(A spiritual teacher with his three disciples.)
MASTER: Can you tell me, my children, what is the largest thing on earth?
FIRST DISCIPLE: Oh, earth itself is the largest thing, Master.
SECOND DISCIPLE: No, the sky is the largest.
THIRD DISCIPLE: No, no, the nether world is the largest.
MASTER (to the first disciple): You are right; earth is the largest thing. (To the second disciple.) You are right; the sky is the largest thing. (To the third disciple.) You are right; the nether world is the largest thing. Now, do you know the story of Lord Vishnu?
DISCIPLES: We don’t know. Please tell us.
MASTER: With one foot, Lord Vishnu covered the earth, the sky and the nether world. But the heart of a holy man is so big that it can contain both of Vishnu’s feet. If you want to have a heart as vast as the heart of a holy man, then you have to be totally pure.
FIRST DISCIPLE: Master, how can we make ourselves pure? I feel that my body and my vital are very impure.
MASTER: If you feel that your body and vital are impure, then do this. Take a shower at least twice a day to keep your body outwardly clean and pure. And to keep your vital pure, do not compete with anybody. No rivalry, no competition: feel that you will reach your Goal at God’s choice Hour. If you have that feeling, God will take you to Himself. You pray and meditate. Make your best effort, but feel that I will take you to your destination according to the Will of the Supreme, at His choice Hour. Then you will have purity in the vital.
SECOND DISCIPLE: Master, I know my mind is very impure. What can I do?
MASTER: In your case, you have to unlearn most of the things that your mind has taught you.
SECOND DISCIPLE: Master, I do not know what the things are that my mind has taught me. Please tell me.
MASTER: Your mind has taught you how to doubt, how to suspect, how to criticise. Learn to stop doubting, stop suspecting and stop criticising others. Then your mind will become pure.
THIRD DISCIPLE: Master, my heart is impure. How can I make my heart pure?
MASTER: From now on, every day try to be always ready to open your heart’s door for me. I knock at your heart’s door early every morning. Do not block the door with your desires, for then I cannot come in and pierce the veil of darkness within you. Open your heart’s door and allow me to enter into you. There I shall play with someone who is inside your heart, a most beautiful child, your soul. Watch how we play with immense joy and inner love for each other. When you watch us playing, your heart is bound to become pure. A day will come when we shall gladly invite you to take part in our game, to be one of us. Then you will feel that your heart is of us, your heart is for us: that your heart is made of aspiration, and your life is made for our manifestation.
AYODADHOMMYA (A SAGE)
ARUNI (HIS DISCIPLE)
WIFE OF AYODADHOMMYA
(The cottage of the sage Ayodadhommya.)
AYODADHOMMYA: Aruni, my son, you are fond of me; I am proud of you. You have pleased me in every possible way, and I am proud of you at every moment.
ARUNI: Father, O Father of my heart and soul, O Father of my earthly existence, O Father of my Heavenly Delight, it is all due to your Grace that I am able to serve you.
AYODADHOMMYA (giving him a smile): My son, today I am in serious difficulty. I do not have a servant. I cannot afford a servant.
ARUNI: Father, why do you need a servant? This servant of yours will do anything for you. You know that. He may not do it according to your satisfaction, but he will do it gladly, cheerfully, wholeheartedly and unconditionally.
AYODADHOMMYA: Aruni, I know. I know you will do everything for me. To please me you came into the world. But, Aruni, this is a difficult task.
ARUNI: Please tell me. I shall do it to the best of my ability. I am at your command.
AYODADHOMMYA: If you think you can help me out, then go to my paddy-field, Aruni. You will see that the water is flowing out of the field through one levee which has given way. I tried my best to fix it but could not succeed. Water is passing through the levee. And if no water remains in the paddy-field, then we shall not have a good crop this season. A paddy-field needs much water.
ARUNI: Father, I shall fix it for you. Don’t worry.
