The great philosopher

There was a great philosopher. He had acquired name and fame, but he wanted to renounce everything. He said that name and fame did not bring him inner joy.

One day the great philosopher was swimming in a pool. The swimming pool was dirtier than the dirtiest, but he was getting tremendous joy. The philosopher was in his own world. After some time, a minister came from the king’s palace and said to the philosopher, “You have to come with me now. The king wants you to come and stay at the palace, so you have to come immediately. The king wants to utilise your wisdom.”

The philosopher said, “Please tell me, does the king have a turtle in his palace?”

What kind of question was this? The king had summoned him, and the philosopher had to ask if the king had a turtle! The minister started laughing and said, “This kind of philosopher the king will keep in his palace? All right, I shall tell you. Yes, the king has one turtle, and he keeps it in a very beautiful glass container. When people come to visit, they ask to see the turtle and we show it to them inside the glass container.”

Then the philosopher said, “Look here, I do not want to be in the king’s showcase. I am also a turtle, and I am satisfied with this swimming pool. Even if it is dirty, here I am enjoying my life. Here I am my own boss. In the palace I will not be my own boss. The king will utilise me at his sweet will. He will ask me all kinds of silly questions. If I do not answer, he will be upset. Again, if I answer the questions correctly, then he will try to show off by telling the whole world about me.”

The minister said, “I do not want to hear your philosophy. You have to come with me. The king has called for you. What the king wants to do with your life, the king alone knows. It is not my problem.”

Then the philosopher said, “I want to have peace of mind. With great difficulty I have entered into the spiritual life, and I have given up studying philosophy. I shall not answer questions with regard to philosophy. Just as there is no peace in politics, there is no peace in philosophy. Philosophy is in the mind. Let us bring Sri Ramakrishna into the picture. Sri Ramakrishna said that in the Vedic era, people used to pray for years and years to have darshan, the direct vision of God. But nowadays people can buy a book for ten rupees to learn about darshan, which is the Sanskrit term for philosophy. Now that I have entered into the spiritual life, I am so happy. I am getting peace, peace and peace. I do not want to lose my peace, so I do not want to go to the palace.”

The minister said, “You have to come! Otherwise I will arrest you.”

Then the philosopher said, “All right, take me. You may take my body, but you cannot take the real me.” Again he started giving his philosophy!

The minister brought the philosopher to the king, and the king asked him a few questions. After each question the philosopher said, “God alone knows, God alone knows.”

The king became annoyed. He said, “God alone knows? Then where is God? And how do you know that God alone knows?”

The philosopher said, “I know that God alone knows.”

“Then prove it,” said the king. “Where is God?”

The philosopher said, “I am searching for Him. Once I find Him, I will bring Him to you.”

Then the king said, “You are a hopeless case! Go back home. Find God first, and then bring Him to me.”

Then the great philosopher was released and allowed to go back home.

Sri Chinmoy, Life’s bleeding tears and flying smiles, part 4.First published by Agni Press in 2001.

This is the 1377th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Life’s bleeding tears and flying smiles, part 4, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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