We now come to the topic of Greatness after the recent coronation of King Charles III where he was anointed with the oil of divinity so he could represent divine powers hence the divine right of Kings and Queens.
The essence of his duty to his people is service. To be served or to serve was the question answered by Charles in being of service. This was demonstrated with Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The divine has great powers but love is the greatest.
Let me introduce you to another great saint, some say the greatest in India, his name being Shree Swami Samartha Akkalkot Maharaj otherwise known simply as Akkalkot (pictured), the name of the place in which he was based in Mahasashtra State, India.
He was a self-realised masterly incarnation of Lord Dattatraya and taught how the resolution of conflicts can be achieved through an essential change in consciousness leading to peace and prosperity. Let me quote to you from The Swami of Akkalkot by Proe Nitin R Patil this story of Akkalkot and a king;
“The King of Akkalkot, Mr Malojirao was enamoured with the darshan of Swamiji. On request by one of his courtesans, Mr Chinopant Tol, he went to visit Swamiji seated on an elephant along with all his royal splendour display in a procession.
No sooner did Mr Malojirao bow before this saintly person and prepared to sit, than he received a tight rap on his face and heard him say “What do you think of yourself? Don’t exhibit your splendour before a saint who has no attraction for worldly things. I can make many kings like you and move them on a chess board”.
Mr. Malojirao was taken aback by this, being very surprised that this Sadhu had immediately put him on the right track and brought him to his senses. He surrendered himself to Swamiji and accepted his flaws.
Later Swamiji would then sometimes proceed to his palace on his request for a short time. Often, throughout his life Mr Malojirao would fondly recall this first meeting with his spiritual master.
He concluded this was certainly not just another dubious sadhu but a divine soul and listened attentively to Swamiji.”
It should be our aim to do great things, owing it to ourselves and to others. In doing so we don’t consider ourselves to be great and reminding others of our greatness as the king did. Only others have the right to call us great or master and we should accept that humbly and with honour.
What is the measure of greatness? Many would think they can’t do great things but in seeing the needs of others and helping them is their greatness. Using and developing our natural abilities is preparing for greatness when the time comes to applying them. Success is simply doing the dharma, the divine duty that is yours.
It is not for us to copy someone else and be them. We must be ourselves or forever be unsatisfied. We can study examples that inspire us but only through our true self can we achieve our true purpose.
True teachers, should we choose to listen, are there to assist us in developing the skills so we can do great work. It is only those teachers who can tell we’re great. Peter the great, Sally the great, Nicole the great.
Peace, not violence is the nature of greatness. Order, not chaos is the methodology of greatness and being true is the success of greatness.
If I Were King
If I were King
how could I best serve my people?
I want to be a soldier, engineer, teacher,
I want to be a factory worker, farmer,
pilot and architect.
I want to be a monk, a doctor, a nurse,
a racing car driver and dancer.
If I be one of these or all of them,
I will see my country become great
and share its abundance and friendship.
Each living person and creature will be
one family, loving each other
and sharing our prosperity.
I will beckon the rain to bless the rice
and bring many harvests to the market.
Before my golden throne I will bow before God
and bring my happiness
so it made multiply a thousand fold.
Mine will be a country of love and grace,
of harmony and endeavour,
a country of trust and peace.
Each year my people will remember me
and I shall protect them like a father,
for in them I love
and in them I seek my divine purpose….. if I were King.
© Kelvin S Brown
(NB: Written to commemorate the longest reign of a monarch and the King himself, the ninth king of the Chakkri dynasty of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyade known as Rama IX)