Master Tells Stories
God is the Greatest
This is a story from Au Lac about a prince, who although he had once been an ordinary poor person, was adopted by the king of Au Lac. And of course, after being adopted by the king, he lived like a prince and had a princely kind of life. He had everything he needed and was happy and well taken care of. He wore beautiful silk clothes, lived in a beautiful palace, and had beautiful servants and concubines and nice facilities of every kind.
So everyone envied him and told him, "Wow! You’re such a lucky person! Suddenly you have everything that anyone could ever wish for: wealth, fame, health, convenience and honor. Everyone respects you and everyone brings you anything you ask at your beck and call. You’re a very lucky guy!" So the adopted prince said, "Oh, yes, but I thank God for all this. God is the only One: God is the provider; God is so full of grace; God is good to me; God gives me everything!"
Overhearing this, the king became angry, saying, "You ungrateful son of a ... something! I’m the king! I’m the one who gave you all this comfort, wealth and convenience and the good life and you never even say ‘Thank you’ to me. Instead, you thank God and I don't even know who God is! Have you ever seen him? Has he ever given you anything? You thank that Guy while I’m the provider. I’m the one who’s the king. You should remember that!"
But the prince still didn’t budge and said, "Even your wealth and power, everything you have is also given to you by God! We’re all indebted to God alone. I can’t say, 'Thank you' to you, your Majesty! I can only thank the one and only provider of the whole universe, which is God!"
Then the king became even angrier than before and said, "You still don't repent, you unfilial son! Well, I’ll show you who the real provider is. Without me, you’ll see how you can live. Let's just see if that God of yours will provide you with anything like I’ve given you here. Now, go! You're going to be exiled to a very faraway, remote, isolated island. No one lives there and it’s hard to survive because it’s far away from civilization and far away from everything. So see if that God of yours will give you survival."
That was it: said and done, ordered, stamped and sealed. The prince and his wife were sent away on a small ship, with a little survival kit to last only a month. So he sailed away with his wife and went to the island. And after one month, they had nothing left to live on and the wife became scared, but the prince said to her, "Don't worry! God gave us birth and God has given us our life until now. God will continue to provide for us."
So they both sat and meditated, reciting the name of the Supreme Master. And lo and behold, something happened! Sitting in meditation one day, they saw a black bird. And then there were two birds and then three birds and then a whole flock of birds, all eating something not too far away from them. It was something that looked green on the outside, red on the inside and had black seeds.
As we know, whatever a bird eats, we can eat. It may or may not taste good, but if a bird can eat it, it means it’s not poisonous. So the wife said to the husband, "It looks like we have something to eat now after all." So they went over to check it out, and they tasted the leftovers from the birds. Oh! It tasted delicious! So they went looking for the source of these plants in order to get more of the fruit. And they didn’t have to go too far away because the fruit grew everywhere on the other side of the island, where they hadn’t been before. So they went there and collected the fruit every day and ate it all. And that’s how they survived. The melon provided liquid, and the seeds inside were full of protein.
So they survived. They had protein, liquid and fiber, like vegetables and protein in one meal. They ate the melon and felt good and every day they had a wonderful time. There was nothing to worry about, and they were very happy. Then the husband said to the wife, "This life is even better than life in the palace. In the palace you have silk, gold and all kinds of delicious food, but you have to keep to the rules and maintain the etiquette and you have to wear decent clothes. You have to always appear princely, noble and decent for everyone to look at you.
“As for the king, you always have to bow to him. Morning and evening and every time you talk to the king, you have to kneel before him and hurt your knees and so on. So I think this life is much, much better! We sleep with the sun, we get up with the sun and we meditate all day long. We stroll around on the pristine white sand and hold hands under the pine trees. We sing beneath the moon shadows, we walk for miles along the beach and breathe in all this pure, one hundred percent beautiful fresh air, without one worry in the world. I wouldn't exchange the whole kingdom or the whole world for this."
And the wife said, "You’re right, darling. You’re right. We’re really lucky!"
So day after day, they enjoyed their life. They enjoyed it very much until one day the wife thought of something and said, "Such fruit as this we’d never enjoyed before in our lives. Before, we never saw this fruit, but now we know that it’s delicious and good for the health and it makes you feel very cool and beautiful! So we’d better share it with whomever we can. But since no one comes here, maybe we’ll just put it into the sea and whoever gets it can eat it."
The husband said, "That's a good idea! Maybe we could also draw a map of this island so that people can come here and take even more back to their homeland to eat."
So they wrote notes with charcoal on leaves and cut a hole in each watermelon and stuck a message inside along with a map and then sealed it somehow. And then they let them go so they could float all around the island and the waves of the ocean would carry them in all directions. And soon after, some merchants who were doing business by way of the sea caught some of the watermelons, opened them and then saw the message inside and ate them and loved them very much. So they found a way to go to the island and get these melons.
And when the merchants arrived there, they got the melons but they also traded for some things like basic necessities. Whatever the couple needed, the merchants would bring in to trade for the watermelons because at that time the melons were a delicacy, a rarity. No one had ever had them; even the king had never had them. So the merchants brought the fruit home and sold it. And they made a big profit because it was so rare that people would pay any price, especially wealthy people. They would pay any price to get watermelons so they could show them off to their friends and give presents to their precious loved ones, or even to the officers in the king’s court and also to the king himself. So the people paid a lot of money and the merchants brought the couple everything.
Soon after, the island became like a big trading center and the husband and wife didn't even have to take care of the fruit. The birds would eat it and then throw the seeds out on the sand, where the melons would grow again. All year round, they always had enough fruit for everyone.
And it wasn’t long until this couple became very rich once more, even richer than before. They had every precious and rare thing in the whole world because the people who came from different nations brought all kinds of presents to trade for the melons. Even though the couple didn't take money, they were grateful for such beautiful fruit and the good profit made at home, and they got many presents that they didn't even want.
Then one day the king also had a taste of that fruit, asked where it came from and wanted more! So the merchant said, "We can get some more, but you have to wait for a few months. We have to go to the island and then get it."
So the king said, "Where is that island? What kind of island is it that has such good fruit as this?"
And they said, "It’s the very island where you exiled our prince a few years ago." So then the king remembered. In fact, he had been remembering the couple very often and missed them so much that he felt very sad inside. Repenting to everyone for his previous anger, he said, "In just one moment of anger I didn't think straight. But now I think they’re right; I think God is the only provider. What would I do without God anyway? So I think it's better if they come back."
Thus it was because of this fruit that the father and son and daughter were reunited again, and it became a very happy time for the whole nation. The king made a big, big national holiday and party, where everyone drank, danced and sang happily for one whole month, and some people continued into the next month or even for three months. And of course, the couple brought a lot of these melons back home to give as presents to the king and to the whole court. Also, they took plenty of seeds to the mainland, where they cultivated them. And ever since then, we’ve had many, many watermelons, and every time we eat them we can think of God. That's what we should do when we eat watermelons.
So now you know the story. It's a very nice story and
that prince must have been a very good spiritual
practitioner because after that the king devoted his time to
finding God and enlightenment. So the watermelon spoke more
than volumes! It converted the king and nearly the whole
nation into becoming enlightened so that they would remember
God every day, just from eating watermelon and from the king
setting such a good example. And he devoted himself more and
more to meditation practice, to prayer, to remembering God,
to praying to God and to being one with God.