-Sreenivas R Chirayath
One day, a King went to the forest along with his minister and servant. In the forest, the King happened to see a deer. Ordering the minister and the servant to stay put, the King on horseback, began chasing the deer. The King went very far!
The minister and the servant waited for a long time, expecting their King back, where he had ordered them to wait.
As their hegmon did not return even after such a long time, the minister ordered the servant to go and search for the King.
As the servant was on his mission, of finding out the King, he noticed a hut, and near that, was a blind Sanyasi like man sitting, doing ‘Japa’ – (chanting of Mantras) with his ‘mala’- (garland made of dried Tulsi plant).
The servant asked the Sadhu: “O, blind man, didn’t you hear the voice of a horse, running this way?”
The Sadhu replied, “there was no sound, of a horse running this way, since some time. Having heard the reply of the so-called Sanyasi, the servant now went ahead.
For long, the minister spent time, impatiently, looking for the King and also the servant, to return back. As he couldn’t see the servant back over there, now the minister set foot to search for both the King and servant. He also happened to observe the hut and the Sadhu, as did the servant.
The minister asked the Sadhu, “Sadhuji, did anyone pass through this place?”
The Sadhu replied, “O Lord, it’s sometime now since the servant of a King passed through this area”.
The minister further enquired: “Anyone else passed this way?”
Sadhuji: “No one else passed this way, Sir”. Hearing this, the minister went ahead too.
After sometime, the King himself reached back at the location, where all the three, the King, the minister and the servant, were standing together, before the King ventured further, on the horseback, chasing a deer.
Not seeing the minister and servant, the King, once again, left the place, in search of the minister and servant.
Now the King also happened to notice the hut with the Sanyasi sitting there and doing Japa.
The King enquired with the Sadhu: “Sadhu Maharaj, did you observe two people passing through this place?”
The Sadhu replied:
“Yes Maharaj; first your servant passed this way, and after sometime, your minister did so”.
Hearing the Sadhu’s words, the King now went ahead.
After going some distance, the King could find out his aids!
The three, having reunited, now they were discussing about each other’s missing episodes, and found it so strange as to how the Sadhu could recognise their identities, as the King, the minister, and the servant!
Now the King-minister-servant triyo went to the Sanyasi, once again; now together.
As the King narrated the incident to the Sadhu and expressed his wish to know as to how could he recognise the statuses of the people he met!
The Sadhu then explained to the King:
“Maharaj, one can identify an individual by his/her way of speaking: the servant addressed me: “O, the blind man”, the minister, as “Sadhuji” and your Lordship addressed me as “Sadhu Maharaj”! Hence, naturally I could recognise the fact that, as much is the nobility of a person, that much humility he/she shows!