Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Story of a Prince

Story of a Prince

Once a young prince saw a beautiful princess on the banks of a river, when he was on a hunting excursion. The princess had a philosophical bent of mind. She had mastered several Vedantic books. She was practicing deep meditation on the Atman. The prince approached and wanted her to marry him. She flatly refused. The prince again and again entreated her in various ways. She finally told him: "Please come and see me in my residence after ten days. I shall marry you." The prince also was a student of Vedanta but he had no real sustained Vairagya. He spent sleepless nights and on the morning of the tenth day eagerly proceeded to the palace of the princess.

The young princess had already devised a means to escape from the clutches of marriage. She took a drastic purgative of crouton oil continually for ten days and collected all the motions in ten separate enamel commodes and arranged them all nicely with numbers I to X in a big room covering all the commodes with beautiful silk clothes. She now looked all skin and bones. Her eyes were sunken and she lay down on her bed.

The prince came to meet her with great joy. The maid-servant conducted him to the room, where the princess lay. He could not recognize her. He asked the maid-servant : "Where is the young, beautiful lady? She is not the lady whom I met the other day!" To which the princess replied: "O dear prince, I am the very same lady. I have carefully stored up my beauty in the yonder room. Kindly go with me and see the accumulated beauty there. Come along with me now. I shall show it to you." So saying she took the prince to the room, removed the silk piece and asked the prince to look at her beauty: She added "This is the beauty of my skin and flesh. "The prince was simply stunned. He did not speak a word to the lady. He prostrated himself at her feet and took her as his mother. He threw off his princely robes and retired into the forests. Now his heart was filled with intense Vairagya. He sought the protection of a sage, got instructions from him, practiced rigorous meditation and attained Knowledge of Self.

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