Make your choiceThere was a very, very old spiritual Master. He knew that he would not stay on earth a long time, so one day he invited Jagu, Maghu and Tagu, the three disciples of his who had pleased him most and served him most, to come to him. When they were all gathered together, he said, "My sons, you have served me well for many years. Now I wish to offer something to each of you. It is up to you to make the selection. As you know, I am spiritually rich and also materially rich. For my spiritual wealth I am most grateful to my Supreme Pilot. For my material wealth I am most grateful to my disciples.
"But I wish to say that I have three things to offer you: spiritual wealth, material wealth and the remaining years of my life. Now each of you make the choice. You can take all my outer wealth: my millions of dollars and my property. Or you can take my inner wealth: my spiritual Light, Peace and Bliss in infinite measure. Or you can stay with me for as many years as I am on earth. But you have to choose only one thing. Now you make the decision."
The Master said to Jagu, "What do you want, Jagu? What is your choice?"
"Master, Master, I want to have all your material wealth. I have served you on earth most devotedly. I know I won't be able to go with you when you leave the body. You will go alone. Since I have to stay on earth, I feel it is good to lead a decent life. Why lead the life of poverty when I know that by your grace you can give me material wealth? Since I have to stay on earth, let me live a decent, comfortable life. I am sure you will agree with me."
The Master said, "Certainly, I fully agree with you. You should lead a decent, comfortable life. You have served me for such a long time. This much, at least, I can do for you."
Then he said to Maghu, "Maghu, what do you want?"
"Master, I want your spiritual wealth: your Peace, Light and Bliss. If I have Peace, Light and Bliss, then I will be able to offer them to mankind and mankind will aspire and realise God. I need your spiritual Peace, Light and Bliss. Am I right, Master?"
"Yes, you are right, you are right. The Masters offer Peace, Light and Bliss to the world at large so that humanity will have a new life. As I shall give my material wealth to Jagu, so also will I give all my spiritual wealth to you."
Then the Master said to Tagu, "Tagu, there is only one choice left. You have to stay with me during my remaining days on earth. But are you going to stay with me cheerfully, devotedly and unconditionally?"
Tagu burst into tears.
"Why are you crying?" asked the Master.
"I am crying out of joy, out of sheer gratitude."
Tagu said, "This was what I wanted. I was all the time afraid that if Jagu or Maghu had wanted to live with you, I would not have got this chance, because each of us had to select a different thing. Now they have made their selections. Jagu wants to get your material wealth. Maghu wants to get your spiritual wealth. But I have been all the time crying only to stay with you. You are my only wealth. I don't have any material wealth or spiritual wealth separate from you. The only thing I need or want is to stay with you and serve you devotedly and unconditionally. I am so glad that this is the gift I have got. I want only to be with you, and nothing else. I don't want material wealth, I don't want spiritual wealth. I only want you, you alone."
Then Jagu said to the Master, "Master, that means I was mistaken. I wanted something inferior — your material wealth."
Maghu said to the Master, "Master, that means I was a fool. I wanted your spiritual wealth, and not you."
The Master said to Jagu and Maghu, "Both of you are right according to your own standards. Jagu, you have served me well according to your own spiritual standard. After serving, naturally you want some reward. This is the reward you have chosen. You wanted to lead a most comfortable life with the material wealth that I shall leave. You are right according to your own spiritual standard.
"And Maghu, you are right, too. You know my philosophy: that if you have Peace, Light and Bliss from the Master, you will be able to offer these qualities to mankind so that mankind will lead a higher life. According to your standard, you are also right.
"But Tagu feels that the most important thing is to stay with the Master. Who cares for material wealth? Who cares for spiritual wealth? It is the Master alone who is needed. I don't need any possessions of his. I need only him. This is what Tagu says. According to Tagu's spiritual development, he is right. According to your spiritual development, Maghu, you are right. According to Jagu's standard, he is right."
Maghu said, "According to our own spiritual standards we are all right, Master, but which one is actually the best of the three? Which one has the highest standard?"
The Master said, "Here I have to be very frank with you. He who can give up the temptation of material wealth and of spiritual wealth is by far the best. He who wants to stay with me and who will stay with me and serve me devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally is undoubtedly the best. Again, to say is one thing. But to say and do is another thing. Tagu is saying that he will stay with me and serve me most soulfully and devotedly as long as I am on earth. If he does what he says, then naturally he is by far the best. So far you three have all served me devotedly. But unconditionally you have not served me. Now Tagu is making the promise that he will serve me unconditionally."
At this point, Tagu said, "Master, I wish to serve you unconditionally even in Heaven."
The Master said, "Forget about Heaven right now. I am on earth. First try to serve me and please me while I am on earth. Now I wish to tell you, Maghu, if one stays with the Master and serves him devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, naturally the one who is serving the Master is receiving Peace, Light and Bliss.
"It happens that sometimes one wants to serve the Master devotedly, and does not care for the world or want to do anything for the world. But Tagu serves me devotedly and soulfully, and whatever divine qualities he gets from me he is ready to offer to the world at large. He does not hold and hoard them for himself. Tagu does not want even my Peace, Light and Bliss, which Maghu wants, not to speak of my material wealth, which Jagu wants. He wants to stay with me only for myself. He wants only to please me in my own way. With this attitude one can stay with the Master and at the same time offer Light unconditionally to the world at large. While serving me unconditionally, Tagu will receive Light. If he offers it unconditionally to the world at large, then he is not only by far the best, but he is eternally the best among you three."