Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 21 August 2018


Time uploaded in London – 15-09 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5348


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.



Following news item appeared in Metro newspaper of London yesterday (201-8-2018).

This emphasizes that George Washington a humble man. Eric Newman was a great charitable man. He has donated all his collections to charity.

It illustrates what the great Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar said in his Tirukkural:

There is a goodness and grace in our humility, but it crowns anew men of fortune—Kural 125


The graceless misers who hoard up their wealth and eventually lose it, do not know the pleasure which the wise derive in  giving to the poor what they need Kural 228

Enjoying alone the hoarded wealth , without giving others is worse than begging-  Kural 229


A  gold coin with the face of the first president of United States is sold for 1-37 million pounds!

It is a ten dollar coin with the date 1792 with

George Washington’s profile. It was specially made by a company seeking to make the first US currency. But he declined to have his head used so as not to look like European royalty. However he kept the coin as a memento and , a year later, the first coins had Lady Liberty on the front and a bald eagle on the back.

The coin had belonged to prominent American coin collector and author Eric Newman since 1942. Following his death at the age of 106 last year, his son Andy sold the coin through Heritage Auctions.



More than 56 million pounds worth of coins from Eric Newman’s collection have been sold for charity since 2013.






easter island

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 7 April, 2016


Post No. 2703


Time uploaded in London :–  19-10


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



Modesty Anecdotes

Cato, the Roman statesman (95 BCE), on observing that statues were being set up in honour of many remarked, “I would rather people ask, why is not there a statue to Cato, than why there’s”.


Mr President!

Abraham Lincoln was free from the usual official vanity. He rather shrank from than courted the official title of Mr President, and generally referred to his office as “this place”, “since I have been in this place” or “since I came here”.

Referring at one time to the apartment reserved in the Capitol for him, he called it “the room, you know, that they call the President’s room.”

Once he pleaded with some old Illinois friends who addressed him as “Mr President”,
“Now call me Lincoln, and I will promise not to tell of the breach of etiquette”.


book shelf

Male and Female author books on the same shelf!!!

Madame de Genlis carried her purity of Manners to such an extent, that she reprimanded the book seller who had the arrangement of her library, for having placed books written by male and female authors on the same shelf.


Boot Polishing Lincoln!


A man came upon Lincoln blacking his boots in the basement of the White House. He expressed astonishment that the President of the United States should be at such a menial task.

“What! Mr. President,” he exclaimed, “are you blacking your own boots?”

“Who else’s should I be blacking?” Lincoln’s laconic reply.


boot polishing


Most Immodest Lady!

When conversation in a company in which Dr Johnson was present had fallen upon rather a delicate topic, one of the ladies, with an expression of great displeasure, rose and left the room.
“That woman”, said the doctor, “is the most immodest of all the company”.


If there is Fire, I first!

F.W.Wile tells how, “Once when a group of Washington newspaper men wanted Secretary of State Hughes to attend a dinner at which a number of first rank foreign statesmen were to be present I was a committee of one to ask him where he wished to be seated at table. That was long before Dollie Gann an Alice Longworth all but caused social civil war in Washington over dinner table precedence. “You need never worry about that in my case”, Hughes said, “The only place I ever want to be first is at a fire!”


Modesty of Principal Cairns

A characteristic story is told of the great Principal Cairns, one of the most simple- minded and humble of men. Attending a great public meeting on one occasion in Edinburgh, which was densely crowded, his appearance on the platform was received with loud cheers. Never imagining that it was for himself, he turned and saw following him a man of diminutive stature, and totally unknown.

Taking him to be the object of popular applause, he stepped aside to let him pass, and as he did so began an enthusiastically to join in the clapping. The act, so characteristic of the man, was received with uproarious delight, and fairly brought down the house.


God is for the Humble (Post No. 2367)


Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 27 November 2015

Post No. 2367


Time uploaded in London :– 9-54 AM

( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a humble devotee of Mother Kali. He was childlike in all his talks, actions and ways of life. Once Keshab Chandra Sen went to see him.  He heard about the fame of Sri Ramakrishna. In the course of his talk, Keshab Chandra Sen said he had recently enacted a religious drama in which he took the chief part. Sri Ramakrishna quietly listened. A disciple of Keshab Chandra Sen said that Keshab played his part very well and everybody applauded him they were planning to enact another drama. Keshab Chandra Sen jokingly asked Sri Ramakrishna if he would like to take part in it and if so what role. Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied, “I shall take the part of the dust of your feet.”


