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May

A Buddhist Tale

BuddhaBuddha was/is an epitome of silence. His silence was said to be more powerful than his words. Here's another of my fav stories from Buddhist folklore. The incident happened at that time when Buddha became very popular among people for his powerful presence and his ability to make people meditate. In the time of the Buddha, there was a rich businessman whose wife and children were ardent Buddhists. The businessman hated the Buddha for drawing his family away from materialism.

One day, as usual, when Buddhists had assembled to meditate in the presence of the Buddha, the businessman arrived to teach the Buddha a lesson. He walked up to the Buddha in full public view and abused him. Buddha remained calm and composed, this angered the businessman even more. He increased his volley of words and to the shock of everyone present, spat at the Buddha in his face. Buddha still did not react, but remained smiling. The businessman, unable to bear Buddha's calm and composure, left the scene.

That night, the businessman was filled with remorse. He realized that there was indeed something great about the Buddha's presence, his acceptance and his composure. The next morning, he decided to ask the Buddha for forgiveness. When he went to the
Buddha this time, he was received with great love and respect. The businessman was shocked. There was no sign of anger. He asked the Buddha to forgive him, Buddha smiled and told the businessman that the person that abused him the previous day is different from the person that he is today. So, in reality, there is no one to be forgiven.
This struck a chord in the businessman who became an ardent Buddhist later.

For me, the message here is that we are all changing everyday. If someone has not been good at some point of time, its foolish to brand them that way. Likewise, those who have been good at sometime might turn out differently another time. Its best to accept this fact when we are dealing with people, so our relationships remain healthy.

Mothers Day - Story of Hirkani (Hitkani)

You may also like - Sindhutai Sapkal, Sarojini Naidu, Shivaji Maharaj

Hirkani Buruj

This is a Mother's day special story about a courageous mother who lived in the 1600s. This story is dedicated to us ladies; the daughters of Hirkani; as we balance family and do the impossible.

The Raigad fort is in Pune and was very important to Shivaji's kingdom. His coronation took place in Raigad in 1674. The fort is in the Western Ghats or the Sahyadri mountain range in western India. The fort itself is on a mountain top and the village is at the base of the mountain. Steep Fort walls guard the fort from all sides. There is a steep vertical drop on one side and the generals decided not to build a wall. They did not think any human could possibly scale the vertical drop to enter the Fort without notice. The drop seemed enough protection.

The villagers from the foothill came up to the fort with their wares to sell. They would stand by the main fort door when the man in charge (mavala) would open it allowing the villagers inside. The gates were closed at sunset and would not open until the next morning. Those were the orders of Shivaji Maharaj.
Hirakani was a poor milkmaid who brought fresh milk to sell to the folks in the fort. She came in each morning though the main door and went home before sunset. This day wasn't like any other day. She was running late. Her little baby at home was crying relentless and had to be calmed before she could come. She ran most of her way up and was inside the fort. The sun was already getting ready to set. She hurried to sell the milk to her regular customers. She ran back to the main door, but Mavala had just closed the it. "Please open the door just a little bit. I have a baby at home and will go hungry if I don't reach home tonight," she pleaded. "The doors cannot open for anybody. These are the orders from Shivaji Maharaj himself. I cannot open the doors for you." Mavala replied.
Hirkani was desperate to reach home to feed her baby. She thought of the vertical drop that had no wall. In the dark night she climbed down the steep mountain. The thorny bushes scratched her, but the thought of her baby hungry without her, kept her going. Hirkani reached the bottom of the mountain and to baby. The next morning she was at the fort door as usual with her can of milk. The Mavala was surprised and suspicious to see her. He took her to Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji heard her courageous story and looked at her scratched hands and torn clothes. He believed her story. He ordered for a wall to be built at the unprotected vertical drop and named it "Hirkani Burj". This buruj still exists. 400 years later Hirkani's story is still popular and has inspired several books.

And now, read about - Swami Vivekananda, Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai