Justice in King Giyasuddin’s kingdom1

There was once a great Muslim king named Giyasuddin, who also loved archery. As a king he was great; as an archer he was good. One day while he was hunting, he accidentally sent an arrow through the chest of a little child who was crawling in the bushes. It was the only child of a widow, who had brought him with her while she was praying and meditating in the forest. The archer-king was aiming at a deer, but instead of striking the deer, his arrow entered into the little child. The boy was crying most pathetically and the mother was hysterical.

The mother went to the magistrate of her district to make complaints against the archer, in spite of knowing that he was the king. She felt that there should be some justice. At first the muslim magistrate was hesitant: “How can I punish the King?” Then he said, “No, I shall do my duty.”

So he summoned the king to court, addressing the summons to the archer Giyasuddin, not to the king Giyasuddin. On the appointed day the king appeared in court. On other days he would have saluted the king, but it was customary that the judge did not salute anyone summoned to appear in court. So the judge did not salute the king. He remained seated on his bench, and the king stood where convicts are asked to stand.

The magistrate said, “Do you know that you are going to be convicted?”

The king said, “Yes.”

The magistrate said, “This is my punishment. You have to beg pardon of the mother of this poor child and, also, you have to pay everything that the child needs for his recovery.”

The king immediately agreed. “I will do it.” Right away he went to the mother, who was in the court, and begged her pardon. Then he gave her the money necessary for her child’s recovery.

The king was then released. As soon as the king was released, the magistrate came down from his bench and bowed to the king, saying, “You are the King, and I am just an ordinary magistrate. It was you who appointed me and inwardly I shall be grateful to you for Eternity. But here justice was playing its role.”

The king said, “I am so glad that you are just. I want everybody in my kingdom to be as just as you. Had you not summoned me or taken any notice of the woman’s complaint, or had you just called me to court and said, ‘He is the King; so what can I do?’ I would have waited for a few days and then I would have come and punished you for the lack of justice in your district. This sword I would have utilised to punish you if you had not done your duty.”

The magistrate pulled out a cane from under his long gown and said, “If you had not come or if you had not obeyed my order to pay for the child’s recovery and also beg pardon from the mother, I would have punished you with this stick.”

The king smiled broadly at the magistrate and embraced him, saying, “You deserve my embrace; you deserve my fondest embrace.”


  1. GIM 1. 5 January 1979

Saradananda’s sacrifice1

One day, a long time after Sri Ramakrishna had left the body, his consort, Sarada Devi, was going to her parents’ home. She was traveling by bullock cart. One of Ramakrishna’s dearest disciples, Saradananda, was accompanying the Holy Mother. The road was full of holes, rocks and all kinds of obstructions. Quite a few times the wheels fell into the holes, and the jerk of the bullock cart increased tenfold each time this happened. The disciple felt miserable because Sarada Devi was not feeling well and she was trying to rest. But the road was so narrow that the driver could not avoid the holes.

Towards evening, Saradananda saw a very big hole in the distance. The Holy Mother was sleeping, and the disciple thought that if the cart had to pass over this hole, the Holy Mother would definitely be awakened and might even be hurt. Saradananda asked the driver to go very slowly, saying he would meet them on the road after a while. Then he ran to the spot where the hole was and lay down, filling it with his own body. Because it was dark and they were using an Indian lantern, the old driver could not see that the disciple lay down in the hole so that his back was level with the road.

When the bullock cart came near the hole, the driver saw the body in the road and screamed. The Holy Mother was aroused and asked what happened.

The driver got furious. “Look at what this man was doing! He was lying down on the road. How could I go on?”

The disciple said, “You fool, I did all this so that our Divine Mother could sleep, and now you have screamed and awakened her. If the wheels had fallen into the hole, there would have been a serious jerk and she could have got hurt.”

The Holy Mother blessed Saradananda, “I am so proud that I have a disciple like you. How many disciples are there on earth who would do this kind of thing for their spiritual Masters and Divine Mothers?”


  1. GIM 2. 5 January 1979

Two beggars1

There was once a Muslim mendicant, Makdun. Makdun used to roam from one place to another, all the time praying and meditating. Even while walking along the street he would be praying and meditating. He was very poor and depended entirely on the generosity of good and kindhearted people for his material needs.

