Wisdom from the son of Armenia.
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- Alert (for danger)
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- Bride and her wisdom
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- Choose a wife
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- divided we fall
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
- Evil Eye
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- Honesty(Honor one's promise)
- Hovhaness Toumanian
- Human nature
- Initiative (lack of)
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- living within one's means
- Meat (eating)
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- One in a thousand
- Oneness (real and false)
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- Service to God
- Shameless people
- Stingy (see Miser)
- Temporary pleasures
- Think for yourself
- Turkish Massacre of Armenians
- Two faced people
- Ungrateful people
- United we stand
- Useless Labor
- Vetch Hazaria – Six thousand secrets of wisdom
- The mystic perfections one may attain by reading parts of the Vetz Hazaria
- Six thousand secrets of wisdom – Vetz Hazaria
- Vetz Hazaria – Questions and answers
- Control the following three things to live happy and peaceful; sensuality, material desire and anger.
- Milk nurtures a child to become healthy,strong, grow and develop good intelligence. But if you give milk to a new born snake, it will turn it into a dangerous and poisonous creature.
- When a rascal is given good instruction, he becomes angry.
- Who fears to suffer, suffers from fear
- The greatness of a person is estimated by his ability to tolerate provoking situations
- Fenugreek – get the sludge out of your bulge
One day the mosquitoes spoke with God,
“Lord, you have given us a stinger nose to suck blood. You have created man with fresh blood. You gave us little bodies with wings so we can fly away when we are in danger. We can quickly fly from one man to another to bite and suck blood as much as we want. We have been truly blessed by you. But we have a terrible enemy. Why did you ever create the cruel wind. For no reason, the wind blows us away when we are drinking the tasty blood. We are pushed away helplessly. We are no match for the wind. Please eliminate the wind so that we can live peacefully.”
God said, “All my creation is dear to Me. I cannot eliminate the wind without giving him a chance to defend himself. I’ll call him to come and explain his actions. Perhaps, we can find a solution to suit everyone.”
As the wind approached God, all the mosquitoes were blown away. God could not make a decision because now the mosquitoes were not present. God told the wind that the mosquitoes complained about him. However, He could not proceed with the case until they came back. The mosquitoes could not come back as long as the wind was with God.
An elder mosquito organized a meeting with other bugs and flies to find a way to destroy the wind. When they all assembled, the mosquitoes spoke first.
“Dear brothers, thank you for assembling together today to discuss our common interest. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. It is in our interest to help each other to overcome our weaknesses so that we can thrive in the face of life’s challenges. We mosquitoes have an enemy, the wind. We need your help to get rid of the wind. We can’t peacefully suck the blood of man without the wind blowing us away. Please make your suggestions how we can eliminate this wind.”
The bugs spoke. “This life is full of illusions due to our imperfect senses. The distant sound of a drum seems pleasant only because it is far away. The grass is always greener on the far hill. A businessman thinks that the life of a teacher is better than his because the teacher has several months vacation. And our brother mosquitoes think that we bed bugs are better off. Actually we are much more miserable. Listen to our tale. We don’t have a stinger like you. We have many sneaky tricks so that we suck man’s blood without causing any pain. Man sleeps soundly as we quietly suck his blood. We hide in holes and cracks, in the mattress, under the sheets, wherever we are unseen.. If we are seen or caught, we remain motionless and pretend to be dead. But cruel man crushes us. There is no way for us to escape. You mosquitoes are fortunate to have wings to fly away to safety. If we talk to God, we will ask him either to give us bugs wings or make man without eyes. Then we will be happy and have no more complaints.”
The flies spoke up next. “Brothers, in our opinion you are much more fortunate than we are. The mosquitoes hardly make any noise when they land on man’s skin to suck blood and the bed bugs move about unseen and unheard. But, God has made us flies with strong wings and sturdy bodies that make noise. When we land on man’s body to get a taste, he drives us away with a good slap. If we are fast enough to get away, we may go for many days without even a drop of blood. Let us pray to God to create man without hands.”
