Sunday, 28 December 2014


2014-52 Jesus Christ - Sermon on the Mount [Mathew 5-6-7]

Sermon on the Mount
Jesus Christ

Matthew 5
The Beatitudes

1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
4Blessed are those who mourn, 
    For they shall be comforted. 
5Blessed are the meek, 
    For they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
    For they shall be filled. 
7Blessed are the merciful, 
    For they shall obtain mercy. 
8Blessed are the pure in heart, 
    For they shall see God. 
9Blessed are the peacemakers, 
    For they shall be called sons of God. 
10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, 
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Go the Second Mile

  38 "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'  39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Love Your Enemies

  43 "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

  44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 

Matthew 6

Do Good to Please God

1"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

The Model Prayer

5"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 
  8"Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Do Not Worry

  25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

  31"Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 7

Do Not Judge

 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

 7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow Way

 13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

I Never Knew You

  21 "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Build on the Rock

  24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 

  26"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." 

  28And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.


Sermon on the Mount Commentary verse by verse: [Click Here]

YouTube Audio with Text of the Sermon on the Mount: [Click Here]

Sunday, 21 December 2014


2014-51  Jesus Christ - Parable of the Sower

Jesus Christ

The Parable of the Sower [Mathew 13]

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”




Sunday, 14 December 2014


2014-50 Gautama Buddha - Noble Eightfold Path
Setting in motion the Wheel of Truth

Within the Fourth Noble Truths is found the guide to the end of suffering: the Noble Eightfold Path. 
The eight parts of the path to liberation are grouped into three essential elements of Buddhist practice-
moral conduct (Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood); 
mental discipline (Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration); and 
wisdom (Right Understanding, Right Thought)
The Buddha taught the Eightfold Path in virtually all his discourses, and his directions are as clear and practical to his followers today as they were when he first gave them.

1. Right Understanding (Samma ditthi)
2. Right Thought (Samma sankappa)
3. Right Speech (Samma vaca)
4. Right Action (Samma kammanta)
5. Right Livelihood (Samma ajiva)
6. Right Effort (Samma vayama)
7. Right Mindfulness (Samma sati)
8. Right Concentration (Samma samadhi)

