Bhakti Stories – Part IV

THE KING WHO CONQUERED ATTACHMENT

Attachment is one of the vices that robs us of our peace of mind and destroys the power to discern accurately. Attachment destroys all truth. One who has attachment cannot imbibe wisdom. It is only at the Confluence Age that we are able to destroy attachment through applying godly knowledge and having a loving link with God. God has promised us that those who are able to become conquerors of attachment will become the masters of the world and claim the throne in the future kingdom. The following story is of a king who conquered attachment.

Once a prince went hunting with his many soldiers. He was a very good hunter and as he was hunting he moved so fast that all his soldiers were left behind. He then ended up alone in the jungle. He was very thirsty and wanted to drink some water. As he approached a nearby cottage he saw a hermit (rishi) sitting there, meditating. So the prince went and asked him for a cup of water. When the rishi asked him to introduce himself, the prince told him that he was a child of a king who had conquered attachment. The hermit said, “Impossible! A king who is a conqueror of attachment? Here I am, a renunciate (sanyasi), and I am not able to conquer attachment. Yet you say that your father is a king and he has conquered attachment.”

The prince responded, “Not only my father, the King, but all the subjects have also conquered attachment.” As the rishi didn’t believe this, the prince suggested to the rishi that they carry out a test. The rishi took the prince’s shirt, giving him something else to wear. The rishi then killed an animal and dipped the prince’s shirt in its blood.

The rishi then went into the city, crying out that the prince had been killed by a lion. (In some stories it is a tiger.) The people in the city said, “So, what if he’s gone? He’s gone. Why are you crying? That was his part in the drama. He must have had an account with nature.” The rishi thought that the prince was not in favour with the subjects and they didn’t want him to become king and so that was why they reacted in that way.

The rishi went on to the palace and told the story to the prince’s brother and sister. They responded in the same manner, saying there was no need to cry. “He was our brother. Now he is somebody else’s brother and we are not going to be together forever. It was our part to be his brother and sister at this time. There is no need to cry. We just have to send peaceful vibrations to the soul.” The rishi thought that the sister reacted like this because she preferred the other brother and that the brother was happy that now he would be the one to inherit the kingdom. He decided it was dislike that caused the prince’s brother and sister not to have attachment.

So he went and told the story to the father of the prince, who said, “The soul is eternal and imperishable. So there is no need to cry. He was my son and I thought he was going to be crown prince. It wasn’t destined for him to be the crown prince and so the other one will inherit the kingdom. I cannot bring him back. If the soul is gone, it is gone. So why spread sorrow? Spread peaceful, powerful vibrations instead.” In this way he gave him spiritual knowledge. The rishi thought that surely there must be some conflict there as well and so he went and told the same story to the mother who also gave him spiritual knowledge.

Thinking all the family members must bear grudges against the prince, the rishi went to the prince’s wife, believing that he would get a different reaction from her. The wife asked the rishi where he came from, because nobody in her kingdom cried when a soul left its body as there is no need to. She told him that the prince’s part was over, saying that the prince had been very happy that he had been chosen to become the crown prince but that obviously this had not been in his fortune.

The rishi then informed her that he had come to test her and all the others, and that the prince had not really died. He said that he had done this because he couldn’t believe they had all conquered attachment. Then the prince came back and everything went on as usual and he became king.

The spiritual aspect behind this story is that anyone who conquers attachment will become an emperor and claim the throne. The reason he was able to claim the kingdom was that he was attached to no one and no one was attached to him. So, not only should we not have any attachment, but others should not have any attachment to us either. Only then can we become the masters of the world; world emperors.

KHUDADOST

The present age is known as the beneficial Confluence Age, the time when everyone has an opportunity to perform good actions for future rewards. All are encouraged to make as much effort as possible in their spiritual development.

This is the story of a king who sat on a bridge and allowed the first passer-by who crossed the bridge to rule the kingdom. That person was given full freedom to decide how the kingdom was to be ruled. The only condition was that the person could rule for one day only.