What was the result of his reply? Sudden stillness and silence. By humbling themselves, saints humble others. When we reduce ourselves to dust, we realise the glory of the Spirit within.


–Swami Ramdas of Anandashram narrated this anecdote.



Even if you are a king, you are a student in the school!


Compiled by London swaminathan

Post No.2265

Date: 22 October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 16-40

Thanks for the pictures.

Don’t use pictures. Don’t reblog for at least a week.

“Vidya Vinaya Samapanne – Panditah sama darsinah”

‘The wise look with the same eye on a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility, a cow, an elephant, dog and an outcaste too’ – Bhagavad Gita 5-18


Great learning brings great humility. Inside the school all students are equal. Whether you are the son/daughter of a rich man or poor man, king or popper, the most famous leader or a notorious killer, a students is a student. They receive the same education and treatment. The first lesson they learn is humility. Forgetting all their social status, they brush shoulder with shoulder. There is a Tamil proverb which says,

“Even if you are the king of Delhi, you are a student in the school”

(Dillikku Rajaavaanaalum, Pallikku Pillay—in Tamil)

Here is an anecdote from a 100 year old book to illustrate this point:–

Dr.Richard Busby (1606-1695), the most famous of English school masters, was appointed Head-master of Westminster School (London) in 1640 and he discharged the duties of his office until death. He is the type of pedagogues alike for learning, assiduity and the application of the birch. As a most successful teacher for over half a century, he bred up the greatest number of learned scholars that ever adorned any age or nation.

Once when the Sovereign of the land paid a visit to his school, Dr Busby took His Majesty over the class rooms with his hat on, and when he was asked how he had dared to neglect that politeness which was due to kings, he replied that he was the monarch of his realm and within the four corners of his little kingdom, his pupils should not know that there was a greater man than he.



Woodrow Wilson on Honorary Degrees!

When Woodrow Wilson was President of Princeton University, he deplored the promiscuous giving of honorary degrees

“Our universities have learned of late,” he said, “to distribute honorary degrees judiciously. But in the past, well, in the past I met an uncouth person at a dinner, and, being told by an acquaintance that he had three degrees, I asked why it was.

“Well”, said my friend, “ the third was given because he had two,the second because he had one and  the first because he had none.”


Humility of Indian poets! Varahamihira, Kalidasa, Kamban & Purandaradasa

Bend it like Modi ( More you bow, More you Grow)

Written by London swaminathan

Research Article No: 1831

Date: 27 April 2015; Uploaded in London at 17-29

Sanskrit and Tamil poets were great poets and yet they were very humble. We may find several examples in our literature that show their humility. Let us look at a few examples:


Varahamihira who authored two encyclopaedic works’ Brhat Jataka’ and ‘Brhat Samhita’ among others, says in the concluding chapter of Brhat Samhita,

Jyotih sasstrasamudram pramathya matimandaraadrinaatha mayaa

Lokasyaalokakarah saastrasasaangkah samuthksipthah

“Having churned the ocean of astrology with the Mandara mountain of my intelligence, I have taken out the moon of science that affords light to the world.

Then in the next verse he says,

“I have not discarded the works of ancient seers while writing this scientific work. Hence, O ye good men, you may by all means compare mine with theirs, and accept whichever you like

He continues,

“Good men, on finding some excellence, though slender, in an ocean of faults, proclaim it, while the mean minded do the contrary. This is the nature of the good and the wicked

Durjanahutaasataptam kaavyasuvarnam visuddhimaayaati

Sraavayitavyam tasmaaddusta janasya prayatnena


“The gold of poetry being heated by the fire of wicked men gets purified. Hence, it should be read to the wicked by all means”.


Kalidasa, the greatest of the Indian poets, in his Raguvamsa Kavya, says,

“The dynasty originated from Sun; with the meagre intellect of mine,  I am wishing to go across this unnavigable ocean called the solar dynasty by a small boat.

“Will I become the butt of ridicule if I were to covet the celebrity of an eminent poet, like a short fellow overstretching his arms for a fruit obtainable only by the tall, because I am still a dunce in this subject matter?

“But my course in depicting this dynasty might as well be easy through the gateway already crafted by the earlier poets, like a diamond bore holed by a diamond-edged tool for an easy passage of thread”.

In Malavikagnimitra, he says,

“Every old poem is not good simply because it is old; nor is a poem without charm, because it is new; sound critics favour the one or the other, after proper examination; while a blockhead is guided by another’s judgement”.


