The wrestler-teachers

There was a king who engaged in wrestling in his adolescent years and became an excellent wrestler. When he became king, he encouraged wrestling and gymnastics as well. He kept two extremely strong wrestlers in the palace and asked them to teach wrestling to the young boys of the court. The king was very, very happy to know that these young boys were developing their physical strength.

One day this particular king visited another king’s palace, and there he saw that his host was giving utmost importance to education. There the young boys and girls were all studying a wide variety of subjects. The king said, “I should also give importance to education.”

He spoke to his prime minister about the matter and the prime minister said, “Certainly! Education is absolutely necessary. Let us bring some well eduated scholars to teach our children.”

The king said, “Actually, I was told our two wrestlers are not only strong, but also well educated. Early in the morning they conduct wrestling classes for a few hours, but for the rest of the day they are free. I feel they should give classes in other subjects. In that way we can save money.”

The two wrestlers started teaching on alternate days. Quite a few students attended their classes. After a year had passed, the king said to his prime minister, “Go and see how much progress the students have made.”

The prime minister went and saw that the teacher was in another world. He was sleeping and snoring with his head on the table. The students were just playing games. The prime minister approached one little child and said, “Tell me, who wrote the Ramayana?”

The student said, “No, I just drew a line. I did not do anything wrong!”

The prime minister asked another student, “Who wrote the Ramayana?”

The student started crying, “I have not written anything!”

Then the prime minister asked a third student, “Who wrote the Ramayana?”

The child said, “I am sure one of us did, but I did not do it. I am not the culprit!”

The prime minister said, “I can see how much you have all learned!” Then he went to the teacher and shook him by the shoulder. When the fellow woke up, the prime minister said, “What are you doing? You are supposed to be teaching these children. How is it that here nobody knows who wrote the Ramayana?”

The teacher said, “They do not know? They are lying. They definitely know!” Then he flexed his muscles and said, “I am sure one of them did it! I shall knock out their brains if somebody does not come forward and confess!”

The prime minister said, “Yes, yes. This is what you have taught them.”

Sadly the prime minister went to the king and said, “O King, in one full year our children have not learned anything. Even the teacher does not know who wrote the Ramayana.”

The king said, “How could such a thing happen? Everybody knows who wrote the Ramayana.”

The prime minister said, “Your Majesty, this only proves that for everything we need the right person to teach us. Those two teachers know all about wrestling, and they have taught it very well, but about religion, history, science and other subjects, what do they know?”

The king realised that he had to hire qualified scholars to teach the children.

Giving credit where credit is due

A young boy was very sick, and his parents were quite alarmed. Every day he was getting worse. The poor mother was almost prostrate with grief. Finally she said, “The doctor that we have presently is useless. Let us take our son to another doctor.” This doctor had tried a few medicines, but he could not cure their only son.

The husband said, “Give the doctor time. I am sure our son will be all right in a week or so.”

The wife became annoyed. She said, “No, I do not want to listen to you. I have another idea. I say no more doctors. Let us go to an occultist instead. An occultist just gives a talisman, and it cures the person.”

The husband said, “No, I do not believe in those things. It is all superstition.”

The wife said, “You have to believe in them because this doctor is not able to cure our son.”

The husband said, “The doctor told us that the cure would take two weeks. Now one week is over. There is still another week to go.”

The wife said, “I do not want to listen to you. I do not want to wait even one more day.”

“Please give me another chance,” implored the husband. “I am going to the doctor, and I shall bring back better medicine for our son.”

The husband went to the doctor to get better medicine. To his wide surprise, the doctor’s wife said, “He has gone to the occultist for a talisman because he has been sick of late.”

Then the husband proceeded to the occultist’s house, not to take a talisman, but to meet with the doctor. When he arrived, he saw the doctor coming out holding a talisman. The husband said, “Doctor, what about my son? My son is not getting better.”

The doctor said, “Oh, I have some new medicine.” From his bag, he extracted a bottle of medicine and gave it to the husband. He said, “This new medicine will definitely cure your son in one week.”