AYODADHOMMYA (to himself): I have never seen such a devoted, dedicated disciple. But, poor fellow, how will it be possible for him to stop the water from flowing out of the paddy-field? We need a servant, a strong man to fix the levee. Anyway, let me see what my dedicated spiritual son can do for me.
(Enter Ayodadhommya’s wife.)
WIFE: Is Aruni here?
AYODADHOMMYA: I have just sent him to the paddy-field to fix the levee.
WIFE: I have just come from there. I did not see him on the way.
AYODADHOMMYA: Perhaps he is going by some other route.
WIFE: Anyway, do you really think he will be able to fix it?
AYODADHOMMYA: I do hope so.
WIFE: I know he would give his life for you, for us. But if it is a task beyond his capacity, poor boy, what will he do?
AYODADHOMMYA: Let us see.
(The sage’s cottage. Evening has set in.)
WIFE: Look, it is dark now, and poor Aruni is still in the fields. Let us go and see what he is doing. Poor boy, he is still working very hard. We have to do something for him. Let us go and help him. I am sure he has not been successful. That’s why he is still there.
AYODADHOMMYA: You stay home and make a meal for us. Let me go and bring him back. If he has not been successful, tomorrow we shall try to find somebody else to do the job.
(Ayodadhommya comes near the paddy-field. It is dark. He cannot see anything. He shouts aloud.)
AYODADHOMMYA: Aruni, Aruni, where are you?
ARUNI: Father, I am here.
AYODADHOMMYA: Where are you? I can’t see you. What are you doing there? Come here, I can’t see you.
ARUNI: Father, please tell me which command of yours I should follow: the morning command or the evening command?
AYODADHOMMYA: What do you mean?
ARUNI: In the morning you commanded me, Father, to come and fix the levee, so that the water would not run out of the paddy-field. I tried my best in every way, but I failed. Then, as a last resort, I lay down on the levee, and thus I prevented water from flowing out of the paddy-field. I have been lying here most of the day. If I get up from this place according to your second command, then the water will flow out again.
AYODADHOMMYA: Aruni, listen to my second command. Come here. (Aruni leaves the bank and comes. He stands in front of his Master. His whole body is soaked and covered with mud. He is shivering all over.)
AYODADHOMMYA (blessing him): Aruni, you have pleased me beyond your imagination. You have pleased me beyond my expectation. I write down this deed of yours in my heart, with my joy, with my love, with my gratitude. Also, I write down in gold letters on the tablet of your heart, my joy, my pride, my gratitude. Aruni, today I give you a new name, a name which will do justice to your sacrifice for me, your love for me, your devotion to me, your service to me. Your name will be Uddalak. (Chants.) Aum. Uddalak. U-D-D-A-L-A-K. Today you were a human dike, protecting my field with your body. Tomorrow you will be Uddalak, the divine dike, protecting humanity with your unparalleled devotion and sacrifice.
(A cave deep in the forest. A Sage is meditating and his dog is lying on the floor next to him. The dog gets up and goes out for a minute. Soon the dog re-enters, running.)
DOG: Master, save me, save me, save me! I have been attacked by a leopard, which is chasing me. It wants to kill me.
SAGE: Don’t worry, my little friend. I have occult power. I shall turn you into a leopard, so that you won’t have to be afraid of him.
(He turns the dog into a leopard. It is now very happy and secure.)
LEOPARD: Master, I am hungry. I am going out to eat but I shall come back soon.
(Exit leopard. The Sage meditates. Soon the leopard re-enters, running.)
LEOPARD: Master, a tiger! A tiger is chasing me! Save me! Save me!
SAGE: A tiger? Don’t worry. What can a tiger do to you? I shall turn you into a tiger.
(The leopard becomes a tiger.)
TIGER: Oh, now I am really powerful. I am so grateful to you, Master. Now I don’t have to be afraid of anything. I am very hungry. Let me go out and eat since there is no food here. I will soon come back to guard you.
(Exit tiger. The Sage smiles and continues meditating. Re-enter tiger running.)
TIGER: Master, an elephant! An elephant is trying to kill me! Save me, save me, O Sage!
