GLORY OF TRUTH

There was a truthful king whose mind was given to piety. If any common man who brought to his capital cereals, textile goods or any other commodity for sale failed to dispose of them by sunset, the king used to buy them. Such was the unfailing vow undertaken by the king for the public weal. Immediately after the sunset the king's servants went round the city and if they found anyone sitting with some saleable commodity they made inquiries of him, and after paying a price to his satisfaction would purchase the whole stock. In order to put to a test the love for truth of that truthful monarch, on a certain day, Dharma (the god of piety) himself appeared in his capital in the guise of a Brahmin, carrying with him a box containing useless household articles fit for throwing away as rubbish, and sat down in the bazaar as a vendor. But who was going to buy rubbish ? When the evening shades fell, the king's men went about the city on their usual round.

By: Diksha Sharma

Posted on: 19/12/2020 View : 389

GLORY OF TRUTH

There was a truthful king whose mind was given to piety. If any common man who brought to his capital cereals, textile goods or any other commodity for sale failed to dispose of them by sunset, the king used to buy them. Such was the unfailing vow undertaken by the king for the public weal. Immediately after the sunset the king's servants went round the city and if they found anyone sitting with some saleable commodity they made inquiries of him, and after paying a price to his satisfaction would purchase the whole stock. In order to put to a test the love for truth of that truthful monarch, on a certain day, Dharma (the god of piety) himself appeared in his capital in the guise of a Brahmin, carrying with him a box containing useless household articles fit for throwing away as rubbish, and sat down in the bazaar as a vendor. But who was going to buy rubbish ? When the evening shades fell, the king's men went about the city on their usual round. All the goods that had been brought for sale to the cit>' had been sold. This Brahmin alone was found sitting with his box. The king's men approached him and inquired whether his commodity had been sold. On his replying in the negative, the king's men further asked him what article he had brought for sale in that box and what its price was. The Brahmin replied that the box contained nothing but rubbish, and that its price was one thousand rupees! At this the king's men laughed and said, "Who will buy this rubbish which is not worth even a paisa ?" The Brahmin coolly replied, "If no one buys it, I shall take it back to my home." The king's men sought audience with His Majesty at once and reported the matter to him. Thereupon the king instructed them not to let the man take his things back, and insisted on their purchasing his things after rendering satisfaction to him by paying him a little more or less. 

The king’s men forthwith returned and offered to the Brahmin a sum of tw'o hundred rupees by way of price for his commodity. The Brahmin, however, refused to accept even a paisa less than one thousand rupees. The king's servants raised their offer to the limit offive hundred rupees, but the Brahmin declined it. Enraged at this stubborn behaviour ofthe Brahmin, some of the king's men returned to the king and complained to him that the Brahmin's box did not contain anything but rubbish which was not worth even a paisa, yet the Brahmin was not going to part with his things even for full five hundred rupees. They were therefore of the opinion that his articles need not be purchased at all. The king, however, reminded them of his unfailing vow, which he was not prepared to go back upon on any account, and commanded them to purchase the Brahmin's box for any price which the Brahmin might choose to demand. The king's servants laughed at this tenacity of their master and returned to the Brahmin. They had no alternative but to pay one thousand rupees to the Brahmin in exchange for his rubbish. The Brahmin took the amount and gladly departed, while the king's men brought the box to the king's presence. The king for his part had the box placed in his own palace. The same night, when it was bedtime, an extremely beautiful young lady, finely dressed and richly adorned, issued out of the main gate of the palace. The king was sitting in the outer chamber. Seeing the belle, the king approached her and inquired who she was, what had brought her there and why she was going away. The young lady told him that she was no other than Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune) and that, since he was a truthful and pious monarch she had from the very outset been residing at his house. She, however, found that poverty had since entered its portals in the form of rubbish. She was therefore loth to remain at a place where poverty resided, she added, and hence she was leaving the king's palace that very day. The king, however, did not interfere and allowed her to have her way. Shortly afterwards the king saw a most handsome youth going out of the palace. He put the same question to the youth. At this the latter replied that he was the god of charity, and had been residing in his palace from the very beginning since he was a  truthful and pious monarch.

