Vedanta Through Stories

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Item Code: IDL046
Author: Swami Sambuddhananda
Publisher: Ramakrishna Math, Mumbai
Language: English
Edition: 2012
Pages: 167
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.3" X 5.0"
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
Publisher’s Note

‘Vedanta Through Stories’ by Swami Sambuddhananda, who was the head of Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Khar, Bombay, was published in the year 1950.

We are happy to present the reprint of this book after the gap of many years. Spiritual disciplines are necessary for the purification of body and mind. One should study Upanisads and ruminate on Vedantic thoughts. Self-realisation is the aim of human life. “When the mind is attached to sense objects, it becomes impure. When it is detached from sense objects, it becomes pure.” Meditation is the activity of the pure mind when it has been purified by japam & austerity.

There are four great Vedic dictums known as the Vedanta Mahavakyas. Realisation of the meaning of these utterances liberates one from bondage. It is very necessary to have reflection and meditation on the Mahavakyas of the Vedas. These Mahavakyas are:

(i) “Consciousness is Brahman” (Rigveda)
(ii) “I am Brahman” (Yajurveda)
(iii) “Thou art That” (Samaveda)
(iv) “This self is Brahman” (Atharvaveda)

In human life only, one gets a rare chance to live in the holy company and experience Vedantic truths. The Atman (Brahman) is first to be heard of then reflected on and finally meditated upon. The Atman is existence – knowledge – bliss absolute.

“God is the Self of the Universe, the immortal being, The Lord. He is the all-knowing, all-pervading protector of the universe. Let us seek refuge in that effulgent Being, whose light reveals the knowledge of the Atman.” By Self-realisation one attains Eternal Peace and Divine Bliss.

Vedanta through stories helps greatly to understand the hidden meaning of Upanisads and the spiritual consciousness will be aroused to lead the life of practical Vedanta.

May this book help readers to mould their character for spiritual enlightenment.


It was the desire of Swami Vivekananda that the philosophy of the Vedanta should be made easily available to the ordinary man in India and abroad. He believed that the dissemination of the ideas underlying that philosophy among the people would have consequences of great moment, such as diminishing the existing bigotries, prejudices, religious jealousies and unhealthy conflicts, and creating mutual understanding and goodwill between different communities and nations.

This book is an humble attempt to popularize the principles of the Vedanta with the help of stories, anecdotes and parables. These have been roughly grouped together in suitable categories, including a few tales and anecdotes of a seemingly secular character which have been added for the sake of variety and also perhaps as illustrating certain significant aspects of worldly life and behaviour.

I am extremely thankful to the Hon’ble Dr. Syama Prasad Mookherjee for his kindness in writing a foreword to this humble effort of mine. I am greatly thankful to Mr. K. C. Sen, I. C. S. Ex-judge, High Court, Bombay, now President, Industrial Tribunnal, for going through the typoscript of the book, and to many other friends who were generally very helpful to me in the publication.

I shall consider myself amply rewarded if this brings any comfort, solace or message of uplift or of right living to any of my readers.


Vedanta which literally means self-realisation or fulfilment is not merely an abstract philosophy belonging to the realm of speculation and divorced from the actual mode of life. It has an intensely practical side also. As one of its greatest exponents Swami Vivekananda said, the ideal of Vedanta lived by the recluse outside the pale of society can be practiced even from hearth and home and applied to all our daily schemes of life. Whatever may be the avocation of man, he can follow its fundamental principle which means service of man, knowing him to be the manifestation of God. It also teaches men to have faith in themselves and imbibe the virtues of courage and optimism as opposed to cowardice and pessimism. Finally, Vedanta as a religion does not tolerate bigotries, narrow prejudices and religious and the universal acceptance of all religions. I cannot do better than quote the words of Swami Vivekananda who illustrated this characteristic of Vedanta in his inimitable way. “I accept all religions that were in the past,” said the Swami, “and worship with them all; I worship God with every one of them, in whatever form they worship Him. I shall go to the mosque of the Mohammedan; I shall enter the Christian’s church and knell before the crucifix; I shall enter the Buddhistic temple where I shall take refuge and sit down in meditation with the Hindu who is trying to see the light which enlightens the heart of every one. Not only shall I do these but I shall keep my heart open for all that may come in the future.”

Such is the catholicity of the Vedantic religion and naturally Swami Vivekananda laid great stress on the dissemination of the ideas underlying it among the people. In fact, one of the objects with which the Ramakrishna mission was founded was “to spread among the people in general Vedantic and other religious ideas in the way in which they were elucidated in the life of Sri Ramakrishna.” One thing which has stood in the way of such widespread dissemination of Vedanta knowledge is the lack of a popular, yet authentic version which can be understood without difficulty by ordinary men and women. “Vedanta Through Stories” is such a popular version. It seeks to explain and popularize the fundamental tenets of the Vedanta with the help of anecdotes and parables collected from the Upanishads and from the lives of saints and sages, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, Buddha and Shankara, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. It is a magnificent attempt and will go a long way in spreading the message of the Vedanta among those who have neither the leisure nor the background to go through different philosophical discourses.


