King Vikramadithya Tale – You’re dead when you stop working!
This tale is told from the days of King Vikramadithya.
King Vikramadithya was on his ‘Raja Simhasana’ (the King’s chair, literally) surrounded by his associates hearing and resolving various disputes that arose among his people. There came this man, who in disguise of a humble sadhu, praying for Vikramadithya’s attention. Upon seeing him, Vikramadithya asked for the reason of his coming and the man said, “Hey, the wisest king Vikramadithya, I, a citizen of your empire have a wish. You, being the King is supposed to fulfill the wishes of the Citizens. Our prosperity is your sucess.”
Hearing this, Vikramadithya said, “Sadhu, I agree that it’s my dharma to fulfill my citizen’s wishes. Please tell me, what as a King should I do for you?”
“Deep there inside the forest, there is a Moringa tree and on the tree lives Vedhalam. He is the one who can wipe off my sorrow. But I’m old and I cannot go in search of him. I want you to get him to me.” said the Sadhu.
“Alright” said the King, “I’ll bring him for you wherever he is.”
But the man interrupted, “It’s not that easy as you think, my King! Throughout the journey, you should not speak to him. That is the most important condition here. If you speak, he is of no worth to me. No matter what he says, you should never listen to him neither speak to him.”
“I’ll do that for you”, said the King and started his journey in search of the Vedhalam.
In the woods, despite the darkness, among the wild animals and highly venomous snakes, the King searched desperately for Vedhalam. After lot of hiccups, he finally found him, hanging upside down on a Moringa tree. Remembering the old man’s words, he did not speak anything to Vedhalam, instead picked him up, put him on his shoulder and started walking back to his Kingdom.
Vedhalam tried speaking to the King but in vain. The wise king never replied. Frustrated with this attitude of the King, Vedhalam said,
“Hey King Vikramadithya! I’ve heard a lot about your potential in war-fields and your knowledge. I know you are wiser than anyone in this city. But, I want to make use of this time to know if you are really wiser than me.”
Though provoking, the King did not speak. Vedhalam continued “So, I’m going to tell you a story and ask you a few questions at the end. If you really do not know the answer you can keep your mouth shut. But if you know the answer and do not speak anything, your head will blast into pieces!”
Vikramadithya was shocked. He couldn’t say anything. And Vedhalam started saying stories one after other. King Vikramadithya, being the wisest, knew answers for all the questions and answered them. Unfortunately every time the King answered the questions, Vedhalam went back the the Moringa tree and hung upside down. Vikramadithya had to walk all the way back to the tree, put him on his shoulders and walk back to the kingdom.
This became a routine. Every time Vikramadithya tried, every time he failed. Every question he answers, Vedhalam goes back. A lot of work, indeed. Vikramadithya was so fed up with this.
This time, interestingly, Vikramadithya did not know the answer. He tried, but since he couldn’t find the right answer, kept quiet.
Vedhalam acknowledged the fact that the King really did not know the answer. And this time, neither did the Vedhalam get back to the Moringa tree nor the King’s head blasted. The King was relieved. So relived and thought, “Ah, thank god, my work is done. I don’t have to work more. My pains are gone!”
The moment Vikramadithya completed thinking so, Vedhalam said, “Hey Rajyathipathi (Rajya-Kingdom; athipathi-owner/ruler), So you think you work is done? You don’t have to work anymore itself means you are dead!”
The King was surprised. “How is that possible?” he asked. Vedhalam said, “Oh, the wisest ruler Vikramadithya, the old man who asked you to take me to him practices occult. He wants to conquer your kingdom and become the king. As soon as you give me to him, I will become his slave. Then, the first thing he would ask me to do is to Kill you!”
Vikramathiya was bewildered. Vedhalam continued, “These many times, you worked. Worked to fetch me from the Moringa tree and give me to that old man. But finally you though that your work is done. Remember, the moment you said your work is done, your death is determined!” Vikramadithya realized the mistake.
But later, Vedhalam turned out to be Vikramadithya’s slave. And there was twist in the story.
Moral: The moment you say I’m done; it’s enough, it’s all over! Work is not just physical. Anything that involves seeking for something is work. Now, what to seek and what not to seek is a question. Seek for that, which will enhance the ‘You’. That’s of prime importance. As we learn new things our knowledge expands. This expansion is boundless. Expand is every way possible to see truth. Learn more; think more; stay calm.