Imagine how difficult it is to be God. So many prayers and requests are directed to God that benefit one and disadvantage another. God must make hard decisions based on the ultimate welfare of each entity. There are lessons to be learned and blessings for which we can thank God. The lessons are just as valuable as the blessings. In fact, the lessons are blessings in disguise. We can be thankful for both the lessons and the blessings. Then we will be on the fast track to return to the eternal kingdom of God.
Our life on this earth has some conveniences and inconveniences. Good and bad are always present as day and night, happiness and distress, riches and poverty. When one is
not content with his destiny, he becomes restless and considers himself unfortunate like the mosquitoes, bugs and flies. As hard as we try, we cannot escape our allotted happiness and distress in life. We have earned both by our actions in previous lives. The most materially successful person and the most destitute both suffer and enjoy based on their actions from previous lives and in this life. We determine our own destiny by the choices we make and the actions we choose to perform. Whatever I decide to do today, I will receive the reaction some time in the future either in this life or a future life. Similarly, whatever I am experiencing today in terms of happiness and distress, I can understand as the reactions to acts I performed in the past either in this life or previous lives. The Vedas affirm the individual soul has full eternity before birth in a material body and after death. There was never a time that the soul did not exist, nor will it ever cease to exist. Therefore, the soul can be either eternally liberated or eternally in the material world of birth and death. This is the reason why it can transmigrate from one body to another in this material world and be subject to the laws of karma until it awakens and does the necessary to escape from this vicious cycle.
I may complain about my fate, but I must understand that I am the cause of my happiness and distress. No one else can be blamed. But how do I know this is true? It is confirmed by the Bible and the ancient Vedic scriptures and, in particular the Bhagavad-gita.
The Bible says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 KJV); “and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:23c KJV)
BG 13.20: “Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.”
The Bhagavad-gita (Bg) gives very detailed information about causes of the suffering and enjoyment of the living entities. In verse Bg 13.20, it says that both living entities meaning everything that lives including plants, insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and human beings have an eternal and individual soul that is temporarily covered by a material body. All the souls are equal in their potential to achieve love of God and return to the eternal spiritual world. However, the temporary material body limits their potential. It is only in the human form that the soul can liberate itself from material entanglement. All living entities gradually move up to the human form by the process of evolution of consciousness. There is no evolution of bodies like Darwin theorized. All the different species of material bodies are created with the creation of the universe. The evolutionary process occurs when the living entity transmigrates from one species to another according to the type of consciousness for enjoying the material sense pleasures. Among the species lower than human beings the evolutionary process is systematic elevation or progression to the human form. It is only in the human form that limited free will is exercised and one can go up or down according to the type of consciousness developed and the merits or demerits one accumulates by his actions during the lifetime.
The material nature and the living entity are both eternal. They existed before the creation. The material nature goes through two stages, manifestation and non -manifestation. It continues to exist even when it is not manifest but it goes into a dormant stage wherein the time factor and the modes of material nature do not interact. At the same time, the living entity continues to exist. As long as the living entity maintains material attachments at the moment of death, it must remain in the material creation in a dormant stage waiting for the next manifestation to continue its entanglement. Every manifestation is a chance for the living entity in the human form to free itself from material entanglement and return to the eternal spiritual world. The destiny of the living entity is to understand that it does not belong in the material world where there is illusory happiness and much suffering.
The living entity is originally the spiritual part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but due to his rebellious nature, he is conditioned within material nature. One can fall even from the spiritual world due to the living entity’s limited free will. It is possible that the living entity becomes attracted by the allure of the material world. The allegorical story of the Adam and Eve gives an indication how such a thing is possible. Eve was convinced by the Devil that God was hiding a greater pleasure than she had ever known before. He convinced her to disobey God’s instruction and eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil. Once she did so, she became ashamed and then convinced Adam to do the same. God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to suffer in the material world. Later, Jesus came to redeem mankind by teaching them to resist the temptations of the Devil and submit to the will of God by following His instructions. Thus, they can again return to the heavenly paradise of eternal life without suffering.
