Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Questions Can Save a Life

Daadaa jee (Grandpa), the narrator of the story to children:

Children, long, long ago there was a thick forest. On the east side of the forest there was a village named Ramgaon. And on the west side there was a village named Shyam Graam. The two villages were far apart, say about 8 kilometers. Children, how much time would a man take to go from one village to another?

One child: One hour and a half!
Second child: No, no, it will take more than two hours!
Third child: Two hours.

Daadaa jee:
The time taken will vary from person to person, but two hours is a good
estimate. Farmers in Ramgaon were hard working and their village had a large pond.

One child: Daadaa jee, who had dug that pond? 

Daadaa jee:
It is a good question. Their forefathers had dug that pond. The farmers of
Ramgaon were very rich. Children, why were they very rich?

One child:Because they could irrigate their fields even if rains fails them.

Daadaa jee: Give him a hand, children! (All children clap)

Daadaa jee:
With extra money, they had built an attractive temple, and then requested a scholarly Brahmin to become the priest. The priest was addressed by the villagers respectfully as ‘Pandit jee’ and was happy to perform worship daily and various rituals necessary from birth to death of a person. He, in addition, used to narrate stories from Panchtantra, Hitopadesh, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Vikram Betal, and also modern stories to children.

Shyam Graam didn’t have a pond to irrigate their fields. Although they were also hard working, they were not rich enough to afford a temple.

Children, tell me which village would be more happy?

One child: Ramgaon.

Narrator: Yes, but why?

One Child: Because they were richer.
Second child: Because they could go to temple.
Third child: Because they could listen to stories.

Daadaa jee:
Yes, very good. But remember money cannot buy happiness. One day some farmers from Shyam Graam came to Ramgaon to request Pandit jee to visit their village once a week and perform various poojas and also narrate stories to children of their village.

Pandit jee: Dear farmers I regret that I cannot come to your village because of the thick forest in between which has many wild animals.

One villager: Respected Pandit jee, we move up and down this forest daily and none has been hurt by any animal. So please do agree to perform this noble task for not only our sake, but especially for the sake of children who are keenly waiting to hear interesting stories from you.

Pandit jee kept on refusing but farmers persisted.

Panditaanee (wife of Pandit jee) jee: Pandit jee, please do go to Shyam Graam. Don’t you see how earnest are these villagers! Pandit jee, you love children. So for the sake of children you ought to go.

Pandit jee: Panditaanee, you do not know the difficulty and dangers of the world outside.

Panditaanee jee: Yes, Pandit jee, I do not know the world outside as well as
you know. But you also know the pleasures of narrating stories to children,
and I also know them. I know you will be a happier person if you agree to
go Shyaam Graam.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee smiled and agreed to visit Shyam Graam every Tuesday. The next Tuesday Pandit jee started early in the morning and reached Shyam Graam late because he lost the way. The villagers were anxiously waiting for him. They were very happy to receive him. Pandit jee performed various poojas. He was treated to a sumptuous meal. Then he narrated stories to children. Pandit jee wanted to start back for his village before 4 in the afternoon.

Daadaa jee: Children, why did Pandit jee want to start back so early?

One child: Because he wanted to reach his home early.

Daadaa jee: Yes, but, why did he want to reach his home early?

Second child: Because he was scared of wild animals.

Daadaa jee: The wild animals are always there in a thick forest.

Third child: Tigers prefer to come out of their dens in the evening.

Daadaa jee:
Very good. Give him a hand, children! [Children clap enthusiastically]

The children didn’t leave Pandit jee early. They kept on asking for one story after another. Ultimately when it was 5 o’ clock, the elders of the village intervened, and then the Pandit jee could leave the village.

Pandit jee entered the thick forest chanting “Jai Shri Raam, Jai Shri Raam” to bolster his courage. And he crossed about half the forest safely. He was happy and started chanting “Jai Shri Raam” more loudly, and happily. Then suddenly he heard a soft roar of a tiger, “Pandit jee! Pandit jee!” Pandit jee felt scared, and started running.

