Once upon a time there was a beautiful mango tree. Its delicious, mouth watering Alphonso mangoes simply melted on the tongue and the tree itself was so large that standing on one side, one was unable to see to the other.
There was a guru who happened to live in the vicinity of this mango tree and used to come to sit and meditate daily enjoying the cool shade and good energy of such a magnificent tree. The king of the realm was a disciple of this guru and came to visit the guru on one of his holidays from the palace. Along with the king came his ministers and guards, as well as his wife the queen and a good number of servants. Together, they all sat under the tree talking, asking questions of the guru and learning from his teachings.
Also nearby came a poor man walking down the road. He had had nothing to eat for three days and could hardly believe his eyes as he came upon the gorgeous mango tree. From where he stood in front of the tree, all he could see were the vast branches full of plump, ripe mangoes with no sign of those on the far other side of the tree.
So, picking up a large stone, his mouth beginning to water, the man threw it as hard as he could in the direction of the tree. Two mangoes dropped to the ground and the man began to eat them, a little more life coming back into his body after three days without any food. Having just eaten two, he thought perhaps he should eat a few more as there was no telling when he was going to get a chance to eat next.
Now, with the new energy from having just eaten, the man picked up another stone and using all of his strength, chucked the rock high up into the top of the tree.
Unbeknownst to the poor man, the stone came down on the other side of the tree and fell straight onto the head of the guru seated at its base. Luckily, this particular yogi had his hair matted and dreaded into thick locks piled on his head and was thus spared from any serious injury. The king and his court however, were enraged at such an injustice and the guards were immediately ordered to find the culprit. They didn’t have to look very far. As soon as they made their way to the other side of the tree, they came upon the poor man, peacefully enjoying a few more of the mangoes that had fallen from the tree.
Without explanation, the guards dragged him back to the other side of the tree were the crowd sat waiting. The king was furious that someone should harm his guru and demanded to the poor man, “Well, don’t just stand there! Say something for what you have done.” The poor man, who was still confused about what was going on or why he was being held could only stand there in silence. The guru also remained silent. The king, seeing that indeed all his judges and ministers were present decided to host a court hearing. “I want to see this man brought to justice,” he said and ordered the court hearing to begin.
It didn’t take long for the verdict to be handed down and the man was informed that he was found guilty of trying to kill the king’s guru and would be sentenced to death by hanging. “But, I don’t know anything, I swear!” cried the poor man in desperation but the verdict was endorsed by the king himself.
At this point the guru, who had remained silent throughout the proceedings broke through the noise and asked, “May I say something?”
The king turned and humbly said, “Of course my guru. This is all for your sake. You have only to give your instructions and whatever it is, I shall do it. The court has given a verdict but it is your word that we will carry out.” The guru asked for the man to be brought before him.
“My child, why did you throw the stone into the tree?” asked the guru calmly. The man, his voice shaking from the whole ordeal, meekly explained that he hadn’t eaten three days and seeing the mangoes, thought they would give him energy.
The guru after remaining silent for a few moments, turned to the king and said, “Now, my dear king, I will ask that you carry out the treatment of this man just as I prescribe.” “Yes, of course my guru. Whatever you say will be done.” The king said politely.
With compassion and calmness the guru continued, “Please give this man enough wealth and food to last until the end of his life.” Everyone was shocked at the guru’s words. “But he tried to kill you! He should be punished!” were the cries from the crowd.
“My dear friends,” continued the guru sincerely, “this tree has no developed mind of emotions, but when he hit it with a stone, it gave him two mangoes. I am a guru, with a much more developed mind and emotions. He also hit me with a stone and so I should give more.”
Original Story by Swami Sivananda Saraswati