progress. There you must not hold a thought just because many other people hold it, not because it has been believed for centuries, nor because it is written is some book which men think sacred; you must think of the matter for yourself, and judge for yourself whether it is reasonable. 
Remember that though a thousand men agree upon a subject, if they know nothing about that subject their opinion is of no value. He who would walk upon the Path must learn to think for himself, for superstition is one of the greatest evils in the world, one of the fetters from which you must utterly free yourself.

Your thought about others must be true; you must not think of them what you do not know. Do not suppose that they are always thinking of you. If a man does something which you think will harm you, or says something which you think applies to you, do not think at once: “He meant to injure me.” Most probably he never thought of you at all, for each soul has its own troubles and its thoughts turn chiefly around itself. If a man speaks angrily to you, do not think: “He hates me, he wishes to wound me.” Probably someone or something else has made him angry, and because he happens to meet you, he turns his anger upon you. He is acting foolishly, for all anger is foolish, but you must not therefore think untruly of him.

When you become a pupil of the Master, you may always try the truth of your thought by laying it beside His. For the pupil in one with his Master, and he needs only to put back his thought into the Master’s thought to see at once whether it aggress. If it does not, it is wrong, and he changes it instantly, for the Master’s thought is perfect because He knows all. Those who are not yet accepted by Him cannot do quite this; but they may greatly help themselves by stopping often to think: “What would the Master think about this? What would the Master say or do under these circumstances?” For you must never do or say or think what you cannot imagine the Master as doing or saying or thinking.

You must be true in speech too – accurate and without exaggeration. Never attribute motives to another; only his Master knows his thoughts, and he may be acting from reasons which have never entered your mind. If you hear a story against anyone, do not repeat it; it may not be true, and even if it is, it is kinder to say nothing. Think well before speaking, lest you should fall into inaccuracy.

Be true in action; never pretend to be other than you are, for all pretence is a hindrance to the pure light of truth, which should shine through you as sunlight shines through clear glass.

You must discriminate between the selfish and the unselfish. For selfishness has many forms, and when you think you have finally killed it in one of them, it arises in another as strongly as ever. But by degrees you will become so full of thought for the helping of others that there will be no room, no time, for any thought about yourself.

You must discriminate in yet another way. Learn to distinguish the God in everyone and everything, no matter how evil he or it may appear on the surface. You can help your brother through that which you have in common with him, and that is the Divine Life; learn how to arouse that in him, learn how to appeal to that in him; so shall you save your brother from wrong.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

At the Feet of The Master - Foreword

This article is retyped from a book which is first published in 1910 and this is taken from 19th edition which is published in 1951. I will divided it into 5 posts ahead starting from foreword and preface, chapter 1 until chapter 4 for easier reading and comprehension. I would be very happy if you all could catch up with this reading…at least for you to know what this book is trying to say. One thing I would like to emphasize is this is a neutral reading without any provocation toward any religion since all religion is heading to one same destination.
AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER
By Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti)
The Theosophical Publishing House
Adyar, Madras, India – 1951

PREFACE
The privilege is given to me, as an elder, to pen a word of introduction to this little book, the first written by a younger Brother, young in body verily, but not in soul. The teachings contained in it were given to him by his Master in preparing him for Initiation, and were written down by him from memory – slowly and laboriously, for his English last year was far less fluent than it is now.
The greater part is a reproduction of the Master’s own words; that which is not such a verbal reproduction is the Master’s thought clothed in His pupil’s words. Two omitted sentences were supplied by the Master. In two other cases an omitted word has been added. Beyond this, it is entirely Alcyone’s own, his first gift to the world.
May it help others as the spoken teaching helped him – such is the hope with which he gives it. But the teaching can only be fruitful if it is lived, as he has lived it since it fell from his Master’s lips. If the example be followed as well as the precept, then for the reader, as for the writer, shall the great Portal swing open, and his feet be set on the Path.

Annie Besant
December, 1910

TO THOSE WHO KNOCK
Asato mâ sad gamaya = From the unreal lead me to the Real
Tamaso mâ jyotir gamaya = From darkness lead me to Light
Mrtyor mâ mrtam gamaya = From death lead me to Immortality

FOREWORD
These are not my words; they are the words of the Master who taught me. Without Him, I could have done nothing; but through His help I have set my feet upon the Path. You also desire to enter the same Path, so the words which He spoke to me will help you also, if you will obey them. It is not enough to say that they are true and beautiful; a man who wishes to succeed must do exactly what is said. To look at food and say that it is not good will not satisfy a starving man; he must put forth his hand and eat. So to hear the Master’s words is not enough; you must do what He says, attending to every word, taking every hint. If a hint is not taken, if a word is missed, it is lost for ever; for He does not speak twice.
-------------------------------------------
Four Qualifications there are for this pathway:
  • Discrimination
  • Desirelessness
  • Good Conduct
  • Love
What the Master has said to me on each of these I shall try to tell you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am in Love

IS THIS LOVE?