Greatest of the middle age Tamil poets Kamban in his Tamil Ramayana says in Balakanda,

“I wanted to write the story of Rama. My desire is like a cat licking the milky ocean (thinking it could drink the full ocean).

“Are you people wondering at my endeavour of writing the great story done by Valmiki– full of penance? He wrote the story of great Rama who pierced the seven strong trees with a single arrow which never miss the target like the curse of great people.

“I know the world will ridicule me; but my intention is to highlight the greatness of Valmiki who wrote flawless divine poetry”.


The famous Kannada saint and composer Purandaradasa says in one of his songs

“There ought to be traducers. Without them the glory of the virtuous would not gain celebrity. For example the paddy grain would be worthless without its slender thorn”.

Varahamihira  concludes by saying

“With my intellectual power blessed by the Divine Sun, the sages and my preceptor, as a result of my having made obeisance to their feet, I have only summarized this science. Hence I offer salutations to the ancient authors”.

Bowing Modi

“Gunaprakarso vinyaadavaapyate”

“All virtues are enhanced with humility” – Subhasita ratna bhandakaram 3-869

Octogenarian Manmohanji Namaskar!

Baba’s Story on Humility

baba sun

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No.1111; Dated 16th June 2104.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in one of his lectures, stressed the importance of humility. He said that one of the methods to cultivate humility is not only to bow before god but also prostrate before holy saints and obtain their blessings. Baba narrated a story from the life of Emperor Asoka.

“Once Asoka went round the capital city with his minister. When he saw a Buddhist monk, he placed his head at the feet of the monk and bowed. But his minister did not like this. Asoka knew what was going on in the mind of his minister. He asked him to fetch the heads of a goat, a tiger and a man’s. When they were brought he asked the minister to sell them in a market. While the heads of animals had buyers, no one came to purchase that of the human being. There was none even to take it free.

The king then said, “This head is valued only when there is life in the body. Hence, when there is an opportunity, place your head at the feet of the noble men and secure their good wishes.”

Tamil King who had Siva’s Feet on His Head
Seran Senguttuvan was a powerful Tamil king who ruled Tamil Nadu about 2000 years ago. He decided to go to holy Himalayas to bring a stone for making a statue for the chaste woman Kannaki. On the eve of his expedition to North India, he went to the Siva temple and bore the feet (sandals) of Lord Siva on the head as a mark of respect to Him (See Kalkot Katai, Silappadikaram).

Kings of those days were so humble that they did not hesitate even to take bricks on their head to build temples.

Another powerful Pandya king Muthu Kudumi Peruvazuthi was praised by one of the Sangam poets that his head would bow on two occasions only:
1.When the king goes round the temple of Lord Siva and
2.When Brahmins raise their hands to bless him.
(See Karikizar’s poem on Mudukudumi, Purananuru verse 6)
baba ratha

Varaguna Pandyan was another great Pandya king who saw God in everything and I have narrated eight incidents that happened in his life time (Please see “The King who saw God in Everything”- posted April 26, 2013).
Another Saivite saint fell at the feet of a Dhobi (washer man) because his body was smeared with white sand. The saint saw holy ash ‘Vibhuti’ in everything that looked white!

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s Story
A man went to a saint and said with a great show of humility, “Sir, I am a very low person. Tell me, O Master, how I am to be saved”. The saint reading the heart of the man, told him, “Well, go and bring that which is meaner than you”. The man went out and looked all around, but found nothing whatsoever meaner than himself. At last he saw his own excrement and said, “Well here is something worse than myself”. He stretched forth his hand to take it up and carry it to the saint when suddenly he heard a voice say from within the ordure, “Touch me not, O Sinner, I was a sweet and delicious cake, fit to be offered to the Gods, and in appearance so pleasing to all the spectators. But my ill-fortune brought me to you. And by your evil contact I have been reduced to such a detestable condition that men runaway from me with handkerchiefs covering their noses. Once only did I come in contact with you and this has been my fate. What deeper degradation may I not be thrown into if you touch me again”. The man was thus taught humility and became the humblest of the humble. As a result he attained the highest perfection.
(See page 311, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna , Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai)


“Humility is good for all, it is an ornament for the rich in particular”, says Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar in Tirukkural (125).

“Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
And before honour is humility”, says the Bible (Proverbs 18-12).


