There was a great King, a great hero of the highest order, named Shivaji. He was from Maharastra, so he was called the Maratha King. Once he wrote a letter to Tukara, a great seeker who had become a saint, inviting him to come to his palace. Shivaji had heard much about the saint and had developed highest admiration for him.

But Tukara declined his invitation. He wrote back: “O King, you have invited me to come to your palace, but I don’t 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 used, old clothes, and I can use them if I need clothes. If I want shelter, I already have a piece of metal, and also there are many caves all around where I can take shelter. What else do I need on earth? I cannot accept your invitation and I do not need anything from you.”

Shivaji realised his mistake, and he came to Tukara’s home, walking barefoot to honour him. India’s greatest poet Tagore wrote a most beautiful, soulful and powerful poem about Shivaji. That poem stands as one of Tagore’s greatest achievements.