How Bhagavan Became a Ghost

A certain learned pandit named Bhagavan was much favored by his king. This special royal patronage also earned him the envy of the king’s regular ministers. These ministers hatched a curious plot to drive Bhagavan out of the land.

They informed the palace guards that the king no longer wished Bhagavan to set foot in his palace. And when the king grew anxious that Bhagavan had not come to see him that day, the ministers told him, “Oh, your Majesty, bad news–Panditji Bhagavan has died.” They produced a falsified medical statement from the royal physician to this effect. The king was struck with a sense of great loss.

After a few days, the king went on a stroll in the palace garden. Bhagavan Pandit, who’d suspected intrigue and had been waiting for a chance to see the king, entered the garden to join the royal entourage. But the royal ministers deliberately formed such a tight knot around His Highness that it was impossible for him to come before him and be seen. So Bhagavan then climbed up a tree and yelled, “Oh king! Here I am, your loyal Bhagavan Pandit!”

But the ministers acted as if aghast, and said to the king in alarmed tones, “Your Majesty, look! There in the tree is the ghost of Bhagavan Pandit. Things have become very inauspicious here. Let us not remain, but return to the palace at once!” Despite the pleas of the pandit, the king at once withdrew. The pandit dropped to the ground and sadly concluded that he indeed must have lost the favor of the king. He decided to leave the kingdom for good.

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By a similar intrigue have demons in human society stifled devotion to God; even a public expression of belief in God on the part of a leader of state is now looked upon as inauspicious, like the king’s “vision” of the “ghost” of his old friend.


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