King for a Season

King for a SeasonOnce there lived a jackal in a forest and he was hungry. He searched until he came to a place on the edge of the forest, where a man was dyeing clothes in huge round terracotta pots. Hoping that there might be a titbit for him in one of the pots, he dived straight into one, and quickly re-emerged, wet and dripping. To his amazement, the colour of his fur had turned to a bright blue.

As he made his way back to the place where the jackal community lived, an idea began to form in his mind. He stopped a while to consider his plan in detail, and to choose his words carefully, rightly suspecting that his new colour would cause a commotion.

The other jackals gasped as soon as they set eyes on him, for they had never seen a blue jackal before. And in a patronising tone, the jackal announced, “God has sent me here to live amongst you. It is my duty to take care of you all, and I will be in charge of this community. I will be your king. But first you have to provide food for me. I am very hungry.”

The other jackals started to gossip and murmur amongst themselves. “He will take care of us, and he will save us. Quickly, quickly, we must obey him.”

And they began to arrange food for him. They brought him pizza and pasta day after day, and the blue jackal lapped up the attention and the luxury. Greed and laziness soon got the better of him and with every passing week he became fatter and fatter.

A few months passed in this pleasant way. But with the arrival of the monsoon, the first fat drops of rain began to wash the dye from the jackal’s fur, leaving a ring of blue on the podium the others had made for him. He didn’t even notice what was happening at first, but the other jackals understood immediately. Though the jackal begged their forgiveness, he was driven from the community in shame.

Guruji has been to Italy several times to give initiations and to see disciples, and made us all laugh with the mention of pizza and pasta in his rendition of this story when he told it during a Satsang. (I tend to write the animal stories according to his telling but somewhat in my own way; but I really couldn’t change that part!) Guruji has such a sense of humour and a wonderful way of telling, but ultimately it all comes down to the message.

“I mean to say that colour is a temporary thing; it can’t last for very long,” Guruji said in conclusion. “In spirituality, our actual form is very important … to know what we are in reality.

“I have seen how many people change their colours. They change their clothes very easily, and they read thousands of books. Perhaps they listen to my talks also. They want to become very spiritual and at the same time they become very deep and very serious. There is no smile on their faces. This colour is external, it is artificial.

“When you are meditating properly, you will always have happiness and joy. And when we can share this happiness and joy, it is meaningful for our life. In this world, everyone wants to share their happiness. You will never find that parents want to give sadness to their children, or that children want to give sadness to their parents. A husband does not intend to give sadness to his wife, as the wife does not wish to give sadness to her husband. Everyone wants to share pleasure, joy and happiness, but in this world it is not always happening. There is so much suffering and pain; so much sadness. Why?

“When we just show our colours but we have not found that real happiness inside, this is when things become sad. But the thing which is yours, the thing which you have made your own, you can share. In a true sense, whatever we really are, that is what we can share.”