The Monastery

​One day, a young boy came into the monastery and asked the Chief Monk, to give him some work and also food.
The Chief Monk asked him: What have you read? What work can you do? What do you know?
The boy replied: I have not read in school. I have no proficiency in any work excepting some stray jobs like washing food plates,cleaning up the cottage etc., I do not know anything else.
The Chief Monk asked Are you sure you do not know anything else?
The young boy replied: Oh, yes, Sir, now I remember.

I can play good Chess
The Chief Monk said: Oh that’s good. Now I shall test you in your game.

He asked another monk to come with chess board and coins and asked a table to be placed so that the game could start.
Before start of the game, the Chief Monk said: Now see, I have a sword on my hand. If any one is defeated, his nose will be severed
The boy became nervous. However, without any other way to go, he agreed.
The game started. Initially, the boy made some mistakes in moves. His position on the board became almost hopeless.
He then concentrated completely on the game and improved the position to a winning level. 
Then he looked at the monk sitting opposite and playing. He was not quite nervous but obviously disturbed a little.
The boy then thought, 

“I am a useless fellow in life. Nothing will change the world if I lose the game and lose my nose.
But this monk, is well read person, doing meditation and is sure to attain Buddha Hood Why should he lose?
So the young boy deliberately made a wrong move, so that the monk sitting opposite could take advantage and win the game !
The Chief Monk suddenly flashed his sword on the table. All the coins flew into different directions.
He then said: The game is over. Oh boy you are IN. You will be with us in the monastery hereafter.
The boy did not understand.
The Chief Monk explained: 

“I did not ask you to play chess to find out your caliber in the game. But I was looking for two essential qualities that are necessary for Self realization.
One is *Maha Prajna*. The Great Awareness. I found that in you. When your game became positionally bad, you put your entire concentration and attention on the game and improved your game.

This is Maha Prajna.


The second is *Maha Karuna* – The Great Compassion. I found that also in you. When your opponent was about to lose the game, you looked at him with great compassion and deliberately made a wrong mistake so that he could win.
These two qualities are adequate to do sadhana and make the life *Meaningful*.

Life isn’t about winning or losing there is nothing to win and nothing to lose.
You can at best enjoy or suffer your limited time called *Life* but enjoyment or suffering is also only a figment of your imagination.
Going beyond enjoyment, suffering, winning or losing is the path that few choose to walk.
Win or Lose… Let’s have a great life🙏


I am just sharing a thought provoking quote that I came across today.

 To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is
based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty,
but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to
emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see
only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember
those times and places — and there are so many — where people have
behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least
the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different
direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to
wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite
succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should
live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous
  –Howard Zinn

Fully Loaded

A couple of days ago. A sunny late morning. A city groaning and bursting at it’s seams. 
As usual, I was traveling in my red limousine. Close to my destination, the bus stopped at the red signal.  Across the road, an Indian handcart (similar to the picture) had stopped in it’s tracks with one side down groaning with the load of 20 cartons ( I counted ) . 6 men were at their wit’s end on how to carry on their journey, with a traffic cop standing next to them while the traffic flowed around them. Well, I couldn’t see how they managed to balance the handcart since my bus went towards my destination when the signal was a happy green. 
It just makes me wonder why humans have to earn their daily wages in this manner. Despite, the advance of technology , people still labour like this . Are we progressing or regressing. ?. Are we human or a slave to our routine. Watch, look and move on. Does this happen only in India ?
I wonder………

Professional Paradox

“Six years ago in Singapore I gave a taxi driver a business card to take me to a particular address.

At the last point he circled round the building. His meter read 11$, but he took only 10.

I said Henry, your meter reads 11$ how come you are taking only 10.

He said, “Sir, I am a taxi driver, I am supposed to be bringing you straight to the destination. Since I did not know the last spot, I had to circle around the building. Had I brought you straight here, the meter would have read 10$.

Why should you be paying for my ignorance ?”

He said, “Sir, legally, I can claim 11$ but Honestly and ethically I am entitled to only 10”.

He further added that Singapore is a tourist destination and many people come here for three or four days. After clearing the immigrations and customs, the first experience is always with the taxi driver and if that is not good, the balance three to four days are not pleasant either.

🔷He said, “Sir, though I am a taxi driver, I am the Ambassador of Singapore without a diplomatic passport”.

In my opinion he probably did not go to school beyond the 8th grade, but to me he was a professional. To me his behavior reflected pride in performance and character.

✅That day I learnt that one needs more than professional qualification to be a professional.

In one line be a “Professional with a human touch and Values ” that makes all the more difference. Knowledge, skill, money, education, all comes later. First comes Human Values, Honesty and Integrity!☝️

⭕️Professionalism: It’s NOT the job you DO, It’s HOW you DO the job.👌

Shiv Khera, Author & Management Guru