What is the most glorious state of being? My teacher would illustrate this with a story.

Indra is the king of heaven, but is sans internal peace. He is advised to seek his answers from the holy ones. In his search, he comes across three saints, absorbed in meditation. Some devotees have left a plate of fruit offerings, and Indra picks up the plate and hides himself, to test the state of mind of the meditating trio.

When the meditation session is over, the saints open their eyes, and search for the plate. They know in their heart that Indra is seeking answers to his internal restlessness, and has hidden the fruit. They have a conversation between themselves, saying that nobody other than one of us could have taken the plate.

Upon this, the first saint says, “If I have taken this plate, as a punishment, may I never be admitted to His glory.” The second saint says, “If I am the one, then may I never be admitted to His glory, but also be made the king of a large kingdom.” The third saint then says, “If I am the thief, may I forget His glory, but in addition be punished by being made Indra, the king of heaven!” Till now, Indra had thought that the greatest aspiration and the most glorious state was being the king of heaven, but the saints saw it as punishment! The saints now call him out of hiding, and advise him to always remain focused on Him and His word, for that is the most glorious state to be, without compare.

Guru Arjan Dev would have us sing this in raga kalyaan:

O, the Wondrous Glory of my Beloved!

My mind, forever rejuvenated by His glory.

Brahma, Shiva, the Siddhas, the silent sages and Indra – they beg for this glorious state!

Yogis, spiritual teachers, meditators, and the thousand-headed serpent – all meditate on His waves,

Says Nanak, I am a sacrifice to the Saints, who are His eternal companions.

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