I once heard an Indian folk tale about a wise king who found that his kingdom was descending invariably into darkness. To halt this descent, and hopefully change the course of the future, he devised an ingenious plan.
He announced to all that one of his queens was soon expecting a baby. To ensure that his people believed him, the king waited four months before announcing the baby’s arrival. The people reacted joyously, and asked to see the newborn. Instead of complying, the king said this to his beloved countrymen:
My dear countrymen, the Queen and I made a decision shortly before our baby arrived, that we would place the care and upbringing of him in YOUR hands. So just as I stand before you here today, my precious son is in your midst!
The countrymen were astonished. Bravely, one spoke up. But Your Majesty! Where is He? Who have you placed him with?
The king smiled reassuringly, and responded. Ah, but that is the question of the hour, isn’t it? My son is in your midst, and until I decide to share his identity with you, you must all treat your infants as if they are the One.
And so it was decreed that all the citizens of the kingdom would treat their infants with utmost love and care. As the years progressed, righteousness returned and the king, now older, realized that his goal of long ago had been accomplished!
- Written by Neelam Wadhwani