All the transformations that we see in the material world such as the changing of our body from youth to old age, or the changing of seasons, etc. are produced by the material nature and its three modes of goodness, passion and ignorance under the influence of the time factor. Everything in the material world is a mixture or blend of these three modes. A man may be good with his children. Then, he may become passionate with his wife. Later, he may become addicted to ignorant activities like drinking and drugs. At every moment these modes are influencing us to act in one way or another which binds us to material life. It is only under the influence of the mode of goodness that one can understand what is happening and attempt to free oneself from the cyclical chain of birth and death. Our soul is eternal but it is chained by the illusory allure of the material world very similar to a thirsty man seeing water in the desert and walking into the desert seeking water. There is no real water in the desert but he sees a mirage and walks into the hot sands to his death.
Once we come to the material world, we receive a material body which is controlled by the forces of nature. We think we are the controller, but the truth is that we are forced to do everything by the laws of nature acting on our material body. For example, we get hungry. Did we choose to get hungry? No. Then we are forced to eat and drink water not because we want to eat and drink but because we are forced. We are forced to sleep, to work, to get old, get sick and die. All the time we believe falsely that we are the doer. The truth is that the body we have and the destiny attributed to the particular body by our previous karma forces us to enjoy and suffer. Enjoyments and suffering come by the force of destiny.
Our free will is limited to either accepting the instructions of God and living by them and eventually attain liberation or rejecting them and becoming entrapped by the laws of material nature of action and reaction until we come to our senses. Adam and Eve similarly remained in the Garden of Eden as long as they voluntarily chose to follow God’s instructions. When they disobeyed, they were forced to leave and come under the laws of nature which are controlled by God. Jesus, the son of God, according to the Christian belief, gives a chance for humankind to free themselves from this entrapment by again following the instructions of God and believing in the redeeming power of Jesus. I use the example of Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ because most people in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic tradition know the Biblical history.
The Bhagavad-gita continues,
BG 13.21: Nature is said to be the cause of all material causes and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.
Birth in a particular body, disease, old age, and death during our life are all caused by material nature which is acting under the control of God. However, the happiness and distress we experience is caused by our desires and acts. God is not responsible for the happiness and distress we encounter. We have the free will to accept or reject God’s instructions. If we accept, we are protected by God. If we reject, we are put under the control of the laws of action and reaction in nature until we realize our folly and rectify our behavior.
In the material world, everyone is struggling hard to acquire different kinds of pleasure for the body. One receives a body and senses which are instruments for gratifying desire. The living entity is blessed or damned according to past desire and activity (karma). Once one is placed in a particular body he receives suffering and enjoyment due to his past deeds and desires. If one is put into the body of a dog, he must act like a dog. That is the law of nature. For example, if I buy a plane ticket to go somewhere and board the plane. My destiny is tied up with that of the plane. If it goes down, I go down with it.
God always accompanies the soul of the living entity as the friend and overseer. If we decide to surrender to God, He takes care to help us break our unwholesome attachment to temporary material pleasures and suffering and free ourselves from the cycle of birth and death.
The Bhagavad-gita continues,
BG 13.22: The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.
During our lifetime, we experience an amazing mysterious transformation. We change our body dramatically from a tiny embryo in the womb of our mother to a baby, then childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, old age and death. We change our body but remain the same person witnessing all the changes. This is a mystery. Where is the body we had when we were in the womb of our mother. Where is our body during our childhood. In truth, we have had many different bodies in this lifetime while remaining the same person. This is a mystery that we do not reflect upon seriously. What does it mean? It means that the witness is different than the body. The witness is remaining the same while the body is changing. This is one fundamental indication that the witness is an eternal soul represented by consciousness and the body is like a material covering that is constantly changing. The last change is death during which the soul discards a used and wasted body.
The Vedas explain death in the following way. There is no death for the soul just as there is no birth for the soul. It is a part and parcel of God and is fully eternal. (This is affirmed in the BG 2.20) What appears as death pertains only to the body. However, there are two material bodies that cover the soul’s eternal spiritual body. The gross material body is made up of the five primary gross material elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether or space. The subtle material body which is the second covering of the soul is made up of mind, intelligence and false ego.