When I first saw you I was afarid to talk to you
When I first talked to you I was afraid to like you
When I first liked you I was afarid to love you
Now that I love you I'm afraid to lose you

I'm not supposed to love you, I'm not supposed to care
I'm not supposed to live my life, wishing you were there
I'm not supposed to wonder where you are or what you do
I'm sorry I just can't help myself, I fell in love with you

I wrote your name in the sand but the waves washed it away
I wrote your name on my hand but I washed it the next day
I wrote your name on a paper but I accidentally threw it away
I wrote your name in my heart and forever it will stay.

Can you take me away and never let me go back?
Can you hold me in your arms and promise everything will be ok?
Can you kiss my lips and make all my problems disapear ?
Can you love me as much as I love you?

From : My Love

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nasreddin The Wise: Please, Eat Coat!

This story is retold by Sugeng Hariyanto
Nasreddin, The Wise Man


One evening Nasreddin was invited to a party. As a good neighbor, he surely would come to the party. He chose the clothes that looked old.

He chose it because it was his favorite. When he arrived at the party, nobody greeted and welcomed him. Even the host did not offer him any seat. Then he went home quickly. He changed his old clothes with the new and most beautiful one. Then he went back to the party.
At that time, everybody was warm to him. Everybody greeted him with a nice smile. Even the host offered him the best seat and table with the best food and drink.

Nasreddin sat for a while and stood again. Suddenly, he take off his clothes. There were only underclothes left on his body. The other guests were very surprised. So was the host.
He put the coat on the food on the table. He said "Please, eat coat. It's for you".

The other guests were wondering why he did so. One of them asked, "What are you doing, Nasreddin? Are you crazy?"
"No, I'm alright. I'm asking my coat to eat. Do you still remember, when I came here in old clothes nobody greeted me. And the host didn't offer me any seat or food. But when I come with this beautiful coat now, everybody greets me warmly. The host offers me the best food and drink. So, the host gives the food and the drink to my coat, not to me," he answered.

Let's give a bit respect to the Mother Earth


The topic I would like to raise is about water. This topic came into my head when I said to someone "You don't use the water right? so why the tap is still ON?" and the response was "I pay for it so no problem". I was "astonished" to hear that kind of answer.

Many of us who are already pampered with all things exist surround us do not realize the other side of the coin.

The first side of the coin is : There are still many parts of the world around the globe which lack of water. They have to walk miles away to get fresh water or even sometimes they have water but it's not worth consumption.

The other side of the coin is : The other parts of the globe in which water is abundant that it's wasted as if it would be there forever.

"So what???? It's their fate to be born in waterless place, what can we do?"

The answer is "NOTHING". We can't bring the water from New Zealand to Sahara Desert nor We can't create a pea-shooter that will shoot the ice ball from the poles to the dry region.

If you think that way, then you are right but there is one least thing we could do. "Respect the water available for you!!!"
This nature exist for us. It has provided us with all the things we need and the most crucial thing is "water". We can survive without food for say 10 - 14 days (till the last breath) but without water????? Not even 3 days. Most of us don't realize that since we are abundant of it.

All I ask is just a bit of our concern about what is happening in our surrounding. There are still some things you can do the least to show that you are not ignorant about your own standing ground (the mother earth) such as:
1. Check you faucet! Is it leaking or not? Fix it after this if so.
2. When you are brushing your teeth, do you keep the water running? If so, Stop it while you enjoy cleaning your teeth. ON it when you need only.
3. Do you wash your hands with the water running while you are rubbing your hands with the perfumed hand-wash soap? OFF the water tap while you are rubbing them and ON it again when you need it.
4. Do you clean your front yard every morning using hose? If so, use pail because you can control how much water you need (you can't do it if you use water hose). Or if you have to use the hose, try to control the water flow.
5. When you are washing the dishes, do you keep the water running while you are brushing them with dish-washing detergent? Please...OFF it until you are done brushing them.
6. How much clothing do you wash in your washing machine? If not too much, set the water flow to small or medium instead of large.
7. When you water the plants in your garden, try to control the water flow.

