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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • There was a king who was instructed by a false teacher there is only oneness and no differentiation in the ultimate reality. Everything we perceive as individual and different is an illusion. All is one. I am you and you are me. We is thee and thee is us. There is no difference in oneness. There is only oneness and no duality.

    The king was impressed by the implication of this philosophy of oneness. When he spoke to his queen, he told her how much he was impressed by the philosophy of oneness. He could see its far reaching implications for his life. She asked what he meant by that. He said, “All is one. Therefore, I shall now take many wives because there is no difference between yourself and other women. All is one.”

    The queen was shocked and very upset by the king’s new philosophy. She called a wise man and asked if the idea of oneness that the king espoused was true or false. He said that there is oneness but the king’s explanation of it was wrong. He suggested that the queen first demonstrate to him that his supposed concept of oneness was wrong. Later, she could demonstrate the real concept of oneness. She asked how she could show the king that his idea of oneness was wrong. The wise man instructed her and she followed his advice.

    The next day the queen prepared a sumptuous lunch and invited the king and many honored guests including the false teacher that instructed her husband that all is one. She arranged for the false teacher to sit next to the king and she served them both all the preparations. She purposely served everything in precious china porcelain. As her teacher instructed her, one of the preparations was fresh cow dung from the royal herd of milk cows. When she served her husband and his false teacher, they both looked at the cow dung, smelled it and both recoiled in disgust. The cow dung was served in the same plate as the delectable preparations.

    The king rebuked his wife with harsh words. “Why have you served cow dung with such tasty food. This is nonsense!” She said calmly, “Dear husband, I have accepted your philosophy that all is one. If you see no difference between myself and any other woman, why should I see any difference between tasty food and cow dung. Please eat everything on your plate and demonstrate you believe your new philosophy.”

    She embarrassed the king and discredited his teacher’s philosophy in front of the many invited guests. The king suppressed his anger and left the dining hall without saying a word.

    He imprisoned the false teacher and later apologized to his wife who demonstrated that “all is one is all nonsense.”

    When the king and queen resumed their normal relationship and all was calm, the queen summoned her wise man and asked how to demonstrate the real concept of oneness. He began to describe an ancient history.

    There was and there wasn’t a poor man and his pious wife who was very beautiful. One day their spiritual teacher came to visit their village. The teacher had two disciples in the village: one was a rich merchant and the other the poor man. The teacher traveled with a large group of disciples. He sent two disciples to the rich man’s house so that he could arrange dinner and lodging for his group. The rich man was so thrilled at receiving the good news that he immediately began to make preparations for the teacher’s arrival. But, he forgot to properly receive the two disciples who were ignored and left feeling that they were slighted.

    The two disciples reported back to the teacher that they were denied proper respect at the home of the rich man. The teacher decided to visit his poor disciple and accept whatever he could offer his entourage. The large group arrived at the humble dwelling of the poor disciple. The teacher knocked on the door of the entrance. The poor man was not at home. His wife was taking a bath and the only ragged cloth she had for a dress was hanging in the back yard to dry. She called out, “Who is it?” The teacher answered. She explained that her only dress was hanging out to dry. He threw a shawl into her room. She wrapped herself in the shawl and came out to greet the teacher. He asked the woman if she could feed his large group. “Yes, of course, I consider such a service a great blessing.”

    She offered fresh water from her well and directed the entire group where they could bathe and relax while she prepared their lunch. She knew very well that there was no money or food to feed anyone and her husband was not at home. He was out trying to beg for food. The young wife decided to she the local grocer who had often tried to take advantage of her knowing that she was very poor. She hurried to see him and made a proposal that he supply whatever she needed for her teacher and his companions and she would come to him in the night and satisfy his desires. He was thrilled that she was finally yielding to his advances. She arranged to deliver everything she asked for immediately.

    She cooked a marvelous feast for her honored guests. After, they were all fed to their satisfaction, her husband came home and was thrilled to see his holy teacher. But, he was confounded as to how his wife fed everyone such a grand feast. Later, his wife explained what she agreed to do for the food. Her husband was not upset because he could understand that she was ready to sacrifice everything to please the teacher and thus serve God’s servant. He told her that they should explain everything to the teacher as he would certainly forgive her and perhaps find a way to save her honor.

    They humbly approached the teacher and gently explained their predicament. He understood. He said, “My child, you are faithful wife and completely chaste. Unfortunately there are lusty men in this world that are anxious to take advantage of innocent women like you. I suggest you take a plate of this sanctified food that remains from my plate and offer it the grocer with the words, ‘My teacher asked me to bring you this holy food. Please partake of it and be blessed.’ ”

    The husband and wife proceeded to the grocer’s house and presented him with the holy food. The woman entered his house and gave him the plate and repeated the teacher’s words. The grocer was surprised. He asked if she came alone. She said her husband was waiting outside. The grocer looked at her hesitatingly. He asked her to call her husband inside. While tasting the food, the grocer felt a strange feeling of being blessed. When he finished the delicious meal, he looked at the husband and wife and began to apologize. In fact, he fell on his knees and begged them to forgive him.

    The husband and wife were genuinely amazed at the sudden transformation of the grocer. They attributed it to the teacher’s holy blessing that came with the food. The grocer asked then if they would introduce him to the teacher. They went together back to the poor man’s home and sat at the feet of the teacher, who was pleased to see the grocer. The holy teacher spoke about the power of chastity of a woman and how God blesses such a woman who is faithful to God, her husband and holy teachers. He explained how fortunate the grocer is to have been engaged in helping the woman serve holy persons. Due to her offering the grocer’s food to God and his holy representatives, the grocer had become purified of his nasty mentality and repented his sinful lust for the chaste woman..

    The grocer had real tears of repentance and joy hearing the kind words of the teacher. He begged the teacher to accept him as a disciple and continue to teach him to stay on the path of virtue.

    The wise man finished his story. He added a few words to make sure the queen understood. He said, “Real oneness is realized by first understanding that we are all eternal individuals and that God is the Supreme Individual. If the members of a family remain loyal to the father and work cooperatively, there is oneness among all the individuals of the family. They work cooperatively to please the father and maintain the stability and welfare of the family. They are benefited by their oneness of purpose.
    Similarly, when we serve God cooperatively by following His instructions, we become one with God and still maintain our individuality eternally. We enter into a relationship of love and devotion to the unique God. That relationship of oneness of purpose by serving the instructions of God unites us in the family of God. This is real oneness.”

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