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Why the Monk Laughed?





Genre: Spirituality

Author: N.Natarajan



Who should read this book?

Chapter 1 Tourist Meet the Monk

Tourists meet the monk - Tourists with a mission- What attracted the monk to spirituality – Life of saints starts as a common man.

Chapter 2 Three worlds within our world

Three groups of people - 1. The common man 2. the scientists and 3. saints -Three different worlds

Chapter 3 Sense limited world

What is a sense limited world - Maya – Why sense perception is restricted?

Chapter 4 Religious and Spiritual life.

Spiritulity and Religion - Sense limited world Vs Real World – Rebirth and Liberation - Religious life VS Spiritual life - Spiritual path - Seekers Grow into Spiritualists – Spiritualists help ordinary man.

Chapter 5 Understanding Life in different ways

Lifeis compared to a Journey- Life is a journey -

Run of Lives on By-lanes and Highways

Chapter 6 Lives run. Why do lives Run?

Life as a Relay Run - Life, A Metaphoric Run - Is God a Sadist - Spiritualists are Comparable to maintenance engineers and doctors. Metaphorical Run - Spiritualists are Comparable to maintenance engineers and doctors. - Run chain! - Religions help humans Run for the creator - Freedom from RUN! - All the lives run in their world! Maya plays it role




What is book about?


Majority of the people do not need to read this book. This book is meant for a very few.

Who are they?

There are always a few people, all over the world who seek:

(1) Spiritual Powers – Considered a Lower Goal and

(2) Salvation – Mukthi

(a.k.a freedom from birth-death cycle)

considered a higher and more noble objective.

There are several methods prescribed in achieving these two objectives. This book may be of use to seekers .

This is not meant for:

(1) Vast majority of us, are content with the life. They neither seek to Spiritual Powers nor the Salvation.

(2) There are those who feel pain in life due failure to reach the goals they desired to reach, Oppression and slavery in the society, health problems and economic stress. The Religions help overcome most of the pains.

The content of this book is in the form of discussion between a Monk and a tourist! The tourist seeks to know all about Spirituality and Religion.

The discussions continue in Part II of this book.

The discussions in Part of II deals with entirely Spiritual. The Part II covers topics such a (1) Maya , (2) the Spiritual powers and (3) Salvation.


Introducing Monk Mahananda to readers




Meet a Monk called Mahananda, a.k.a Crazy Monk, The monk wandered around the holy places like Rishikesh and Haridwar in Uttarakhand state of India.

Some times tourists who come across him bow before him and seek his blessings so that they will lead a prosperous life.

A few others seek to know or clear their doubts about various issues like Religion, Rebirth, Karma, God, Spirituality and Spiritual powers from such people.

Most such people are on window shopping the Spirituality with no intention to pursue a spiritual journey.

Monk Mahananda is different in many ways from other seekers. He is a graduate in computer science and was working abroad for a couple of years. He has read several books on science to scriptures, translated some of them into Hindi.

He was Religion aware but not a Religious person, perse.

He was a good storyteller.



Chapter 1

Tourist Meet the Monk


Tourists meet the monk - Tourists with a mission - What attracted the monk to spirituality – Life of saints starts as a common man. Life and Times of spiritualists.

Tourists Meet the monk

The elderly monk Mahananda was sitting quietly on the banks of river Ganga looking at the river. He wore Saffron dress like most others like him. The huge Rudraksha Mala and bright religious symbols decorated his forehead.

A group of middle aged tourist, who passed by, looked at the monk and sat a little away from where the Monk was sitting.

After some discussion among themselves, one of them from the group walked up to the monk and saluted him.

The monk smiled and blessed him.

Then, with some hesitation, the tourist asked the monk if he would oblige him and his friends by answering some of the questions that they have.

In the following pages the reader will find the Monk’s reply to a wide range of questions from a group of tourists who met him. The topics include religion, Spirituality, the life, Rebirth and Karma. with short stories. Suggested internet pages and books to read. Some of them are reproduced in this book.

The monk looked at the face of the stranger intently for a few seconds and replied him in affirmative. But added, he was not sure if he could answer all their questions and if his answers will satisfy them.

Tourists with a mission

Tourist: Myself and my friends have undertaken this visit to Rishikesh with a purpose. We have read that Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered as the holiest place where the Gyanis visit frequently. We have several doubts and wanted them to be cleared by Gyanis. We saw you and seek your kind help.

Immediately Monk interrupted the tourist.

