THE STORY OF KING JANAK AND SEEKER
Janak was a king, but a God-realized one. Though he was a king, he did not have thoughts of detachment or attachment. He had the experience of his Godhood.
"There once was a seeker roaming about for a long time. He spent twelve years going from one place to another. He did not stay in one spot. He would beg for food, he would meditate, and he would do all types of spiritual practices.
"One day, he was sitting under a tree to take rest. An old man was also sitting under that tree. He asked the seeker, 'Where do you come from?'
"This young man said, 'I am a seeker of God. I don't have any home. I do not stay in one place, just move about here and there. So how can I tell you where I have come from?'
"'What else do you do?' the old man asked.
"'I meditate. I beg for my food, and I do many spiritual practices.'
"'How long have you been doing all this?'
"'For the last twelve years,' the young man replied.
"Then the old man asked, 'Did you find God?'
"Have you received any experience of God?'
"'No, no experience. But I will definitely get it. Because I am doing this for God,' answered the young seeker.
"'Do you really want God?' the old man asked.
"'That's why I am doing this. I have nothing to do with the world. I am completely detached from the world.'
"'If you want God, I can tell you whom you should approach. And I know definitely that you will get God.'
"The young man was very curious. He said, 'Yes, please tell me. I want God!
"'There is one place called Nepal,' said the old man. 'A man who knows God lives there. His name is Janak. If you go to him, I am sure that he will give you God. Because you want Him.'
The old man gave the young man the address, and the young man went there.
"What does he find?
"There was a big palace, with guards standing at the gate. The seeker was amazed. The old man had mentioned the name 'Janak' but had not said that Janak was a king. The seeker asked the guards, 'Is Janak here?'
At first, the guards did not say anything, but then they answered, 'Yes.'
"The young man said, 'I want to see him.'
"The guards replied, 'Without Janak's permission, you cannot see him. So we will give him a message from you. If the king wants to see you, then, of course, we'll let you know and take you to him."
"As soon he heard the name of the king, the seeker's mind started working. 'Here I am. I just roam about here and there seeking God. And this man is a king. How can he give me God? That old man deceived me.'
"Anyway, he told the guard, 'Yes, I want to see him.'
"The guard went and told Janak. When the guard returned, he said to the young man, 'The king wants to see you. Come with me.'
"The young man went along with the guard. He saw the king sitting on a throne, surrounded by all sorts of comforts. He was thinking, 'Now I have been misguided.'
"Janak asked the young man to sit on a luxurious chair, and asked, 'What do you want?'
"'I want God,' the man replied.
"'I can give you God. But you have to obey my instructions.'
"'If you give me God, I will obey everything.'
"Janak said, 'You have come a long way. You are tired. So I want you to take rest for three days. Then I will tell you what you have to do.'
"The young man said, 'I am not tired. I just go on walking from one place to another. So please give me an order. What do you want?'
"'You said to me that you would obey my order. But now when I gave you an order, you say that you are not tired!' the king replied. 'This is not obedience. This is what you want; not what I want.'
"The young man could not say anything. He was taken into a room furnished with all sorts of comforts. He had a sitting room, a bedroom. The rooms were decorated; different pictures were on the walls. He was thinking, 'How can I get God here? To find God, one has to observe fasts and silence, do meditation, beg for one's food. Here everything is luxury and nothing but.'
"Then his food came, many dishes, and the young man thought, 'Definitely, I cannot get God here. I must go out of this place. But how? Everywhere there are guards. Now I am in trouble. What to do?'
"Though he ate, his mind was working. He had not seen any dishes like these at any time during his life. He was from a poor family; he would beg for food. It was too much for him and also too embarrassing.
"Afterwards, he was taking rest, but his mind was working: How to get out of this palace? He was preparing a plan. How to escape?
"And what does he find?
"The ceiling of the room was coming down and down. He thought that if he slept, the ceiling might fall down, and he would die. So he could not sleep at all. All the time, he was observing the ceiling gradually coming down and down. Then, the next morning, he was given a nice breakfast, but he could not eat. He was very restless, surrounded by so many thoughts.
"King Janak called him and asked, 'Did you sleep last night?'
"'Not at all.'
"'Was the bed not good?' the king asked. "Or the food?'
The man said, 'Such a bed I have never seen in my life. It was so comfortable. I never ate such food in my life; it was delicious.'
"'Then why did you not sleep?' the king asked.
"'My mind was full of thoughts -- that for God one has to follow all types of austerities, but here I find all luxury. Then I saw the ceiling coming down and down. I thought that if I slept, I would die, because the ceiling would fall down. So I could not sleep.'
"Janak asked, 'Do you know what spiritual life is? The spiritual life is not just simply to beg for food, walk long distances, follow all austerities. These have no meaning. You were scared because you saw the ceiling coming down and down. It shows that you have attachment to the world. Had you remained detached, you would not have felt fear. Here you see me. I am a king. I am ruling over the country, but I am always detached. Therefore, what is spirituality?
"'Spirituality is complete detachment from the world, from desires, from temptation and from all wants and expectations. I have no attachment to anything, and I am always happy because I am not attached. I do my duty in the form of a king. But I am not bound. If good food is served, or bad food, it is just the same to me. Now you are thinking about spirituality, and you make distinctions about good food and bad food. You make distinctions between comfort and discomfort. This is the play of your mind. As long as your mind is there, you have thoughts, you have desires, you have attachments. When you think of detachment, you remain attached with your negative thoughts. As long you have attachments, you are not free.'
"Then the young man understood, and then he said, 'Now I understand. Give me your order.'
"The king said, 'Still you have to roam about, because you are not free from your attachment to detachment. Go and beg for food and do meditation for a further twelve years. Then you come to me. I will give you God-Realization'
"'I will obey your order one hundred percent, and according to it, I will return after twelve years,' replied the seeker.
"Again, the young man went out and started roaming. He would get many thoughts and counter-thoughts. Actually, he was spending the bindings of attachment and detachment which are created through the mind -- desires, wants, temptations, etc. After twelve years, the young man again went to King Janak. Because he was ready for it, the king gave the seeker God-Realization in a moment.
In words of Bhauji
Detachment is freedom from desires and wants. You must have observed a cashier in a bank. He deals with money during his duty hours. But when he goes home, does he think about money? He does not. Thinking about money, of course, is very natural when he is at work. He is very careful about it and keeps a proper account of everything. When he goes home, he forgets about money. He does not remember it. He remains detached, because he knows that it is the bank's money, not his. So also, if you do any duty, know well that you are doing it for Me. When you are doing it for Me, you will remain detached. Everything belongs to Me, so do not think that it belongs to you.
"It is very difficult to obtain detachment. If you just take the negative side, that nothing belongs to you, and you meditate that nothing belongs to you, this meditation comes to you through your mind. And the mind is the thing that keeps you attached to everything. The mind should become completely empty of impressions, only then will you be completely detached from everything. The mind itself allows you to go on repeating that things do not belong to you. You feel that you are advancing. But you are not advancing, you are bound.
"When you are free from impressions, you think about neither attachment nor detachment. You enjoy full freedom. Never think that if you just have negative thoughts, you will become detached from anything. You are still attached, but in a negative form.