One day he was walking along the street when he saw thousands of people gathered before a beautiful mosque. “Why are so many people there?” he wondered. Then someone told him, “The Emperor is coming today to offer a special prayer here.” When the Emperor came, the mendicant went into the mosque and devotedly watched him pray to Allah most soulfully for more wealth, more name and more fame.

Then the Emperor said to the crowd, “Now come and take anything that you want from me.” He started giving away money, clothing and everything, showing his heart’s magnanimity and generosity. All the people stood in a line and one by one came up and took from the Emperor whatever he or she needed. Each one went away satisfied with what he had got. Makdun watched and watched, and when everybody had taken what he wanted, he started going away. The Emperor called out, “What are you doing? Why are you going away and not taking anything from me? What is wrong with you?”

With folded hands Makdun said, “Forgive me, O Emperor, but how can I take anything from a beggar? Just an hour ago you were begging God to give you more name, fame and earthly possessions. I don’t need anything from a beggar. You are begging to the same Person for name and fame that I am begging to for peace, love, joy and inner satisfaction. The things that you are crying for I do not need, and perhaps the things that I am crying for you do not need. So you pray to Almighty Allah for what you want and let me pray to Him for the things that I need. You and I are just two beggars. Let us beg for our respective things to the One who has them.”


  1. GIM 3. 5 January 1979

The message of perseverance1

When Bopdeb was a young boy studying Sanskrit, he was the worst possible student. In everything he used to fail. His parents used to scold him mercilessly and his teachers beat him black and blue, but nothing did any good. Finally his teachers gave up and threw him out of school. Bopdeb was such a fool that his parents did not want to keep him either. So poor Bopdeb, feeling miserable, left his home and went to the nearest village.

Bopdeb used to pray and meditate under a tree near a big pond. One day, he saw some village women carrying empty pitchers to the pond and filling them. For quite a few days Bopdeb observed that after the pitchers were filled, the village women would place them on the stone steps by the pond and then go bathe and swim there. After getting refreshed, they returned to the village with their pitchers of water.

One day, when nobody was there, Bopdeb came near the spot where the women always stood and noticed something significant. He saw that the stone where the women would put their pitchers was being worn down. It was no longer level with the rest of the step. Bopdeb said to himself, “If, because the women placed their pitchers here repeatedly, even the stone is wearing down, then what is wrong with my brain?” From this he got the message of perseverance. He said, “Perseverance will always reach the goal.”

He started praying and meditating, and after meditating seriously for a few days, he started reading his old Sanskrit grammar books. Previously he had been the worst possible student in Sanskrit, but this time he was able to remember what he read. He continued his studies and, by perseverance, eventually became the greatest Sanskrit scholar, especially in grammar.


  1. GIM 4. 5 January 1979

In God’s eye nobody is untouchable1

There was once a cobbler whose name was Dipan. Dipan was extremely poor. He was a great devotee of the Lord Vishnu and he had the deepest adoration for all the cosmic gods and goddesses also.

Dipan had a tiny shop where he sold shoes. During the day if there were no customers, he didn’t feel sorry. He used to just go on praying, meditating and chanting. In the evening he would take his most beautiful and most expensive shoes and leave them at the doors of religious people. “The religious people deserve these shoes, although they don’t come to buy,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t have enough money.” Dipan went on for a long time like this and, with the greatest difficulty, used to make his livelihood.

One day, a sadhu came to Dipan’s store. Dipan was so moved to see the sadhu that he fell down at his feet. But he did not dare to touch his feet because the sadhu was of a high class. Just because he was a cobbler, Dipan was not allowed to mix with the so-called aristocratic members of the society. Only lowclass people could he mix with.

The sadhu said, “What are you doing? Why are you not touching my feet?”

Dipan said, “You know that I am an untouchable. How can I touch your feet?”

The sadhu said, “In God’s Eye nobody is untouchable. You are God’s child. You pray to God all the time. You are dearest to Him. Please touch my feet. I will not be bloated with pride. As a matter of fact, you can even touch my head, if you want to, but do touch me.”

Dipan said, “I will dare only to touch your feet, if you allow me.” He touched the feet of the sadhu and the sadhu blessed him.

The sadhu said, “I am giving you all the spiritual merits and virtues that I have acquired over the years. One day you will become a great, great saint. Then all those who have neglected you and shown contempt for your profession will see light around you. They will come and touch your feet and worship you. It is only a matter of time.”

