King Fatul1There was a pious king named Fatul, who ruled his kingdom with utmost concern and compassion. His very name was a source of inspiration to his subjects. He had almost no enemies; everybody was his friend.
But alas, there was one individual who was dead against him, and that was his own younger brother, Kabu. Kabu was terribly jealous of his elder brother, because he had the throne. “Everybody admires him and nobody cares for me,” Kabu said. “If I could become King, I would rule the kingdom more wisely, more affectionately and more divinely than my brother. If only I could be given a chance!”
King Fatul’s subjects, however, felt that Kabu was useless. They said to him, “Your brother keeps you in the palace; that is more than enough for you. We will never accept you as our king. There is no comparison between you two.”
At this Kabu was very sad and mad, but what could he do? He was helpless. He could never become King, even by dethroning his brother, for the subjects would not tolerate it. The best thing, he thought, would be for him to kill his brother.
King Fatul came to hear about his brother’s feelings. He felt sorry for Kabu and one day said to him, “Kabu, don’t kill me. It will be a disgrace to the royal family. My brother, I have tried my best to be of service to my subjects. But now I have had enough of name and fame. Since you have the desire to rule the kingdom, rule it. My only request is that you rule it wisely. I am giving up the throne and going into the forest to pray and meditate the rest of my life. The rest of my life I will give all to God.”
The younger brother was so moved and he touched his brother’s feet. “I will do my best. I really wanted to become King, and I shall not exploit my subjects. They are most precious to me. I am so grateful to you for your tremendous sacrifice.”
When the older brother left the palace, all the people mourned and cried. They suffered beyond any human imagination. Thousands of his subjects followed him to the edge of the forest and then they returned with heavy hearts.
Once Kabu started ruling the kingdom, he began to fear what might happen when Fatul’s son, Gokul, became mature. Kabu said, “Now he is a little boy, but in a few years’ time, when he grows up, he may decide to fight for the throne, and everybody may take his side.” Therefore, Kabu ordered Gokul and Gokul’s mother into exile.
No matter how hard Kabu tried to be a good King, nobody appreciated him. Whenever he did something good, people felt it was all deception and ascribed some motive to it. They felt that he was not doing it sincerely, or that there was something behind it. Nobody listened to him and everybody hated him. This made Kabu very sad and angry.
King Kabu tried for a few years more, but still he failed to please his subjects. Finally he said, “I have had enough. If people don’t like me, why do I have to rule the kingdom? I don’t need these subjects. I can live all by myself and be happy.”
He thought of his brother and said, “My brother was happy when he was the King, but now he has become infinitely happier. He prays and meditates in the forest and lives on fruits and nuts. He is so happy in the forest. I wanted happiness; that was my only desire. I thought that by becoming King I would become happy, but now I see I will never be happy as King.”
So Kabu went to the forest and begged his brother to come back and rule the kingdom. But Fatul refused. “No, the joy that I am getting is real joy. Previously the joy was not complete. I was all the time afraid that another King would come and attack my kingdom, or that a minister of mine would create problems for me, or that my subjects wouldn’t listen to me. All kinds of fears, worries and anxieties used to torment me, and my happiness was negligible. But now I have found peace and joy, and this joy nobody can steal. So I am not going back to the kingdom.”
Kabu pleaded and pleaded with Fatul, “Please, I have tried in every possible way to be a good King, but my subjects don’t believe that I am sincere.”
Fatul said, “That is because your journey’s start was not divine. Everybody loved me and adored me. You were the only one who was jealous of me. God brought me into the world a few years before you. That is why I became King. Our father was always most kind and affectionate to both of us. Do you not think that he felt sad in the other world that you were so jealous of me that I had to give you the throne?”
Some of the ministers who had come with King Kabu said, “King Kabu, let us go back to the palace. Somebody must be King.”
The younger brother said, “I am not going back to the palace. I will also pray and meditate.”
There was a chorus of laughter from the ministers, and Kabu got mad: “You are my subjects and still you mock at me? Do you think that I don’t have the capacity to pray and meditate like my brother?”
They said, “Certainly you have, but this capacity is not yet manifested. In a few incarnations you will start to pray and meditate.”
Kabu was very disturbed: “I am not going to leave this forest. Here I will pray and meditate with my brother.”
Fatul said, “I have no objection, but you need more purity.”
“What do you mean?” asked Kabu.
Fatul explained, “Purity means the sincere and soulful expansion of the heart. If your heart does not expand, you will not be able to enjoy the joy I am having. My heart expanded; I became one with all my subjects. Again my heart expanded and I gave you the kingdom. Therefore I was happy, I am happy and I shall always remain happy. It is because of my purity-heart that I am all the time getting joy.”
Kabu said, “I don’t know anything about purity and I don’t want to know. But I know that if you remain my guide, my pole star, I will be happy. If you are my pilot, I am destined to be happy and peace will definitely follow me. Therefore, I am staying here; and I am not going back to the kingdom. It was your kingdom and I am giving it back to you.”
But Fatul refused, “I won’t take it.”
Kabu insisted, “I shall soulfully remain with you.”
At this point one of the ministers said, “If both brothers stay here, who will rule the kingdom? You two are not doing justice to your kingdom. One of you must come back; it is your duty. If Fatul does not want to return because he has already become a sannyasi, then Kabu should return. It is too soon for him to give up name and fame, since he so desired them.”
Kabu said, “Anything that I find to be good, I always do immediately. So I will stay with my brother and, in serving him, I shall get the greatest joy.”
Another minister who was very old said, “You will be happy, your older brother will be happy and my mind will be happy if we do one thing. You have a daughter and your brother has a son. Look at your meanness! When you became King, you put your older brother’s son and wife in exile, even though your brother relinquished his throne for you. You should have kept his son and wife in your palace and given them your due affection and love. Where is your sense of duty?”
Kabu said, “Please, please, do not bring the past to the fore. I am miserable for all my misdeeds. Only tell me what you want me to do. I will do everything to please my nephew — I am setting him free immediately. O forgive me, I have done everything wrong and undivine because of fear. I thought that when he became mature everybody would take his side and dethrone me. That’s why I put him into exile. Now I myself do not want the kingdom. I want a higher Kingdom, a divinely pure Kingdom, a divinely illumining Kingdom.”
The older minister said, “Then your daughter and your brother’s son should get married and rule as King and Queen. Both of them are extremely good in every way. If they become King and Queen, then your kingdom will once more shine bright, brighter, brightest. Your brother is happy because he has become a sannyasi and renounced the world. He is getting God as his only friend. You will be happy from now on, for you are getting your brother as your pole star to guide you. You will be happy because you are entering into the spiritual life which is the real life. So naturally you will get real happiness from it.
“And we will be happy only when we have a good King and Queen. Your daughter and your brother’s son will be a good match, and we shall devotedly listen to them. We shall be happy, extremely happy, when they rule us and guide us.”
Kabu said, “Definitely we shall do that. But you go and arrange it, O Minister. I won’t go back. I will remain here for the rest of my life together with my brother. You can release my nephew and tell him that I implore his forgiveness. Also tell my sister-in-law that I implore her forgiveness ten times. Now let my daughter and nephew get married and let them peacefully rule the kingdom. Let everyone enjoy peace in his own way, for peace is satisfaction and satisfaction is all.”
GIM 100. 24 January 1979↩