SAGE: Don’t worry. What can an elephant do? I am here to save and protect you. Let me turn you into an elephant.
(The tiger becomes an elephant. It is now full of confidence.)
ELEPHANT: Now I am really hungry. What I have eaten since morning is not nearly enough to support this bulk. Let me go and get food from somewhere. I shall come back to you soon.
SAGE: Yes, go with my blessings.
(Exit elephant. The Sage continues meditating. Soon the elephant comes back running.)
ELEPHANT: Oh, a lion! A lion wants to kill me now! How is it that God has not made me as powerful as the lion? I have to bow down to the lion. Save me, save me! Please, Master, this time make me as powerful as the lion.
SAGE: Don’t worry. I have the power to stop the lion from killing you. I shall turn you into a lion.
(The elephant turns into a lion.)
LION: Ah! Now I am really powerful. Now I don’t have to worry about anything. I can destroy anything; I can kill everything. When I want to eat, I can eat whatever I choose. Now I am the king of the animals. Let me take a little rest. Nobody will dare to come and bother me now. You meditate.
(The Sage gives the lion a smile and starts meditating. He chants from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita.)
LION: O Sage, I am hungry. There is no food here and I am hungry.
SAGE: Then go out and look for some food. I am a poor man. I have no food to give you.
LION: No, I won’t go out to look for food. Why should I? I don’t have to. I am the strongest of all. I can kill you. I can eat you. I don’t have to go out at all. What can you do about it?
(The lion comes near the Sage menacingly. The Sage immediately turns it back into a dog. The dog humbly tries to come near the Sage and sit at his feet.)
SAGE: No, I will not allow you, you ungrateful creature! Get away from me! You were a dog, and out of my infinite compassion I turned you into a lion. Then you wanted to devour me. Get away from here.
(The Sage turns the dog out into the forest and continues meditating. After a while he starts thinking aloud.)
SAGE: Have I done the right thing? The poor dog is helpless. I have turned it away in this thick forest.
(An angel appears.)
ANGEL: You have done the right thing, O Sage. In this world you have to be careful that when you give something to someone, that person deserves it and is ready to receive it. For only when a person has receptivity will you be able to bring down infinite Peace, Love and Light from above and manifest the Supreme in him. If he cannot receive your blessingful gift properly, he will misuse it. He may be so ungrateful that he will even use it against you. In the spiritual life, many spiritual Masters have taken their disciples right from the gutter, from lives of darkness and impurity. With their love, affection and concern they have given these disciples new life. Solely by their grace, they have lifted these disciples from darkest ignorance to Light and Delight. But the disciples are such ungrateful people. They feel that it is their own effort or their own merit that has brought them so high. When other disciples come later and gain favour with the Master, they feel that the Master is unjust, undivine. They criticise and insult the Master in every way and leave him.
So, Sage, in this world do not encourage the undeserving. If you help people indiscriminately, they will not appreciate the blessings of your Divinity. You will see happen to them what you have seen happen to your dog. You helped the dog in order to protect it. You transformed it into a leopard, then into a tiger, then into an elephant and finally into a lion. Then you saw what happened. When the lion became hungry, it was ready to kill you. In the spiritual life also, when people become really hungry for more name, more fame, more favour, more satisfaction, more power to lord it over others, they will stand against their Master and be ready to ruin his mission.
So be wise, O Sage. Only help those who deserve your love, affection and blessings. Only help those who are ready to be under your guidance with utmost humility all the time, from the day they accept you right up to the day they receive their illumination from you. When a disciple becomes great, divinely great, he has to feel that it is by your grace and not by his personal effort. What little effort he made was due to your grace, for it was you who inspired him to cry for a better life. Your disciples have to know and feel that from darkest inconscience your grace brought them into Light.
A GROUP OF SPIRITUAL SEEKERS
(A room of the royal palace late at night. A thief enters and is quietly moving around when the King and Queen enter, talking. The thief quickly hides.)
