BLESSED ARE THOSE
THAT CAN GIVE
AND CAN TAKE
The last initiation was going to be given to the disciple. The Master said, “Your last initiation will be given in a very indirect way.” The disciple had passed all the hurdles that the Master had put in his way; he had proved his mettle. Now the last initiation… and once he has passed the last initiation, he will be declared enlightened The disciple touched the feet of the Master and said, “I am ready. Just order me and I will do whatsoever needs to be done.”
The Master said, “You will have to go to the King, and go early in the morning; be the first visitor to the King. Because the King has a habit: whosoever comes to him first, whatsoever he asks, the King gives. But the country is so rich that it is very rare that anybody goes. Years pass and nobody goes to ask for anything. But don’t take any chances — be there very early. The King comes in the morning into his garden, as the sun rises the King enters the garden — be there. And he will ask you, ‘What do you want?’
And whatsoever you want, ask him.”
The disciple could not understand what kind of initiation this last one was. But the order had to be followed. He went. He didn’t take any chance: three o’clock early in the morning he was waiting for the King.
The young man bowed down to the King; the King said, “Have you come to ask for something? You can ask for anything! Whatsoever you ask, I will give it to you.”
A great desire possessed the young man. He was a poor man, had come from a very poor family, “And the King says whatsoever…?” To be certain, he asked again, “What do you mean by ‘whatsoever’?”
The King said, “Exactly that I mean — whatsoever. Even if you demand my kingdom I will give it to you. You can ask for as much money as you want…”
The poor young man could not think much. He thought, “Maybe ten thousand rupees will do.” But a desire came that “Why ten thousand? You may never get such a chance again – – why not one hundred thousand?”
And then another desire, and desires upon desires… because mind constantly asks for more. So whatsoever he decided, the mind was still asking for more.
The King said, “It seems you are not yet ready to ask. I will go for my morning walk, meanwhile you decide. And when I return, whatsoever you ask will be given to you.”
That half an hour was a torture. He went on and on, “I can ask for this and that, and a golden chariot, and so many millions of rupees, and so much land — I will create a small kingdom of my own.”
Desires and dreams… and the King came; that half hour had passed so fast. The King was standing there and he said, “Young man, have you not decided yet?”
And then suddenly the young man thought, “Whatsoever I ask will be less than the King has, so why not ask for all? Be finished with the figures!”
So he said, “Sir, if you are so willing to give, I ask for every-thing! — all that you have.
Your whole kingdom, all your riches, your palaces — everything. You simply get out of the palace! And you cannot go back in. You may take something. You simply get out — forget all about it. I can allow you only these clothes that you are wearing.”
Even that he did reluctantly; even that much he would have less.
The King fell on his knees, started praying to God, tears rolling down from his eyes — of great joy, ecstasy! And he was thanking God saying “I have been waiting for such a man.
How long I waited! But finally you heard my prayer, and now he has come and I am free of all this nonsense. Thank you! You heard my prayer, although it has been so long and I had to wait so long, but still you heard it. I am grateful.”
When he was saying these things to God, the young man was standing there and he started thinking, “What is the matter? If this man is feeling so happy renouncing the kingdom, what am I getting into? If this man has been praying for thirty years, as he is saying, ‘Send a man who can take my whole kingdom, who can ask for my whole kingdom!’ — if for thirty years he has been praying, then it is not worthwhile at all. I am getting into unnecessary trouble.”
He also fell on his knees, touched the King’s feet and said, “Sir, I am a young man — I am a young fool. Please excuse me. I don’t want anything. Your prayer to God, your thankfulness to God has finished my whole mind. I am going back to the forest to my Master.”
The King tried to persuade him, “Don’t go. Just have a look. Come into the palace! I will not only give you my palace, my kingdom, my riches, but my beautiful daughter also.
Come and just have a look!”
But the young man said, “I cannot stay here, not even a single moment — because the mind can betray me. An insight has happened, and I am thankful to you just as you are thankful to God. I am finished!”
And when the young man reached back to his Master and told the whole story, the Master said, “Your last initiation is over. Now nothing will ever make a slave of you. Now you are alert, conscious, free. You have passed — I am happy. I was watching from here, and when you had asked for the whole kingdom, my heart was crying. I was thinking, ‘So, fifteen years’ work on this fool, and all finished.’ You can’t imagine my happiness,” said the Master, “that you are back, that you could see the point, that you were observant.”
Be observant, just watch…. People have money, people have great palaces, people have all that you can desire — just watch, just see: are they happy? are they contented? They may be more happy than you are and more discontented than you are — then don’t follow them. They are blind! They have followed other blind people. Don’t follow them, don’t imitate the crowd.
Another story from Anand Zen