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Retold by a master-story teller of our time - one of the best-loved creative writers of India - a hundred tales of light, wit and delight- tales of common sense and sensxe uncommon - tales of the wise and their wisecracks. A significant branch of India's vast literary heritage consists of tales told by mystics through the ages, different from myths and legends. Though taken for granted as a part of our folklore and rarely discussed, their influence on the minds of generations of common people has been only next to that of the epics. Sometimes they hit the nail of the head, sometimes they shock and sometimes they make one laugh at oneself, but they invariably enrich one's mind by identifying the complex and intriguing forces - psychological and occult, at work in our lives. This collection, probably the first ever of its kind, of a full hundred tales culled from sages known and unknown through decades of a sustained interest by its present author, should prove as revealing as they have proved for centuries past. Contents Preface Four Travellers and a Stranger The Song at dawn Two ways to learn a Hymn The last Brahmin God in smiles and in tears Riddle of the Brahman Hair-Oil for the Bald Deeds and Destiny The Dangerous Rider Crossing the River The Miraculous contact The Strange case of a Blanket The Forgotten Vow Crazy in the wilderness The Seeker of Happiness The Bare-Handed Baba An Experiment with a cup of oil The Ochre Garb Brahma Face to Face with the Brahma The Miracle that failed The Serpent's predicament A Project of prolonged thought! Of Action and consciousness of the nose behind the nose-ring A Suernatural achievement The Propitious Hour Who has renounced wealth and happiness? Feats human and otherwise The Ascetic and the angler The true miracle Mysteries human and divine The Scholar remembers his native dialect The swan from manasarovar The mighty Elephant and the Tiny Fish The final choice The Jackal's Magic In search of fire A most delicious drink How long to wait? The indefatigable bondage From whom to beg? A fight against fate "Come back properly Dressed!" Myself The Sadhu who saved a village In quest of the beautiful How to lead home a cow The changing taste of Truth and lie Trying to know the Elephant The hand that thrashed is the hand that nursed Three boons The man who went forward Indra to blame! Signs of the Ascetic Far beyond the masks The untouchable Curse or Blessing? The man atop the hill, the man midway the hill and the Climbers A speculation that became a prophecy A Gift for the Queen Why the Sage Kept silent Ganja sanctioned! The Guru and the Disciple Enlightened overnight Handling the wishing cup A windfall of luck The fasting devotees The location of paradise Gold for happiness The Transformed soil The Sinner A Revelation for the thief While God waits When the while lotus was red Back from pilgrimage Under the wish-fulfilling tree Roy Sahib turns Non-Violent The Flattered Donkey The wholly Holyman Wisdom through charity Wanted a Scholar-Old and Bald A strange ware for sale Secret of the poet's sight The ultimate boon The locked gate A companion in the wilderness That explains! The Friendly mirror The word When cleverness turned into wisdom The day the earth turned gold The three candidates Erudition in midstream The invisible blow Garuda's Compassion The Last Lock of hair The Miracle yet to happen The Magic stone The Misunderstood Prayer. PRINTED PAGES: 312.