First lesson in Spirituality – Let go of Ego

King Shursen's wish to learn about Spirituality

There was a king called Shursen. He had extended his kingdom far and wide. His subjects too were very contented. The king was very proud of his valour, empire, supremacy and competence, etc. Once, he felt the desire to learn Spirituality; hence he called his minister and told him to honour the supreme spiritual Guru in his kingdom and bring him to the palace.

Minister : Atmanand Maharaj lives in a hut very close to our palace. He is enlightened; but I doubt whether he will agree to come to the palace.

King Shursen : You take the chariot and go. You honour him and convince him somehow and bring him to the palace.

The minister went to Atmanand Maharaj, paid obeisance to him and gave him the king’s message.

Atmanand Maharaj : Look, I do not need any palace. If the king is really yearning to learn Spirituality, then let him come to my hut and learn.

King Shursen comes to the Saint's hut !

The minister conveyed Atmanand Maharaj's message to the king. The king was ready to go to Atmanand’s hut to learn Spirituality. When the king entered the hut, Atmanand Maharaj was sitting in the next room. The king sent a message to Atmanand Maharaj about his arrival. The king thought that Maharaj will come out to welcome him. However, Atmanand Mararaj told the minister, to bring the king in his room The door of the room was just four feet high. The king and the minister had to bow down to enter his room. At that time Atmanand Maharaj welcomed them getting up from his seat. He gave them fresh fruits to eat and without wasting any time, he started teaching Spirituality.

Atmanand Maharaj says to Shursen ‘You have learnt the first lesson in Spirituality’

King Shursen was very pleased with the Guru's darshan. While leaving the hut he asked Maharaj very politely, “I remain very busy in governance of the kingdom. I have great respect for you. I had asked my minister to make all the arrangements to bring you to the palace with great honour. Yet why did you call me here?” Atmanand Maharaj said, “You came to my hut leaving the pride, ‘I am the king’ and after coming to my hut you bowed down to enter the door .It was your first lesson in Spirituality. You have passed the test. I will come to your palace from tomorrow according to the time suitable to you.”

Reference : ‘ISKCON Literature’ 19.02.2013