Tiger softly: Pandit jee, you are a kind and a brave person. Please, do not run. See I am inside a cage.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee then picked up courage and looked back. He saw the tiger in a cage. He was relieved. He looked at the Tiger.

Tiger:  O kind Pandit jee, I was sleeping in the shade of this huge banyan tree, when some cruel people threw a net over me and caught me. Then they pushed me in this cage. You know that they will force me to jump through a ring of fire.

Pandit jee: Oh, that will be very exciting. You know children would love to watch you jumping through a ring of fire. And they will feed you also.

Tiger : O kind and learned Pandit jee, you know that we all forest animals are mortally scared of fire. When I would refuse to jump, then they would whip me cruelly. Kind Pandit jee, please open my cage and set me free.

Pandit jee: No, no. I shall not open your cage; for once you are out of the cage, you will devour me.

Tiger:  O noble Pandit jee, you are known here in the forest as a very kind and helpful person by everybody. Please be so very kind as to release me from this cage. I will remain grateful for the rest of my life.

Pandit jee: I am not going to be moved by your requests, for as per your nature, despite your vows you will devour me.

Tiger: Pandit jee, you are famous for your knowledge of scriptures. The scriptures ordain all human beings to be kind to animals. So please be kind.

Daadaa jee: Children, our scriptures do ask us to be kind. Should Pandit jee be kind and open the door?

One child: No, no. The tiger will certainly devour him.

Daadaa jee:
Good answer. Children, give him a hand. (Children clap enthusiastically.) No doubt, one should follow the scriptures, but certainly not blindly. Now, listen to the answer given by Pandit jee.

Pandit jee: But the scriptures do not ordain tigers not to devour kind human beings. [Children laugh.]

Tiger: O noble Pandit jee I promise you that after you release me, I would not devour you.             How can I devour you, when you would save my life? I am not a thankless barbarian. O great man, the most learned man, the most kind Pandit jee, please release me from the clutches of wicked circus men. I will remain grateful for   my whole life. I beg you, I beseech you kind Pandit jee, please release me from this hell. God will be kind to you.

Pandit jee: All right, if you promise me like a gentle animal, I will open the door.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee then removed the lock, that was fortunately only hanging and was not locked. Then he opened the bolt and then the door. The tiger then jumped out and roared. Pandit jee got scared to death.

Pandit jee: O Tiger, do not scare me. I am leaving now.

Tiger:  Pandit jee, I am very hungry, I am going to devour you now.

Pandit jee: Oh, no, no, how can you be so thankless...You, you ....You had promised me. Didn’t you?

Daadaa jee: Children, can Pandit jee save himself from this ungrateful and liar tiger?

One child: The bad tiger is going to devour Pandit jee.
Second child: Pandit jee must use his brain to save his life.

Daadaa jee: Yes, very good, one should never be so afraid as not to use one's brain.

Third child: Pandit jee should have used his brain earlier. Now what can he do!
Fourth child: I wish that Pandit jee is saved somehow.

Daadaa jee:
So let us see what Pandit jee is going to do.

Tiger: No, Pandit jee I did not promise you.

Pandit jee: How can you tell a lie, O king of the forest!

Tiger: I am not telling a lie. I did not promise you.

Pandit jee: You forget so soon. You had promised me that you won’t devour me after I release you.

Tiger: I did not.

Pandit jee: Yes. You did.

Tiger: No, I did not. That was another tiger who was in the cage who promised you. I am not in the cage. I am not the same tiger.

Pandit jee: You are the same tiger!

Tiger: No, I am not the same tiger.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee was scared to death. A voice came from his heart “Don’t be afraid!” He said to himself, “how can I not be afraid of this tiger who is ready to devour?” The voice came again: “No, don’t get afraid, use your brain.” He thought for a while and asked the tiger.

Pandit jee: Mr. Tiger, you are the king of this forest. It is your duty to see that justice is done. We are having a dispute on a matter of fact. So I request that I may be permitted to bring a third person to mediate between us.

Tiger (He thought that nobody dare give a judgement against him): Yes, go ahead and get a third party.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee looked all around very anxiously. After waiting a while, which felt a very long time, he saw a fox.

