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Shuk Dev-2

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Shuk Dev-2

Shuk Dev and King Janak
This Version from  Naarad Puraan, 1/24

This story comes in Naarad Puraan. One day Shuk Dev Jee went to Vyaas Jee pondering over Moksh Dharm and said to him - "You are good at Moksh Dharm, please preach me that so that I am at peace." Vyaas Jee said - "Putra, First understand the gist of different types of Dharm and study Moksh Shaastra." Shuk Dev then studied the whole Yog Shaastra and Kapil Muni's Saankhya Shaastra. Then Vyaas Jee said - "Now you go to Mithilaa's king Janak, he will tell you about Moksh." So he proceeded towards Mithilaa. Vyaas Jee again said - "You should go on the same path by which the ordinary people go. Do not be proud, and never travel by space path through your Yog power. Do not look for comforts in the way, and do not seek special people or places because they tend to increase attachment. Considering "Janak is disciple and Yajamaan" never show your pride to him. He is my very dear disciple, whatever he tells you, obey him without any doubt."

Shuk Dev Jee came to Mithilaa on foot. The guards stopped him at the first gate but he didn't feel any anger, he just sat under the Sun hungry and thirsty. One of the guards felt bad and let him in. That was Chaitrarath garden. The guard made him comfortable there and informed king Janak about him. Janak appointed more than 50 women in his service to know his intention. They felicitated him with food and started serving him. Shuk Dev had already controlled his Indriyaan so he didn't feel much about the presence of those women and he continued his daily activities as before.

Next day Janak Jee came, offered him a gem studded Aasan and worshipped him. Then he sat down on the floor and asked the reason to come there. Shuk Dev Jee said - "Raajan, My father has said -"My Yajamaan Janak knows Moksh Dharm very well, so you go to him to learn it from him." that is why I have come here. Please preach me about it. What is the duty of a Braahman in this world? What is the form of Moksh and how one should attain it, by Gyaan or by Tapasyaa?"

Janak Jee said - "Listen to whatever the duties of a Braahman are. After the Upanayan Sanskaar, a Braahman should get engaged in studying Ved. He should do Tapasyaa, serve Guru, observe Brahmcharya, do Hom and Shraadh etc. After studying he should give Guru Dakshinaa to his Guru, come back to his house and start his family life loving only his own wife. Establish Agni and do Agnihotra daily. After the birth of sons and grandsons, he should take Vaanprasth and continue to worship Agni which he established before. Vaanprasthee should also love to serve guests. Later he should go to forest and take up Sanyaas. He should live in an Aashram and tolerate heat and cold etc duals."

Shuk Dev Jee asked - "Raajan, If somebody attains Gyaan in Brahmcharya Aashram itself, then is it necessary for him to got through the rest of the three Aashram?" Janak Jee said - "As one cannot attain Moksh without Gyaan, in the same way Gyaan cannot be attained without Guru. Before people used to follow the four Aashram so that the religious limits of this world and the tradition of Karm are not broken. Thus detaching from auspicious and inauspicious Karm, doing only auspicious Karm, one can attain Moksh here itself. When all Indriyaan are under control doing auspicious Karm, then one can attain Moksh in the first Aashram itself. If this happens in Brahmcharya Aashram, then there is no need to go through the rest of the three Aashram.

One should leave Raajas and Taamas paths and adopt Saatwik path, see Aatmaa through his Buddhi. Who sees all beings in himself and himself in all others, he never gets attached to this world in spite of living in it. I tell you something which was told by Yayaati in this reference. "Whoever is always meditated by learned people, whose light is always inside ourselves, the same light is inside everybody. Whoever is sitting in Samaadhi, he can see Him himself. Who is not afraid of anybody, and nobody is afraid of him, and who has no jealousy and desires, such a man attains Brahm. When a person doesn't do anything bad by mind, speech and action, then he attains Brahm. When all duals - praise-defame, iron-gold, sorrow-pleasure, cold-heat, good-bad, like-dislike, life-death, don't affect a person, then he attains Brahm. As one can see his dark house through the light of a lamp, in the same way the person can see Brahm through his Buddhi."

Hey Shuk Dev Jee, I can see all these things present in you. Besides you have extra knowledge also. I know you very well, you have reached beyond the subjects of all Indriyaan because of your father's education and grace. I have also obtained this knowledge from him only. Your knowledge is very high, but you are not aware of it. You have knowledge, your Buddhi is stabilized but without pure decision nothing is possible." After this Shuk Dev Jee reached on a certain decision and saw Aatmaa through Buddhi. He then went to his father and saw him teaching Ved to his Pail etc disciples. He told his father his conversation with King Janak.

(2) Shuk Dev and King Janak-Another Version
I have read this version on Internet and I have heard it also. It is presented here --
Vyaas Jee is known for his dividing the Ved, writing Mahaabhaarat and Puraan and the Vedaant aphorisms, and was a holy man. His father Paraashar tried to become a very perfect man but failed. His grandfather Shakti had also tried and failed. His great-grandfather Vashishth Jee had similarly tried and failed. He himself did not succeed perfectly, but his son, Shuk Dev, was born perfect. Vyaas Jee taught his son wisdom; and after teaching him the knowledge of truth himself, he sent him to the court of King Janak.