He further told the king that he was leaving for the same place to which Lakshmi had gone; for when Lakshmi had fo^'saken his palace the king had no wherewithal left with him to practise charity. The king said, "Go, if you must!" Later on, another handsome male figure was seen coming out of the palace. On his,being questioned likewise he told the king that he was morality incarnate and that, as he was a truthful and virtuous monarch, he had been living in his palace ever since he had assumed the reins of government. Since, however, Lakshmi and the god of charity had both left his residence he was following suit; for in the absence of Lakshmi and Charity the king would not be able to preserve his morality intact. The king said, "Very well!" After some time another youthful figure appeared at the entrance ofthe palace. Interrogated by the king, he replied that he was fame incarnate and had been living in bis palace ever since he ascended the throne. He added that since Lakshmi, Charity and Morality had all left his palace his fame could not endure in their absence. Hence he, too, was going the same way. The king kept quiet and allowed him to go. Still later, another youth came out of the palace. He, too, repeated the same story when accosted by the monarch. He told the king that he was veracity incarnate and had stayed in his palace since the very beginning of his reign. Since however, Lakshmi, Charity, Morality and Fame had all departed from his palace, he also was following them. The king told the youth that it was for his sake that he had allowed all those deities mentioned by him to go their way. Since, however, he had never forsaken truthfulness the latter should not in all fairness desert him. The king explained to him that in the interest of public good he had taken a solemn vow to the effect that should anyone bring any commodity for sale to his capital and fail to dispose it of before sunset he would purchase the whole stock that remained. The king further said to Truthfulness, "This very day a Brahmin brought for sale some rubbish which was not worth even a paisa; but it was for vindicating the cause of truth alone that I purchased that symbol of indigence for one thousand rupees." "Lakshmi," continued the king,

"there upon appeared before me and told me that sinee poverty had taken up her abode in my palace, she was loth to reside with me. For this very reason Lakshmi and all the rest of her company have left me one after another. On your strength alone, nevertheless, I stand firm in my- vow." Truthfulness changed his mind when he came to know that it was for the sake of truth alone that the monarch had allowed all those deities to depart. He, therefore, decided to stay and returned to the palace. Shortly afterwards Fame returned to the king and, on being questioned by the latter, told him who he was, and added that however morally correct and munificent and wealthy a man might be, he could not attain real celebrity without truthfulness. He further told him about his decision to stay where Truthfulness was. The king weleomed his decision. Morality was the next to make his appearanee before the king. On being accosted by the latter, he told him who he was, and added that morality stayed only where veracity existed. However charitable-minded and opulent one might be, morality was out of the question where truthfulness was lacking. Morality further told him that since truthfulness was present in the king he had made up his mind to return to him. The king welcomed him back into the palace. Charity also shortly returned. On being interrogated by the king, he told the latter who he was, and added that charity abided only where truthfulness was present. However rich one might be, he could not be expected to be munificent unless he was devoted to truth.

The visitor complimented the king on the latter's respect for truth and further told him that he had accordingly decided to return to him.The king said, "So be it!" and welcomed him back into the palace. Then came Dharma (God of Justice) himself disguised in the form of the selfsame Brahmin. On being questioned in the same way, he told the king that he was no other than the god of piety, and that it was he who had sold the rubbish to the king for one thousand rupees. The stranger further confessed that he had been  won over by the king by virtue of his truthfulness and had called on him in person to grant him a boon of his choice. He therefore pressed the monarch to tell him of what service he could be to His Majesty. The king, however, merely expressed his gratitude to the deity and said that he wanted nothing. From the foregoing parable it will be clear beyond doubt that where there is truthfulness all blessings are invariably present. Even if wealth, charity, morality and fame are found wanting in a votary of this virtue at any time, he should not become disheartened. If truthfulness is strictly adhered to, all these are sure to return of their own accord. Even if they do not, he will have nothing to lose; on the other hand, the highest gain will be his. Hence the seeker of blessedness must not forsake truthfulness on any account... Rather he should firmly adhere to it in a disinterested spirit without fail.

TRUTHFULNESS

Speaking the truth and cultivation of noble virtues and right conduct make up what they call Truthfulness. The Lord says in the Gita: "The name of God, SAT, is employed in the sense of truth and goodness. And the word SAT is also used in the sense of praiseworthy action, Arjuna. And steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and charity is likewise spoken of as SAT; and action for the sake of God is invariably termed as SAT. "There is a popular saying in Hindi, which can be translated as follows : "Truthfulness must not be given up on any account, O servant of God ! Your credit is sure to be lost in the event of your forsaking Truth. Fortune held fast by truthfulness will come to you again (iftemporarily lost)."

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