The cobbler fell at the feet of the sadhu once again and offered his tearful gratitude. Then the sadhu left.

The following day, with tremendous joy the cobbler was working in his store, when all of a sudden he saw a halo of light behind his head. The halo of light was also circling around all the shoes. When the customers came, even with their ordinary human eyes they saw light: not lantern light or Indian village light, but real light, spiritual light. Then they came to realise that Dipan was not an ordinary man. They had known all along that he prayed and meditated day and night, but previously they had regarded him as a crazy fellow. Now they were so moved, and they all started appreciating, admiring and adoring him.

“We do not want you to have to continue working in your shop,” they said. “Nothing will give us greater joy than to offer you the opportunity to spend the rest of your life in prayer and meditation.” So they gave him a big house where he could pray and meditate, and said, “Please take care of your spiritual life. We shall come and pray with you whenever we can.”


  1. GIM 5. 6 January 1979

It is my poverty-life that has kept me spiritual1

There was once a great Sanskrit scholar who specialised in logic. He lived a very simple life, and he did not care for money. His wife was also very simple. Both of them were very simple, pure and kind-hearted.

Because he was such a great scholar, everybody had great admiration for him. His friends advised him to come to Calcutta so that he could live a decent life. But he said, “No. It is my poverty-life that has kept me spiritual. If I become rich, then my religious life, my spiritual life, will come to an end.”

The king heard much about this scholar, and one day he invited him to come to his palace. But the scholar declined the offer. He said, “O King, you are protecting us. You are doing your duty well. Therefore, I am very grateful to you and very proud of you. But I personally do not need anything from you. But I wish to thank you deeply for your kind offer.”

The king was deeply moved, and he decided to come to this man’s cottage himself. When he came he said, “Please, please take something from me. You are such a nice man. You are so religious and kind-hearted, and such a great scholar, too. Everybody appreciates you. Please take some material help from me. I am the King and I am asking you to take something from me.”

The man said, “No, no. I do not need anything. I can’t take your help. But my wife is here. She may need something, so please ask her.”

With folded hands the king asked the wife if she needed anything. He said, “I will be so happy and grateful if you will take anything you need.” But she said, “No, I do not need anything. I have rice and dal; I have tamarind from the tree; I have water and I have matches. I have everything in plentiful quantity. What else do I need? I am very grateful to you for offering to give me something, but I don’t need anything. If I need something, then I will tell you.”

The king couldn’t believe his ears. He wanted to leave a large sum of money with the woman. The scholar said, “For so long you have been my friend. Inwardly I have always considered you my friend because you are a just King. If you leave money with my wife, we will not take it. If you force us to take it, then we will take it. But you will become our enemy instead of our friend, because this money will bring our spiritual life to an end.”

Upon hearing this the king left the man and his wife, feeling great joy and admiration and tremendous peace of mind.

A few months later a great Sanskrit scholar came to Calcutta and challenged all the scholars there. All the other scholars lost to him. Only this particular scholar was left. So the king sent a messenger to his village and asked him to come to the palace to challenge this other scholar. The man said, “I don’t want to compete, but to please the King I will do it. The King came to my place and was so kind to me. Only to please him I will compete. The result I will leave at the Feet of God.”

So the pious man accepted the challenge of the very great scholar who had defeated all the other scholars in Calcutta. The debate went on for four hours. At the end of the debate it was quite clear that the pious man, the village scholar, had defeated the challenger.

All the Calcutta scholars were so proud of the winner and they wanted to honour him. They wanted to give him money and fine clothes and make him rich overnight.

But the pious man said, “No, I won’t take anything from you. I don’t want honour and I don’t want material gifts. I don’t want anything from you. Calcutta is a very bad place. Here everything is temptation, temptation. I need only God. The King was very kind to me when he came to my house, and it was because of him that I entered this competition. If his subjects had been defeated by somebody from another place, then it would have been a disgrace to him. So I accepted the challenge only to please him. I have only done my duty as a subject of the King. I am very happy that I could be of some service to him, but now I want to go back to my village. Here there is nothing but temptation.”

So the pious man and his wife together went back to their village, where they continued to live a life of utmost simplicity and purity.


