respect

Children Story: Guru Nanak Dev and bread of honesty

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Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled to various places to spread the word of love, humanity and Universal brotherhood. Once he visited Saidpur, now known as Eminabad, so the head of the place Malik Bhago decided to make all the comfortabguru nanak dev jile arrangements for Guru Nanak Ji. But to everybody’s surprise Guru Nanak Dev Ji decided to stay at the house of a poor carpenter named Lalo. In spite of the worst condition of Lalo, he arranged food to offer Guru Nanak ji. Nanak Dev ji accepted the food with love and was pleased by the hospitality of Lalo.

Malik Bhago was known for his corrupt means of earning money and taking the advantage of the plight of poor farmers. His ego could not accept that Guru Nanak ji preferred to live with poor Lalo and not him. Malik Bhago organized a special gathering and invited all the sacred men of the city along with Guru Nanak Dev ji.

When Nanak Dev ji refused to accept the invitation of Bhago, he ordered his guards to bring Nanak Dev ji to his place. When he reached Bhago’s place Malik Bhago said, “O holy man, I have prepared so many dishes for you, but you are staying with a poor carpenter and eating his dry bread? Why?

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Guru ji replied, “I cannot eat your food because your bread is made from corrupt money sucked from the poor, while Lalo’s bread is made from hard earned money.” On hearing this Malik Bhago became red with anger and told him to prove his point.

Guru Nanak Dev ji asked Lalo and Bhago to get their respective piece of bread. Guru ji squeezed both the breads with his hands. Milk dripped out from Lalo’s bread and blood from Bhago’s bread. Everybody was shocked to see this sight and Malik Bhago was terribly shaken with guilt. He immediately fell in the feet of Nanak Dev ji and asked for forgiveness. On Nanak Dev ji suggestion he distributed all his corrupt wealth among the needy farmers and from then on he decided to live a life of honesty.

With Guru Nanak dev ji’s grace Malik Bhago realized his mistake and could follow the path of righteousness.

 

Story Behind offerings to Lord Hanuman

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Lord Hanuman is highly adored with butter and betel leaves while performing the puja ceremony. Let’s explore the significance behind these offerings.

Betel leaves:

They are specially offered to Lord Hanuman as once Mata Sita expressed her gratitude and and blessings to Him by showering the betel leaves upon him. It is said that the betel leaves were the token of appreciation and blessings of Lord Rama and Mata Sita for Hanuman, after winning over Ravana.

Moreover betel leaves are known to be offered to the intellectual one who is well versed with the sacred knowledge of Vedas and shastras. Thus the huge bank of knowledge of Hanuman and his intellect to use that knowledge in every difficulty made him get respect and love from Rama and Sita ji.

Butter:

At the time of battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, both were trying their best to defeat each other. Unlike the huge chariot of Ravana, Lord Rama was being carried by Hanuman ji.  When all the tactics of Ravana failed he thought to attack Hanuman instead of Lord Rama.

As soon as the arrow hit Hanuman ji and wounded him, Lord Rama was unable to see his devotees’s plight and fought vigorously with Ravana. The situation became worse for Ravana and he had to give up. When Lord Rama and Hanuman returned to their camp, Lord Rama himself applied cool butter on Hanuman ji’s wound to cool down his burning wounds.

Following the age old traditions began by Lord Rama and Mata Sita, betel leaves garland and butter are still offered to Lord Hanuman by his devotees, to express their love and respect for Him.

Children Story: “Yaksha Prashna”

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Mahabharata-Magical-Pond-and-Yaksha-Prashna

The epitome of dharma and righteousness, Yudhishtira had to face a tough challenge of Yaksha to save his 4 brothers from the mouth of death. When thirsty Nakul went in search of water and found the crystal clear water for quenching his thirst, he was warned by a voice to answer his questions before drinking the water. Ignoring the voice Nakul went forward to drink the water and he immediately fell down on the ground. Similar situation happened with Sahdeva, Arjuna and Bhima and now all four brothers were lying dead.

Finally Yudhishtira went to inquire about his brothers and got anxious to see their state. Since there were no wounds or any marks of injury on their bodies, Yudhishtira was sure that it is some kind of supernatural power. Soon he heard the voice of Yaksha, “I am Yaksha and I warned all your brothers to answer my questions before drinking the water. But they overlooked my warning and now lying dead.” Yaksha further told Yudhishtira that in order to save the lives of his brothers he need to answer his questions. Yudhishtira realized that it is the Lord Himself who is testing the righteousness of Him and his brothers. He payed his respect to Yaksha and with great humility, he requested the Omnipresent to ask questions and he will try to answer them with the best of his ability. I any case he will abide by his Dharma and Yaksha terms. To test the wisdom of Yudhistira, Yaksha asked may questions and answers to which reveal the great values of life. Most important of them are listed below:

Yaksha: What is weightier than the Earth?

Yudhishtira: Mother

Yaksha: Which is taller than the sky?

Yudhishtira: Father

Yaksha: What is faster than the wind?

Yudhistira: Mind

Yaksha: By renouncing what does one become affectionate?

Yudhistira: Pride

Yaksha: Which is the best wealth?

Yudhishtira: Education

Yaksha: What is the principal duty of man?

Yudhishtira: Charity

Yaksha: Who doesn’t have a heart?

Yudhishtira: Stone

Yaksha: Where does Dharma reside?

Yudhishtira: Dharma resides in good deeds of human beings.

There were other questions in similar lines covering various other deep and subtle aspects of life. After replying to all the questions of Yaksha, Yudhistira saved the life of Nakul first and Arjuna and Bhima later. Yaksha was surprised and became curious to know the reason behind saving the step brothers before real ones. Yudhistira replied, “I do not differentiate between any of my brothers. Dharma is the priority for me and I will always protect Dharma”. Yaksha was pleased to hear his reply and said, “Because you uphold Dharma victory will always be yours”.