Pandit jee: O dear lady Fox, please come and mediate in our arguments.....

Fox interrupted: Pandit jee, I salute you, for I know you are very kind and
Learned gentleman, but right now I have an extremely urgent task, so
excuse me. I wish you all the best, bye bye.

Daadaa jee: Children, why did the fox do not help Pandit jee?

One child: Fox was scared of the tiger.
Second child: Fox is very clever also.

Daadaa jee: Yes, both are correct. Children, give them a hand: clap heartily.

Daadaa jee:
Pandit jee became hopeless. Again a voice from inside came and said “Be patient. Don’t lose heart. Just continue watching.” After a while, a rabbit was seen.

Pandit jee (excitedly): O dear Rabbit, O lovely Rabbit, just listen to me for a moment.

Rabbit (maintaining a safe distance): Pandit jee, I salute you. You are well known as a scholar and a kind soul. Yes, please tell me whatever you want to tell.

Pandit jee: Dear Rabbit, please come near us, I request you to mediate between the tiger and myself.

Rabbit: I will not come any nearer. Please tell me, I am listening.

Pandit jee: All Right, Mr. Rabbit. Please listen carefully, for it is a matter of
Life and death.

Rabbit:  Pandit jee, you are a great scholar. You know that every moment in
Our life is a matter of life and death. So please do not waste time. I also
have an urgent task waiting. But do tell me what the dispute is.

Pandit jee: All right, Mr. Rabbit. I was coming from Shyam Graam and
Through this forest I was returning to my village Ramgaon. Then I saw this
tiger in this cage with its door shut....

Rabbit (interrupting him): Pandit jee, I am sorry to say that you are telling
a lie.  I do not expect a lie from a person as noble as you. If you are going to
lie like this I shall leave immediately.

Pandit jee (feeling frustrated): No, Mr. Rabbit, I am telling the truth.

Rabbit: Pandit jee, I live in this forest, so I know that tiger, being the king
of this jungle, cannot be caged by anybody. If you want me to mediate, then
please tell me the truth, only truth and nothing but the truth. Else, I would

Pandit jee: O dear Mr. Rabbit. I am telling the truth, so please bear with
me, the tiger was inside this cage.......

Rabbit interrupted Pandit jee and said: Pandit jee, as I have already said, I
would be forced to leave. I am giving you the last chance to tell me the
truth. Otherwise I will go away.

Daadaa jee:
Children, Pandit jee was feeling frustrated, and was thinking how to
convince this Rabbit. The tiger was also thinking, and he thought, “If this
rabbit also goes away, then we would have to wait for somebody to come
up. And it may take very long. And when he comes, then he may also run
away like the Fox. I have an idea. Let me go inside the cage and show the
Rabbit that indeed I was inside the cage as wicked circus men had cage

Tiger: O Rabbit, Pandit jee is telling the truth. Really, it is a shame, but the
truth is that I, the king of the forest, was inside the cage as I will
demonstrate to you. And the tiger went inside the cage.

Rabbit: Pandit jee, was the door of the cage closed or not?

Pandit jee: Yes, the door was closed.

Rabbit: Then please show me, as I said I want the truth, only the truth and
nothing but the truth.

Pandit jee: All right, Mr. Rabbit, I close the door.

Rabbit:  Pandit jee, was the door bolted or not?

Pandit jee: Yes, Mr. Rabbit, it was bolted.

Rabbit: Pandit jee, then please bolt the door.  (Pandit jee bolts the door). How many times do I have to tell you that I want the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth. You have not told me if the doors were locked.

Pandit jee: Yes, the doors were locked.

Rabbit: Then please put the lock. (Pandit jee puts the lock)

Pandit jee: I have put the lock.

Rabbit: Thank you, Pandit jee!

Daadaa jee:
Then the tiger asked to be let out of the cage. . . . .

Rabbit (Interrupting the Tiger): Pandit jee, thank you for telling me the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth. Pandit jee, I salute you and bye bye.

Daadaa jee: Children, has the story ended?

Children start laughing, and they clap heartily.