  1. GIM 6. 7 January 1979

Yudhishthira’s worst enemy1

After the battle of Kurukshetra was over, one day Yudhishthira said to Krishna, “Krishna, we Pandavas have won. Needless to say, it is all your Grace. Otherwise, we could never have won. But you know, Krishna, in spite of our victory, something is bothering me. Do you know what it is? I have no peace of mind. Now that we have defeated the Kauravas, we are supposed to be very happy. But how can I be happy when I have no peace of mind? Why is this so? Why is it that I cannot be happy and peaceful?”

Krishna said, “Yudhishthira, O King, how can you be happy when your worst enemy is still alive?”

“My worst enemy is still alive!” Yudhishthira exclaimed. “Who is he? How is it that I do not know anything about him? Please tell me, Krishna, where my worst enemy is.”

Krishna said, “Your worst enemy is not elsewhere. It is inside you. You have been feeding and nurturing that worst enemy for a long, long time. Unless and until you have conquered that enemy, no matter what you achieve, no matter what you do for yourself or for mankind, you can never have happiness.”

“O Krishna, for God’s sake, tell me who my worst enemy is! Stop your philosophy and now illumine me!”

Krishna, with a loving heart and a smiling face, embraced Yudhishthira and said, “O Yudhishthira, you are by far the best not only among the Pandavas, but among all mortals, all human beings. Yet one enemy of yours, which is nothing short of weakness, is most destructive. And that weakness-enemy of yours is your unfortunate pride. Conquer the iota of pride that you have. Then happiness will flow into your mind, and peace will smilingly settle down inside the very depths of your heart.”

Yudhishthira said, “Your wisdom-blessing is my mind’s happiness and my heart’s peace, Krishna, my Krishna.”


  1. GIM 7. 7 January 1979

The cyclone1

A middle-class couple from Calcutta were traveling to Europe in a large ship. After a few days, all of a sudden a cyclone of the worst type came, and it began raining heavily. Many tiny boats were capsized. The passengers in the large vessel raised a hue and cry because there was no way they could save their lives from imminent catastrophe.

The wife said to her husband, “Everybody is crying because we know that our lives can be counted in minutes. How is it that you are so calm and quiet? Do you have no worries or anxieties? Do you not think that in a few minutes we shall all die? Why are you so silent?”

On hearing this the man took a pistol from his pocket and aimed it at his wife. The wife said, “You crazy man, what are you doing? Is this the time for you to make jokes? What will people think of you?”

The husband gave a broad smile and said, “Look, you know that it is I, your husband, your dearest one, who was aiming a pistol at you. You know perfectly well that I will not kill you because of my tremendous love for you. Now God, who is the Author of all Good, is infinitely more compassionate than I am or than I ever could be, and we are His children. Do you think that He will allow us to be destroyed, or that He will destroy us? If an ordinary human being like me cannot kill you because of the little love that I have for you, how can God destroy us? He has infinite Love for His children, although we do not know and never will know how His Love works in and through us. His Love and Compassion work in and through us in a way that we will never understand. May God’s Will be fulfilled in God’s own Way. Today let us just be observers, and tomorrow let us participate in the fulfilment of His Cosmic Will.”

Immediately the cyclone stopped and everything became calm and quiet. The wife, with utmost pride in her husband’s wisdom and gratitude that the storm had stopped, fell at her husband’s feet.


  1. GIM 8. 7 January 1979

Once you realise God, all the cosmic gods become yours1

There was once a great seeker whose name was Gyandas. A few times he had experienced a vision of his family’s presiding deity, and this made him very happy.

One day Gyandas and a group of seekers were praying together at the banks of the river Narmada. After some time a spiritual Master came and stood in front of them. He pointed to each one and remarked on their spiritual development. To some he said, “You are ripe, mature and advanced.” To others he said, “You are unripe and immature; you are a beginner in the spiritual life.”

Gyandas was one of the unfortunate ones. When it was his turn, the Master told him that he was an immature seeker. He could not believe his ears! He had always thought that he was truly advanced, because he had had a vision of his presiding deity a few times. He also felt that there were a few among those whom the Master had called advanced who were not really advanced.

Poor Gyandas felt sad and miserable. He went home and prayed and cried the whole night. In the small hours of the morning he had a sweet dream. In the dream his presiding deity appeared. Gyandas asked her, “How is it that I am not advanced? You have been so kind to me. You have appeared before me a few times. I thought that it was just because I am advanced in the spiritual life that you came to bless me.”

