Once, Shrenik, the king of Magadh was
horse riding and he happened to turn up in the midst of a jungle.
There he cited a young, handsome and divine ascetic, deep in
penance. The ascetic was named Anathi muni. The king was highly
impressed by his looks and politely asked the ascetic, "What great
sorrow has befallen you at this young age, that you have renounced
everything? Return to this world to enjoy its worldly pleasures."
The ascetic answered, "O king, I am an orphan in this world, which
is why I have abandoned everything and renounced the world. Now I
do not wish to trace back my steps."
this, the king said, "Oh! It is such a small matter! Ascetic, I am
ready to offer you shelter. I shall always take care of you. Now
turn back into the world."
Anathi muni responded saying, "O Shrenik! King of Magadh. You
yourself are forlorn, then how can you protect me?" The king was
shocked to hear the muni's words. He thought, "I have every luxury,
I am prosperous and rich, I have a loving family, I am bestowed
with all imaginable worldly pleasures, I have a large army at my
disposal and I am the ruler of many kingdoms, everyone obeys my
orders and I have everything I could yearn for. How can I be orphan
even though I have everything?"
continued, "O king? You have not completely understood what I mean
to say. Let me resolve your doubts." Saying this, the ascetic
started to explain his story.
"I was a resident of the beautiful
city of Kaushambi. My father, Dhansanchay, was a very wealthy man.
One day, all of a sudden, I started having severe pain in my eyes
and a burning sensation throughout my body. I was in deep suffering
due to this pain. I tried various medicines and treatment options
but none provided relief. My parents and siblings all tried hard,
but none could soothe my pain nor take it away. O king Shrenik,
this itself was my state of forlornness. I had everything and
everybody at my disposal, but nobody's love, medication or sincere
efforts could help cure me. I was very miserable in my worldly
life. One night, I decided that if my disease gets cured, I shall
renounce the world and become a monk. The night passed and my
disease disappeared along with it. I was cured. I renounced the
world with the approval of my parents, family and friends.
From the moment I decided to take
refuge in the Lord, I was no more an orphan and came under the
king listened to the ascetic's life experience with great
curiosity. Then the muni asked the king, "Tell me, O king! Can your
wealth, glory, luxury, family, relatives or large army take away
king bowed to the ascetic in affirmation and said, "O ascetic, you
are truly blessed. You have chosen the path of salvation in your
budding youth. I ask for forgiveness for having tried to lure you
back into this material world with my measly conversation. Please
this, king Shrenik turned back to his palace feeling graced with
the preaching's of the ascetic.
Friends, no matter how blessed we are with luxuries, education,
knowledge or good looks, but until we take refuge in the Lord, we
are all orphans. A 'Gnani Purush' can help us attain self
realization (knowledge of pure soul) and connect us to the Lord. It
is only then that we come under the Lord's refuge and attain his