As Sivaratri winds down, here’s a story — with Nandi, of course — for you:
Once lord shiva and his consort, Parvati, were travelling with their vehicle – the Bull. The Lord had taken the form of an old man, while, Parvatiji remained young and beautiful. On the road all passers-by looked on with amazement at this odd couple of an old man and a young woman.
On the way, Shiva said, ”Parvatiji, my dear, please sit and ride on the bull durig this journey.” She obeyed and mounted the bull while Shiva walked alongside. The village folk and other strangers bitterly criticised, ”What a selfish woman! She is young and healthy and yet she chooses to comfortably ride while forcing the old man to walk.” Shiva changed his mind. ”Parvatidevi, the people are mocking you. It is wiser that I sit and you walk.” So saying, Shiva sat on the bull’s back. Further along, other strangers came with sharper comments, ”O look at this mean, bully of a man. He’s fat and robust, and evil too. He enjoys the ride while forcing this young and gentle lady to walk on foot.”
Hearing this both of them climbed the bull. At least, this would ward off the criticisms. But they were gravely mistaken and no sooner had they come to the next village, people sneered and jeered. ”Look at this nasty couple. Both of them have mercilessly climbed upon the bull. They’ll kill the poor creature!”
Now there was only one option left. They dismounted and allowed the bull to walk freely. They accompanied it on either side. While they walked, they met new people with new bitterness. They laughed at them, shouting ”What foolishness! They have taken a bull as a vehicle and neither of them is using it.” Straight away Shiva told Parvati, ”Come let us do what we think is right, and live the way we want to. The world will never appreciate or see what we do as correct.”
In this world, even if we perform a good deed not everyone will like it and support it. The problem lies with the nature of our world. If a Sadhu shows miracles people say, ”He’s into black magic and possesses evil powers.” And if a Sadhu avoids miracles, some will mutter complaints, ”O! He shows no miracles. He’s ordinary and is of no use.” This is the line of thinking our world works on. It is crooked from both ends and whatever you do, the world will never see you straight. Therefore, pay no attention to the words of the worldly people and continue to devoutly worship God.
That’s from a website, 101 Tales of Wisdom. You can find more — including, I’d suspect, 100 other stories — at this link. (Also here, I think, more generally about BAPS.) The moral — to frame this in the traditional Western way — of this one, though, can’t be beat.
For another take, here’s a tale as told by Tim Miller.
Posted by Steve