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 34

 

At last Janak heard him, and asked his ministers to inquire who he was.

 

“ ‘I am a lover of God,' he replied, 'I want to see God. Janak must show me God.'

 

"Janak had him brought in and said to his ministers, 'Throw him in prison.' So he was thrown in jail. The youth thought, This Janak, who calls himself all-knowing, must know that I am seeking God, yet he sends me to prison.' After a few days during which the youth had had no food or drink, Janak ordered him brought to audience. Janak saluted him with folded hands, and ordered his ministers to give him a bath, to feed him, and to treat him like a prince. He was brought back to the palace and seated on Janak's throne. 'Let him enjoy this state for three days,' said Janak.

 

“The youth did not grasp what Janak had in mind. He did not know how to manage the affairs of state. Poor people came begging, ministers came for advice; he didn't know what to do, so he just kept quiet. Finally he appealed to the ministers to ask Janak to free him from this uncomfortable position. Janak came, ordered him to get down from the throne, and asked which he preferred, life in prison or life on the throne. The boy said, 'They are both prisons, but of different kinds.' Janak then directed him to go, and to return after twelve years.

 

"The youth left the palace, roamed about India, became a rich man, and took the name of Kalyan, which means 'happy in every respect.' After twelve years he returned to Janak, this time rich and prosperous. The guards again checked him, asking who he was. 'I am the rich Kalyan' he said. Janak, on hearing this, sent word for him to go away for a few more years. So Kalyan returned home and, in the course of time, he lost everything that he possessed. After twelve years he returned to Janak who again asked who he was. 'I am the miserable Kalyan,' he replied. Janak then sent him away again for twelve more months.

 

"During this time Kalyan started pondering: 'What is this? When I first went to Janak, I had nothing but I wanted to see God. Then I was thrown into prison. Then I was placed on the throne. Then I became rich. Then I became poor. What does all this mean?'

 

"When he returned to Janak's palace after twelve months, one of the guards took pity on him and said, ‘You fool! This time when Janak asks who you are, say


 

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