SUKADEV GOSVAMI TAKING ‘DIKSHA’ FROM KING JANAKA – STORY
Interestingly, there is a story that shows that King Janaka was the initiating Spritual master for Sri Sukhadev Gosvami.
Let us read that story:
In the previous ages, Saints gave initiation to their disciples only after putting them through very hard tests.
To get Initiation Sri Sukdev went to see King Janaka. On his way up to see Him he left his clothes and a metal cup in the courtyard of the king’s palace.
When Sukhdev and King Janak were talking with each other, at that time, King Janak, because He was a perfect Saint, created such a Will to teach a good lesson to Sukhdev. What He did was this: after some time an attendant came to King Janak and told Him that the cantonment [the army barracks] of that city was on fire. When King Janak heard that He did not react sharply. He didn’t do anything; He was not confused. He said, “It is the Will of God”; and that attendant went away.
Sukhdev Muni thought, “This person is not fit to be a king because the army is like the heart of the king. He should have gone to rescue the people who are in the fire; he should have done something to save them, but he doesn’t care. So that is why he is not fit to be the king.”
After some time, when they were still talking, another person came and told King Janak, “Now the city is on fire.” King Janak again remained calm and quiet; He only said, “It is the Will of God.” Sukhdev Muni again had that negative thought. He thought, “He is the king and he must have a lot of things in his palace so that is why he thinks, `Why should I worry about the city and the people of my kingdom?’ But it is very bad that he doesn’t care for the other people. He is only bothered and concerned about his own self. That is why he is only saying, `It is God’s Will,’ and doing nothing to save the other people.”
After some time another person came and said, “Your Highness, now even the palace is on fire. The courtyard of the palace is on fire.” At once Sukhdev Muni jumped up to save his clothes and his metal cup. Then King Janak held him by his hand and said, “Now you tell me – who is the renunciate, you or me? You left some clothes and some trivial things in my courtyard, and you are afraid that you will lose them if you don’t rush to take them. But you see that when the cantonment was on fire, when the city was on fire, I didn’t go to save them because I am not attached to them. So now you can decide who is a renunciate and who is not.”
Then Sukhdev learned that in reality he was attached to the world and King Janak was not. Even though King Janak used to live like a worldly person, since He was a King and He had many obligations, many responsibilities, but in fact He was not attached to all those things. He was just performing His duty. So when he realized that King Janak was a perfect One, and that he should take Initiation from Him, he requested, “Master, now You should give me Initiation.”
But King Janak was not going to give him Initiation so easily. He told Sukhdev, “Well, I will give you Initiation, but first I will put you to some tests, and if you pass those tests, only then you will get the Initiation.”
King Janak gave Sukhdev a cup full of oil and told him, “You take this oil, and holding this cup in your hand, go around the city. If you come back with the same amount of oil, without dropping even a single drop of this oil, only then will I understand that you can concentrate, and that you can do the meditation. And only then will I give you Initiation.” He said, “Mind that, if you drop even a single drop of oil on the ground, you should know that a person with an open sword is behind you, and he will cut off your head, so you should be very careful.”
When Sukhdev took that cup of oil and went into the city, King Janak, at many places in the city, had arranged some distractions, such as dancers and other things. This was only to attract Sukhdev Muni’s attention. But Sukhdev had the desire of realizing God, and he wanted to get the Initiation from the perfect Master, and since he knew that if he dropped the oil he would be killed, he was afraid of death also. So his mind didn’t tell him to look at all those things, all those distractions, and he was so concentrated in that cup of oil that even though he went all around the city he didn’t look at any other thing except that cup of oil.
When he came back to King Janak having passed that test King Janak asked him, “Tell me, what did you see in the city? Did you like the city?” He said, “Let me tell you that I didn’t see anything in the city. I don’t know what was happening there, because I was afraid that I would be killed if I removed my attention from this cup of oil, so I was fully concentrated on this cup.”
Then King Janak said, “Now I see that you can concentrate in the meditation but You Require Humbleness to be initated for now you go back to your father Ved-Vyasa.”
At that time King Janak refused to give initiation to Sukhdev and told him, “You will have to wait.”
He went back to his father Ved-Vyasa and told him, “Father, He won’t give me initiation.”
So Ved-Vyasa replied, “My son, there is no substitute for it, because He is the only perfect Saint and you are to get initiation from Him.”
Then he advised him, “Just as you were criticizing and thinking ill of King Janak, now you have to repent for that, and you will have to develop humility.”
And Sukhdev Muni learned that lesson; it is said that he waited for twelve years in the garbage dump outside King Janak’s palace.
He stood there, and allowed that garbage to fall on his head and in that way he developed humility.
Then after twelve years he got initiation from King Janak, and when he came back to his home his father asked him, “Did you get the initiation from your Master, King Janak?”
And he replied, “Yes, I got initiation.”
Then his father asked him, “How is your Master? What is He like?”
Sukhdev didn’t reply.
So Ved-Vyasa asked, “Is He like the sun?”
Then Sukhdev replied, “Yes, He is radiant like the sun, but the sun has heat; He is without heat.”
Then Ved-Vyasa asked him, “Is He like the moon?”
Sukhdev Muni replied, “Yes, He is cool like the moon, but the moon has a stain. My Master is stainless.”
And then he said, “How can I praise my Master? He is Himself-whatever He is, He is.”
He said, “I don’t have a tongue with which I can praise my Master because He is all in all, He is perfect, He is all pervading.”