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STORIES FROM THE LIFE OF SRI YUKTESWARJEE

THE MONKEY

 

Prabhujee used to speak about the life of his master. One of the many stories he used to tell is related to a sad event, which transformed Sri Yukteswarjee’s life.
Sri Yukteswarjee was born into a rich family of landlords. The family tradition was to lead a princely life, eat good food, wear expensive clothes and go hunting. However, Sri Yukteswarfee did not enjoy this kind of lifestyle and he particularly disliked hunting. For this reason he did not receive much respect from his relatives who thought that he was weak and incapable of holding responsibility. They expected him to get involved in material activities. He, however, did not agree with the way people around him wasted their time and energy.
One day, a huge monkey entered the family’s mango orchard. It damaged many trees and the garden. The workers, gardeners and guards all tried to get rid of the monkey, but they failed. Sri Yukteswarjee’s father and brothers joined in with the others, running after the monkey. Everyone was running in all directions, some trying to scare the animal so that it would leave the garden, others trying to shoot it; but it was all to no avail.
By late afternoon, they were all exhausted. Sri Yukteswarjee’s father was still shouting because he was very upset about all the damage that the animal had caused. He shouted at all his men because they could not drive away the monkey and had all gone for their food. Seeing that he himself and others had such poor aim, he felt disgusted and gave up. Tired and worn out, they all gathered on the veranda, letting go of their guns. All the while, Sri Yukteswarjee only watched the scene. Seeing his father exhausted with heavy anxiety and disgust, he finally took hold of a gun. Catching sight of the monkey, which was at the top of a tree, he aimed at it and fired. The monkey did not move and Sri Yukteswarjee looked at it bewildered since he knew he had hit it. After a little while, he noticed that a little blood started dripping down to the ground at the foot of the tree. Then the monkey, which had remained totally motionless, all of a sudden, fell from the tree, dead.
Everyone shouted with joy and clapped. They came running towards Sri Yukteswarjee to congratulate him and to see the dead monkey, but Sri Yukteswarjee did not say a word. He could not understand their joy, because inwardly, he felt deeply sad. That evening he could not rejoice with the others, he did not eat and he could not sleep.
He had proved to himself and to everyone else that he was capable, but deep within he had no desire for this kind of recognition. From that day on, his relatives treated him with great respect, but this incident had made him very sad and it changed his life-he became a different man. Later in his life he always recalled this event with sadness and yet it was a turning point for him because from then on, his life took another direction altogether.

 

THE KING


At another time, Prabhujee narrated a story about an initiation that Sri Yukteswarjee had given to a rich king from the state of Sehor.
The king had requested  initiation into Second Kriya. Sri Yukteswarjee told him that it would be extremely expensive. The king answered that that would hardly be a problem for him and that Sri Yukteswarjee had only to state his price. Sri Yukteswarjee considered that taking initiation required some kind of sacrifice from the person who wanted to be initiated. A price had to be paid, but that price did not necessarily mean money, especially in the case of rich people like this king for whom, even an enormous amount would have been just a trifle. So Sri Yukteswarjee told him to come with the traditional donation of money, fruits and flowers, but he added that the king was to come alone and in the middle of the night. Hearing this, the king felt concerned and asked if it was absolutely necessary that he come all by himself and in the middle of the night. Sri Yukteswarjee did not give in, saying that for him this was part of the condition for receiving Second Kriya.

The king lived quite a distance from the ashram, at a recreational palace near Puri. The walk to Sri Yukteswarjee’s ashram was considerable, and the king would have to pass burial grounds, go through deep forests and even cross cremation grounds. Needless to say, the king was afraid to travel all alone through these haunted areas. So when the night came, he took several men with him and they all started on their journey. When they arrived near the ashram, he dismissed hid men, ordering them to return to his palace.
He passed the ashram gate, went to Sri Yukteswarjee’s door and knocked. When Sri Yukteswarjee opened the door, he was very surprised to see the king, because he had not expected the king to meet the requirements that he had set up. However, he told the king to come again the next day because he was not ready to initiate him and then shut the door. The distressed king pondered what to do next. As he did not want to go back alone during the night, he decided to wait under a tree in the garden of the ashram. When early morning came, he returned to his palace saying:”I will not make such mistake again!”So the next night he came alone, even though he was very afraid. He was repeating the guru’s mantra with the hope that if anything happens the guru would help him. This time round, Sri Yukteswarjee initiated him as he had promised.

Swami Sri Yukteswarjee was renowned for telling stories with reference to the teachings form the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible in order to exemplify Kriya Yoga.