The man was so happy that he had been able to get some very powerful medicine for his son. With tremendous joy, relief and pride, he went home. He said to his wife, “Look, this is new medicine.”

The wife said, “I do not need it, and I will not give it to him.”

The husband said, “What? You cannot trust me? You cannot trust the doctor for one week? Just give it to our son and let us see. After one week, if he is not cured, then I shall personally go to the occultist and bring back a talisman.”

The wife said, “You do not have to do that. I have saved you the trouble. I have been to the occultist, and he gave me a talisman. You can see it around our son’s neck. And our son is definitely going to be cured in a week. I asked the occultist. He said that at the outside it would take a week. Otherwise, it will take only a few days.”

The poor husband was caught between the two cures. Finally he said, “Let us have faith. You have faith in the occultist’s talisman, and I will have faith in the doctor.”

The wife became cross. “Still you have faith in that useless doctor?” she said. “Can you not see that our son’s case is only getting worse? That doctor is nothing but a charlatan!”

With all the patience at his command, the husband said, “I told you, it is a matter of one week. Let us use the medicine.”

But his wife was extremely stubborn. She said, “No! You have faith in your fake doctor. I will have faith in my real occultist.”

The husband said, “All right. Let us stick to our respective faiths. In one week, when our son is completely cured, you can give all credit to the occultist, and I will give all credit to the doctor. Let us be happy by having faith in our own methods.”

As fate would have it, the son was cured in a week. The wife proudly said, “It is all due to the occultist’s talisman.” And her husband privately said, “I know it is all due to the doctor’s medicine.”

God pleases everybody in his own way

There was an elderly hermit who was sincerely spiritual. He used to pray and meditate for hours and hours every day. His wife also used to follow spiritual disciplines. This couple had brought up their only son in the forest. There they had a small hut where they lived with utmost simplicity. To the son, his father was like his spiritual preceptor.

One morning the prince of the kingdom went out hunting on his chariot. He followed a narrow path that led through the forest. For quite a few hours the prince did not see any game. Then, at a distance, he saw a beautiful deer jumping from one bush to another. The prince was very happy. He aimed at the deer and released his arrow. When his arrow struck the deer, this deer started crying in a human voice. It sounded like a young boy was crying.

The prince said, “My God, what have I done?” Then he drove his chariot to where the deer lay, and he saw a boy clad in deerskin. The arrow had penetrated his heart.

The prince was horrified. “Now what will happen to me?” he wailed. “The best thing is for me to jump into my chariot and depart as quickly as possible so that nobody will connect me with this murder.”

So he jumped into his chariot and drove a considerable distance. As he was driving, his conscience began to torture him. He said, “I am such a rogue! My father is the king. He is so well known for honesty and kindness. I am his son. How can I be so bad? No, no, I must go back. Whatever the consequences may be, I must go. I must face them.”

So he returned to that isolated place in the forest. “Somebody has to be the father of that little boy,” he reflected. He searched and searched for some sign of human habitation. Finally he saw a tiny cottage in the midst of a dense grove of trees. With a fearful heart, the prince went and knocked at the door. An elderly man with a long beard opened the door and said, “What can I do for you?”

The prince said, “I do not need anything. Only please tell me, do you have a son?”

“Yes, I have a son,” said the hermit, his eyes alight with love.

Then the prince said, “Can you adopt one son?”

“Why do I have to adopt a son?” said the hermit in a puzzled voice.

The prince said, “I am the prince, but I want to be your son.”

“How can you be my son?” asked the hermit. “You are a prince. You belong in the palace and my son belongs here.”

The moment of truth had come. The prince said, “Please, please forgive me. I have done something very, very wrong.”

The hermit said, “What have you done? What have you done?”

The prince continued, “My crime is unforgivable. Whatever punishment you want to give me, I am ready to accept.” While he was speaking, a young boy exactly like the one that he had killed came and stood beside the hermit. Then the prince said, “Do you have twin sons?”

