Love is love1There was once a Muslim king who had a most beautiful daughter. Unfortunately or fortunately, his daughter had tremendous admiration for a Hindu king. This Hindu king was unmarried and the Muslim king’s daughter wanted to marry him. But the Muslim king said, “Impossible! I will not allow you to marry a Hindu!”
The Muslim princess protested in the strongest terms. She said, “No, you have to allow me to marry him, because love is love. I admire him and love him. I must have him.”
What could the Muslim king do? His daughter’s happiness was dear to his heart. So he sent a messenger to the Hindu king seeking his views on the matter. As it happened, the Hindu king also loved this Muslim princess. So he replied, “If she loves me and I love her, then I don’t see why we can’t get married.”
In due time, the two were married. The Muslim king tolerated the fact, whereas the parents of the Hindu King were very agreeable to the union. They said, “To please you, son, is our only desire.” As this old couple had advanced in years, they had made their son the king and now, in their support of his marriage, they once more showed their tremendous love for him.
Over the years the Muslim king became terribly jealous of his son-in-law. Everybody appreciated and admired the Hindu king because of his courage, wisdom and sense of charity. Even the Muslim king’s own subjects had tremendous appreciation for the Hindu king. The Muslim king could not tolerate this. He wanted to conquer his son-in-law’s kingdom, especially the capital, and throw his son-in-law in jail.
So, quite unexpectedly, he and his army attacked the Hindu king’s palace. There was a terrible fight, but after a few days the palace was captured and the Hindu king was arrested. The Muslim king brought him to his palace and would not allow him to go back to his kingdom. He said, “You have to stay here in exile. Only on one condition shall I allow you to go back: if you send my daughter back to me and say that she is no longer your wife.”
The Hindu king said, “I love your daughter; your daughter loves me. Our love for each other is tremendous. What will she think of me if I do this?”
The Muslim king said, “If you won’t divorce my daughter, then I shall kill you.”
What could the Hindu king do? He was helpless.
The wife of the Hindu king was furious that her father had attacked her husband without any advance warning. She put on her husband’s uniform and started fighting against the Muslim king’s army. Some of the soldiers laughed at her because she was so weak, although she was determined to fight and kill them. Some ran away out of fear that while defending themselves from her blows they might kill her, and they were extremely fond of her. Only a few completely took their king’s side. “If you come near us,” they said, “we will kill you.”
In the meantime, a messenger came to the Hindu queen with a letter from her captured husband. When she read the message, she could not believe her eyes: “If I don’t divorce you, your father will kill me. Therefore, I am divorcing you and returning you to your father. You go back to your father and let me come back to my kingdom. All I want to do is rule there peacefully.”
The wife cried out, “Is this a Hindu heart? I loved a Hindu heart and against my father’s will I married this man. I gave my all to him, I sacrificed everything for him. Now he has divorced me. And I am fighting to bring him back! I love my husband so dearly, but he loves his kingdom more than he loves me. His kingdom is more precious to him than my life’s own sacrifice.”
The wife grabbed a dagger. “You will get your kingdom back, but my father will not get his daughter back!” she said, and then she killed herself.
In a few days the Hindu king returned. At first he shed sincere tears over the loss of his wife, but then he became involved in ruling his kingdom peacefully and he began to forget her.
The Muslim king was struck with grief for what he had done. Instead of getting back his daughter, he lost her for good. The Muslim queen became mad at her husband and she said, “You should be hanged! Because of you we lost our dearest daughter. She loved her husband and he loved her. Is not love more important, infinitely more important, than your religion? Who is Hindu, who is Muslim? The dear ones will always remain dear. There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim; there is only oneness. Because of your stupidity, today I have lost my dearest daughter. Had I been in your place, I would have destroyed my life.”
The Muslim king said, “Stop your philosophy! If I die, it is you who will be the sufferer. Already you have lost your daughter, and now you want to lose your husband as well? You will not be able to bear your suffering!”
The queen said, “No, I will be able to bear my suffering because I love justice. Because of you, I have lost my dearest daughter. If you die, I will feel that this is real justice.”
The king said, “You may love justice, but I also have some sense of justice with regard to my subjects. If I die, they will be fatherless. I have made one serious blunder. So what? If I stay on earth I can still do many good things for my subjects. I want to stay on earth.”
“Yes, stay on earth,” the queen cried, “and I shall also stay on earth with a broken heart. But the whole world will hate you, and I will be the one to hate you most. I will stay on earth, not because I am needed, but in order to treasure the memory of my dearest, sweetest daughter. If I die, I do not know what will happen or where I will go, but if I stay on earth I will be able to repent. And my repentance is my consolation, my repentance is my illumination. For that purpose I will stay, whereas you can stay to lead a shameless life!”
GIM 87. 22 January 1979↩