The More you Bow, The More you Grow: Adi Shankara


President (USA) Obama bows to the Emperor of Japan

Post no. 874 Dated 28th February 2014
By London Swaminathan

Adi Shankara, in one of his verses says those who are humble grow and those who are conceited degenerate. This is a beautiful concept. Physically you bow before every one. But mentally you grow and go higher and higher. Shankara’s Q & A hymn is very unique in the realm of spiritual hymns. In fact he came down to our level from the Spiritual Everest! He is very practical in many of his advices in the Prasna Uttara Ratna Malika or Questions and Answers Garland of Gems.

He raises approximately 200 questions and answers them.

In verse 46, the question Shankara puts is

Who grows?
Answer: The humble (Vineeta:)

Prime Minister of India Manmohan Sing bows to a Hindu Swamiji

Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says
No jewels are more befitting a man than humility and pleasing speech – Kural 95

Good name is gained by modesty in manners – Kural 960

It is well for everyone to be meek, but for those who have wealth, meekness is an added possession – Kural 125

Empty vessels make noise is a proverb in almost all the languages of the world. Educated are always humble. Those who got money only behave badly. Such people will perish.

Who degenerates?
‘The conceited’ is the short answer.

Bjp Leader Nithin Gadkari bows to Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says in a story:

“A disciple, who had firm faith in the infinite power of his Guru, walked over the river by simply uttering his name. Seeing this, the Guru thought,” Well, is there such a power in my mere name? Then how great and powerful must I be”. The next day, the Guru also tried to walk over the river uttering “I, I ,I”, but no sooner did he step into the water than he sank down and was soon drowned; for the poor man did not know how to swim even.
Faith can achieve miracles while vanity or egotism brings about the destruction of man”.

How vanity turns a person’s head

“Those who have read a few books cannot get rid of conceit. Once I had a talk with Kalikrishna Tagore about god. At once he said, “ I know all about that”. I said to him, “Does a man who had visited Delhi brag about that? Does a gentleman go about telling everyone that he is a gentleman?”
Oh, how vanity turns person’s head! There was a scavenger woman in the temple garden at Dakshineswar. And her pride! And all are for a few ornaments. One day a few men were passing her on the path and she shouted to them, “Hey! Get out of the way, you people!” if a scavenger woman could talk that way, what can one say about the vanity of others?”

Source: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras, 1947 publication.

The great Tamil saint Valluvar also said the same about humility:
Self control places a man among gods; want of it will plunge one into utter darkness – Kural 121

baba- kalam

Abdul Kalam Ex President of India, with Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Dr S. M Diaz in his commentary on this couplet gives two quotaions from the Bible:
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
And before honour is humility – Proverbs 18:12
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth – Matt 5:5

Tamils always compare the learned people to a fully grown paddy plant. The more the grains in a plant more it lowers its head(crown).

In verse 17 of Prasnottara Ratnamalika there is a question

Whose self (Atma) can never be chastened (subdued or restrained) even at the cost of life?
Answer: The unintelligent, Ungrateful, Cheerless and doubting (person).

We know that a fool or a dull person cannot be changed that easily.
Doubting Thomas can never progress. ‘Samsaya Atma Vinasyati’- says Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (4-40)
“The man who is ignorant, who has no faith, who is of a doubting nature, perishes. For the doubting soul there is neither this world nor the world beyond nor any happiness “(4-40).

Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says

“To those who have conquered doubts and reached the truth,
The heavens are nearer than this earth itself “ — Kural couplet 353

In another couplet, he says

“Trusting untried persons and doubting tested aides,
Will both lead to endless ills “— Kural 510

Lord Krishna’s List (Bhagavad Gita 16: 1 to 3)

Krishna gives a long list of qualities of people born with Divine Nature:
1.Feralessness (Abhayam)
2.Purity of mind (satvasamsuddhi:)
3.Wise apportionment of knowledge & concentration(Jana yoga vyavastithi)
4.Charity (Dhanam)
5.Self control (Dama:)
6.Sacrifice (Yajna:)
7.Study of the scriptures (Svadhyaya:)
8.Austerity (Tapa:)
9.Uprightness (Arjavam)
10.Non violence (Ahimsa)
11.Truth (Satyam)
12.Freedom from anger (Akrodha:)
13.Renunciation (Thyaga:)
15.Aversion to fault finding (Apaisnam)
16.Compassion to living beings(Buteshu Daya)
17.Freedom from covetousness (aloluptvam)
18.Gentleness (Mardavam)
19.Modesty (Hri:)
20.Steadiness (absence of fickleness/Acapalam)
22.Forgivness (Ksama)
23.Fortitude (Druti:)
24.Purity (Saucam)
25.Freedom from malice (Adroha:)
26. Absence of excessive pride (Na Atimanita)
Great men think alike!
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