“Leaving everything to His will is truly the highest form of devotion and the easiest way to win His Grace.” (Bhagwan Baba)
King Sundaravadanan ruled the Kingdom of Kannakpuri. There is an anecdote about how he got converted from an atheist to a firm believer of God.
The king often walked through the streets of the city to get a feel of the common man’s life. One such night, he heard two beggars praying quite audibly. One of them invoked the grace of God. The other prayed for the grace of the King. The king had both beggars brought to his court the next day. The King asked both of them why they were praying as they were.
The first one said, “Oh king! I believe that God is the Lord and master of everything. He protects and sustains us all. If He showers grace on me, what more can I ask for?”
The second one said, “The king is the instrument of God. He is visible here and now. Who knows where God lives or if he listens to our prayers or not? If the king is pleased and showers his grace, what more can I ask for?”
The beggars left, but the king lost his peace of mind trying to find out which one of them was right. He discussed the matter with his Minister. The Minister opined that the beggar asking for God’s grace was more sensible, but the egoistic king thought otherwise.
A few days later it was the King’s birthday and he announced that gifts would be distributed to everyone in the city. On the said date, people lined up at the palace and the king gave fruits, vegetables and clothes to all. Around noon time the second beggar (the one who sought the grace of the King) stood in front of the King with his palms extended. The king recognized him. Quickly he signalled to his attendant and a special pumpkin was given to him along with an expensive silk robe. That day passed.
A few days later, the king went into the city again. He saw the same beggar sitting on the road side, begging for alms. The King questioned him, “After receiving the grace of the king, why are you still begging. Where is the pumpkin I gave you?” The beggar replied, “Oh King! I could not possibly have consumed such a huge pumpkin all alone. So I sold it for three annas.”
The king exclaimed, “You fool! I had that pumpkin stuffed with gold and precious stones. You did not even bother to cut it open! If you had done so, you would have been a rich man.” The bewildered beggar stared in disbelief as the king walked away, shaking his head in disgust.
A short distance away the king saw a rich man wearing silken clothes and lots of ornaments. Two attendants flanked him as he walked. The King happened to see the man’s face closely and exclaimed, “Your face seems familiar. Who are you? You are the beggar, who prayed for God’s grace, aren’t you? Are you really a rich man or a beggar?”
The man said, “Oh King! I am a rich man who was a beggar till a few days back. It was the death anniversary of my late mother and I had to feed seven Brahmins, so I bought a large pumpkin for three annas, to cook a meal for them. But, when I cut it open, I was amazed to find that it was full of diamonds, pearls, gold etc. By the grace of God, I am a rich man now. I don’t need to beg anymore.”
So whose grace are you going to ask for now? The king’s grace or God’s grace?