One ruler was a cobbler. He was very money-oriented. So, when he ruled the kingdom, he converted all the currency into leather. The next day, however, this proved to be an utter waste and of no use whatsoever.

Another person, a farmer, also had the opportunity to rule the kingdom for one day. The farmer built a palace for himself and encouraged people to sow seeds for agriculture so that they would have a very good harvest for the next season. There were two benefits in the actions taken by the farmer when he was ruling the kingdom. Firstly, he had built a palace for himself and had registered it in his own name so that the following day, although he was no longer a king, the palace remained in his possession. In this way he had created a fortune for himself. Secondly, the farmer had also created a fortune for the others. He had encouraged all his subjects to plough the land and sow seeds for the future harvesting season. What one normally does in six months had been done in one day. He had shown how wise he was.

The spiritual significance of this story is that Baba, our Friend, is standing on the bridge which symbolises the Confluence Age; between the end of the Iron Age and beginning of the Golden Age. We souls are now passing from the Iron Age to the Golden Age. The story tells us that the fortune of the future lies in our own hands. If we are friends of God (Khudadost), can we not also be friends to ourselves.

It depends on what we want – whether to waste our time in body-consciousness, like the cobbler who could think of nothing but his leather, or to create a future fortune for the self and others, like the farmer who encouraged others to sow seeds for the harvest, and who created the fortune of self-sovereignty by taking the initiative to build a palace in his own name.

Just as the kingdom was handed over only for a short period of one day, the Confluence Age is also a short period of time in which we can create our future fortune by using godly knowledge and all the resources available wisely.

KUMBHAKARNA

Kumbhakarna, the brother of the demon Ravan, is another character mentioned in the Ramayana. His name literally means ‘pitcher-eared’. He is very well known for his ability to sleep, sleeping for six months of the year and staying awake for six months. It is said that when he breathed, storms arose on the face of the earth. When Rama attacked Ravan in Lanka, Ravan sent messengers to wake up Kumbhakarna. It took them hours to shake him from his slumber. He joined the fray in Lanka, beating Sugriva but was defeated by Rama, who cut off his head.

Kumbhakarna’s name refers to one whose ears, karna, are like pitchers, kumbha. If you speak into a pitcher, the sound of the voice will reverberate inside but the message will not be transmitted. Similarly, when God’s knowledge of the Creator and the creation falls on deaf ears and people ignore the warning that world destruction is at hand, such people are veritable Kumbhakarnas.

The period of half a year’s sleep and half a year’s wakefulness refers to the two halves of the cycle. In the Copper and Iron Ages we were without knowledge and during the Golden and Silver Ages we were enlightened souls. Kumbhakarna is also shown as a gigantic figure. This is a symbolic representation of the many important people in the world today who, unable to grasp this knowledge, will wake from the sleep of ignorance only at the end.

THE MAHABHARATA

The Mahabharata is the story that relates the history of the kings of India. The Supreme Soul has defined the world ‘Bharat’ as ‘fulfilment’ and in early times there was definitely nothing lacking in India. The theme of the following story also relates to this concept of abundance.

Once upon a time there was a king who had a son called Bharat after whom the country was named. In Bharat there was plenty of gold and diamonds and the country was rich in culture and the arts. Those who were courageous and brave could become kings. From the community emerged a courageous prince called Shantanu, who was later enthroned as king. King Shantanu then had a son, whom he called Bhisma Shantavana.

Bhisma was said to be a son of the Ganges. This signified that he had a spiritual birth and so was a child of God. In his old age King Shantanu fell in love with Princess Satyavati but she refused to marry him because her son would only be second in line for the succession. Bhisma had such a noble character that he vowed never to become king so that his father could marry his beloved princess. Bhisma took the following oath. “I’ll remain pure from birth and never marry and I’ll devote my whole life to maintaining good conditions in this country. I’ll look after my country, my kingdom, so that it will not be harassed and things will stay as they are.”

