Note for teachers: Some of these stories can be used directly in the classroom. Others are to enhance the teacher’s own understanding and/or are for teachers to re-tell in their own words. The stories are coded as follows:

P: stories more directly suitable for primary pupils.
E: stories that will most likely need some editing
T: stories intended for teacher’s own understanding

(P) Again become a Mouse (gratitude)

STO-217 In a small clearing deep in the forest a yogi sat, absorbed in meditation. Sitting on the ground with crossed legs and with closed eyes, the yogi was as still as a statue. He was appreciating the calm and peace surrounding him. Without warning, a trembling mouse jumped onto the yogi’s lap. “Please save […]

(P) The Golden Deer (from the Ramayana)

STO-216 Rama, Sita and Lakshman were living happily in the forest. The three companions didn’t miss palace life, for they were happy to live close to nature and to have the company of the saints who lived there. However, a wicked king had already heard of Sita’s beauty. His name was Ravana and he was […]

(P) Krishna and Sudama (friendship, caring, hospitality)

STO-215 Krishna and Sudama were friends who went to the same school. One day, Krishna and Sudama went out into the forest to collect firewood for their teacher, called Sandipani Muni. A great storm came and the two boys got lost in the forest. They had to spend the night there, sheltering underneath a giant […]

(P) The Bundle of Sticks (friendship, caring, hospitality)

STO-214 An old brahmin priest lived in a holy place, an ashram, with his seven disciples. They worshipped some very old and famous murtis of Radha and Krishna. Many people would come to see these deities and make donations for their worship. The guru, however, was growing weak due to old age. He knew it […]

(T) The Man who was Hard of hearing (different world views)

STO-213 A man returned home one rainy evening and knocked on the door. His wife was tied up on the stove, so she called down to him, “Hang on. I’ll just be one minute,” However, out hero was getting on in years, and becoming somewhat hard of hearing, didn’t hear his wife’s response. He knocked […]

(P) The King’s Finger (seeing God’s hand everywhere)

STO-212 This story is relevant to the notion of seeing God’s hand everywhere, and to ‘the problem of evil’. It could also be used to explore how we may not be able to determine the ultimate outcome of all situations, especially those that may appear to some to be negative. Once upon a time there […]

(E) The Herons and the Swan (the cause of suffering)

STO-211 Relevant to how different people have different values, and to the cause(s) of suffering Some herons were sitting by the side of a boggy pond. A swan happened to pass by, then a heron asked the swan, “Why are your face, eyes and toes red? Who are you?” The swan replied, “I am a […]

(T) Garuda and the Sparrow (determination; God’s grace)

STO-210 This story is relevant to the quality of ‘determination’ and also to the “grace or personal endeavour?” controversy. As for determination, one should follow the example of the sparrow who lost her eggs in the waves of the ocean. A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean […]

(T) Taking the Horse to Market (responding to criticism)

STO-209 Taking the Horse to Market (from the Panchatantra) This story indicates how we should be selective in the criticism of which we take note. Taking on board everyone’s opinion can be problematic! Long ago, in an Indian village, a man wanted to take his horse to market. His son asked if he could go […]

(E) King Rantideva (hospitality)

STO-206 As an exalted devotee, King Rantideva saw every living being equally. He directly perceived the real self, the atman, who is eternal and directly related to the Supreme Lord. The king, therefore, completely engaged his mind, word, body, and his very self in the service of the Lord and his devotees. Rantideva never endeavoured […]

(E) Shravana Kumar (devotion to parents)

STO-205 Once upon a time, there was a couple who yearned for a child and prayed to God to send them a son. Since they were both very pious, God listened to them and soon they were blessed with a baby boy. They were full of joy and named him Shravan Kumar. The boy grew […]

(E) The Story of King Shibi (responsible leadership)

STO-203 Once upon a time, there lived a great king called Shibi. He was extremely kind and charitable, for which he became famous. His fame spread throughout the globe and news of his magnanimity reached even the heavenly realms. The Lord of Heaven, Indra, wanted to test King Shibi to see if he was as […]

(E) Mrigari the Hunter (ahimsa)

STO-202 Once upon a time, the great saint Narada Muni was on his way through a forest to bathe at the confluence of the three sacred rivers, the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati.. As he was walking, he came across a deer lying on the path. He saw that the animal was pierced by an arrow, […]

(E) The Butter Thief (the sweetness of God)

STO-201 The following is a version of the story told to children. Despite this, this lila (spiritual pastime) has significance for adults (see the prayers at the end of the story demonstrate. Long ago in India, there lived the most wonderful child. His name was Krishna, and he lived very happily with his mother and […]