At the time of death, only the gross material body dies. The subtle material body, which is the repository of the soul’s material desires and memories of past deeds, is much more durable than the gross material body. It will last as long as the soul remains attached to dominating and enjoying the material nature. The goal of Vedic education is to purify the mind, intelligence and the false ego from the misconceptions that keep the soul bound up to the unnecessary cycle of birth and death.
The subtle body carries the soul at the point of death to its next material body which is determined by higher authorities according to the actions one has performed during life and the reactions one deserves as well as the unfinished desires one has at the moment of death. One receives a suitable body to continue the quest for illusory sense enjoyment and its concomitant sufferings. Therefore, the change of gross material body is due to attachment to material existence. As long as one remains captivated by the illusory allurements of material happiness, one continues to transmigrate from one temporary body to another. Because the soul is eternal, this transmigration can continue eternally if the individual does not wake up and understand the reality of his situation.
The false ego that drives the individual in his folly of illusion is the desire to dominate or lord it over material nature and enjoy it.The more he enjoys the more he becomes attached to temporary material pleasures. Thus, he is placed in various circumstances that invariably end up as misery under the influence of material desire. The eternal soul is sometimes a heavenly being, sometimes an earthly member of mankind, sometimes a beast, a bird, a worm, an aquatic, a saintly man or a bug. In every incarnation or birth in a gross material body the soul thinks himself to be the master of his circumstances, yet, the truth is, he is being controlled by the forces or laws of nature. These laws are created by God just as a government has penal laws and builds a jail for the small percentage of criminal types in society. The laws of karma are the penal laws and the material body full of material desires is the jail.
The entrapment of the soul is explained in this verse BG 13.22. It is due to association with the modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. For example, a child is born seemingly innocent. He or she does not manifest peculiar behavior immediately that can be classified as anti-social, psychopathic, murderous, drug addiction, thievery, sexual addiction, bi-polar, suicidal, etc. However, as the child grows older, he or she associates with the different modes of nature in the environment of the home, school, church,etc. This association can be real or virtual. For example, the child may become addicted to video games. Each game creates an environment of goodness, passion or ignorance, Usually, it is passion and ignorance. The child lives in that virtual environment and becomes seriously affected by it.
The purpose of Vedic education is to rise above the influence of the modes of nature and become transcendental to them or unaffected by them. Just as Jesus was able to resist the temptations of the Devil, so every person must learn to resist the temptations of the false material pleasures and dedicate oneself to the higher purpose of life.
There is no real pleasure in this world unless one is freed from the vicious cycle of birth and death. We can all admit that our hope is that modern science can stop inevitable death. That is the ultimate goal of science. Along the way to achieving this goal, science offers us increased facilities for temporary pleasures. This appears as a sort of incentive to keep our hopes up that science will one day stop old age and death which is our real enemy as seekers of sense enjoyment.
Vedic education teaches us to transfer our mental preoccupation from enjoying temporary pleasures and temporary objects of pleasure to the eternal reality of spiritual life and truth. This is called God consciousness or Krishna consciousness. Christians call it Christ consciousness. Becoming fully conscious of Jesus Christ, the son of God, and His ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of mankind is the meditative means for a Christian to rise above the influence of the modes of nature. Similarly, in the Vedic path, one meditates on Lord Krishna, the father of Christ, and the eternal instructions given by Himself and His representatives for elevating oneself from the cycle of birth and death. There are two operative elements, one’s personal endeavor and the causeless mercy of Lord Krishna and His representatives. The mercy of God prevails but one must still endeavor to follow because we have limited free will that we exercise at every moment to either follow or not. This is called Krishna consciousness.
Unless one is Krishna conscious, his material consciousness will oblige him to transfer from one temporary material body to another because of material desires. But such desires can be changed to transcendental desires to please Lord Krishna. That crucial change can only be effected by continually hearing this transcendental knowledge explained by genuine and authoritative persons who can repeat the words of Lord Krishna without adulteration. The paradigmatic example is Arjuna who hears the science of God from Krishna. Arjuna accepts Krishna as his teacher and submits himself to humbly hear the Vedic knowledge. Lord Krishna is the original teacher or guru of the Vedic knowledge. Anyone who claims to be a teacher of Vedic knowledge must precisely repeat the original words of the Lord without any change for the knowledge to be effective.
