In the Indian sub-continent, King Harishchandra is synonymous with truth. To keep his word, he gave away his kingdom, and even his family, as he toiled as the keeper of a graveyard. His wife, Queen Taramati, was a spiritual adept. The King, however, restricted himself to the realm of his court, and the kingdom, saying he did not like people who spent their time in spiritual pursuit. The Queen therefore practiced her spiritual disciplines in the early hours, when the King was asleep. She awoke early and walked to a spiritual congregation, and returned before the King woke up.The King’s police inform him of the Queen’s early morning visits. The next morning, the King follows her. Before entering the temple, the Queen takes off her shoes, and leaves them outside. The shoes were an expensive gift from a neighbouring kingdom; the King picks up one shoe out of the pair, and returns to the palace. When the Queen returns, the King summons her, and asks to bring her shoes, because he wants the royal cobbler to have a look at them. The Queen returns with the pair, and hands it over to the King, who cannot believe his eyes. Harishchandra tells his wife that he had followed her to the temple, and picked up one shoe. The Queen admits that she sings His prayers every day, but she had found the complete pair lying outside the temple. Taramati tells Harishchandra to join the spiritual company, because it will teach him to live a life of truthful principles, and the very cosmos will stand by a traveler on the spiritual path. Joining the company of truth, the mere King was transformed to Raja Harishchandra, and became immortalized as a paragon of truth and virtue.
Keeping truthful company is of prime importance to all seekers of truth. Guru Granth Sahib says:
Blessed, blessed is the True Congregation, where the Lord’s Essence is obtained./O Nanak, the Light of the His name shines forth.