These eight factors aim at promoting and perfecting the three essentials of Buddhist training and discipline: namely: 
(a) Ethical Conduct (Sila), 
(b) Mental Discipline (Samadhi) and 
(c) Wisdom (Panna). 
Ethical Conduct (Sila) is built on the vast conception of universal love and compassion for all living beings, on which the Buddha's teaching is based. 
According to Buddhism, for a man to be perfect there are two qualities that he should develop equally: compassion (karuna) on one side, and wisdom (panna) on the other. 
Here compassion represents love, charity, kindness, tolerance and such noble qualities on the emotional side, or qualities of the heart, while wisdom would stand for the intellectual side or the qualities of the mind. 
Now, in Ethical Conduct (Sila), based on love and compassion, are included three factors of the Noble Eightfold Path: namely, Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood. (Nos. 3,4 and 5 in the list).
Right speech means abstention (1) from telling lies, (2) from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity and disharmony among individuals or groups of people, (3) from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language, and (4) from idle, useless and foolish babble and gossip. When one abstains from these forms of wrong and harmful speech one naturally has to speak the truth, has to use words that are friendly and benevolent, pleasant and gentle, meaningful and useful. One should not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and place. If one cannot say something useful, one should keep "noble silence."
Right Action aims at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct. It admonishes us that we should abstain from destroying life, from stealing, from dishonest dealings, from illegitimate sexual intercourse, and that we should also help others to lead a peaceful and honorable life in the right way.
Right Livelihood means that one should abstain from making one's living through a profession that brings harm to others, such as trading in arms and lethal weapons, intoxicating drinks or poisons, killing animals, cheating, etc., and should live by a profession which is honorable, blameless and innocent of harm to others. One can clearly see here that Buddhism is strongly opposed to any kind of war, when it lays down that trade in arms and lethal weapons is an evil and unjust means of livelihood.
These three factors (Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood) of the Eightfold Path constitute Ethical Conduct. It should be realized that the Buddhist ethical and moral conduct aims at promoting a happy and harmonious life both for the individual and for society. This moral conduct is considered as the indispensable foundation for all higher spiritual attainments. No spiritual development is possible without this moral basis.
Next comes Mental Discipline in which are included three other factors of the Eightfold Path: namely, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness (or Attentiveness) and Right Concentration. (Nos. 6, 7 and 8 in the list). Right Effort is the energetic will (1) to prevent evil and unwholesome states of mind from arising, and (2) to get rid of such evil and unwholesome states that have already arisen within a man, and also (3) to produce, to cause to arise, good and wholesome states of mind not yet arisen, and (4) to develop and bring to perfection the good and wholesome states of mind already present in a man.
Right Mindfulness (or Attentiveness) is to be diligently aware, mindful and attentive with regard to (1) the activities of the body (kaya), (2) sensations or feelings (vedana), (3) the activities of the mind (citta) and (4) ideas, thoughts, conceptions and things (dhamma).
The practice of concentration on breathing (anapanasati) is one of the well-known exercises, connected with the body, for mental development. There are several other ways of developing attentiveness in relation to the body as modes of meditation.
With regard to sensations and feelings, one should he clearly aware of all forms of feelings and sensations, pleasant, unpleasant and neutral, of how they appear and disappear within oneself.
Concerning the activities of mind, one should be aware whether one's mind is lustful or not, given to hatred or not, deluded or not, distracted or concentrated, etc. In this way one should be aware of all movements of mind, how they arise and disappear.
As regards ideas, thoughts, conceptions and things, one should know their nature, how they appear and disappear, how they are developed, how they are suppressed, and destroyed, and so on.
The third and last factor of Mental Discipline is Right Concentration, leading to the four stages of Dhyana, generally called trance or recueillement. In the first stage of Dhyana, passionate desires and certain unwholesome thoughts like sensuous lust, ill-will, languor, worry, restlessness, and skeptical doubt are discarded, and feelings of joy and happiness are maintained, along with certain mental activities. In the second stage, all intellectual activities are suppressed, tranquillity and "one-pointedness" of mind developed, and the feelings of joy and happiness are still retained. In the third stage, the feeling of joy, which is an active sensation, also disappears, while the disposition of happiness still remains in addition to mindful equanimity. In the fourth stage of Dhyana, all sensations, even of happiness and unhappiness, of joy and sorrow, disappear, only pure equanimity and awareness remaining.
Thus the mind is trained and disciplined and developed through Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.
The remaining two factors, namely Right Thought and Right Understanding, go to constitute Wisdom.
Right Thought denotes the thoughts of selfless renunciation or detachment, thoughts of love and thoughts of non-violence, which are extended to all beings. It is very interesting and important to note here that thoughts of selfless detachment, love and non-violence are grouped on the side of wisdom. This clearly shows that true wisdom is endowed with these noble qualities, and that all thoughts of selfish desire, ill-will, hatred and violence are the result of a lack of wisdom in all spheres of life whether individual, social, or political.
Right Understanding is the understanding of things as they are, and it is the Four Noble Truths that explain things as they really are. Right Understanding therefore is ultimately reduced to the understanding of the Four Noble Truths. This understanding is the highest wisdom which sees the Ultimate Reality. 
From this brief account of the Path, one may see that it is a way of life to be followed, practiced and developed by each individual. It is self-discipline in body, word and mind, self-development and self-purification. It has nothing to do with belief, prayer, worship or ceremony. In that sense, it has nothing which may popularly be called "religious." It is a Path leading to the realization of Ultimate Reality, to complete freedom, happiness and peace through moral, spiritual and intellectual perfection.