The result of hearing from Lord Krishna or His bona fide representative is one loses the immemorial desire to dominate material nature, and gradually and proportionately, as he reduces his desire to dominate, he comes to enjoy spiritual happiness. This is the real destiny of man. Not that he should rot forever in the cycle of birth and death chasing illusory happiness and suffering untold distress. His destiny is to be with God and his saintly servants and enjoy unending happiness in the spiritual world where there is no birth, old age disease and death.
The king’s secret agent reported to the him, “I can’t find out anything from the Armenians.”
“Why not?” asked the king.
They communicate without speaking,” said the secret agent. “When they speak out loud, they only talk about the weather or business and mislead us with false statements. But when they remain silent, they communicate secretly and we can’t understand what they say. They understand each other by giving a quick glance.”
“I think you are exaggerating. This may be true of a few but not all the Armenians,” said the king.
“I am speaking of all of them,” the informant said. “They all communicate without words in a mysterious way.”
“Let me see for myself,” said the king. “Pick out two Armenians randomly. Choose a barber and a shoemaker.”
The informant went to Hagop the barber. He said, “Hagop sir, the king requests your presence tomorrow at his royal palace.” The barber thought to himself, “Why does the king want to see me, a lowly barber?” He promised to see the king the next day. A shoemaker named Bedros also agreed to see the king.
The next day, the two Armenians arrived separately at the palace. Hagop was shown into the king’s throne room first. The king carefully observed him. Hagop greeted the king and then looked down at the floor. When Bedros entered, he quickly glanced at Hagop and understood he was Armenian. Hagop looked at Bedros as he walked toward the king to say hello.
The king whispered to his informant, “Let’s see if they communicate in non verbal ways such as a raised eyebrow, grimace, biting of the lips, scratching of the ear, raising a finger, a side glance.”
“Sire,” they have already spoken.” said the informant.
“What have they said?” asked the king.
” My guess is they recognize they are both Armenian and that they have been called to the palace to talk. The cleaver barber has enough education and experience to inform the shoemaker that whatever they say will be held against them and their countrymen. The shoemaker most probably replied that they should mislead us with useless platitudes about the weather and their trades.
The king said, “What should I say?”
“Ask them why they have come,’ said the secret agent.
“Why have you come?” said the king.
“The weather is so bad that our customers stay at home. Business is down,” said the barber.
The king looked at the secret agent and nodded in approval. He was convinced that the Armenians could communicate without words.
The Armenians saw the king look at the secret agent and nod. They decided to remain more secretive than ever.
Once upon a time, the king’s counselor informed him that there was a con artist who was cheating people by fast talking them to give him money.
“How does he do that?” the king asked.
“Oh, he is so tricky,” the counselor said. “He seems so sincere and humble. He is able to say things quickly that get you involved with his lies. Then, before you realize it, you give him money and he goes away on a pretext. You expect him to come back, but he never does. He has tricked even experienced and wise men.”
“It is hard to believe that people are so foolish as to be duped by such a knave,” said the king.
“Believe me sire, he has cheated our best people.” said the counselor.
“Bring him here,” said the king. He can’t fool me. Your head will roll if he doesn’t.”
The next day, the counselor fetched the con artist to meet the king with the following words.
“The king challenges you to con him.”
“What,” said the tricky man. “How can I mislead the king? It is not possible!”
“If you fail,” the counselor said, your head will roll and so will mine.”
‘May God help us,” said the slick talker.
The counselor introduced the con artist to the king who said,
“I have been advised that you befuddle honest men and take their money. I have seen every trick in the book. Fool me if you dare.”
