Divine Light Mission
Spring 1978
23

The Queen's Necklace

The Queen's NecklaceAs retold by Jim Bass

Once upon a time a queen went outside for a swim. Before entering the water she took off her favorite necklace and hung it on a hook for safekeeping. Just at that moment a passing crow spotted the necklace and, thinking it was something good to eat, swooped down and stole it. Moments later the crow realized it was not something to eat and dropped the necklace into a tree below. Under that tree was flowing the main river in the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, back at the pool, the queen finished her bath and reached for her necklace. Seeing that it was missing, she ran to the king in a fervor. "King," she said, "I want that necklace back. If I don't get it back I will not eat."

The king was intimidated. He loved the queen and didn't want her to stop eating. So he declared to his subjects: "Whoever finds that necklace and returns it can have half the Kingdom." Soon an all-out search for the necklace began.

Later some subjects stopped by the river and looked into the calm waters. There it was! The necklace was on the bottom of the river! Without bothering to remove their clothes they jumped in after it and half the Kingdom. But a strange thing happened. When they got into the water they could not find the necklace. So they got out, looked again, and again saw the necklace quite clearly. Once again they jumped into the water, and once again they failed to find it.

While the searchers sat on the river bank, wet, exhausted and confused, the king and his entourage came by. The Prime Minister asked the subjects why they were sitting there wet and they proceeded to explain about the necklace in the river. The Prime Minister was about to jump into the river when the king decided to save half his Kingdom by jumping in himself. He did. But he had no better luck getting the necklace than any of the others.

Just then a saint, a man of Knowledge, was passing by. Curious about the crowd that had gathered by the riverbank, he investigated. As he neared the crowd they asked, "Saint, you are wise. Tell us how to get the necklace from the river."

The saint looked into the river and smiled. "You want this necklace, my king?" The king said yes, he wanted the necklace, explaining about his wife.

"Okay," said the saint. He then climbed the tree by the river and fetched the necklace from a branch it was caught on. "You all were trying to grab the reflection of the necklace while the actual jewels were in the tree. You could not find the real necklace because you were too caught up in pursuing its reflection. The same applies to life in general. If you pursue the reflection of peace and happiness you will be frustrated. You must look the other way, inside, and there you will find the real peace. Good day."