The little son of a fat mother frog came hopping home to the pond in great excitement. “Mother, today I saw something wonderful!” he announced excitedly.
Mother, who had been dozing in the sun on a big lily leaf, opened her eyes and with only faint interest asked, “What was that, son?”
“Oh, it was such a huge animal–so big it is difficult to describe!” Mother chuckled indulgently. “And how big would you say it was, little fellow?”
The child-frog’s eyes widened with innocent wonder. “Til today, Mother, you were the biggest creature I’d ever seen. But this animal was much, much bigger than you!”
Mother became a little indignant at this comparison. She puffed up her throat and asked, “Was the creature you saw as big as I am now?”
“Mother, much bigger!”
She puffed herself up even more. “What it so big?”
“Mother, much much bigger!”
“This big?” And so the mother frog kept inflating her body more and more, while the baby continued to cry, “Bigger, Mother, bigger!” Finally the poor mother frog burst with a bang.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami used to say in connection to this story, “It is better to be a good one than a big one.” Thinking oneself to be big–even in spiritual pur- suits–is the cause of falldown. “I am Brahman”, “I am siddha”, “I am self-realized”, “I am a pundit”, even “I am a Vaisnava” are all egotistical assertations. Rather, the serious aspirant for spiritual advancement should realize himself as an insignificant particle of dust under the lotus feet of his spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.