Unity is strength

There was once a man who had four sons. The man spent his time in earning wealth honestly for his family and teaching his sons values like faith, love, unity, etc. His sons however grew up to be quite greedy and were always fighting among themselves for money and their father"s property.

The man was very unhappy to see his sons'problems, and believed that if they could set aside their greed and unite, all would be well.

Once, the man became seriously ill. He felt that he did not have very long to live. On hearing this news all his sons began inquiring about what he would leave for each of them. The man was very sad and decided to try one last time to make them see sense. He asked his wife to collect wooden sticks and to tie them in a bundle. He told her to keep the bundle in a big wooden box. They invited their sons with their families the next day to give them their share of his property.

Next day everyone gathered at his house. All of them stood around his bed. He called his youngest son and said, "Dear son, can you bring the wooden box to me? I have kept all my savings in it. I would like to pass them on to you."

All the sons were curious about this big box and began imagining how much gold, diamonds and money there would be in such a big box. The man observed everyone quietly. He then called his eldest son and said, "Dear son, can you open the box? Take out its contents and keep them on the table."

The eldest son said, "Yes of course, father. I am your most obedient son. I know that you love me the most and have saved a lot of money for me. I am very eager to see your treasure." He then opened the wooden box. To his disappointment the big box was empty except for a bundle of sticks. He was shocked and angry, but did not utter a word. He removed the bundle of sticks and kept it on the table.

His father then asked him to take the bundle of sticks in his hand and said, "Can you break the sticks?"

The eldest son tried hard to break the bundle with his hands and then with his feet, but he could not break any of the sticks. Each of them took turns, but none of them could break even one stick.

Then the father asked the eldest son to untie the sticks. He asked him to pick up a stick and said, "Can you break the stick now?" His son could break one stick quite easily. He then asked the rest of them to try. Everyone could break an individual stick.

The father said, "My dear sons, if you are united like the sticks tied in a bundle, you will be strong and no one will be able to harm you. But if you fight between yourselves out of greed, you will be easily defeated."

Moral : Like the four sons, we too, may tend to compete with our brothers/sisters or friends over toys or other fun things that we all could instead share and thus, get to enjoy. Daily chanting (repeating) God"s Name would help us develop the quality of sharing and doing things in unity instead of by ourselves out of jealousy or competition. Also, telling interested friends about chanting would give us company to make enjoyable efforts together in increasing our chanting.