The deity said, “The spiritual Master was right. You are not advanced, but that doesn’t mean that you will never be advanced in the spiritual life. You too can be a great spiritual Master like that Master, but you have to be initiated first.

“A Muslim mendicant has come to your village. Everybody thinks that he is a simple, ordinary mendicant, but I know that he is a great spiritual Master. Go and be initiated by him.”

The deity’s words gave Gyandas the shock of his life. He said, “Initiation? Do I need initiation? And from that Muslim? He is so filthy! He doesn’t take a bath even once a month. I can’t go near him. He smells! I can’t have him as my Master.”

The deity said, “Then you will remain always unrealised. If you want to become advanced and spiritually mature, if you want to have boundless peace and joy, then go to him for initiation.”

For a long time that morning the seeker argued with himself. Finally he decided to go to the Muslim teacher. He went and stood before him with bitter anger, inner disgust, pride and, at the same time, terrible fear. Then, O God! He saw something which puzzled and confused him no end. The Muslim Master was lying down by the banks of the river Narmada, with his feet on a wooden statue of Lord Shiva!

Gyandas said to himself, “Look at this villain! How dare he place his feet on our cosmic Lord Shiva! Lord Shiva is one of our Trinity! Deliberately he is insulting me because he knows that I am a Hindu.” To the Muslim Master Gyandas said, “I will never become your disciple!” He was mad and furious.

The Muslim Master said to Gyandas, “My boy, I have not come into your life to confuse you. I know what you are thinking. Now do me a favour. Remove this wooden statue of your Lord Shiva. Place it wherever you want to.”

Gyandas grabbed the statue and placed it quite a distance away. But lo and behold, the statue started walking like a human being and went back under the feet of the Muslim Master. Gyandas was astonished and shocked at the same time.

The Muslim said, “Now look, you hold the statue here and let me go away.” Gyandas held the statue while the Muslim Master covered about two hundred metres, and then stood still. The seeker felt compelled from within to bring the statue to the Master, but he argued with himself. He said, “No, I won’t go! I won’t go!” He felt a terrible pressure from within and also an inner command from the statue itself to go to the Muslim Master. But he said, “No, I am not going. I won’t go to him. I won’t accept him as my Master.”

Gyandas put the statue on the ground, and the statue very happily ran towards the Master. So once again the Master was lying down with the statue at his feet.

What could Gyandas do? He was so puzzled. He said, “If I don’t take initiation from this Muslim Master, then my presiding deity has said that I will never realise God. But this man is deliberately insulting my Hindu God. Let me go and ask him why he is doing this to me.”

Gyandas went to the Muslim teacher. Before he could open his mouth, the Master said, “I will remove all your confusion and illumine you. Once you realise God, the cosmic gods become yours. For a God-realised person, the cosmic gods are like parts of one’s own body. It is not beneath my dignity for my hands to touch my feet. Again, I can also touch my head if I want to. Any part of my body I can touch with any other part. There is no question of superiority or inferiority, for all parts of my body belong to me.

“Each limb of my body I claim as my own. In the same way I claim Shiva as part and parcel of my existence. For Shiva to be at my feet is like one part of my body touching another part. Shiva and I are one.

“Realise God. Then you will see that there is neither superiority nor inferiority. We are all one, one, one. Stay with me. I shall initiate you. Once you are initiated, you will go back to that spiritual Master and hear from him that you are far more advanced than all the other seekers who were with you yesterday.”


  1. GIM 9. A story from the Maharashtra. 7 January 1979

Vyasa’s request1

The great sage Vyasa once went to the Lord Shiva and prayed to him, “Lord Shiva, you are unparalleled among the Trinity. Your Compassion is infinite, your Power is infinite, in every way you are infinite. I have come to you with my heart’s prayer: I would like you to initiate my son, Shuka. It is high time for him to be initiated and I know for sure that if you initiate him, then my son and I will be supremely blessed. So do fulfil my heart’s desire.”

Lord Shiva said, “I can and I shall fulfil your desire. But let me tell you one thing. If I initiate your son, do you not think that he will leave the house and roam along the street, praying, chanting and meditating? You will lose him.”

The father said, “I know there is every possibility that I will lose my son. But I must do my duty. When it is time for the son to be invested with the sacred thread, the father must do his duty, even at the risk of losing his son.

