Satsang of Shri Mata Ji Satyalok Ashram, 14 April 1970
The Lord always helps those people who devote themselves to the Holy Name. Look at the case of Raja Harish Chandra, a king who was a great devotee of the Holy Word and was also a giver of charity. Nobody ever returned empty- handed from him. He was a disciple of the Satguru of his time. And when the Guru is really a great manifestation, the disciple is also great. Just as the obedient son of a father will make his family name lustrous, so the devoted disciple makes the name of his Guru lustrous and great. Many people become disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji, but the real disciple is the one who does service with selfless devotion. Those people who become disciples from selfish motives are not real disciples and they can never succeed in life. Now there was this guru called Vishwamitra who was very jealous of the Satguru and he was determined to test this great disciple, king Harish Chandra, to try and break him of his devotion. He thought, "I am very powerful and Harish Chandra is an ordinary man. I will give him many miseries and put his wife and child to harm, so that he will fail from the Truth and be defeated." So he affected the mind of the king, making
him dream that he gave away his whole kingdom. When the king awoke he remembered the dream, but couldn't understand its meaning, "Oh God," he said, "Why did I have such a dream? What is the secret of it?" He did not even tell his wife about this dream. And a little later the same day Vishwamitra visited him and said, "You are a great giver of charity, your name is known throughout the land. So please help me. I am sorely in need of charity." Harish Chandra said, "Today I am truly blessed. I saw this happening in my dream. Definitely I will give you something. You shall have my entire kingdom." So he gave it away. Thus Vishwamitra became the king. Then Harish Chandra went and confessed to his wife, saying, "Oh Tara, I have given my kingdom and charity to Vishwamitra. Are you angry?" The queen answered, "Oh husband. I had no power in the kingdom, so whatever is your wish, the same is mine. I never wish to become an obstacle in your way. You are my lord and protector."
Harish Chandra then told his son, saying, "I have given the whole kingdom in charity. Nothing is left for you." His son said, "Blessed is this kingdom and blessed is my father. If you need my body then it is at your service." Harish Chandra was very happy and he returned to Vishwamitra saying, "You are now the king. I will do as you say." But Vishwamitra then commanded that he should pay the royal tax to the church. Harish Chandra protested saying, "Sir, I have given you everything I have nothing now left to give." Now Vishwamitra became angry and commanded him to become a labourer so that he could pay the tax. He gave him three days to pay, or else he and his family would come to great harm. Harish Chandra said, "Sir, as long: as I have this body, I will pay the royal tax to the priests."
Harish Chandra had been a king and Tara had been his queen. They gave away their kingdom out of charity and this was what happened to them. Is this what charity is given for? So that afterwards you suffer? In those days people were bought and sold in slavery, and this is what Harish Chandra and his family did. They sold themselves as slaves to pay the tax and then suffered miserably. Harish Chandra was bought by a master cremator and was put to work cremating dead bodies. The queen was bought by priest as a maid-servant, and the child was also bought by the priest and was set to work collecting flowers for worship.
From this you can percieve that great souls also face suffering, but they have the strength to be able to bear it. When the royal tax was paid, still Vishwamitra hounded them with deceit and falsehood. At one point he disguised himself as a merchant and accused Tara of stealing her garments. She cried to the Lord, "Oh Gurudev! I swear that I never did this thing. If I did do it, then give me a greater grief and more misery." She did not do it, but still her trials increased. Vishwamitra became a serpent and bit her son with a fatal bite. The priest then refused to give her a funeral cloth to wrap around the body of her son, so she tore in half her only sari and used that to take him, in the middle of the night, to be cremated. What misery, what great suffering! But great souls bear all suffering.
People do not value great souls during their lifetimes, but sing their praises after they are gone. Those people who joke about great spiritual personalities are really the unhappy ones. If you say that your father is not your father, it does not alter the fact. Your father is your father. In the same way, if we deny God, God does not cease to be our father.
Harish Chandra, as cremator, was overcome with grief on seeing his son's dead body, but he remembered that it was his duty to take payment for all bodies burned. His wife, being a slave, was penniless, all she had was a piece of cloth, which was often accepted as payment. But this was the other half of her only sari, thus she was forced to unveil herself. Just then Vishwamitra appeared at the funeral pyre, the virtuous queen, not wanting to show a strange man her unveiled face, hid in the but reserved for wives about to commit sutee. (When a widow throws herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband.)
Left alone with Harish Chandra, Vishwamitra accused Tara of being a cannibal and ordered him to execute her immediately. Ever obedient, Harish Chandra was just about to slay his wife, when with a trembling of the earth God intervened and judged that he had suffered enough at the hands of Vishwamitra. Harish Chandra could not be made to lose his virtue. The body of his son, which had not yet been consumed by the flames, was brought back to life. His kingdom and wealth were in a stroke returned to him so that he was able to buy himself, his son and wife out of bondage and resume his virtuous reign. So no matter what fate you meet in the world, remember that all is watched by Holy Word. And justice is always done in the end.