Monk: Kindly understand that not all Saffron clad are Gyanis. We are merely seekers. Like LKG students working towards our PhD degrees.

You seek to know now that what I did several years ago.

The difference between us is that your seeking is a part time effort and it is a full time activity for me.

The tourist thanked the monk and proceeded to discuss with his group members. Came up with a brief list of questions.

They gave it to the monk who read it through and return the paper back to the tourists.

He asked them to start their questions.

Tourist: We are Engineers and computer professionals. We have some knowledge on spirituality acquired from reading some of scriptures translated into English from internet pages.

So, it will not be difficult for you to communicate with us.

The monk smiled and replied.

Monk: I am an Engineer too!

Tourist: Surprising to find a engineer monk!!

Monk: You will find a lot of Medical and engineering professionals among civil servants (I A S) in Government of India, in recent times.

You should not be surprised to find several qualified professionals among the Seekers too.

What attracted the monk to spirituality


Tourist: What attracted you to Spirituality?

Monk: We all set our goals when we are young. Some times our elders set out goals for life. We pursue (or chase) it all through our life. But the nature has its own designs.

Our goal posts gets shifted from time to time!

The course of life changes several times in everyone's life time. I cannot be an exception to it.

Whenever there is change of the course in our lives, there would be some experience, normally, out of ordinary.

One such make one turn a person from a normal man to a seeker. There are the other reasons. For now, this is the explanation for my taking to a Spiritual journey. This is enough for you, for the time being.

Life and Times of spiritualists

There are books that describe the life and times of great spiritualist like: Ramana Maharishi of Thiruvannamalai, Kanchi Seer Chandrasekara Saraswathi, Raghavendra, and Sadasiva Brahmendra of Nerur, Ramalinga Vallalar. They all point to the fact that all started their journey of life as a normal or ordinary person. Some small incident in their life turned them to the Spiritual journey. There are other explanations but it is too early to discuss them, now.


Chapter 2

Three worlds within our world


Three groups of people: 1. The common man 2. the scientists and 3. saints -Three different worlds



Tourist: Sir, can you explain us, what makes us, the majority people in a society different from Seekers of Truthlike you?

Monk: There can be several answers to this question. All of them are valid. I can tell you, just, one of them.

Three groups of people

You can group people, broadly, in any society into three on the basis of Knowledge.

  1. The common man 2. the scientists (thinkers & Philosophers) and the 3. saints (Seekers)!

The knowledge, obviously, determine what goals they set and pursue. Knowledge also determine one's likes and dislikes, whose company they like what kind of entertainment they enjoy.

All the three are physically living in our neighborhood but yet they live, through their mind, in three different worlds.

Three Different worlds:

World 1: The world of common man or ordinary man. Can also be called the world of known. They live within the Sense limited world.

They do not know that there are billions of life forms and events around them but cannot perceive them due to the limitations of Sense Organs. We are said to live within the boundaries of the Sensory perceptions.

Their world is different from the world of Scientists, Philosophers Thinkers, Scientists and Saints.

Both scientists and saints are seekers of truth, where as the common man seek only the sense driven pleasures, material possessions and official positions in the society.

World 2: Scientists are the class of people live in the sense limited world like any other common man. But keep exploring the world that lie slightly outside of the normal human perception limits.

They use Optical and Electronic instruments, mathematical science and logic & reasoning to extend their natural perception limits. Their world can be called the world of Knowable.

World 3: Saints, though living in the Sense limited world explore the realm that lie far beyond the sense perception limits.

They use several techniques, popularly called the Spiritual Sadhanas that shifts or alters the perception limits of our sensory organs. Their realm is known as the world of unknowable.

We will be discussing those sadhanas, the steps to become a saint in the Part II of this book.


Tourist: Sorry to interrupt sir. Can you tell us what you meant as Boundaries of Sense Limited world!

Monk: You must know that. We will discuss it next.



Chapter 3

Sense limited world

(The world of species controlled by Maya)


What is a sense limited world - Maya – Why sense perception is restricted? Veil of Maya, a real Story.

What is a Sense limited World?

Tourist: Kindly explain what is the key difference between the life of normal persons like us and spiritual people like you?

Monk: I am not a spiritual person, as yet. I am a seeker on a journey to become a Spiritualist.

Normal persons live within the boundaries of the Sense Limited world. Normal people are unaware of the existence of the world beyond sense driven boundary.

Tourist: What is the Sense limited world?

Monk: Let us remember that there are a very large number of species in the universe. We are just one among them.

