Hare Krishna !

The wood-cutter and the axe


Once upon a time a strong wood-cutter asked a timber merchant for a job.  The timber merchant was happy to oblige.  The pay was good and so were the work-conditions.  Therefore, the wood-cutter was determined to do his best.

The timber merchant presented the wood-cutter with an axe and showed him where to work.  The first day, the wood-cutter brought eighteen trees.

“Congratulations !” the boss said.  “Go on working like that.”

Motivated by the boss’s words, the wood-cutter tried harder the next day, but he could cut down only fifteen trees.  The third day he tried even harder but cut down only ten trees.  Day after day, he brought fewer and fewer trees.

“I must be losing my strength,” the wood-cutter thought.  He went to the timber merchant and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe ?” the timber merchant asked.

“Sharpened ? I have had no time to sharpen my axe.  I have been busy trying to cut trees,” said the wood-cutter.

Moral of this story

Our lives are like that.  We sometimes become so busy that we do not have time to sharpen our axe.  In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier but unhappier than ever.  Why is that ?

Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay sharp ?

There is nothing wrong with activity and hard work, but Krishna does not want us to become so busy that we neglect what is truly important in life, such as taking time to pray and to read the scripture.  We all need time to relax, to think and chant, to learn and grow.

If we do not take time to sharpen our axe, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.  So start today.  The only way you can do your job more effectively and add a lot of value to it is by chanting the holy names of the Supreme God.


Krishna has time to listen, but do you have time to pray ?

Questions for your own introspection

and necessary action

01)       What practical steps  are you taking to sharpen your own axe (head and heart) on daily basis ?

02)       What are your valuable realizations after you have adopted the above measures ?

03)       How did this story contribute to your own life ? Could you kindly give me your valuable feedback, please ?

04)       Could you kindly pass on this instructive story to others,  if you are benefitted please ?

Source :         Page 15 and 16 from the book  “Tales of wisdom”  of the Vaishnava Seva Kendra, Belgaum, India.

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  • Truly Amazing... Thank you for sharing. Hare Krishna
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