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THE VOICE WITHIN

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Shukadev, son of sage Vyasa was keen on learning higher spiritual knowledge. One day, sage Vyasa said, “My son, you should go meet King Jaka. An ocean of wisdom, he will surely help you in your quest.”
Shuka was keen on learning, but he was doubtful of the knowledge a king, holder of military power and earthly wealth, can possess. Nevertheless, he went to Mithila and sought the king’s appointment.
Welcoming him heartily, King Jaka asked, “O Shukadeva, Son of Vyasa, what can I do for you?”.
“My father sent me to you, to learn higher spiritual knowledge. Please accept me as your student. But I don’t understand how a palace-dwelling king like yourself, indulging in so much pleasure and riches in the company of your queen and children, be a highly acclaimed Yogi!” said the straightforward Shuka.
“We will talk about that later,” said King Jaka smiling, “But if you want to be my student, you have to pass a test. Take this cup of oil, keep it on your head, go around the palace, keenly observe every room. I will need every detail from you. Also remember, you shouldn’t spill even a drop of this oil if you want to be my student.”
Shuka walked into each room of the palace, observed everything in detail and came back in the evening. “O King, I have fulfilled your task,” he announced.
King Jaka asked many questions to confirm that the young seeker had indeed completed his task without fail. He then asked Shuka, “How could you observe every room in such detail when you had a full cup of oil on your head that you could not spill?”
“I observed every room, but my focus was always on the cup,” said Shuka.
“In the same manner, though I live in this world performing my duties as a king, husband and father, I always keep my focus on the higher reality,” said King Jaka, thus answering Shuka’s earlier question.
Satisfied with each other’s abilities, the great morch and the future sage began their studies. Shukadev soon came to appreciate why King Jaka was considered a Jivanmukta, one who is liberated while still in a corporeal body.
And the day arrived when the king — while outlining the path to liberation through progression of the four ashramas — told Shukadev he had no need to pass through the householder stage as he was already in an advanced state of realization.
After completing his studies, Shukadev would go on to surpass his father in purity and spiritual attainment. He is revered as the main rrator of Bhagavata Pura, and as a great sage who attained liberation during his lifetime.
—the harbinger

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