“But, my Lord, you are all-where. After being initiated by you, if my son roams around the world chanting and meditating on the supreme glory of the Absolute Supreme, how can I lose him or miss him? If he is meditating on the omnipresent and omniscient Lord, then I will never miss him. That much wisdom you have already given me, my Lord.”

Lord Shiva gave the father a broad smile and blessed him: “I am coming to your house to initiate your son. I assure you, he will be the world’s greatest God-knower at such a tender age. He has already mastered all the scriptures. Now, from my blessings and initiation, he will gain mastery over his earthly life and become inseparably one with the life of the immortals.”


  1. GIM 10. 7 January 1979

The king’s initiation1

There was a good pious king who ruled his kingdom justly, divinely and supremely. Everybody was pleased with him and proud of him. But there came a time when he was pinched with an inner hunger for initiation. He felt a burning cry for inner peace and inner light, so he gave up his kingdom and went to a spiritual Master for initiation.

The spiritual Master said to him, “I will initiate you when you are ready. Right now you are not ready for initiation.”

The king accepted the Master’s words. He bowed to the Master and said, “I will do anything that you want me to do. Only please accept me as your disciple.”

The Master said, “Yes, I will accept you as my disciple. From now on, every day you will go to the top of the hill and cut down trees along with my other disciples, for we need fuel to cook our food. You will also take the cows out to graze in the field as the other disciples do, and you will do domestic service.”

The king agreed. Every day he used to go with the other disciples, who were his spiritual brothers, and perform the domestic tasks to please the Master. Although the king had never done this kind of work, he did his very best and his work was, to some extent, quite satisfactory.

One day he was chopping down a tree, but he was not working fast enough. One of his brother disciples gave him a smart slap and said, “You are working so slowly. Master will be furious if we work so slowly. Don’t work so slowly!”

Now, this fellow happened to be of a very, very low caste; he was an untouchable. But the Master accepted disciples from all castes, and in his eyes everybody had the same rank. The king didn’t say anything to the untouchable, but in silence he was telling himself, “Does he not know who I was? If he had done this kind of thing when I was king, immediately my men would have killed him. Now I have accepted the spiritual life; therefore, he is saved. God bless his ignorance. He should know who I was and who I am.”

Some time had passed and the king again came before the Master. He knelt down and said, “Many people who have come after me have been initiated, but still I am uninitiated. When will my time come?”

The Master said, “One day your time will come, but it has not yet come. It will take time. Still you enjoy the pride of having been a King. As long as you enjoy and treasure your pride-wealth, initiation will remain a far cry. Conquer your pride and I shall initiate you. Unless and until you have conquered your pride, do not expect me to initiate you.”

The king touched the Master’s feet: “From now on I will most soulfully try to conquer my worst foe, pride, and thus be a fit instrument for your initiation.”

The Master said, “Try, my child, you will succeed without fail.”

After some time it came to pass that the king did conquer his pride, and he was initiated by the Master.


  1. GIM 11. 7 January 1979

The pride of the cosmic gods1

Once Lord Shiva decided to destroy the worst possible demon, Tripura. Some of the cosmic gods wanted to help him in this great adventure. So one of them became his chariot, some became his horses, one became his charioteer, some became his arrows and one became his bow. Each god became something in order to help Lord Shiva.

Unfortunately, pride all of a sudden entered into these cosmic gods. The god who became the chariot said, “If I had not become the chariot, now Shiva would not be able to win.” The god who became the charioteer said, “If I had not become the charioteer, Shiva would not be able to win.” The god who became the bow said, “If I had not become the bow, Shiva would not be able to win.” Each cosmic god felt that he was indispensable.

Seeing this, Lord Shiva smiled and said, “You fools, do I need you? If you serve me devotedly, then indeed I need you. But I don’t need you with your pride. You stay with your pride. I can do the needful all by myself. Look what my third eye can do.”

Immediately Shiva opened up his third eye and destroyed Tripura. Then he turned to the cosmic gods, “Your service I badly need only when you offer it soulfully and devotedly. But when pride enters into you and you feel that you are indispensable, then I wish to tell you that you are millions and billions of miles away from the discovery of Truth. O so-called helpers of mine, give what you have; give what you are. Give what you have soulfully, give what you are unreservedly. Then you will see what you become: a torrent of Delight, ceaseless and immortal.”


