"Don't Think of a Monkey and Other Stories My Guru Told Me"

This delightful collection of 108 stories were heard directly from Baba Muktananda—a master storyteller and guru of the author—over the many years they were together. Such stories and parables have always been an important part of the teachings of great masters. This collection, some of which have been told for thousands of years, conveys spiritual truths and also exposes the follies and antics of humanity—in a humorous way—to help show how to live in the world happily, without too much trouble. It’s a book you’ll want to pick up again and again.

(Review in Hinduism Today)

Drawing upon the rich storehouse of tales told by spiritual teachers since times immemorial, here is yet another brilliant work of great literary, religious and philosophical merit. It does not ring with magical word knells from across the shores of mysticism but outlines in the laymen’s language, a path to spiritual progress which every human being—from the lowliest to the greatest—may tread. The collection of 108 stories, including several tales relating to the wise and comical character, Mullah Nasrudin, makes intriguing and inspiring reading.

A book that will touch you by its profound wisdom and witty humour.

(Review in East and West Series)

Pearls of Wisdom

For all truth seekers, those taking up a spiritual path, those seeking to better understand the subtleties of life, or those interested in knowing one's self better, this book is for you! The stories are rich and colorful and can be read and reread from different angles.

Swami Prakashananda has given us 108 jewels, each one of which shines light on a different facet of our divinity. The Swami's guru, Baba Muktananda was a master storyteller, and used these little gems of wisdom to illustrate misuses of our divinity, to state pure truths, to inspire, shed light on and simplify our existence.

The stories are sometimes fables, sometimes parables, sometimes mantras, sometimes koans... always simple yet profound and very often humorous.

Stories have been used throughout the ages to push the imagination past the prison of reason, to a realm where peace can be tasted. Such tales often speak to the child within, to the innocence and perfection buried under years of "neglect."

These little masterpieces are packed with insight. For instance, there is the story entitled True longing in which a man asks a Sufi master if he can become one of his disciples, having studied many other paths. The Sufi master does not answer directly but rather invites the man to dine with him.

The man is flattered all the more so because the master shows enthusiasm with each successive mouthful. When the man is almost full and his eating slows the master seems displeased. So he again eats almost as much as before until he can no longer swallow even one more grain of rice.

The master then speaks explaining that many search for more and more knowledge when in fact they have not even digested what they know. Accumulation of information does not bring mental peace but rather mental dysentery!

I liked the story about the parrot who learns a mantra and repeats it constantly to passers-by and visitors. "Say Ram Ram and you will cross all difficulties," is what he constantly repeats until the day he is really in trouble and would actually benefit from the powerful mantra. A reminder that truth teachings, in order to do us any good must become a part of us and not just something we repeat like a parrot!

The odd thing is that most of these tales have been around for eons, many are even apart of us in some way or other. It is however refreshing to be reminded of the treasures and tools that lie within, like stirring a soup that has been on the fire; the act of stirring seems to awaken the wonderful aroma within the soup (or soul!)

This is a great tool for all aspiring yogis. Everyone can get something out of these little gems on one level or another. This book makes for insightful and pleasurable reading! I therefore wish you all "happy reading!"

Amazon.com Customer Review by Gena M. Lumbroso (Bussy-St--Georges France)