Before Sukhdev Muni went to King Janak to get Initiation, he used to think, "How can a worldly person become the Master of a renunciate?" - because you know that Sukhdev Muni was a renunciate right from his birth, and whenever he used to ask his father, Ved Vyas, about Initiation, Ved Vyas would tell him, "King Janak is the only perfect Saint nowadays, but He is a King. You may think that He is a worldly person, but He is not, and He is the only one who can connect you with the Naam [and give you the] Initiation." So whenever Sukhdev Muni would think about going to King Janak to get Initiation his mind would bring up this question, "How can a worldly person become the Master of a renunciate?" that is why, for many years, he did not go to see King Janak. But later on, when he realized that there was no other substitute for him, that he would have to go to the king to get Initiation, he finally went to see King Janak. On his way up to see Him he left his clothes and a metal cup in the courtyard of the king's palace.

When Sukhdev Muni and King Janak were talking with each other, at that time, King Janak, because He was a perfect Saint, created such a Will to teach a good lesson to Sukhdev Muni. What He did was this: after some time an attendant came to King Janak and told Him that the cantonment [the army barracks] of that city was on fire. When King Janak heard that He did not react sharply. He didn't do anything; He was not confused. He said, "It is the Will of God"; and that attendant went away.

Sukhdev Muni thought, "This person is not fit to be a king because the army is like the heart of the king. He should have gone to rescue the people who are in the fire; he should have done something to save them, but he doesn't care. So that is why he is not fit to be the king." After some time, when they were still talking, another person came and told King Janak, "Now the city is on fire." King Janak again remained calm and quiet; He only said, "It is the Will of God." Sukhdev Muni again had that negative thought. He thought, "He is the king and he must have a lot of things in his palace so that is why he thinks, `Why should I worry about the city and the people of my kingdom?' But it is very bad that he doesn't care for the other people. He is only bothered and concerned about his own self. That is why he is only saying, `It is God's Will,' and doing nothing to save the other people."

After some time another person came and said, "Your Highness, now even the palace is on fire. The courtyard of the palace is on fire." At once Sukhdev Muni jumped up to save his clothes and his metal cup. Then King Janak held him by his hand and said, "Now you tell me - who is the renunciate, you or me? You left some clothes and some trivial things in my courtyard, and you are afraid that you will lose them if you don't rush to take them. But you see that when the cantonment was on fire, when the city was on fire, I didn't go to save them because I am not attached to them. So now you can decide who is a renunciate and who is not."

Then Sukhdev Muni learned that in reality he was attached to the world and King Janak was not. Even though King Janak used to live like a worldly person, since He was a King and He had many obligations, many responsibilities, but in fact He was not attached to all those things. He was just performing His duty. So when he realized that King Janak was a perfect One, and that he should take Initiation from Him, he requested, "Master, now You should give me Initiation."

But King Janak was not going to give him Initiation so easily. He told Sukhdev, "Well, I will give you Initiation, but first I will put you to some tests, and if you pass those tests, only then you will get the Initiation."

King Janak gave Sukhdev Muni a cup full of oil and told him, "You take this oil, and holding this cup in your hand, go around the city. If you come back with the same amount of oil, without dropping even a single drop of this oil, only then will I understand that you can concentrate, and that you can do the meditation. And only then will I give you Initiation." He said, "Mind that, if you drop even a single drop of oil on the ground, you should know that a person with an open sword is behind you, and he will cut off your head, so you should be very careful."

When Sukhdev Muni took that cup of oil and went into the city, King Janak, at many places in the city, had arranged some distractions, such as dancers and other things. This was only to attract Sukhdev Muni's attention. But Sukhdev Muni had the desire of realizing God, and he wanted to get the Initiation from the perfect Master, and since he knew that if he dropped the oil he would be killed, he was afraid of death also. So his mind didn't tell him to look at all those things, all those distractions, and he was so concentrated in that cup of oil that even though he went all around the city he didn't look at any other thing except that cup of oil. When he came back to King Janak having passed that test King Janak asked him, "Tell me, what did you see in the city? Did you like the city?" He said, "Let me tell you that I didn't see anything in the city. I don't know what was happening there, because I was afraid that I would be killed if I removed my attention from this cup of oil, so I was fully concentrated on this cup."

Then King Janak said, "Now I see that you can concentrate in the meditation also. Later on, when you get Initiation, if you will have that much concentration in your meditation, only then will you become successful." Later, after Sukhdev Muni passed many other tests, and when he got the Initiation, he was so much concentrated in his meditation that he became successful, and he also became a perfect Saint.

So if we also remember that death is hanging over our head, and we are not supposed to look at this or that place, if we remember and we have real yearning for God, then there is no question of our mind taking us away from our Simran. We will be absorbed in the Simran just as the attention of Sukhdev Muni was absorbed in that cup of oil.



Nails in the Fence

How to Forgive


Dont Quit

The Grace of God

Anger and Frustration - Buddha's Teachings

Heaven and Hell

Sadhana - The Churning Within

Shukdev Muni and Janak Maharaj

King Janak and Astavakra

Ganesha and Tulsi's Curse

Twins - Birth and Death

Moving Rocks

The Cracked Pot

Escaping from Confinement

Breath - A True Gift of God

Love and time

The Cleaning Lady

The Mountain Story


Serving Others

Life - The Carpenter's House

The Four Wives


Creating Balance

Did Rama have a sister?

Listening to Bhagvad Gita

Never Give Up

Big Rocks

The Ripple Effect


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