  1. GIM 12. 7 January 1979

Gratitude is my true wealth1

There once lived a very rich man, who was very proud of his wealth. He used to wear most expensive clothes, and it was impossible for him to walk even two blocks. Instead of walking, he used to take the palanquin carried by four people. He felt that it was beneath his dignity to mix with ordinary people. Most villagers didn’t like him because of his haughtiness, but this did not bother him in the least. He thought that as long as he had money-power in his possession, he didn’t have to worry about anything; he didn’t have to care for anybody else’s opinion.

One night, his only son was bitten by a snake. The father became hysterical and insane, and he ran out of the house barefoot and wearing only a dhoti, not even a shirt. He covered two long miles, running like a madman, until he came to the cottage of a shoemaker who could cure people from snakebite.

When the shoemaker opened the door and saw who had awakened him in the middle of the night, he became furious. Although the rich man was crying and lamenting because of his son, the shoemaker only said, “At this hour I am not going to your house. Had it been somebody else, I would have gone. But you have never shown any sympathy or kindness to the villagers. Now, at the time of your need, you have come. But I shall not help you!”

The rich man accepted all this humiliation. He cared only for the safety of his son, and he cried and cried. Finally the shoemaker condescended to come to his home, and he cured the boy. The rich man wanted to give the shoemaker a large sum of money. But the shoemaker said, “I won’t accept any money from you. I know it is impossible for you to change your nature. Tomorrow again you will become haughty and scold and insult everybody. This is how you do your duty in your own human way. I also have my own duty to do, and I have to do it with a sympathetic heart, for God has given me the heart to be of service to the needy. In your case, God has given you money-power, which is being used by your arrogant and destructive vital.”

The rich man said, “How do you know that I will not change my nature and my whole life after this?”

“I know you, I know you,” the shoemaker replied.

Both the parties said, “Let us see, let us see.”

Some admirers and flatterers of the rich man, who had come when they heard about his son, got furious. They wanted to strike the shoemaker. “How do you dare to speak so rudely of our chief? You have cured his son. So what? We are more than willing to give you as much money as you want. You won’t take money; you are showing your generosity in this way. At the same time you are being brutal. Is this not the height of your pride? You won’t accept money and, at the same time, you are criticising such a great man. Was it not enough for you to humiliate him at your shop? Here also why must you speak so badly of him and humiliate him further?”

The rich man said, “No, don’t hurt him. I will feel miserable. He has cured my son, he has given my son life. I will eternally remain grateful to him. My son is dearest to me. He is all my hope, all my joy and all my promise. I am ready to accept all kinds of humiliation from this man. What he has given me is infinitely more meaningful and precious than what he is now doing to me. Let him scold me, let him insult me, let him do anything he wants. I have got my son back. All I need is my son; there is nothing else on earth that I need more. So let him go peacefully. I tell you once and for all, my heart of gratitude is following him.”


  1. GIM 13. 7 January 1979

Silence is the answer1

There was once a very advanced, great seeker. Many people used to come to him for advice, but he would not advise anybody. He always used to say, “If you want to come and meditate with me in silence, I am more than willing to meditate with you. But I will not tell you anything.”

People were satisfied with this. They were all gratitude to him for giving them the opportunity to meditate with him. Always they felt a kind of intense delight when they meditated with him, and tremendous inner joy used to envelop them. Sometimes during meditation he would smile at them most soulfully, but he would never talk to them.

One day a young man came to him and touched his feet, pleading with him for advice. “I am in trouble. I have all kinds of emotional problems. You have to save me.”

The advanced seeker finally opened his mouth and said, “Look, my boy, why do I not talk? If I tell the truth, the world hates me. If I don’t tell the truth, God does not love me. Now where do I stand? Truth is painful for humanity. I can’t tell the truth or humanity will have ill will. And if I tell lies, I displease God. I want to please both man and God. So I remain silent.

“If I am deeply absorbed in silence, God is pleased with me. At the same time, humanity sees that I am not involved in anybody’s affairs, either individually or collectively. To everyone I am the same. I pray for humanity inwardly, but if I were to become involved outwardly, I would have to open my mouth. And the truth humanity finds impossible to accept. Therefore, I remain silent to please both humanity and divinity. Silence is the answer to please the higher worlds and the lower worlds at the same time.”


  1. GIM 14. 7 January 1979