There is a beautiful story that explains greed. A rich man and his wife went to bed really late at night. The wife was telling the husband that a poor man and his wife lived in a small cottage next door. She said, “The poor couple are so happy. The husband goes to work and the wife takes care of the family things, they take their food together, and they joyfully go to sleep early.” The husband didn’t say anything.

On March 4 2019, we celebrate Mahashivaratri, the worship of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also known as Pashupati. Pashu means animal and pasha means a noose or something with which you bind another. Pati means the Lord. Why is the Lord called Pashupati? A pashu or an animal bound by a pasha or a rope, is confined to a limited space and dependent on the food and drink that are provided by someone and has limited knowledge. An animal that is not bound by the pasha enjoys its freedom, is free to roam about and eat the green grass and drink water from natural sources, breathes pure air and is much happier.

I’ll tell you a story. It was October and many years ago I went to the ashram in Holland. Over there they had a nice pond and a young man came to me and asked, "Can I talk to you?" He then started talking about his spiritual life. He said, “I am married but my wife is not cooperative. I do all my duties, but when I meditate, she disturbs me – she bangs on the door, sends our daughter to disturb me, and so on.”

Swami Shriyukteswarji used to tell a story about a holy man with a lot of power. A devotee came to him and insisted that the holy man give him a mantra so he can change his fortune. The holy man said to the devotee, “Work, be satisfied with what you get, and don’t run after this occult power.” This man insisted. The holy man finally agreed and said, “Okay, I will give you a Mantra to practice. You will soon get a goblin that will do everything you want, but handle him carefully.” The holy man gave him the mantra and explained how to chant.

Here's a short story about assimilating the knowledge we receive in our daily life. There were 105 princes in the classroom and one son of the Guru. The teacher taught the class, “Anger is not good.” Then he asked, “Do you remember what I said?” and everyone said, “Yes.”
The next day he asked, “Who doesn’t remember what I said yesterday?” One prince raised his hand. The teacher said, “You don’t remember!” and then he asked another student who answered, “Anger is not good.”

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