KING: I think the time has come for our second daughter to get married. But this time we shall not make the same mistake that we made with our first daughter. We married her to a military man. We thought that this man, who held a high post in the military, would bring her joy. But alas, there is no joy, no peace in her life. It is all constant fighting, constant battle. This time let us not ask for name and fame. Let us look for a simple man, very simple. Let us look for a religious man for this daughter of ours, for she is also very religious and spiritual.
QUEEN: My Lord, I fully agree with you. Our daughter is extremely spiritual. She should have a saintly person as her husband. She will then be happy, and we shall be happy. You are the King. We have abundant wealth. We have name and fame. All we need now is peace and joy. This daughter of ours will have peace and joy and she will give it to us.
KING: Where can we find a saintly person?
QUEEN: Well, there are always saintly people praying and meditating on the banks of the Ganges. I see them quite often. I think it would be a nice idea if we chose one of those saintly people who meditate every morning watching the sun rise over the Ganges. They are sincere people, simple people. How I wish our daughter could marry one of them!
KING: Ah, that is a splendid idea! I, too, thought of it. Tomorrow morning let us ask our Prime Minister to go and see if there is one saint there who is really suitable for our daughter.
(The next day. The King and Queen are speaking to their daughter.)
QUEEN: My child, you will be really happy and you will make us really happy if you marry a saintly, simple, religious person. You can see your elder sister’s fate, how miserable she is with her military husband. Although he holds a high post, there is no joy, no peace in their life together. If you live with a simple, innocent, aspiring person, then your life will be all joy.
PRINCESS: Mother, you are right, absolutely right. I really want to have a person like that as my partner, someone who is simple, religious and spiritual.
(Enter Prime Minister.)
KING: Prime Minister, I wish you to go and mingle with the saints and sincere seekers who are praying to God on the banks of the Ganges. I wish you to see if any of them would like to marry my daughter. Then you select a husband for her.
QUEEN: It is beneath our dignity, it is beneath our daughter’s dignity, to ask if anybody would like to marry her. Is there anybody on earth who wouldn’t marry our daughter? She is so charming, so beautiful, so loving. Is there anybody who would dare to say that he would not marry my daughter?
KING: Dearest wife, I am not sure. These religious people do not care for earthly beauty, name and fame. But if we find one, I will be so proud and happy.
PRIME MINISTER: Your Majesty, let me try at least. Let me see what I can do for our Princess. I am sure I will be successful.
PRINCESS: I feel shy. I do not wish to come with you.
PRIME MINISTER: It is not necessary at all, since this is the first time. Let me go alone and see what actually happens. You come next time.
(The bank of the Ganges. The thief who had overheard the King and Queen’s conversation is wearing an ochre cloth and meditating with the religious people. He is chanting most devotedly, crying for God’s Grace and nothing else. He wants to show that he is the most religious person on earth. Enter the Prime Minister. He goes to these religious people and asks several of them, one by one, if they would like to marry the Princess. They all refuse.)
PRIME MINISTER (to another seeker): Would you like to marry the Princess?
SEEKER: What do you mean? We are crying for divine Light, Peace and Power. Do you think we will be satisfied with a human being?
PRIME MINISTER: Don’t argue with me! Don’t you know that I am the Prime Minister? I can easily take you to the palace and compel you to marry the Princess. If you don’t obey me, I can put you into jail.
A SECOND SEEKER: You can put us into jail, you can even kill us, but we are not going to marry the Princess, no matter how beautiful she is, no matter how wealthy her parents are. We want only the infinite riches of God, not human wealth. Do anything you want with us, but we shall not marry the Princess.
PRIME MINISTER (turning to the thief, who has kept silent all this time): It seems to me that you would agree to my request. Are you interested in marrying the Princess?
(The thief remains silent.)
A THIRD SEEKER: Shame, shame, shame! Look at this fellow. He has cast a slur on us. We are all spiritual people crying for God’s Peace, Light and Bliss, and he meditates with us. Now he is silent because he wants to marry an earthly woman. He wants to enjoy earthly pleasure. Shame, shame! Get away from here! We don’t want you with us!
