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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Upakhyane Upadesha > Lalu & Kalu

Lalu and Kalu


A grocer had two sons - Lalu and Kalu. He wanted them to learn basic measurements on a weighing scale and as such, he entrusted his boys to a tutor.

   The boys were so unruly and naughty that a number of tutors proved themselves unable to impart this minimum instruction to them.

   Finally, the grocer had to declare that he would give away a half of his grocery business to anyone who could educate his two sons in numbers up to one hundred at least.

   Those two boys were, however, full of so many vices that they became addicted to smoking even though they were still infants.

   A poor old brahmana, being allured by the lucrative offer, undertook the job of teaching them. Their father made a very stringent arrangement so that the boys would always stay with their tutor.

   One day, Lalu and Kalu went out for a stroll along with their tutor. As they were walking, they came across a cow and the tutor asked Lalu, “Could you say how many legs this cow has ?”

   Lalu started counting the cow’s legs - one, two, three ..... All of a sudden, Kalu stopped his brother by closing his brother’s mouth with his hand, saying, “O brother! Don’t count - he will try to cleverly teach you numbers.” Lalu therefore stopped counting as he could realize the crafty teaching method of his tutor.

    Another day, Lalu and Kalu were taking rest in one room, along with their tutor. Both of them started snoring as if they were in deep sleep, so that the tutor may take them to be in deep slumber.

    Their tutor, noting that his pupils were asleep, decided that he would also take rest. After a while, Lalu and Kalu began trying to ascertain if the tutor was asleep and being assured, they got up, and went outside to smoke to their heart’s content. After finishing their cigarettes, they returned to the room and pretended to be sleeping again.

   After a while, when the tutor woke up, he smelt a strong odour of  smoke inside the room. Immediately he roused the boys from their “sleep” and started inquiring about the smell. His suspicions were confirmed when he smelted their hands.

   Lalu and Kalu continued to defend themselves, crying, “O sir, we fell asleep before you, we are just waking up now. How could we be smoking, sir? But it’s possible that some rascal was smoking with the help of our hands without our knowledge while we were fast asleep.



   Those who are determined to accept no advice or instruction for their self-development, are reflected in the mode of character as revealed in these two cunning boys, Lalu and Kalu. Quite often, many of us do not like to pay any heed to the messages and injunctions in our daily activities, only because of our apprehension that they might lead us to a domain of peace and welfare.

   Just like Lalu and Kalu, the majority of common people never accept the way to real welfare and happiness - they would prefer a pretension of keeping the association of saintly persons while continuing their activities of sense gratification in wealth, women, and wine.

   It is because we are unable to give up our hypocrisy and sense of foolish individualism and independence that saintly persons fail to lead us to real wisdom. Whenever our spiritual master sees our inclination to such unworthy activities, we make an attempt to defend ourselves with a false plea that we are not really interested in such activities and that it is merely that some unscrupulous religious or social leaders have forced us to become engrossed in them.

    By nature, all mischievous persons act like this and they put all the blame upon others in order to conceal their faults. they try to project their thirst of sense gratification onto honest persons.