Saint Versus Mimic
A mimic reached the court of a king and begged from him a paltry sum of rupees five only as his family was famishing without food.
"I am an admirer of arts. It is the moral duty of State to encourage and honour an artist. I shall gladly reward you in appreciation of a feat of your art, i.e. mimicry; but I do not consider it appropriate to give you even rupees five as alms," said the king.
"Doesn't matter your Highness, I don't want you to violate your principle. Please give me three days time to show you my next act of mimicry." Saying this, the mimic left the court.
Next day a saint was seen in a meditative posture on a mound outside the capital of the kingdom, with erect spine, closed eyes, glowing face and long matted hair.
Cowherds grazing the cattle near the mound spotted the saint from a distance and went to him out of curiosity. The ascetic was so absorbed in his meditation on a deer- skin, that he did not betray any sign of noticing the crowd standing in front of him. 'Swamiji' where from have you come? Should we arrange for some fruits, milk and dry fruits for you? There was no response whatsoever either by gesture or word from Swamiji.
In the evening all cowherds went back to town along with their cattle.
They spread the news of arrival of a great saint outside the town. The next day many elites of the town, courtiers, merchants, traders and devout persons rushed out of the town in their vehicles, carrying fruits, sweets, sumptuous dishes and preparations for the Mahatma. Everybody was anxious that the Mahatma would bless him by accepting even a morsel of his offerings. The saint did not even blink his eyes. He remained sitting there unmoved. The news of the presence of a highly evolved saint reached the prime minister of the kingdom. He too rushed to the mound in his chariot full of gold and silver coins which were placed in front of the saint as an offering.
The prime minister humbly requested the saint "Just oblige your servant once by opening your eyes oh great yogi. I have not come to plead for fulfillment of any desire." Even the request of prime minister went unheeded; and he became assured that the sadhu was a highly elevated soul indeed - free from all worldly attachments. He went back to the town and apprised the king of his impression about the Mahatma. The king started lamenting "When such a great yogi has come to my state I should have definitely gone to welcome him." Early morning the next day he started for the darshan of the yogi. The news spread throughout the state like wild fire.
The pathways through which king had to pass were cleaned. Policemen were posted in the way.
The King offered one lakh asharfis (gold coins) at the feet of the ascetic and bowing his head at his feet besought his blessings but the saint remained unmoved and self absorbed. Now every body was sure that they were fortunate to have darshan of a truly great saint free from all worldly allurements.
On the fourth day the mimic again entered the court and with folded hands said, "Oh King! You must have seen the miracle of the art of mimicry and must have been impressed by it. If so, please do give me at least a prize of five rupees, so that I may manage to procure simple food for my family.
" The king exclaimed: "I have not seen a foolish person like you. When the public of the whole populace of the state was standing at your feet eager to offer you the riches of the world, you did not even look at the treasure heap of wealth and riches and now you are craving before me for a paltry sum of five rupees."
The mimic replied "Your Highness! At that time it was the question of dignity of the robe and role of a saint. I would have degraded the exalted status of a saint if I had succumbed to temptation in the saint's apparel and role. Now I have come to you as an ordinary mimic requesting for reward and remuneration for my labour to be able to discharge my minimum duties as a householder to provide mere sustenance to my famished family."