What Did You Do with the Gift I Gave You?
There is a story about a farmer who offered a drink of water from his well to a thirsty man, who was lost. The man refreshed himself with the farmer’s water and told him that he would return. The farmer thought little about it.
A few days later, the man did return. The farmer then realized that the man was a great and powerful king. The king smiled at the farmer, got down from his horse and placed a small bag with a seed inside into the farmer’s hands, smiling kindly at the farmer and telling him that it was a gift in return for his kindness. The farmer thanked the king.
The farmer was very excited that a king should give him a gift; his family was also overjoyed. The farmer sat and wondered what to do with his gift. Finally, after much mental debate, he took the seed and placed it in a fine sandalwood box with a velvet interior. It was the most valuable belonging the poor farmer owned – he then placed that box upon the mantel above his fireplace, so that all could see this gift from a great king.
And so, time passed; the farmer grew old. One morning, there was a knock at his door; he slowly opened the door, and here was the very king who had given him that gift so many years before. The expression on the king’s face was one of confusion. He asked the farmer, “Why are you still living in this hut? I would have thought you would have been living in comfort by now in some palace.”
The farmer now seemed very confused. He asked the king, “Why would I have moved? There’s been no good fortune that has befallen me.” The king then asked, “What did you do with the gift that I gave you?”
The farmer rushed to the fireplace and showed the king his seed in the nicely carved sandalwood box. An expression of great sadness came over the king, and he said to the old and tired farmer, “My dear friend, I gave you this gift to use; you are a farmer, you know that a seed must be planted, it must be watered, it must be fed. This is what guarantees the crop. I gave you a seed of the finest of seeds. Had you used it, planted and fed it, you would have received such a yield as to give you wealth beyond your imagination. This was the intent. Instead, you have received none of the benefits from my valuable gift. In addition, you’re old; you have not much time left in this life, even now, to benefit from my gift. It saddens me that you have denied yourself the riches and comfort that were meant for you.”
Just as the farmer appreciated the gift from the king but did not put it to use for his benefit, so might we appreciate our gift of initiation from the Master but not put the teachings into practice. Maharaj Jagat Singh explains in the following quote that it is only when we go within and meet the Master in his Radiant Form that we truly appreciate the gift of initiation:
I am glad that you appreciate the value of initiation, but the real appreciation comes only when by simran (repetition of the holy names) you vacate the body and go in. It is then that you will know what it is to have a Master and you will see for yourself what he does for his disciples. The real aim of initiation is to go in and contact the Master; then, with his help, and under his guidance, to complete our spiritual journey which begins from the toes and ends at the top of the head.
The Science of the Soul