Humility – a virtue needed for every seeker

There once was a king, who had everything one could ask for – health, wealth, pleasures and power. He was the mighty ruler of a vast kingdom and was proud of it.

One day, a Saint came to him and said, “O king, you should not be proud of your power and possessions, for they are temporary. Someday, either you will leave them or they will leave you.”

The king could not understand this. He flew into a rage. But the holy man persisted, “Learn to be humble. The more humble you become, the more of God’s force will flow through you to help your kingdom and people.”

Infuriated, the pompous king thundered, “Why must I be humble? I have a vast kingdom. I have just to lift my finger and thousands of people will be at my command. I do not need your advice. I order you to leave right away!”

A few days later, the king went hunting with his ministers and courtiers. Seeing a magnificent deer in the distance, he started chasing it. The chase heated up and despite his courtiers’ advise to turn back, the proud king spurred on. Soon enough, the king was separated from the rest of his retinue. The deer seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Unwilling to give up the pursuit, the king spurred on his horse to gallop faster and faster. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of the deer, before it disappeared yet again. Egged on by the sight, the king tried to ride faster. Just as his horse took a giant leap forward, it stumbled and fell. Both, horse and rider crashed to the ground, unconscious.

There they lay, leveled to the ground, until a few robbers happened to pass by. Finding the horse and rich rider in an unconscious state, they looted the king of his possessions; his weapons and even his clothes. When the king regained consciousness, he found himself without any clothes. In that helpless condition, he remembered the words of the Saint; they seemed to ring in his ears, “These things will either leave you or you will leave them, one day.”

The king felt very guilty. He realised that it was his pride that had brought him to this difficult situation. He closed his eyes and said a simple prayer, “In this state of utter helplessness, O God, I turn to You! Help me lest the wild beasts of this jungle devour me!”

Just then, he heard the roar of a lion and his heart trembled. However, he found that the lion’s roar had stirred the horse awake. With immense gratitude to God, he mounted the horse and galloped across the valley to where his ministers and friends were anxiously searching for him.

From then on, the king was transformed. He became a humble man. Every day, he reminded himself of the Saint’s teaching and conducted his royal duties humbly.

Moral: Instead of waiting for a humiliating experience to learn about humility, as in the case of the king, one should try and inculcate the virtue of humility. You can start by being humble while speaking to your parents, teachers, relatives and even friends.