Stories of Bharat 14-Cool-headed, Cobbler, FeedingOthers

Narasimha, Hampi. Arch is a Kirtitoran Mukha.
  • Author shares three simple stories on the benefit of being cool-headed, a donor who wished to remain unknown and how to feed others.

In 2019 we presented 12 articles on stories of Bharat, all written by author. In 2021 this is my second story. Story thirteen and links from 1-12 can be viewed here


Why did I start writing these Stories? 

As a mother of three I have realized that many children are deprived of hearing tales that are Indian in origin. This could be for various reasons, an important one being that parents themselves do not know these tales.


The desire to learn English and about Western Nations meant that atleast two generations were fed tales from the West namely Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc. Because of this when you ask a child to write an essay of their favourite character they will write about Santa Claus and Snow White but not Shivaji.


So I took it upon myself to write short stories about India’s cultural heritage. The stories have been written in such a way that they can be read to children. At the same time I added snippets of our culture, rituals, shlokas, food, etc. so that children get to know about them. Must add that these stories are not meant to be scholarly pieces of work.

Hampi is a wonder of India.

Stay COOL-HEADED in times of Trouble 

In Vijayanagara lived a young Brahmin who used to perform Havan (Homa) to help people get relief from their various problems. Do you know that people perform Yagyas to pray to get rains? Similarly people who have various illnesses also perform Havans to get blessings of good health from Mahadev, Mahavishnu, Maa Durga or from the Gods of the Planets.


But you know what? These Yagyas not just result in blessings for the people who are praying, they also purify the atmosphere around and spread positive vibrations all around. Trees and plants nearby also gain from these Homas.


So this Brahmin of ours once got a healthy cow as a Daan. He was very happy. He built a new cowshed for her and looked after her well. There was a thief who had observed that the cow was very healthy and could fetch a good sum in the market. He wanted to steal the cow.


One night he silently went over to the Brahmin’s house to steal the cow. But when he reached the cowshed, he saw a smoky figure in the faint light in the cowshed. He asked in a whisper, “Who are you?” The figure was surprised, but turned around and told the thief in a threatening voice, “I am a ghost & I have come to eat up this Brahmin. He has been teaching people some Mantras to keep me away. I am angry. Who are you?”


The thief told the ghost, “I have come to steal this beautiful cow.” He started tugging at the rope used to tether the cow. The cow started resisting and started mooing. The ghost got annoyed and said, “Arrey if you make so much of noise I will never be able to kill the Brahmin. Wait till I eat him up and then take away the cow.” The thief retorted, “Achha you think you are smart. He will tell some Mantras to drive you away and catch me and beat me up. Let me steal the cow first.”


Both of them started arguing with each other. In the meantime, the cow was mooing loudly because she was scared. The Brahmin got up and immediately realized what the matter was. He started chanting the Hanuman Chalisa loudly. The ghost heard the Hanuman Chalisa and said, “I’m finished.” Within no time, he ran away from the scene, vowing never to return. The Brahmin then picked up a stick and beat up the thief, “You will steal my Gowri will you? She is like a child to me … how dare you touch my cow?” The thief fell at the Brahmin’s feet and said, “Please forgive me, I shall never steal again.” The Brahmin let him go with a warning.


Thus, by remaining cool in the face of danger and not getting scared, the Brahmin managed to defeat both his enemies. Regular chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa makes one courageous and keeps  dangers away from us.


मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगं, जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठ । वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यं, श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये

Mano-Javam Maaruta-Tulya-Vegam, Jite[a-I]ndriyam Buddhi-Mataam Varissttha | Vaata-Atmajam Vaanara-Yuutha-Mukhyam, Shriiraama-Duutam Sharannam Prapadye |


The Generous Cobbler

In a small town lived a very rich merchant. He was always jovial but he seemed unwilling to spare any funds for any good work done in society. If anyone came to ask him for money, he’d say, “You are doing good work my friend. Keep it up. Unfortunately I cannot spare any money today, but I’m sure you will find the funds to fulfil your work” and he’d send the person away. Over the years people realized that he was the biggest miser in town.