“Oh noble King, may your days be long and prosperous. I must admit that it is impossible. I have left all my tools in the hock shop. You see I am not what everyone trumps me up to be. I needed money so desperately that I put my working tools for deception in the pawn shop. Without them I cannot fool anyone, not even the most gullible villager. If I can get my tools out of hock, I can come back and try. Your mercy, my sire.”
“I order you to fetch your tools,” the king said.
“But I don’t have a penny,” the fast talker said.
“How much did you put the tools in hock for?” said the king.
“Two hundred gold coins,” said the con artist.
“Give him two hundred gold coins,” said the king. “Get your tools and come back. I doubt you can fool me.”
The counselor gave the con artist the gold coins. The fast talker bowed humbly before the king and promised to come back quickly. After the man left, the counselor looked at the king and smiled.
“Why do have the stupid smile on your face?” said the king.
“Dear king, his tools are his tongue. You will never see him again.”
All good qualities awaken in one who serves God faithfully.
keedoutiahn pohlohr pahree hahdgoutiounnehruh zahrkahnoum yehn nuhrah mohd, ohv hahsehl eh hahvahdahreem dzahraiyoutiahn ahsteejahnuh
There was and there wasn’t a poor Armenian family. The father’s name was Hampar (short for Hampartzoum which means the resurrection of Christ in Armenian). The mother’s name was Vehanouh which means the sweetest person you can meet. Their only son was named Krikor. He was named after the most famous saint of Armenia, Krikor Lousahvoritch (Krikor or Saint Gregory the Illuminator). They were loyal members of their church and attended the mass every Sunday. They prayed that Lord Jesus bless their child and also give them health to work hard and earn an honest living.
The father and mother toiled long hours on hand looms making kilims or oriental rugs. When Krikor was five years old, they also taught him how to work a small child’s loom. It would take three to six months to finish a rug and then Hampar had to struggle to sell it. After tens years, the family was able to save an adequate amount of money to build a small house on a plot of land in their ancestral village.
Hampar slowly built the house with the help of relatives. He used what little spare time he had to work on it. It took three years to finish it. The day the family moved into their new house, Vehanoush had an eerie premonition. That night she dreamed that the house would burn down. The dream reoccurred for three days. She discussed her dream with Hampar. He was horrified. They had struggled so hard and long to have their own house. What to do? His wife was very worried and her anxiety affected Hampar. He went to a village fortune teller. An old woman who was expert at reading the coffee grinds left over in a cup after drinking Turkish coffee. She concurred that the house would soon burn down.
Hampar decided to sell the house. It took one month to find a buyer and agree on a fair price. He was able to get back the money he spent to build it. The family moved out of the house and back into the small rented cottage they lived in before. Soon after a group of marauding thieves robbed the new inhabitants of the house and set it on fire. It burned to the ground. It was a shock to everyone except Hampar and Vehanoush.
Although they felt relieved at selling the house and retrieving their hard earned money, they both became anxious. They locked the door and closed all the windows of their cottage. They were frightened that the thieves might come to rob and maybe kill them because they had all the cash from the sale of their house hidden in the cottage. What if the family that purchased their house told the thieves that Hampar and Vehanoush had the cash from the recent sale? They couldn’t sleep all night. The next day, they both went to a wealthy local merchant who was known as an honest man. His name was Hrant Agha. They explained their fear of being robbed. Hrant Agha reassured them of his trustworthiness. They entrusted their savings with him and he issued them a receipt. They returned home feeling safe and relieved of their anxiety.
Several days later, during the darkness of night, the same group of thieves attacked the compound of Hrant Agha and forced him to open his safe and robbed him of all his money. Hearing this devastating news the next day, Hampar and Vehanoush ran to Hrant Agha’s house to find out about their money. The Agha had been beaten and was in no condition to see them. They worried about their money day and night. After a few days they were able to meet with Hrant Agha. He spoke slowly and gravely. He told them that they were very fortunate because he did not put their money in his safe. He had another safe in a secret place. He offered to return the money. Hampar and Vehanoush nearly fainted when they heard the good news.
