PARTING ADVICE OF A MASTER
It so happened that the emperor of certain country came to know that such a master was in his kingdom, and exclaimed: “What a blessedness is this? I must go to him and pay my respects.” He set off with a large retinue, but knew that no amount of wealth, pomp and splendour would ever gain the attention of a Master who is only drawn to one who is humble, natural and loving. So five miles from the Master’s village the emperor left his horses, tents and servants, and walked the remaining distance with his courtiers. Near the Master’s dwelling the watchman stopped the party, asking who they were. “I am the emperor of this country, and we have come to pay homage to the Master. Please seek his permission on our behalf for us to see him.” and the emperor with his courtiers waited there.
When ushered in, they all remain standing and were introduced by emperor. The Master was very, very happy, asked them to be seated, and then talked to them about all sorts of mundane things. Here Eruch commented that Master never talk of spirituality; they are not the ones to teach from a pulpit, but within their informal talk there is often a dissertation – they may for example ask you about your health, and while doing so, some sentences may not strike you personally but “the cap will fit’ the others who are listening and everyone feels happy. The Master asked aboutemperor’s wives, his children, his last war, the economic conditions of the country, and the journry to him. Naturally the emperor answered politely, although he had come with the wish to pay the Master homage and to hear spiritual advice. The Master went on, but soon said, “Now it is time to go back.” This was his order, so all rose, and the king with folded hand asked for some parting words of advice. In reply the Master said, “Some advice/ I will tell you a story. You are hunter, I believe?” “Yes.”
“This is story of a king, a great hunter. On one occasion it so happened that whole day was spent in chasing prey. The king would not give up. He became separated from his courtiers, his steed and finally fell dead from exhaustion, and king found himself alone in a desert, far from his kingdom. The prey had escaped; the king was exhausted, did not know where he was, and now was a faint from thirst, moved with difficulty, and continually fell. Thinking he saw water at great distance he crawled and crawled towards it, but it was only a mirage. Extremely weak and distressed, he was about to die.
“just then,” continued the master, “I appeared with a pitcher of cool water, and offered it to the king, but said he would have to pay price for it.” “Anything-ask what you will.” gasped the king, “but please give me water.” “I told him, just half your kingdom.” He readily agreed, was given the water, soon regained his strength and began to return homewards. The Master resumed the story: “but now another crisis occurred- the king became unable to pass water and eventually suffered such agonizing pain that he again he felt near death. I appeared once more, bringing a remedy but saying that the price is other half of the kingdom, and he gladly gave it so that he might live.”
The Perfect Master now looked at the emperor and said: That story is my parting advice.
Rule over your subject honestly; do everything possible for them but at the back of your mind remember that half of your kingdom is worth having water inside your system and half is worth throwing it out of your system.
(Over the years with Meher Baba, Bill Le Page, ed. 1999, pp-91)