Another a bit extreme way:
Some of us here use shower to bathe. Try to control the water flow if you can.

I am not asking you to do all those, especially for those who love water. After a tiring day, staying under the hot-water shower for at least 20 minutes is the best way to recharge yourself...SO DO IT...
OR...you like to wet you boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings at the end of the week when watering the garden together...DO IT....

It's not about doing the best or the 100% right, but it's about giving your best. And in giving the best, there are always some exceptions. Don't blame yourselves for those exceptions, just enjoy it.

I think that's all I am concern to say and the last..keep drinking 2 liters of water everyday. Don't be thrift in that,...water is one of the best brain-food so don't lack it ;-)

Best of Luck! and May the Nature bless us all....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Elves and Shoemaker

Retold by : Vera Southgate
Once upon a time, there lived a shoemaker and his wife.
The man was a good shoemaker and he worked hard, yet he and his wife were very poor.
As time went on, they grew poorer and poorer.
At last, the day came when all the shoemaker had left was one piece of leather. It would make only one pair of shoes.

That evening, before he went to bed, the shoemaker cut out a pair of shoes from the leather. Then he left them on his workbench, all ready for him to sew next morning.

As they were going upstairs to bed that night, the shoemaker spoke sadly to his wife. "I have used my last piece of leather," he said. "I have cut out one pair of shoes. Tomorrow I will sew them. When they are sold, I don't know what will become of us."

The next morning, the shoemaker got up early and went into his workshop, ready to make the shoes. on his bench, instead of the leather that he hadl eft cout out, he found a pair of shoes, already made. He was astonished and didn't know what to think.

The shoemaker took the shoes in his hands and looked carefully at them. They were neatly made, with not on bad stitch in them.
He showed the shoes to his wife, who said, "I have never seen a pair of shoes so well-made. They are perfect."
The shoemaker and his wife could not think who had sewn the shoes.
The same morning, a lady came into the shop, to buy a pair of shoes. The shoemaker showed her the pair he had found on his bench. She said "I have never seen such well-made shoes."

The lady tried on the shoes and they fitted her perfectly. She was so pleased with them, that she paid the shoemaker twice the usual price. With the money, the shoemaker was able to buy leather for two pairs of shoes.
That night, before he went to bed, he cut out two pairs of shoes. He left them on his workbench, all ready for him to sew in the next morning.

The next morning, the shoemaker got up early and went into his shop, to make the shoes. But he had no need to do so. On his bench he found the two pairs of shoes, already made.

He took the shoes in his hands and looked carefully at them. Once more he found that they were neatly made, with not one bad stitch in them.

That morning, a man came into the shop, to buy some shoes. The shoemaker showed him the two pairs of shoes he had found on his bench. The main said,"I have never seen such well-made shoes."

He was so pleased with them that he bought both pairs of shoes. He paid the shoemaker twice the usual price. With the money, the shoemaker was able to buy leather for four pairs of shoes. That night, before he went to bed, he cut out four pairs of shoes. He left them on his workbench , all ready for him to sew in the morning. The next morning, the shoemaker got up early and went into his workshop to make the shoes. But he had no need to do so. Again, on his bench , he found four pairs of perfectly made shoes. And so it went on. Every night, the shoemaker cut out some shoes and left them on his workbench.

Every morning, he found the shoes, all neatly made. Many rich customers came to his shop to buy these perfect shoes. So, in time, the shoemaker and his wife become rich.
Yet the shoemaker and his wife still had no idea who made these perfect shoes for them.
One evening, not long before Christmas, when the shoemaker had finished cutting out shoes, he went to his wife.
"We still don't know who sews the shoes for us," he said. "Shall we stay up tonight, to see who it is that helps us?"

His wife thought that this was a very good idea. So she lit a candle and they went into the workshop.
They hid themselves in a corner of the room, behind some clothes which were hanging there.

Then the shoemaker and his wife waited quietly and watched to see what would happen.
For a long time nothing happened. Then, just as the clock struck twelve, the door of the workshop opened quietly.
In came two tiny elves. They were dressed in old clothes and their feet were bare. They didn't see the shoemaker and his wife, who were hiding in the corner, watching them.

The elves jumped on to the workbench and took up the shoes that were cut out. They began to stitch and sew and hammer. They worked so neatly and so quickly that the shoemaker could hardly believe his eyes.

The elves didn't stop for a moment until all the cut-out shoes were finished. Then they ran quickly away.