Hrant Agha gave them their money back. The two thanked him and left to return to their cottage. Again they felt anxiety and fear carrying the money. What to do? Perhaps they were next on the robbers’ list of victims. The next day, Hampar went to see the Armenian priest Haiyr Gomidas. When Hampar explained how much he was experiencing fear and anxiety about having his cash savings hidden in his cottage, the priest comforted him with the following words.
“Hampar jahn, listen to me. We Armenians have always worked hard and stayed true to our Lord Jesus, our apostolic church, our forefathers, our mother tongue and its beautiful alphabet, our ancestral land and our honor. We have suffered many hardships as a conquered nation at the hands of the Romans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Kurds and others who have all done horrible things to our people. Yet, we have somehow persevered and maintained our identity and self respect. Just as bad people are known by their cruelty, good people are known by their honorable and kind acts. We are born of the earth and we shall return to the earth, but our honor and good deeds will remain long after we are gone. Hampar jahn, you have always been an honest hard-working man. You have never been rich but yet, you have managed to live honorably and God has provided your minimum needs. Try to understand that your personal honor earned from years of honest work and good behavior is your real wealth.”
“There was once a bird of prey that swooped down and caught a fish with its claws and started to fly back to its nest. A flock of wild crows pursued the bird which tried to escape their harassment. But everywhere the bird flew it was followed by the flock of crows that cawed and screeched. The bird became exhausted and let go of the fish. The crows forgot the bird of prey and flew toward the fish. The bird lost the fish, but felt relieved that it was no longer followed by the disturbing crows. It realized that the crows were interested in the fish above all.”
“Hampar jahn, there is safety in humble living as long as you are able to secure the minimum needs for your family. We all have a certain destiny that we must understand realistically. Tigran the Great had the destiny to conquer and manage the great Armenian empire from the Caspian to the Black sea to Jerusalem. We also have our destiny which is given by our Lord Jesus and His Father. Regardless of the greatness or smallness of that destiny in material terms, we can still leave a lasting legacy by developing our character of self discipline, love, charity, kindness, and compassion. Think of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was mocked, dishonored, crucified. He died on the cross seemingly a poor and destitute prisoner of the great Roman empire. He was labeled by the priests of his own people as a fraud and an object of mockery. Yet, due to his faithfulness to determination to follow the Will of His Father, He resurrected from the dead and rose to heaven to the right side of His Father for eternal glory. He died to wash our sins. He is our Savior by His humility and faithfulness to His Father.”
“Hampar jahn, this is the real destiny of our people. We must follow the example of Jesus. We must not be afraid of living a humble life with just our minimum needs. God Almighty is the friend of the poor and the savior of the meek. Whatever we have over and above our minimum needs we should use in the service of the Lord. You are a father and your son lives with you fed everyday by your good wife and cared for and loved. Hampar Jahn, we have too many young children you don’t have a father or mother or whose parents are too poor to provide for them. Our village church needs to build a small orphanage for these poor children so that we can educate them, care for them and love them.”
Hampar and Vehanoush donated their savings to the church. A small but needed orphanage building was constructed and their names were posted on the building as recognition for their donation. By giving the donation, they no longer felt any fear or anxiety. They received respect and friendly esteem for their kindness. Hampar and Vehanoush also continued to make small but regular donations whenever they could for the maintenance of the orphanage. Sometimes one or two orphans would visit them and sometimes stay overnight in their small cottage. Haiyr Gomidas had taught them to say certain prayers before sleeping at night. They prayed to Lord Jesus,
“Dear Lord, thank you for your kindness and protection. We are orphans living in your house and feel safe and happy. May we always remain your humble servants. Also Lord, please protect and comfort Hampar haiyrik and Vehanoush Maiyrik and Krikor aghparig. Bless them in their goodness and humility.”
Hampar and Vehanoush had tears in their eyes hearing these innocent and sincere prayers. They thanked Lord Jesus that Haiyr Gomidas helped them to understand their real destiny. They understood how undue attachment to material things brings anxiety, fear and grief. They thanked the Lord that they were able to have the faith to do the Lord’s work without hesitation or resentment. They felt fulfilled and safe in their humble life of prayer, hard work and faithfulness to God and each other.