So he took an oath that he would lead a celibate life. Even today the oath of Bhisma, Bhismapratigya, is remembered. When somebody takes a very strong oath, then it is called the promise of Bhisma, Bhismapitama. The oath taken by Bhisma is a memorial of the oath taken by Raja Yogis to work towards a perfect world.

Bhisma’s half-brother (who was born from the marriage of his father with Satyavati) had three sons. One was Dritharashtra, who was born blind, another was Pandu, who was very pale and had a physical disability, and the third one was Vidhura, who became adviser to the King. Because of Dritharashtra’s blindness, Pandu was made king.

King Pandu had two wives and five sons. In reality, those sons were sons of gods. The sons of Pandu were known as the Pandavas and the sons of the blind Dritharashtra as the Kauravas. The spiritual significance behind this is that the five Pandavas understood shrimat (God’s directions) and they followed shrimat at all times.

The five Pandavas were named Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Yudhisthira symbolises one who is honest Bhima symbolises one who is courageous, confident and enthusiastic. Arjuna symbolises one who takes the initiative, one who is totally focussed, one who is surrendered, one who knows all secrets of God, one who makes God his companion. Nakula symbolises one who is creative and has acquired a planning intellect. Sahadeva symbolises one who is cooperative at every step.

Kunti, the mother of Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna, gave birth to them after receiving boons from the Lord of the Wind and Indra, respectively. Baba has told us in the murli that He is Yudhisthira, while Bhima represents the subtle, avyakt or angelic form of Baba’s children, which is why he is said to have been born from the boon of the wind-god. Of the five, Arjuna was the most gifted. He was the best warrior in defeating Maya and also in following the supreme directions of God.

Pandu’s half-brother, Dhritarashtra, had a hundred sons, who were called the Kauravas. Even although there were one hundred of them, they were not as powerful as the Pandavas. They were the sons of the blind Dhritarashtra, which means symbolically that they were blind to God’s directions and only followed the directions of their blind father, who was ignorant, greedy and very attached to his children. The father seldom pondered on how to uplift society or saw to the well being of the kingdom. He thought only of the well being of his children.

The wife of their blind father was called Gandhari. Gandhari usually put a small cloth over her eyes, blindfolding herself, although she had the capacity to see if she wanted to. Therefore, both Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, the mother and father of the Kauravas, are the symbols of greed and attachment. The Supreme Soul very often says in His godly versions, the murli, that the children of the blind father are themselves blind.

The Mahabharata tells of the battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. During their childhood they were brought up together and they had a guru to educate them. One of the Pandavas, Arjuna, was in the habit of getting up early. He would then go quickly to the guru’s house to listen to his sermon and was always the first to arrive. Being very obedient, he would accept the guru’s directions wholeheartedly.

For these reasons Arjuna became a chosen instrument and it was in his chariot that God came. Symbolically, the chariot means the body. Brahma Baba was the first Arjuna and it was into his body that the Supreme Soul incarnated to reveal the true Gita.

All the Pandavas had urns and they were supposed to fill them with water and take them to the guru’s house. So the Pandavas used to go and bathe in the river. After bathing, they would fill their urns with water, ready to go to their guru’s house. Arjuna used to choose an urn with a wide mouth so that he could fill it up quickly and go to his guru’s class early in order to take full benefit from the knowledge shared by his guru.

This means that those who get ready to go to class quickly will be able to listen to God’s teachings, which the other students who come late won’t be able to hear. Therefore, Arjuna was a very clever student. He learnt a lot from the guru, who represents the Supreme Father, and this is why he became number one.

Pandu retired early to the forest to do penance, for it was said that his paleness was leprosy. He was accompanied there by his two wives. Unfortunately, he died while his sons were still young children, so Dhritarashtra took them into his palace and brought them up as his own. They were taught the arts of war by Drona and Balarama.