The next morning, at breakfast, the shoemaker asked his wife, "How can we thank these little elves, who have made us so rich and so happy?"

"I know what we can do", said his wife, "We can make them new clothes and shoes. Their own clothes are ragged and their feet are bare."

During the evenings that followed, the shoemaker and his wife began to make new clothes for the elves.
The shoemaker chose the softest leather he could find. He cut out two of the tiniest pairs of shoes you have ever seen. Then he stitched the shoes as carefully as ever he could.
The shoemaker's wife cut out two white shirts, two small green jackets and two pairs of trousers to match. She sewed them with tiny stitches. She made two little caps, each with a feather in it. She also knitted two pairs of wee white stockings.

By Christmas Eve, the tiny clothes and shoes were finished. The shoemaker cleared the leather and the tools from his workbench. He and his wife laid their presents on the bench, instead of the usual work.
Then they hid themselves, as they had done before, and waited to see what the elves would do.

Just as the clock struck twelve, the door opened quietly, as before. The two elves came running in. They still wore old clothes and their feet were blue with cold. They jumped on to the bench, ready to get to work at once. But there was no leather on the bench, only the tiny clothes.

The elves were astonished, at first, and they they were delighted. In no time at all, they were out of their old clothes. Then, talking and laughing, they dressed themselves in the beautiful new clothes -- the green jacket and trousers, the white shirt and stockings, the soft leather shoes and the little caps, with the feathers that nodded as they laughed.

In their delight, the little elves skipped and jumped over chairs and benches. They they joined hands and danced around, as they sang :

"Now we are boys so fine to see,
We need no longer cobblers be."

At last they danced happily out of the door.

The shoemaker and his wife never saw the little elves again. But, form that time, good luck was always with them. They were rich and happy for the rest of their lives.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey


A man and his son were once going with their donkey to market. As they were walking by its side, a countryman passed them and said : "You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the man put the boy on the donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said : "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the man ordered the boy to get off and get on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other : "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey.By this time, they had come to the town and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked them what they were scoffing at. The man said : "Aren't you ashamed of yourselves for overloading that poor donkey with you and your hulking son?"

The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and thought until at last, they cut down a pole , tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders.

They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to market bridge. when the donkey got one of his feet loose, it kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle, the donkey fell over the bridge and his four feet being tied together, he was drawned.

"That will teach you", said an old man who had followed them : "Please all and you will please none".

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Love Inside Me

The Love Inside Me

I was dreamin of my man
I had made all his figures
and I waited for a blessing
to make a final touch of his face

I found him...
The masterpiece of my heart
The masterpiece of God

The man i admire the most...
The man i feel comfortable with...
The man with whom darkness seems like
...warm sunny day
where everybody feels the joy...
where i feel the comfort...
where i long to be in his arms...
where i long to rest my head on his chest...
where i long to lay my life on his hands...
where i long to savor every of him....
his rest, his work, his anger, his sadness, his joy, his helplessness...
everything......
where i am sure i can give him everthing
the only place i would lay my soul...

I ain't have money...
I ain't have property...
Love is all i offer
Company is all i can provide
Good family, good mother, good wife are all i can vow...
i made promise to be his
til i stop breathing...
til i close my eyes forever...
i made promise to be devoted to him....
and him only....

I know deep inside i can provide him everything
...all he needs as a human being
I wil be his spiritual shadow...
I wil be his helper...
I wil be the one who wil prop him up each he falls...
I wil strengthen him...
I wil shape him...into better man...into better soul..
......


Nasreddin The Fool: One Week's Salary

This story is retold by Mr. Sugeng Hariyanto


Every Saturday Nasreddin went to the market to buy the household's needs. He put the goods in a big basket. But, he was not able to carry the heavy basket since he was only and old man. Instead, he asked someone else to do it for him and gave him a suitable payback.


When Nasreddin was on the way home from the market, one day, he walked in front of the man who helped him carry his basket. Nasreddin didn't realize that the man had run away and brought all the goods.


The next Saturday, Nasreddin was going to the market. His friend said, "Nasreddin, look at him! He is the man who stole your basket last week."


Nasreddin, however, hid behind a small shop instead of catching the man. He stayed there until the man stealing his basket had left the market. His fried was wondering and asked, "What are you doing there?"


He said, "The man has been carrying my heavy basket for a week. I am afraid he will ask for his salary. I do not have enough money to pay him the amount of money for the whole week. Even the basket and his goods are not sufficient to pay him."