The Noble Eightfold Path by Venerable Ledi Sayadaw pdf: [Cick Here]

Sunday, 7 December 2014


2014-49 Gautama Buddha - Four Noble Truths

Gautama Buddha

4 NOBLE TRUTHS: The First Discourse of the Buddha

[For seven weeks immediately following the enlightenment, the Buddha spent his time in lonely retreat. At the close of this period he decided to proclaim the doctrine (Dhamma), he had realized, to those five ascetics who were once struggling with him for enlightenment. The Buddha left Gaya, where he attained enlightenment, for distant Varanasi. There at the Deer Park he addressed the group of five monks (Bhikkhus):

'Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. What are the two? There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable. Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (The Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana.] 

There are four noble truths:

1] The Noble Truth of Suffering (Dukkha), is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering, not to receive what one desires is suffering - in brief the five aggregates subject to grasping are suffering.

2] The Noble Truth of the Origin (cause) of Suffering is this: It is this craving (thirst) which produces re-becoming (rebirth) accompanied by passionate greed, and finding fresh delight now here, and now there, namely craving for sense pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence (self-annihilation).

3] The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the complete cessation of that very craving, giving it up, relinquishing it, liberating oneself from it, and detaching oneself from it.

4] The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the Noble Eightfold Path, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. 

This the Blessed One said. The group of five monks was glad, and they rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.


YouTube Video of the 4 Noble Truths: [Click Here]

Sunday, 30 November 2014


2014-48 ThirukkuraL  -  On Wealth [பொருள் Porul]

ThirukkuraL - Wealth
The saint poet Thiruvalluvar emphasizes the importance of unshaken enthusiasm and energy, earnest effort and perseverance in the Section on Wealth [Porulpaal] of the ThirukkuraL. Here are the choice couplets gleaned from that great book of wisdom:

Wealth will enquire the way to and reach the abode of
the person with unshaken enthusiasm and energy.   
ஆக்கம் அதர் வினாய் செல்லும் அசைவு இலா 
ஊக்கம் உடையான் உழை.   [தி 594] 
Aakkam athar vinaai sellum asaivu ilaa
Ookkam udaiyaan uzhai.   [T 594]

Right effort with perseverance produces prosperity,
Lack of it drives one to poverty.     
முயற்சி திருவினை ஆக்கும் முயன்றின்மை 
இன்மை புகுத்தி விடும்.  [தி 616]
Muyarchi thiruvinai aakkum muyandrinmai
Inmai pukuthi vidum.   [T 616]

Those who strive with tireless exertion and remain undaunted
Will force even the most powerful fate to retreat.   
ஊழையும் உப்பக்கம் காண்பர் உலைவு இன்றி 
தாழாது உஞற்று பவர்.   [தி 620]
Oozhaiyum uppakkam kaanpar ulaivu indri
Thaazhaadu ugnattrupavar.   [T 620]

Is there any task too difficult to do for the man who acts
At the right time and employs the right means?      
அருவினை என்ப உளவோ கருவியால் 
காலம் அறிந்து செயின்.   [தி 483]
Aruvinai enba ulavo karuviyaal
Kaalam arindu seyin.   [T 483]

One may aim to acquire the whole world and succeed,
If actions are aimed at the right time and the right place.   
ஞாலம் கருதினும் கைகூடும் காலம் 
கருதி இடத்தால் செயின்.   [தி. 484]
Gnaalam karudinum kaikoodum kaalam
Karudi idathaal seyin.   [T 484]


ThirukkuraL - English Translation: [Click Here]

Sunday, 23 November 2014


2014-47 ThirukuraL  -  On Virtue [அறம் Aram]

ThirukkuraL Arathuppaal

What does the great book of wisdom ThirukkuraL say of Virtue [அறம் Aram]? 
Keep the mind free of impurity. That alone is the practice of Virtue.
All else is nothing but empty display [T 34]. 

What are the impurities of the mind?  
The main impurities of the mind are Envy, Greed, Anger and Harsh words [T 35].

How do we stay away from these impurities?  
Practice Truthfulness. Purity of the mind is realized by Truthfulness [T 298]. 