When Dhritarashtra appointed Yudhisthira, the eldest son of the late King Pandu, as heir apparent (yuvaraja), his own sons were jealous and their hatred led ultimately to the great war. The Kauravas illegally took control of the throne and the king of the Kauravas told the Pandavas that it would be better if they were to go elsewhere for a time and come back later to reclaim the kingdom. Being obedient to the seniors, the Pandavas decided to go and live in the forest in a fine wooden house, but even there they could not escape the anger of their cousins. Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, set fire to the house but the Pandavas had been forewarned by their paternal uncle, Vidhura.

Many of the stories included in this collection are memorials of events which literally took place in the Brahma Kumaris’ yagya during the Confluence Age. When the fire broke out, Bhima, one of the Pandavas, who was very healthy and strong, carried his younger brother on his shoulders. His younger brother used to have visions and was able to go into trance. He was also able to tell the future, but not until someone actually asked him about it. Bhima asked, “Oh, brother, is there a way out of here?” Now that he had been asked, the younger brother was able to say, “Yes, it is just under your foot.” Then Bhima asked, “Why didn’t you say that earlier?” and his brother answered, “This blessing is such that I can’t say anything without someone asking first.” The Pandavas then escaped and disappeared into the forest where they disguised themselves as beggars.

Similarly, we have God’s trance messengers here who can only ask the Supreme Soul for a message for His children when directed to do so by the seniors.

One day the Pandavas heard of the swayamvara that was being planned by King Drupada for his daughter Draupadi. Draupadi had her birth through the yagya, the sacrificial fire, just as they had. They decided to go and compete for the princess with the other princes. Arjuna won the beautiful bride, Draupadi, but when he told his mother that he had brought a gift home, without looking up she said that he must share it with all his brothers to demonstrate the unity among them. Being very obedient, Arjuna respected his mother’s words and shared Draupadi with the other four Pandavas.

Now that the Pandavas had appeared again, Dhritarashtra summoned them to his court and divided the kingdom into two halves: Hastinapura, which would be ruled by Duryodhana, and Indraprasth, now part of greater Delhi, which would be the Pandavas’ capital. Yudhisthira enlarged his kingdom considerably and a very beautiful palace was also constructed by the Pandavas. They had commissioned Maya, an architect from the country, to build this palace. When the Kauravas visited it they were so astonished by it that Draupadi laughed at them. This made them, especially the eldest, more angry and more jealous than ever.

Yudhisthira then started making plans for the Rajasuya sacrifice, which would make him emperor.

These plans aroused the envy and hatred of the Kauravas even further. They had an uncle, Shakuni, who was the most dishonest man in the kingdom and an expert at throwing dice. Together they persuaded their father to invite the Pandavas for a game. Reluctant to play the game, Yudhisthira only joined in to show proper respect for his senior uncle. He lost his kingdom, the freedom of his brothers, of himself and also that of Draupadi. When Draupadi was told that she was now a slave, she tried to run away but Dushashan, brother of Duryodhana, caught up with her and dragged her back to the court by her hair. He then started to disrobe her but a miracle happened: the sari he tried to pull from her body seemed to have no end. It just kept on unravelling.

There were many instances in the Mahabharata where God helped Draupadi. She was a powerful woman, a shakti, and Baba often refers to her in the murlis. He tells us that we are that same Draupadi, the courageous one. It was she who inspired the Pandavas to fight against the injustice perpetrated against them by the Kauravas. Spared the ultimate humiliation of being completely disrobed, Draupadi was given three boons by King Dhritarashtra but she asked only for the return of Yudhisthira and his four brothers.

Dhritarashtra tried to persuade his sons that the Pandavas should be given back their freedom, their wife and their kingdom. Finally, they decided to play one more dice game for the kingdom, the loser of which would have to go into exile for twelve years and stay in hiding for one year after that. Yudhisthira lost and the Pandavas departed once more for the forest.