On the footpath outside his house, a cobbler had set up his tiny shop. He too was a jovial person and always had a kind word for anyone who passed by his shop or stopped there to repair their footwear. In fact, he was such a generous person that it seemed that every Rupee he earned, he shared towards a good cause. Those who would come out of the rich merchant’s house without any hope for any contribution would always grumble to this cobbler. The cobbler’s reply would always be, “Don’t worry. God is great. Come here tomorrow and I’ll see what I can do to help you.”


Invariably, the next day the cobbler would give some money for charity. If anyone asked him how he managed to get the money, he’d say, “God is great. He always sends someone to help.” Over the years people felt that he was the most generous person in town.


A few years later, the old merchant passed away. Only his family members were present for his cremation. No one from the town turned up. But the cobbler was seen crying inconsolably. He kept saying, “He was a very good man. Very noble.” People thought that the cobbler was mad to talk good about the miser.


Some days later, a group of people approached the cobbler asking him for funds to repair the stadium in the town. But instead of assuring them about any contribution, the cobbler shouted at them, “Who do you think I am? A big Sethji (rich man)? Don’t come to me anymore for any money.” The people were surprised. This was repeated a few more times. Every time anyone went for charity, they were driven away. People thought that the old merchant’s death had affected the cobbler a lot or maybe he was possessed by the merchant’s ghost…


One day the Principal of the local school sat down the cobbler and asked him, “Bhai, why are you so rude suddenly? What happened?” The cobbler looked up with sad eyes and said, “Masterji, did you also not realise the truth?” The Principal asked, “What truth?” The cobbler said with tears in his eyes, “Master ji, every time anyone wanted any funds, it was the rich merchant who gave it through me. But he never wanted anyone to know that he was the one giving it.


He did not want fame or awards or anyone to even know that he was giving any charity. For him, it was his Dharma. He was just returning to society what he got from society. He was not interested in false adulation and showing off. Did you’ll never ask yourselves even once how a roadside, poor cobbler earned so much as to give so many lakhs of Rupees as donation?” Saying this the poor cobbler wept heartily and said, “He was a good man… very noble…”


The cobbler’s words kept ringing in the Principal’s ears … “For him, it was his Dharma. He was just returning to society what he got from society…”


How to FEED each Other

Once, the Devatas and the Asuras were called for a feast by Kubera. Everyone was happy to be invited … they all knew that Kubera was the keeper of wealth and that a feast at his house would be the most lavish one ever. So both, the Asuras and the Devas went to Kubera’s house.


It was indeed a lavish spread with so many items. Kubera appeared before them and said, “Dear powerful Devas and Asuras, I have made sure that a fantastic feast has been prepared. Additionally there are some special laddoos which have been prepared which have never been prepared before. I am sure all of you would love to partake in that. But there is a condition. The ones who are able to eat without bending their arm are the only ones who can eat those laddoos. Remember, you have to eat your fill without bending your arm.”


The Asuras went to one side of the room and sat down to eat. The Devas went to the other side. Everyone was nonplussed. Try as they might, no one was able to take the food to their mouth with a straight arm. There was great commotion as the guests thought that Kubera was just mocking them. The guests were getting hungry and angry. Soon, the Asuras started losing their patience and started quarrelling amongst themselves. Everyone was calling the other a stupid person for not being able to find a solution. They came to blows.


The Devas on the other hand, were trying to think up a solution. Then Indra came up with a very good solution. As per his advice, every Devata fed the Devata sitting opposite to him. That way they did not have to bend their arm at all. Soon everyone had eaten their meal and were satisfied.


The Asuras were surprised that the solution to the problem was such a simple one and that they had simply fought with each other. Kubera, who was watching the whole episode, declared that the Devatas were the winners and that they would get the special laddoos. Of course, the Devatas because of their generous nature ended up sharing them with the Asuras too.


Author is a mother to three children and writes on Spirituality, Women Empowerment and National Affairs. Her articles are published on amongst others. She believes in the cause of the Indian Breed of Cows and is a follower of Shree Ramachandrapura Matha, Karnataka.


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