SECTION I : Ways of the World
Publisher’s Note iv
1Buddha and his disciples1
2Callous son.1
3Shake before use.2
4Adoption of a son.2
5A problem child-Cleverer than I 3
6Unpractical intellectuality4
7Incurable habit4
8Prayer with a reservation.5
9Indiscriminate charity5
10The dishonest miser5
11Self-defeating worldly hope7
12Why worldly people cannot attain God-realisation.7
13The ideal and the real8
14Friend in prosperity8
15The danger of flattery9
16Foolish courtesy9
SECTION II: Ways of Self-Study.
17If 52 why not 53?10
18The case of misunderstanding11
19Sree Rama and Hanuman11
20Non-violence in practice12
21Ambition and renunciation13
22Apparent and real13
23The king’s brother-in-law14
24The consequence of attachment14
25Indra and the gardener15
26Education of a Prince16
27The butcher and the cow18
28Angles of vision19
29Mere learning is not enough20
30Dependence upon God.21
31The world but a dream22
32Shedding of egoism23
33How illusion works25
34A crow and its child26
35Polite retort26
36The greatest of the organs of sense27
37Pride and its fall28
38What you seek is within you29
39Limitations of experience29
40Limitations of earthly possessions30
41How the self vanishes before the Supreme Light31
42Good and evil31
43Pleasure and pain.32
44The attainment of peace32
45The greater sacrifice 33
46The three robbers33
47Flee not, but face the trouble34
49The story of Ratnakar36
50The story of Ekalavya.37
51The perils of uncontrolled thought39
1World is like a dog’s tail.40
2Shiva and Parvati41
3Differential treatment42
4Two gardeners42
5Lead us not into temptation43
6The way of selflessness43
7Workings of Karma44
8Good cometh out of evil.45
9If anybody steals your shirt give him the cloak also47
10The working of Maya (1)47
11The working of Maya (2)48
12The way of Maya48
13The story of Satyakama50
14Sri Ramakrishna and Girish Chandra51
15The straight and the crooked ways52
16The lion’s cub disillusioned53
17Worldly attachment54
18To each according to his worth55
19True understanding56
20The virtue of perseverance57
21Beyond the realm of reason58
23Shiva’s self-sacrifice59
24The power of faith60
25The folly of unbelief60
26The force of faith61
27The folly of reprobating other faiths62
28The body politic62
29The end of all knowledge64
30The wife’s choice65
31The worth of semblanc66
32Queen Madalasa67
33To friends, out of sight is not out of mind69
34Lessons of experience69
35The physician and the patient71
36An ideal householder72
37The Supreme Truth (I)72
38Wonder of wonders74
39Practice of concentration75
40Immutable nature76
41Unconquerable Nature77
42Narayana in both the mahout and the Elephant78
1Highest sacrifice80
2Each in his place is great82
3The world is a caravansary85
5Inevitable Karma.86
6The way of a saint87
7Faith can work miracles88
8The biggest thing of all90
9Image worship91
10The end of rituals92
11The untouchable soul93
12The story of Dhruva93
13The quality of aspiration94
14Realisation of Brahman (I)95
15Realisation of Brahman (II)95
16Two birds sitting on a tree. (Jivatma & Paramatma). (Ref. Mundakopanishad).96
17The eye of faith97
18The story of Nachiketa. (Ref. Kathopanishad)98
19The pride of learning101
20Vanity of scholarship102
21Reconciliation of Contradictions103
22The worth of the Lord’s Name105
23The Spirit of receiving a gift105
24Power of concentration106
25The source of power. (Ref. Kenopanishad)107
26Seek and ye shall find.109
27Futile disappearance109
28Perfect disciple. (Fef. Chh. Up)110
29He sings for the Lord113
30The unfolding of enlightenment (Ref. Chh. Up).113
31Miracles: Occult powers, No. I116
32Miracle: Occult powers, No II.118
33Incarnation of God120
34Appearance and reality121
35Forms of God122
36Secret of resignation123
37The story of ten men.124
38Interpretation follows nature (Brih. V, 2nd Brhmana)126
39The highest knowledge (Brih. III, 1-9 Brahmana)127
40The Supreme Truth (II)131
41Fruit of self-surrender133
42Different conceptions of God134
43Proof of the existence of God135
44The unity of God.136
45Where all religions meet138
46Universal consciousness139
47The universal Self139
48The nature of the Supreme Self (Ref. Chh. VIII, 7-12)140
49Pippalada ad his disciples (Prasnopanishad)143
50Bhrigu and Varuna. (Ref. Taittiriya, Bhriguvalli)145
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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