The Pandavas lived in the forest for twelve years. In the thirteenth year they entered the service of the King of Virata; Yudhisthira disguised as a brahmin, Bhima as a cook, Arjuna as a music teacher, Nakula as a horse-trainer and Sahadeva as a cowherd. Draupadi called herself Sudeshna and became the queen’s lady-in-waiting. One of the generals in command at that time tried to take away her chastity but he was killed by Bhima.

This interlude in the life of the Pandavas symbolically represents the time in the Iron Age when the Brahmins are incognito and are separated from each other, before coming back to Baba’s home to regain their lost kingdom.

Finally, the Pandavas’ days of servitude came to an end and they decided to reclaim their kingdom. Krishna, being a cousin of both the parties, was sent as envoy to ask for the Pandavas’ half of the kingdom. The King of Virata joined forces with them in order to help them destroy the Kauravas.

Krishna offered Arjuna and Duryodhana a choice: one would get his army, the other would have Krishna himself as his ally. Duryodhana opted for Krishna’s army, preferring to remain commander-in-chief himself. Arjuna asked to have Krishna on his side; a wise choice because having God on his side won the war for him. Arjuna became the commander-in-chief of the Pandava army, Krishna preferring the humble position of being his charioteer.

Spiritually, Krishna represents the Supreme Soul, God Shiva. On the morning before the battle he recited to Arjuna the famous poem, the Bhagavad Gita, to reconcile Arjuna to the war. Morning symbolises the Confluence Age. Just as the war was about to start, Arjuna refused to fight his cousins but God encouraged him to fight as a warrior and taught him about yoga and how to become a conqueror of attachment.

The Kaurava army was at first led by their uncle Bhisma until Arjuna killed him with a thousand arrows. Then Drona became commander, after him Karna and finally Shalya, King of Madras. Bhisma and Karna represent the leaders of the other religions who will come back again at the end to lead their followers back home to Paramdham. The battle lasted for eighteen days, at the end of which, only Duryodhana and three others of the one hundred Kauravas were still alive.

At the end of the battle on the last day a terrible fight took place between the good but irascible Bhima and Duryodhana. Bhima had already killed Dushashan. Now it was Duryodhana’s turn. After a long battle Duryodhana fell, seriously wounded. Yudhisthira prevented Bhima from killing him, saying that only a coward would do so.

However, the surviving Kauravas sneaked secretly into the Pandavas’ camp that night and killed the five sons of Draupadi, still young boys, in their sleep. Thus she also was terribly punished for her pride.

This signifies that at the end those who return to Paramdham will be punished by Dharamraj for all sinful actions which have not been burnt away through the power of yoga and also for any of the vices that are still present within them at that time.

The five Pandava brothers ultimately attained victory. Even though the Kauravas had a huge army, with many weapons and worldly powers, the Pandavas won the battle with spiritual power, as God was on their side. They returned to the capital of Hastinapura where Yudhisthira was crowned as maharaja.

There they lived in peace and prosperity. However, Yudhisthira was filled with remorse over the massacre of his family, since his weakness for gambling had led to all the killing. He decided to make a pilgrimage to heaven, to Indra’s palace on Mount Meru. Naturally his four faithful younger brothers followed him because they had all shared the preceding days of adventure and peace, sadness and greatness. Draupadi went with them for she too had many reasons to appease the gods and she had always been ready for adventure. Arjuna’s grandson, Parikshit, remained behind as maharaja of Hastinapura.

Baba has said that some of us will go ahead as the ‘advance party’ to allow the deities to come and take control of the new world as masters. This episode in the life of the Pandavas symbolically represents that event.

The long, exhausting journey of the Pandava princes, climbing the Himalayas to the Palace of the Gods, is another epic, contained in the seventeenth book of the Mahabharata. This represents the journey to Paramdham, the soul world. In this long episode, accounts are rendered of what each of these formidable characters had done and why they had failed. Their defects of character and morality proved fatal for them. Draupadi was the first to fall. She still loved Arjuna with undiminished love but her pride could not face the long pilgrimage. Sahadeva, too, was full of pride, vanity and self-love, so he too fell. Nakula fell next. He was too full of his own physical beauty to possess the grim persistence needed for the arduous pilgrimage. Next Arjuna fell by the wayside because his boasting had always been greater than his achievements. He had once vowed that he would destroy all his enemies, but it was too late. The last to fall along the way was the strong, but easily angered, Bhima. He had cursed too many people instead of being a simple honest warrior.

