Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Once upon a time, there lived a king who cared much about his subjects. To understand what was really the state of affairs, he used to roam the regions of his kingdom in disguise, even at night.
During his sojourns he often noticed a particularly handsome man often alone always alert, calm, composed and never seemed to sleep.
After numerous sightings over many months, the king could not contain his curiousity any longer. He stopped his horse and asked the man, "Why do you never sleep?"
The man replied, "I stay conscious, because I have many treasures to protect."
The king said, "I do not see any treasures here."
"You cannot see them because they are inside me", the man responded.
After that, daily the king stopped to converse with that beautiful, wise and peaceful man. The king grew certain, the man was a great being, even a saint.
It is the nature of man to seek to possess completely what we desire. So the king disclosed who he was and invited the man to stay with him at his palace.
Surprising the king, the man readily agreed and also accepted the king's offer to sleep in the most exquisite suite in the palace.
'Are saints not supposed to have renounced the pleasure and comforts of life?' The king asked himself.
The King grew suspicious when the man who hardly ate or slept, now dozed off after eating with relish all the delicacies placed before him and wore the most splendid clothing he was offered.
Over the next few days the king was very disturbed by what he saw. He felt he had been conned, after all saints are supposed to reject the good life.
On the seventh day, the king could contain himself no more. He told the man, "I have a question to ask you."
The man smiled and said, "I know you are plagued by doubts and you have been distressed right from the first day. It is your dignity and grooming that you took so long to ask. I know your question, but please ask anyway. However I will answer your question only after a long horse ride."
The king asked, "What is the difference between you and me?"
The man requested the king to get two horses and they rode off together. The strange man and the king who remained lost in thought rode for a long while, when they reached a river. The king stopped and said to the man, "My kingdom ends at this river, now would you please answer?"
The man said, "I am going to the other kingdom, come with me."
The kind said, I can't, I have my kingdom and my wealth and my whole life's work is here."
The man smiled and said, "Now you see, this is the difference between you and me. You can't proceed because you are stuck with your 'treasures' which are external to you. Where as, what I have is contained within me. I can go anywhere and wherever I go my wealth goes with me. "
"I live happily with little food, shelter, and simple clothes, just as I am equally happy living, sleeping and eating in the palace. The being is important, not the props. I am just the same in all conditions, all situations and with all people."
The king fell at the feet of the man's feet and begged for forgiveness and requested the man to return to the palace.
The man said, "That is not a problem, I can return. Soon, however you will be once again be troubled by doubt, and that cannot be a good thing. Its better you permit me to leave.
If you want you can be like me, look not for the wealth outside but the treasures within yourself. When you discover them you will not need anyone nor anything else."