STO-201 – The Butter Thief (the sweetness of God)

STO-201-sec 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 […]

STO-202 – Mrigari the Hunter (ahimsa)

STO-202-sec 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, […]

STO-203 – The Story of King Shibi (responsible leadership)

STO-203-sec 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 […]

STO-204 – The Story of Draupadi (assertiveness and compassion)

STO-204-sec Draupadi was the daughter of Maharaja Drupada. The king performed a great sacrifice under the superintendence of the sage Yaja. By his first offering, Dhrishtadyumna was born. At Kurukshetra, he killed Drona, his father’s arch enemy. By the second offering, Draupadi was born. An aero-message declared that she was born for the destruction of […]

STO-205 – Shravana Kumar (devotion to parents)

STO-205-sec 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 […]

STO-206 – King Rantideva (hospitality)

STO-206-sec 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 […]

STO-207 – Haridas (forgiveness)

STO-207-sec Haridas was a contemporary of Chaitanya and one of his foremost disciples. According to some Hindus, Haridas was born in an untouchable family, but Chaitanya, who was opposed to the rigid caste system (based on birth rather than individual merit), accepted Haridas as a great saint. Once the tyrannical ruler of the district ordered […]

STO-208 – Queen Kunti (attitudes towards suffering)

STO-208-sec Kunti was the daughter of Maharaj Surasena and the sister of Krishna’s father, Vasudeva. King Kunti-Bhoja adopted her and hence she was known as Kunti. She once served the powerful mystic sage Durvasa who gave her a mantra by which she could invoke any of the demigods. Out of youthful inquisitiveness, she tried the […]

STO-209 – Taking the Horse to Market (responding to criticism)

STO-209-sec 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 along. The affectionate father set off for the […]

STO-210 – Garuda and the Sparrow (determination; God’s grace)

STO-210-sec 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 […]

STO-211 – The Herons and the Swan (the cause of suffering)

STO-211-sec 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 you face, eyes and toes red? Who are you?” The swan replied, “I am a […]

STO-212 – The King’s Finger (seeing God’s hand everywhere)

STO-212-sec 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 […]

STO-213 – The Man who was Hard of hearing (different world views)

STO-213-sec 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 […]