Alone with his dog, the persevering Yudhisthira reached the gate of Indra’s heaven. He agreed to enter only after insisting that his four brothers and Draupadi should be admitted with him.

This section of the Gita implies that the ascent to heaven means the continual effort of imbibing divine attributes, practising yoga and attaining victory over the vices lying hidden in their subtle form in the human mind. This effort of attaining heaven is compared to climbing a high mountain such as the Himalaya.

The “dog” actually signifies the reverse, “God”, who is our one and only faithful Companion on the path of this spiritual journey.

The Mahabharata contains long philosophical chapters, all in verse, including treatises on law, morality and virtue, religion and politics, medicine and many other subjects. The Mahabharata confirms what Baba has always been telling us, which is that the kingdom will pass from the Kauravas to the Pandavas. Baba has also told us that we are the Pandavas, the spiritual guides. Yet we have to endure many hardships. If we have unshakeable faith in one Baba and no one else, victory is guaranteed.

Signs from the Mahabharata that signify the end of the Iron Age (Kaliyug)

(i) Politics will be without principles.

(ii) Law will be without love.

(iii) Business will be without ethics. (There will be corruption and black-marketeering.)

(iv) Physical pleasures will be indulged in the extreme.

(v) There will be no respect for seniors nor love for juniors.

(vi) Science will be used for the destruction of humanity.

(vii) Irreligiousness will go under the name of religion.

(viii) Bhakti will be filled with blind faith and devotion.

(ix) Bodily fashions will be taken to the extreme.

(x) Edible items will be sold in small packets.

(xi) Milk will be sold in bottles.

(xii) Unmarried girls will choose their own husbands.

(xiii) Families will become dysfunctional and will not carry out their responsibilities.

(xiv) There will be no purity between brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter.

(xv) Human beings will eat human beings.

(xvi) Untimely death will result in wandering spirits.

(xvii) The weather and the seasons will be unpredictable.

To protect its religion the Brahmin clan should:

i) study and teach spiritual knowledge.

ii) wake up at Brahm Murat, i.e. Amrit Vela, and do tapasya.

iii) eat Brahma Bhojan (pure food).

iv) protect the sacrificial fire (yagya) themselves and encourage others to keep the fire burning.

v) follow the practice of brahmacharya.

MEERA

The story of Meera is very famous in the history of Rajasthan, a state situated in the north west of India. Her story is a true account of her devotion to Krishna. Today she is widely worshipped and many of the songs of worship she wrote telling of her love for Krishna are still sung.

Meera was the youngest daughter of a king and all her sisters were married. One day at the age of eight, having seen a marriage procession, she asked her mother, “Who will be my bridegroom?” “Here,” said her mother, light-heartedly pointing at a small statue of Krishna. “Take him for a husband.” Little did her mother know that from that moment onwards Meera engaged herself to Krishna and considered herself married to him. Meera took the statue and placed it in her room, after which she prayed to Krishna day and night, sang songs of praise to him and washed his statue regularly.

In time her parents arranged for her marriage into a royal family. So immense was her love for Krishna that she told her new husband, “You are not my husband. My parents might have selected you for me but I am already married to Krishna.” Fortunately, her husband understood her devotion and still loved her.

She lived a life of simplicity in the palace and in every activity she saw Krishna in front of her. She would constantly sing and dance in remembrance of Krishna. Her father-in-law, however, and her husband, who had to obey his family’s wishes no matter how much he loved Meera, still considered it a disgrace to the family that she wouldn’t acknowledge her marriage and so they attempted to torture her into complying with their wishes. Not succeeding in this, they finally sent her a poisoned drink. Because Meera loved Krishna more than her life, she drank the contents, even though she was aware of the poison in it. The story goes that her love was so immense that the poison turned into nectar.

