Tukaram

Once Shivaji wrote a letter to the great poet-saint Tukaram, inviting him to come to his palace. Shivaji had heard much about the saint and had developed the highest admiration for him.

But Tukaram declined his invitation. He sent a message back, "O King, you have invited me to come to your palace, but I do not find any necessity to come. You will present me with gifts, but I do not need anything from you. If I want to eat, there are trees bearing fruits. When I walk along the street, I see that people have discarded their old and used clothes. I can use them if I need clothes. If I want shelter, there are many caves all around. What else do I need on earth? I cannot accept your invitation, and I do not need anything from you."

Shivaji immediately realised his mistake and he went personally to see Tukaram, walking barefoot to honour the saint.

Sri Chinmoy, Shivaji, Agni Press, 1997