Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

Once there was a famous king, by name Janak, who was also a Sadguru, or Perfect Master. Outwardly he was a great monarch. He never let it be known generally that he was a Sadguru. Only those who could recognise him inwardly knew him to be such.

In his kingdom there was a man, a seeker who had intense spiritual longing. He was as restless as a fish out of water. He could not sleep, he could not eat, he had grown very lean; but still he had an ego. He however sensed the spiritual perfection of Janak and sought to see him and learn from him. The guard refused to admit the seeker.

The king, however, heard him, and through a servant asked from inside the palace, 'What do you want?'

The man told the guard, 'Tell the king that I am so and so.'

Again Janak heard him from inside, and called out to him: 'Come when you have left yourself behind.'

The man could not understand. He repeated who he was, and why he had come. Once more Janak replied: 'Leave yourself behind and then come.'

Still he could not understand. Finally he fell at the feet of the guard and asked him to explain the meaning of the king's message. The watchman explained it: 'Drop your "I",' he said, 'throw it off and say "your slave has come to see you". Keep your "I" aside.'

This the man did, and the king allowed him to enter. He found Janak fully attired in his royal robes, with his crown upon his head, seated with his courtiers at a state banquet with much merrymaking going on about him. And the seeker on seeing Janak living in such luxury, thought, 'How can Janak be a Sadguru?'

Janak, who read his thoughts, ordered a cup of milk filled to the brim. Then he called his ministers aside and ordered that throughout the town a great celebration should be held, with music drums and merrymaking everywhere. After this he called for two executioners. When they arrived, he turned to the seeker, handed him the cup full of milk, and ordered him to carry it through the town without spilling any of it. 'If you spill as much as one drop,' he said, 'these two executioners will cut your head off at once,' and he ordered the executioners accordingly.

So they set out, the man with the cup of milk, and the two executioners, one on his right and one on his left. Through the town they made their way, and all around them there were crowds of people celebrating. Bands were playing, drums were beating, people were singing and shouting and merrymaking, and noises of all kinds were going on. But the man's mind was so concentrated on the cup of milk that he did not know what was going on around him. He did not even hear the noises.

Finally, they returned to the palace. The king asked the executioners if the man had spilled any milk. They said not. Then he asked the man, 'What did you see all around you?'

The man replied, 'I saw nothing, I heard nothing, I saw only the cup of milk.'

Then the king said, 'So am I all the time engrossed in the Infinite, and pay no attention to outer things.'

And the man threw himself at Janak's feet, his thought being only of Janak as his Master and seeking to be accepted as his pupil.

Later the king became publicly known as a Sadguru.


NOT WE BUT ONE, ed. William Le Page, pp. 50-52
1977 © Meher Baba Foundation


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