One day as Meera was walking in her garden, praying to Krishna, the real god appeared to her and at once her soul left her body.

For Hindu mystics this sad tale has joyful connotations, even though the kind king mourned his wife for the rest of his life. Beautiful songs are still sung in India to celebrate Meera’s love for God, a love so complete and all-consuming that her soul had no attachment to this world and cleaved to God as soon as she saw Him. She is also considered to be the main female devotee. Her love for her Lord was so great that she endured all manner of hardships with ease. In other words, she made a mountain into a molehill.

MIDAS

Long ago there was a king whose name was Midas. He was extremely rich but not at all content, as he still wanted more. Obsessed with accumulating gold, he thought the more he had the happier he would be. One day whilst asleep and dreaming, he woke up with a start to find a fairy standing in front of him.

He got up, fell at the feet of the fairy and say, “What a beautiful fairy you are!” Then, suddenly realising how he might turn this visit to his own advantage, he slyly added, “I have heard that beautiful fairies like you often grant people’s wishes”.

The fairy laughed loudly. “Oh, King Midas! Tell me your wish and I will grant it to you.” Overwhelmed at the prospect of such good fortune, the King was surprised and unable to speak. “Tell me, Midas,” the fairy asked again, “what do you want?” The King’s lips trembled in joyful anticipation. He shouted, “Oh, fairy! Grant me the power to turn everything I touch with these hands into gold.” Once his wish was granted, the King did not know what to do with himself. He paced up and down, looking at his hands. He said to himself, “I have great powers now and with the help of these hands I will accumulate so much gold.”

Slowly he moved towards a stone lying in front of him. He held his hands near the stone, saying, “Let me touch it and see what happens.” The King touched the stone and it did indeed turn into gold. He jumped for joy. For some time he continued to gaze at it in wonder and then, seeing a beautiful rose, he touched it, whereupon it also turned into shining gold.

The King grew quite excited. He ran to the garden, touching many flowers and plants. “How wonderful! Everything I have touched has turned into gold. I shall be the richest king in the whole world. What a lucky man I am”.

After some time King Midas began to feel hungry. He called his servant and said, “Bring me food and drink.” The servant brought a bowl of fruit and other delicacies. He also brought a jug of water. The King wanted to eat a piece of fruit but, when he picked it up, it turned into gold. He wanted to drink the water but alas, he could not, because the moment he touched the jug, it turned into gold. The King sank back in his seat and cried aloud, “What a fool I’ve been! I am hungry but I am not able to eat anything. I am thirsty and I am not able to drink. What a disaster! This will be the death of me.”

At that moment his daughter came into the room. Seeing her father sitting in such a sorrowful mood, she came running up to him and said, “Oh, father! What is wrong with you? Why are you so sad? “Oh, my child!” cried Midas. Suddenly his hand touched her, changing her instantly into a golden statue. Seeing this, the King broke down and wept. “Now I cannot even talk to my daughter. What have I done? She has turned into a statue.” His sorrow knew no bounds.

At that point the fairy appeared in front of him. “Oh, King!” she said. “You should be very happy but I find you crying. Why? Are you not satisfied with your powers to turn everything into gold?” The King fell at her feet. “Please do not mock me. I do not want this power any more. Please take it away! I want my daughter to come back to life again. Be assured that I will not ask for such a boon again. Never again will I be so greedy. I have enough gold. I will use this gold to help the poor and needy”. The fairy then took away from the King Midas the power of the golden touch, bringing his daughter instantly back to life. The King was very happy. From that moment on he was forever freed from this insatiable greed.

The moral of this story is that one should not be greedy. Greedy people will never be happy. Only those who are content can be happy. The story teaches us to be content with whatever we have. The spiritual significance being that if we are constantly content now, in return in the Golden Age everything will be gold and diamonds. There will be plenty of wealth in paradise.

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