Kindness repaid

On their way back to their own kingdom, Shivaji and Shambhuji stopped at a farmer’s place for shelter. The farmer’s mother was always hospitable to strangers and she very often gave shelter to guests.

While she was cooking food for them, Shivaji’s Maratha fighters happened to come and plunder her farm. The woman cried out, “The real culprit is Shivaji himself! He should have died in prison or the Moghul Emperor should have killed him. Now I understand that Shivaji has escaped and he is still alive. He is the real cause of this trouble.”

Shivaji overheard what the farmer’s mother said. She did not know that her guests were none other than the King himself and his son. Shivaji said to the poor woman, “I fully agree with you. They have no right to make you suffer in this way. How much damage did these people cause?”

The woman added up the damage that had been done and gave Shivaji a figure. Later, when Shivaji had safely returned to his kingdom, he gave the woman double the figure she had quoted. Then he revealed that it was he who had taken shelter in her house. He told her that he was so grateful to her because unknowingly she had saved his life and that of his son.

Sri Chinmoy, Shivaji, Agni Press, 1997