1. What we are not conscious about is the truth that not all of the species perceive the world in the same way.

2. Even a child and a grownup perceive the people and objects differently.

3. Our perceptions (understand) depends on our sensory organs. The physics lessons in school text book will explain that our sensory organs responds to a very narrow band of vibrations.

What every specie perceive with their senses is not complete but perceive only an insignificantly a small part of it.

Every specie can recognise only a very few objects and lives.

Some of them clearly and others with distortions to varying extent.

The following sketch would give an idea about perceptions.

Tourist: What is good or bad about it?

Monk: The good about restricted perception about the world is, that enable different species interact freely, a requirement for the universe to function.

Ask anyone, if they can see the lives and objects in the entire world around them, they would say YES!.

Ask them if there is anything around us that we cannot perceive with our senses. They would confidently say, NO!!.

The truth is, not only humans, every specie in the universe has the ability to sense perceive (or know through Sense Organs) to a very negligible extent.

That means that we can see only fewer lives and objects are there in the universe.

Tourist: How was it made possible? Who did it?



Monk: Religion calls it as an act of Maya. The mystics describe this by several other names and explain it differently, such as illusion, Magic, Avidya (False knowledge).

It is the design feature of the universe.

Why the perceptions are restricted?

Tourist: How restricting perceptions help in functioning together?

Monk: We must accept that there is nothing redundant in the creation.

We have plant lives that are important (as food) for the survival of herbivores animals. For the survival of Carnivore animals herbivore animals are essential.

The invisible micro organisms in the soil are indispensable to the Plant life.

(Read : https://sciencing.com/importance-plants-animals-human-life-5541170.html for more).

They cannot co-exist in nature if they recognised each other.

We are scared to get near an elephant, a few hundred times larger than us in eight and Volume.

If a mosquito can see us as a 'human being' , typically, a million times its weight and volume, would it ever come near and suck our blood?

We will discuss more about this when we discuss about Maya in detail. For now, we will stop the discussions until we start our discussion on MAYA.

A real Story on the Veil of Maya

There were two officials, A and B, in a government office. Official B was a junior reporting to Official A. Official A is known to be highly corrupt.

Official B, was a handsome, healthy and well built man in his mid-thirties. He was an expert in Astrological predictions.

He made prediction about his own Death. The prediction was that he would die of a particular time, day and month that year. No one in his circle / office believed that it would come true.

The prediction came True.

On the predicted day, the official B died out of a massive heart attack.

The veil of Maya lifted and the truth stood before the dead man's colleagues in his work place. (Most Government office has a large number of corrupt officials).

The truth, that is revealed to the Official A, is that the life is impermanent. Everyone knows it. But Maya Hides it. We do not remember it always. Should we remember, we will not do most of the sins that we commit.

Shocked by the event, on that day, the official A declared publicly, in front of his colleagues that “he will not indulge in corruption from that moment on”.

It was hardly a month, the news spread that the official A was back to his usual corrupt practices.

Maya is powerful!

It will bring back every life under its control. The realised truth will be forgotten. People will continue living in their old ways.



Chapter 4

Religious and Spiritual life.

Religion and Spirituality - Sense limited world Vs Real World – Rebirth and Liberation - Religious life VS Spiritual life - Spiritual path - Seekers Grow into Spiritualists – Spiritualists help ordinary man - Devils descendents.

Religion and Spirituality

Tourist: I could see some connectivity between Spirituality and Religion. But yet the Spirituality does not seem to be a synonym for Religion?

Many magazines named Spiritual but talking about temples and religious topics. Even many use these two terms interchangeably.

Monk: They are not synonyms. They are two distinct paths of journey called the Life.

Mystics explained that there are broadly two distinct worlds within our world.

Sense limited world Vs Real World

1 . Sense Limited world. Every specie perceives a very small, almost insignificant part of the whole world. Comparable to a small town in a very large country.

This is the world of ordinary people.

Religion is a well made path to travel smoothly within the Sense Limited World.

  1. Spiritualists live in both Sense limited world and beyond it. The real world out there, that the normal lives cannot perceive it.

The seekers, who are growing into becoming Spiritualists, knew that there is a world much larger that the normal lives cannot perceive.

They undertake a long journey on a path called Spiritual journey.

By-lanes and Highway

The seekers step into the Spiritual highway to reach the Real World after a very long journey.

The Religion is called a bylane within the world of sense limited world. By-lane terminate at the Spiritual Highway.

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