THIEF: You hypocrites! You liars! Outwardly you are acting like saints, but inwardly you are really animals. Outwardly you are saying you don’t want women, but inwardly you are crying for earthly wealth and pleasure, and inwardly you are enjoying vital pleasure. I can see clearly that you people are all impure, impure, impure! I am sincere. I want God. But at the same time I still have not transcended the pleasures of the human senses. I shall marry her. And I shall realise God much sooner than you by gradually transcending my desires instead of suppressing them as you people are doing.
PRIME MINISTER: All right, tomorrow I shall come to you with the Princess and we shall take you to the Palace.
(Exit Prime Minister.)
THIRD SEEKER (to the thief): It is beneath our dignity to sit beside you. You are an earthly man, whereas we are all crying to be Heavenly beings. We would not marry any woman. We know we would fall if we did. Marriage is frustration. Frustration is destruction. Meditation on God is Illumination, and Illumination is transcendental Delight. This is what we have come to realise.
(Exeunt all the seekers.)
(The banks of the Ganges the following morning. All the seekers have left the place where they were meditating the day before and are meditating in another place. The thief, in his ochre cloth, is praying and meditating all alone in the same spot as on the previous day. Enter Prime Minister with Princess and retinue.)
PRIME MINISTER: Look, I have brought the Princess here.
THIEF: O Prime Minister, I have changed my mind. I know she is beautiful. I know she is rich. I know she has everything that the world longs for. But I am not really a religious person; I am a thief. I overheard a conversation between the King and the Queen. They said they wanted their daughter to marry a religious person, and I thought that if I could marry the Princess I would be the happiest and the richest person on earth. Therefore I put on this ochre cloth and started meditating with the saints and seekers. Yesterday you saw, Prime Minister, how much they hate me. I fought with them, I insulted them, saying that they were all insincere people. But today a new light has dawned on me. Today I see that if I can get the boundless wealth of the world and this paragon of beauty by being false, just by telling lies, then if I tell the truth, if I meditate on the Truth, I will naturally get something far more satisfying than the wealth of the King and the beauty of the Princess. The Princess has beauty; this I don’t deny. Her father has wealth; that I don’t deny. But my sincere cry for God, who is all-Beauty, who is all-Wealth, will give me real joy, real satisfaction. There are many, many kings, many queens, many princesses on earth, but they do not have happiness. I need happiness. I used to steal people’s money; I used to tell lies and accomplish quite a few things, but there was no happiness for me. Today I am determined never again to swerve from the path of Truth. I shall only follow the path of Truth, and grow into the Highest, Eternal Truth.
(An angel appears and blesses the thief.)
ANGEL: I am most pleased with you, my son. Take the inner wealth I give to you: boundless Peace, Love and Bliss. I want you to marry this girl. You will not fall from the Truth. I have given you the wealth of the Spirit; now with this spiritual wealth I wish you to enter into material wealth, to control and guide the material wealth. I wish you to manifest the divinity of your inner wealth on earth through your outer wealth. I am blessing you. Your life’s inner cry has reached its highest height. Now, manifest that highest height here on earth. Your acceptance of this Princess, your acceptance of this material wealth, will please me. Use this material wealth to serve the inner wealth which you already have. Here I unite you (addressing the thief), the spirit of the inner world, and you (addressing the Princess), the matter of the outer world. Now I make you one.
(To the Princess.)
It is here on earth, in you and with you, that your husband will manifest God. It is with your help, your conscious help, that your husband will manifest God on earth. Without your help he cannot do it. And it is with him, with his help, that you will realise God, the Highest Absolute. Your realisation depends on him; his manifestation depends on you. I make both of you one to please the Supreme with your realisation and manifestation. By realising the Supreme and by manifesting the Supreme you will fulfil the Supreme.
(The thief and the Princess bow down to the angel.)
VISHWAMITRA (A GREAT KING WHO BECAME A SAGE)
SARASWATI (GODDESS OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM)
VASHISHTHA (A GREAT SAGE)