Once there was a king who was always fighting. One day he was badly wounded in a battle. A sage passed by and touched him, and the king was cured. He wanted to give the sage a reward for saving him, but the sage didn’t want anything.
The king said, “I don’t want to be indebted to you.”
The sage said, “In the future I’ll ask for something. I don’t need anything now, but one day I’ll come.”
Months passed and the sage was praying to God one day for peace, light and bliss, when a desire entered his mind. For the past few months his cow had not been producing milk. “She’s old,” he said. “I’ll ask the king for a new cow.”
He went to see the king and found him in a temple. He was praying for more wealth and more fame.
The sage said to himself, “I won’t ask him for a cow. He’s a beggar like me.” And he turned to leave.
The king stopped him and said, “Sage, you saved my life. Please tell me what you want. I’ll give you anything.”
The sage said, “I pray to God and meditate. He is all I need. I don’t want to take anything from anyone in need. You told me you took an oath that you would not be indebted to anyone. I, too, have taken an oath. My oath is that if anyone is in need, then I won’t take anything from that person. That’s why I won’t take anything from you. You’re praying to God for material things. You’re begging for God to give you wealth and fame. So how can I ask anything of you? God has shown me that everyone is a beggar. So if I need something, I’ll get it from Him.”
from Garden of the Soul
by Sri Chinmoy
Published by Health Communications