By Kamlesh Tripathi

three tests 2 three tests three tests1

Maharishi Vashist was a renowned Mahatma. Many people from far of places used to come to him for help and guidance in education and spiritual knowledge. One day a visitor who had come to see him said, ‘Maharishi I have heard a lot about your spiritual powers. I want to learn Brahma-gyan (complete-knowledge) from you, so kindly bless me with the knowledge.

On hearing this all the shisyas (pupils) who were present there started smiling sarcastically thinking it was not all that simple as they too were at the service of the Maharishi with the same objective for years now. Maharishi heard the request and peacefully said, ‘sure! I will definitely pay attention to your request but for that you need to first do tapasya (intense meditation) for a year, and after completing that come to me. The Bhakt (disciple) turned visitor was extremely happy considering the spiritual knowledge that some people couldn’t attain all their lives was now going to come to him in a year. And assimilating Maharishi’s advice he left the place happily for his mission when all other pupils out there looked stunned.

After completion of a year the Bhakt came back to the ashram and along with other visitors he was waiting to meet the Maharishi. But while he was waiting one pupil who was carrying litter in a basket slipped and fell and the entire litter fell on him. This enraged the Bhakt and he bashed up the shishya for dirtying him. Later he met the Maharishi who then smiled and said, ‘son you have failed in your first test.’ Shunning violence is the first lesson of Brahma-gyan. Your entire tapasya has gone for a waste but I will still give you one more opportunity. Go and perform tapsya for one more year and then come back to me.’

The Bhakt was quite dejected. But obeying the command of the Maharishi was his duty so he left for the second round of tapsya for a year. After a year he returned again, but as ill luck would have it this time one servant by mistake poured dirty water that drenched and dirtied his clothes.

Although, the visitor remembered and regretted what he had done last time, he did not beat up the servant but he reprimanded him nice and proper. Later he met the Maharishi and complained about the servant and conveyed to him of the incompetence and indiscipline in the ashram.

Maharishi said, ‘son again this time you have not succeeded in your exams, because to shun anger, should be the second biggest step towards your objective where you’ve failed. So again your tapasya has gone for a waste. But I will give you one last chance. Go back and perform your tapasya for another year.’

This time the Bhakt was filled with repentance and gloom and started doubting if he really required this Brahmya-gyan for the journey of his life. But since he didn’t want to cross the Maharishi, he again set himself out for the tapasya and after a year he returned again. This time also by an unfortunate chance the dustbin of the kitchen in the ashram fell on him.

But, the surprising part this time was neither did the Bhakt get angry nor hassled on the contrary he cheerfully started helping the shishya who was carrying the dustbin to clean up the place; and he didn’t even mention about it to the Maharishi. And some other pupil informed the Maharishi about this incident.

When the Maharishi met the Bhakt he smiled and said to him, ‘all the three tests were taken at my behest. And I’m happy this time you’ve cleared your test and now you are heading towards your objective. Now you are away from anger, violence and hate. Your mind is filled with love, trust and kindness. My best wishes are with you.’

Upon hearing this the Bhakt fell on Maharishi’s feet and offered his pranam and thereafter he very happily left; so happy that he didn’t even enquire about Brahma-gyan. Rest of the shisyas were dazed at this behaviour of the Bhakt. They enquired from the Maharishi; the objective with which he came to the ashram was not even fulfilled so how could he leave before that.

Maharishi very politely said, ‘any person who is peaceful about himself and the world and trusts his Guru completely and who has love for mankind need not run after Brahma-gyan. In fact Brahma-gyan will run after him. A righteous person gets knowledge and wisdom even from the best wishes of his Guru.

This story tells us how we can obtain Brahma-gyan without running after it.


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