What is Truthfulness? 
Truthfulness is the speaking of words which do not cause any harm whatsoever  to any one [T 291].  

How do virtues wax and vices wane?
When a man always seeks the good and speaks sweet words, 
his virtues wax and vices wane [T 96].

What are the basic pillars of the edifice of Virtue?
Love, Modesty,  Beneficence, Compassion and Truthfulness 
are the five pillars of the edifice of Virtue [T 983].


Here are the 5 choice couplets from the ThirukkuraL:

Keep the mind free of impurity. That alone is the practice of Virtue.
All else is nothing but empty display.    
மனத்துக்கண் மாசு இலன் ஆதல் அனைத்து அறன் 
ஆகுல நீர பிற.      [தி 34]
Manathukkan maasu ilan aadal anaithu aran
Aakula neera pira.   [T 34]

The main impurities of the mind are Envy, Greed, Anger and Harsh-Words.
Avoidance of these impurities is Virtue.  
அழுக்காறு அவா வெகுளி இன்னாச் சொல் நான்கும் 
இழுக்கா இயன்றது அறம்.      [தி. 35]
Azhukkaaru avaa vekuli innachol naankum
Izhukka iyandarathu aram.   [T 35]

Purity of the external body is achieved through water.
Purity of the mind and heart is realized by truthfulness.   
புறம் தூய்மை நீரான் அமையும் அகம் தூய்மை 
வாய்மையால்  காணப் படும்.   [தி. 298]
Puram thooymai neeran amaiyum akam thooymai
Vaaimaiyal kaanappadum.   [T 298]

What is Truthfulness? It is the speaking of words which
do not cause any harm whatsoever  to any one.   
வாய்மை  எனப்படுவது  யாது எனின்  யாது ஒன்றும் 
தீமை இலாத சொலல்.   [தி. 291]
Vaaimai enappaduvathu yaadu enin yaadu ondrum
Theemai ilada solal.   [T 291]

If a man seeks the good and speaks sweet words,
His virtues will wax and his vices wane.   
அல்லவை தேய அறம் பெருகும் நல்லவை 
நாடி இனிய சொலின்.    [தி. 96]
Allavai theya aram perugum nallavai
Naadi iniya solin.   [T 96]

Love, Modesty,  Beneficence, Compassion and Truthfulness 
are the five pillars of the edifice of Virtue    
அன்பு நாண் ஒப்புரவு கண்ணோட்டம் வாய்மையொடு 
ஐந்து சால்பு ஊன்றிய தூண். [தி 983]
Anbu Naan Oppuravu Kannottam Vaimaiyodu 
Iyndu saalboondriya thooN.   [T 983]


ThirukkuraL - English Translation: [Click Here]

Sunday, 16 November 2014


2014-46  Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant

Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]
The Selfish Giant

                                                        THE SELFISH GIANT

     Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden. It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. 'How happy we are here!' they cried to each other.

    One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden. 'What are you doing here?' he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

     'My own garden is my own garden,' said the Giant; 'any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.' So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice: TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. He was a very selfish Giant. The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside.     'How happy we were there,' they said to each other.

     Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still Winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. 

     The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. 'Spring has forgotten this garden,' they cried, 'so we will live here all the year round.' The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden. 'This is a delightful spot,' he said, 'we must ask the Hail on a visit.' So the Hail came. 

     'I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,' said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden. But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant's garden she gave none. 'He is too selfish,' she said. So it was always Winter there.

     One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King's musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring. A delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. 

'I believe the Spring has come at last,' said the Giant; and looked out. What did he see?  He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in. They were sitting in the branches of the trees. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads.

The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still Winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. 

   And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out. 'How selfish I have been!' he said; 'now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever.' He was really very sorry for what he had done.

   So he went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became Winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he died not see the Giant coming. And the Giant took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it.

   The little boy stretched out his two arms, flung them round the Giant's neck and kissed him. And the other children, came running back, and with them came the Spring. 'It is your garden now, little children,' said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were gong to market at twelve o'clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.