The great saint and teacher Swami Chinmayanandaji often explained the Upanishadic truths through stories:

Once there was a King who was given to drinking but had the wisdom to do it secretly.

His chief minister, ready with solutions to please the King, provided a secret backdoor from the king’s bedroom leading to the minister ‘s residence, where he went and drank unnoticed. One such night the King slipped out secretly through this back door, secured and  bolted the door, turned the key and kept it in his pocket. That night the King indulged far too exceedingly , making his mind fuzzy. On returning he saw his own bedroom door locked against him! The night sky was dark and threatening,soon there was lightening thunder and rain. Lonely and fearful,his drunken head churned up pictures of dread and doom! His mind projected rebellion and a coup. Suspicions of untrustworthy ministers crawled like scorpions under his skin. “Why am I shut out in this cold dark night?”

The palace’s inner chambers were brightly lit, warm and cosy, delicacies were laid out for the King to enjoy and a retinue  of staff eagerly awaited his return. A maid curiously looked out through the keyhole and saw the king’s drunken plight. She softly spoke through the keyhole telling the King to open the door with the golden key in his own pocket! The King had exiled himself by forgetting that the key to his own palace of comforts and happiness was waiting in his own pocket.

The maid’s advice is the advice of the Upanishads and the miserable King is You and I. The golden key is the right knowledge which unlocks the chambers of joy, comfort, peace and beauty. Then Swamiji said, “ Yoga is not twisting the body, but straightening the mind.”

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi.


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