Saturday, June 5, 2010


Great is the virtue of patience. It turns away much evil and brings great good. There is a story in the olden books, which tells us how the great patience of a King and Queen turned away evil from their country and their race. There was once a King called Kushika. The great Brahmana, the Yogi Chyavana, once came to this King, having as his purpose to kill out the race of kshattriva, because he had been told some evil would come from it to the Brahmana race. But so long as no fault could be found with the King or his wife he could do them no injury.

So Chyavana came to the king, and the king and his wife received him with great honour and respect. And the King said: "We two await thy orders, command us what we are to do for thee, O holy one; if thou requirest our kingdom or our wealth, we shall bestow all upon thee".

Then Chyavana said: "I do not want your wealth or your kingdom, but I wish to observe a certain vow, and during that period you and your wife shall serve me".Then the King and Queen were full of joy and said: "Be it so, O Rishi". The King then led the Rishi to a beautiful apartment in the palace and said: "This, O holy one, is thy resting place; myself and my Queen will strive our best to give thee every comfort and every pleasure". The Rishi then asked for food and drink, and they brought him that which was good and proper.

Having finished his food, Chyavana said: "I desire to slumber". The Rishi laid himself, upon a bed and the King and Queen sat down beside him, Chyavana told them that they must not wake him, but must keep awake themselves and press his feet as long as he slept. And the King said: "So be it," and he and the Queen kept awake all night, tending and serving the Rishi as he had told them. Chyavana slept without turning for twenty-one days; then he rose and went out of the room without speaking to them. The king and Queen, tired and hungry, followed him, but he would not even look at them, and at last he suddenly disappeared, for he was a great Yogi and had the power to make himself invisible.

The King and Queen were full of grief and began to look everywhere for the Rishi, and at last returned to the palace only thinking about him. They went to the palace and there they found the Rishi on his bed. Once more they took their seats and began to watch him and to press his feet, and he slept another twenty-one days. Then he awoke and said: "Rub my body with oil, I wish to have a bath". The King and Queen did as the Rishi asked for a long time, and at last he went into the bathing room and again disappeared. Nothing however disturbed the King and Queen, and very soon they found the Rishi seated on the throne.Then they gave him all kinds of good and excellent food, but instead of eating it, the Rishi set fire to it all, and burnt it to ashes. Yet the King was not angry, but served the Rishi day and night.At last the Rishi said to the King: "Do thou with thy wife yoke thyself unto a car, and drag me on it to whichever place I shall direct". Again the King answered: "So be it; which car shall I bring?" Chyavana answered: "The battle car," and the King yoked himself on the right and his Queen on the left of the great battle car, and gave the goad with the sharp point to the Rishi. Then Chyavana said: "Go slowly that I may not feel fatigue; let all thy people come and see, and I will bestow upon them gems and Wealth." The King there upon told his servants to bring money and gems that the Rishi might give them away. The people and the ministers of the King followed the car, and were in great grief to see their King and Queen in such condition.

The Rishi struck the King and Queen with his goad, but they were still patient in their service and bore the Rishi along, although their wound bled and they were worn out with toil and hunger.At last the great Rishi stopped the car; he got down, he went to the King and Queen and unyoked them, and, gently smiling, said to them: "Great is your virtue, and because of your great patience I am ready to give you both a boon." Then he softly touched their bodies with his hands and healed all their wounds and they felt no longer tired or hungry. Then he told them to go back to the city and to come on the morrow and they should see him again. The King and the Queen returned to the city, and they seemed as Gods in beauty and strength and all the people rejoiced.

The next day they again went forth as the Rishi had told them, and when they reached the place where theu had left him the evening before, they saw the most beautiful places, and lovely flowers, and trees with fruit, and everything that was beautiful. They heard lovely music and the recitation of Vaidik hymns. Then the King said: "What is this? is it a dream, or do I behold the heavenly Regions?" He then saw the Rishi, but even while he was looking at him, he again disappeared, and all the beautiful woods and trees, and the sound of music and chanting also disappeared. Even this did not make the King Impatient, for in his heart he blessed Chyavana for having given him such a beautiful sight. Then Chyavana called the King and Queen, and told them that their trial was over, and that by their great patience they had saved their race from destruction, and that the beautiful sight they had seen had been a glimpse of the heavenly region, given them as reward.

The King and Queen then saluted Chyavana and he blessed them and they went back to their city in joy and gladness. In this way the good King and Queen, by their great patience, love and duty, saved their race and country from destruction.So should we also be patient, for in this life there are many evils which can be turned into good by patience.A patient man is one who bears, Unangered, calm, with smile serene, Life's worries, troubles, pains and cares, And thinks not on what might have been.But cheerfully he strives to learn. The lessons which our errors teach, And thus by patience will he earn The greatest gifts within man's reach.

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