“No, I do not have twin sons,” replied the hermit.

The prince said, “I do not understand the meaning of this. I killed this boy a few hours ago. I am absolutely sure of it. Now what is happening? With my own eyes I am seeing him standing here. Definitely they are twins.”

The father said, “No, no, no.”

“Then how can it be?” asked the prince.

The hermit explained, “When you aimed your arrow at my son and killed him, immediately I got the message from within. Then I used my spiritual power and revived him. God has given me the boon that in my family nobody will die, either in an accident or in a normal, natural way. For countless years I prayed and meditated to realise the highest. God was pleased with me and, out of His infinite Compassion, He gave me wisdom-light in boundless measure. He also said that as long as I want to live, as long as my wife wants to live and as long as my son wants to live, we will be able to live here on earth. We can command our own death. Nobody will be able to kill us. I know you did not try to kill my son deliberately, but even if you had killed my son deliberately, I could have revived him. God has given me this power.”

The prince was overwhelmed with gratitude to learn that the young boy had been returned to life. He said, “Please, please grant me my soulful desire. My father once told me that whatever I wanted, he would fulfil my desire.”

The hermit said, “In that case, you can ask your father to fulfil whatever your desire is.”

The prince said, “My desire needs the blessings of both you and my father. I want to ask my father to name your son as the crown prince. When the time comes, he will succeed my father as king. I do not want the throne.”

The hermit said, “That is an absurd notion! My son has entered into the spiritual life. You should be the king at the proper time. All your life you have spent in the palace. You have listened to your father dealing with affairs of state. That is your way of life.”

“I no longer want to have my old way of life,” protested the prince.

“Then what would you like to do?” asked the hermit.

The prince said, “Whether you accept me or not, I am going to tell my father that I do not want to be the future king. I want to accept the spiritual life.”

“You are creating a problem for me,” said the hermit. “I am a poor man. When your father receives this news, he will think I am responsible for your change of heart. He will come and destroy my little cottage.”

The prince said, “No, my father is a man of his word. If I tell him the whole story, he will understand.”

So the prince went to his father and narrated the events of the day. He concluded by saying, “Now, Father, you have to fulfil my desire. Once you told me that whatever desire I have, you will fulfil. Now I want to go and become the disciple of this hermit, and you have to allow me. I will live a very simple life. Occasionally you can come and visit me if the hermit allows.”

The king said, “If the hermit allows? I am the king!”

Very bravely the prince said, “True, Father, you are the king, but this hermit is in touch with God. He can easily smash the pride of any human being. Even if you are unwilling, he can compel you to come to his cottage. He can do anything. I know his power. I have seen what he can do. So do not boast that you are the king. His power far surpasses yours. I am respectfully requesting permission to leave the palace. Please make my younger brother the crown prince. He can be king after you. I will not mind at all. But please allow me to pray and meditate under the guidance of this guru.”

The king said, “I will keep my promise. You may go, and occasionally I shall visit you.”

So the prince left the palace and returned to the forest. From time to time his father used to come and visit him. The king would see such beauty, light, delight and divinity radiating from his son’s face. He also saw that his son was so respectful and devoted to his guru. The king was deeply impressed by the transformation of his son.

Eventually the time came when the king himself said, “I want to be like my son. I shall also accept the spiritual life.”

The hermit said, “What is this? How will people take it when they learn that their king has gone into the forest?”

The king replied, “Since my son accepted the spiritual life, I have observed how happy my son is inwardly. I want to be as happy as my son. I am so miserable at the palace. Every day I have to deal with teeming problems. There is no joy for me any more in ruling the kingdom. I want to join you and my son and live the life of a simple renunciate. That will give me the greatest joy. Let my younger son take care of my kingdom.”

The king gave up his throne and came to join his son. He started praying and meditating and having deep experiences. Everybody was happy, and his youngest son was so proud that he had now become the king. He ruled the kingdom wisely and well. So God pleased everybody in his own way.