Sukhdev Muni and King Janak
Sukhdev Muni was a renunciate right from his birth, and whenever he used to ask his father, Ved Vyas, about Initiation, Ved Vyas would tell him, “King Janak is the only perfect Saint nowadays, but He is a King. You may think that He is a worldly person, but He is not, and He is the only one who can connect you with the Naam [and give you the] Initiation.”
But Sukhdev Muni used to think, “How can a worldly person become the Master of a renunciate ?” – So whenever Sukhdev Muni would think about going to King Janak to get Initiation his mind would bring up this question, “How can a worldly person become the Master of a renunciate?” that is why, for many years, he did not go to see King Janak. But later on, when he realized that there was no other substitute for him, that he would have to go to the king to get Initiation, he finally went to see King Janak. On his way up to see Him he left his clothes and a metal cup in the courtyard of the king’s palace.
It so happened that When Sukhdev Muni and King Janak were talking with each other, an attendant came to King Janak and told Him that the cantonment [the army barracks] of that city was on fire. When King Janak heard that He did not react sharply. He didn’t do anything; He was not confused. He said, “It is the Will of God”; and that attendant went away.
Sukhdev Muni thought, “This person is not fit to be a king because the army is like the heart of the king. He should have gone to rescue the people who are in the fire; he should have done something to save them, but he doesn’t care. So that is why he is not fit to be the king.”
After some time, when they were still talking, another person came and told King Janak, “Now the city is on fire.” King Janak again remained calm and quiet; He only said, “It is the Will of God.” Sukhdev Muni again had that negative thought. He thought, “He is the king and he must have a lot of things in his palace so that is why he thinks, `Why should I worry about the city and the people of my kingdom?’ But it is very bad that he doesn’t care for the other people. He is only bothered and concerned about his own self. That is why he is only saying, `It is God’s Will,’ and doing nothing to save the other people.”
After some time another person came and said, “Your Highness, now even the palace is on fire. The courtyard of the palace is on fire.” But this time before King Janak could say/do something, Sukhdev Muni jumped up to save his clothes and his metal cup. Then King Janak held him by his hand and said, “Now you tell me – who is the renunciate ? You left some clothes and some trivial things in my courtyard, and you are afraid that you will lose them if you don’t rush to take them.
Then Sukhdev Muni learned that in reality he was attached to the world and King Janak was not. Even though King Janak who used to live like a worldly person, was a King and had many obligations, many responsibilities, He was not attached to all those things. He was just performing His duty. So when he realized that King Janak was a perfect One, and that he should take Initiation from Him, he requested, “Master, now You should give me Initiation.”