The King and the Sword

A great Indian King once went on a boat trip on the Ganges. He and his attendants saw a man swimming behind them. It was Troilanga Swami. It happened, in an hour or so, that Troilanga Swami swam near the boat smiling, so they helped him into the boat. He was naked as usual, but the people there did not mind because they all knew him, and had tremendous respect, love and veneration for him. The King was also pleased to see him, because he also admired him.

The King had a sword hanging around his waist. Troilanga Swami took it from him and examined it and played with it like a child. Then he suddenly threw it into the Ganges. The King was furious. He had received this sword for his valour and for his merit, so he felt miserable that he had lost such a precious thing. He wanted to punish the man but everybody protested: “Oh no, he is a saint; you can’t do that. It will be a terrible thing if you touch him.”

The King said, “If you people are not willing to punish him, then once we land I will get other people who will gladly listen to me and punish this man.”

When they were about to reach the shore, Troilanga Swami, who was seated in the boat, placed his hand in the water. All of a sudden two shining swords appeared in his hand. They were identical, and both looked exactly like the one he had thrown into the Ganges. Everybody was astonished. The Master said to the King, “O King, now find the one that belonged to you.” The King was totally nonplussed. He did not know which one was actually his. Then Troilanga Swami said to him, “You fool, you don’t know which one belongs to you? You don’t know your own possession?” Then he threw away the one that was not the King’s, and said, “In this world nothing will remain with you. When you die, everything you have will have to remain here. To the Real in you I say, “Don’t live in the world of enjoyment. Remain in the world of aspiration. Remain in the world of Light, Peace and Bliss. You are a King, but you are a fool as well. Be wise. Then only will you have true happiness in life. Be spiritually wise!”

Commentary:

Unless and until we become spiritually wise, we shall never know what our true possession is. Our true possession, our eternal possession, our only possession, is our love of God. There cannot be anything else here on earth or there in Heaven for us to claim as our own. Only our love of God?our constant, soulful and self-giving love of God?can be our eternal possession. This possession will always remain safe, and we ourselves will also be safe only when we claim this possession as our own, very own.

Once we know that we have love of God in abundant, boundless and infinite measure, then God’s possession, which is His entire creation, immediately becomes our possession as well. Our love of God claims God, and the moment we offer our love to God, God’s creation immediately becomes ours as well. His entire creation comes from His Vision, and He and His Vision are inseparable. When we claim God with our love, God’s Concern and God’s creation immediately claim us; for the sole possessor is God and nobody else.

Here on earth everything that we can see, we try to claim. Everything that is around us also wants to claim us. But we cannot claim others and they cannot claim us, for we see that something is missing in them and they see that the same thing is missing in us. What is missing is love of God. This is the seed, the possibility-seed, which eventually grows into the inevitability-fruit.

Sri Chinmoy