Janak was a great king and was called Janak Videh. Videh means “without a body”. Although a king, he had entirely forgotten that he was a body; he all the time felt that he was a spirit. Vyaas Jee sent his son Shuk Dev to learn from him. Janak Jee knew that Vyaas's son was coming to him to learn wisdom, so he made certain arrangements for him beforehand. When the boy presented himself at the gates of the palace, the guards took no notice of him whatsoever. They only gave him a seat, and he sat there for three days and nights, nobody spoke to him, nobody asked him who he was or whence he was. He was the son of a very great sage, his father was honored by the whole country, and he himself was a most respectable person; yet even the low level guards of the palace would take no notice of him.

The fourth day, suddenly, the ministers of the king and all the big officials came there and received him with the greatest honors. They conducted him in and showed him into splendid rooms, gave him the most fragrant baths and wonderful dresses, and for eight days they kept him there in all kinds of luxury. That solemnly serene face of Shuk did not change even to the smallest extent by the change in the treatment accorded to him; he was the same in the midst of this luxury as when he was waiting at the door.

Then he was brought before the king. The king was sitting on his throne, music was playing on, and dancing and other amusements were also going on. The king then gave him a cup of milk, full up to the brim, and asked him to go seven times round the hall without spilling even a drop. The boy took the cup and proceeded in the midst of the music and the attraction of the beautiful faces. As desired by the king, he went around the hall seven times, and not a drop of the milk was spilt. The boy’s mind could not be attracted by anything in the world, unless he allowed it to affect him. And when he brought the cup to the king, the king said to him, “What your father has taught you, and what you have learned yourself, I can only repeat it. You have known the Truth; go home."

(3) Shuk Dev and King Janak-Yet Another Version
Taken from

Once Shuk Dev Jee asked his father Vyaas Jee to tech him Brahm Gyaan. Vyaas Jee directed him to King Janak. So he went to King Janak for Initiation, he used to think, "How can a worldly person become the Master of renunciation?" - because  Shuk Dev was already a renunciate right from his birth, and whenever he used to ask his father, Ved Vyaas, about his 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 initiate." So whenever Shuk Dev would think about going to King Janak to be initiated 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, and 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.

King Janak Tests Shuk Dev Jee
When Shuk Dev Jee and King Janak were talking with each other, King Janak, because he was a perfect Saint, created such a will to teach a good lesson to Shuk Dev Jee. So after some time 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 just said - "It is the will of God", and that attendant went away.

Shuk Dev Jee 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, 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 - "Hey Raajan, Now the city is on fire." King Janak again remained calm and quiet; He only said - "It is the will of God." Shuk Dev Jee 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 like that and he is not caring for poor people, But why should I worry about the city and the people of his 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 saying only "It is God's will," and doing nothing to save the other people."

After some time another person came and said - "Raajan, Now even the palace is on fire. The courtyard of the palace is on fire." At once Shuk Dev 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 or me? 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. But you see that when the cantonment was on fire, when the city was on fire, I didn't go to save them because I am not attached to them. So now you can decide who is a renunciate and who is not."

Then only Shuk Dev Jee learnt that in reality he was attached to the world and King Janak was not. Even though King Janak used to live like a worldly person, since He was a King and He had many obligations, many responsibilities, but in fact 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 be initiated by him only, he requested Raajaa Janak, "Master, Now you should initiate me."

Another Test of King Janak
But King Janak was not going to initiate him so easily, so he said to Shuk Dev Jee - "Well, I will surely initiate you, but first I will put you to some tests, and if you pass those tests, only then you will get the Initiation."

King Janak gave Shuk Dev Jee a cup full of oil and said to him - "You take this oil, and holding this cup in your hand, go around the city. If you come back with the same amount of oil, without dropping even a single drop of this oil, only then will I understand that you can concentrate, and that you can do the meditation, and only then will I  initiate you." He further said, "Mind that, if you drop even a single drop of oil on the ground, you should know that a person with an open sword is behind you, and he will cut off your head, so you should be very careful."

When Shuk Dev took that cup of oil and went into the city, King Janak, at many places in the city, had arranged some or other distractions, such as dancers and other things to distract his attention. But Shuk Dev Jee had the desire of realizing God, and he wanted to get the Initiation from the perfect Master, and since he knew that if he dropped the oil he would be killed, he was afraid of death also. So his mind didn't tell him to look at all those things, all those distractions, and he was so concentrated in that cup of oil that even though he went all around the city he didn't look at any other thing except that cup of oil. When he came back to King Janak having passed that test King Janak asked him, "Tell me, what did you see in the city? Did you like the city?" He said, "Let me tell you that I didn't see anything in the city. I don't know what was happening there, because I was afraid that I would be killed if I removed my attention from this cup of oil, so I was fully concentrated on this cup."

King Janak said, "Now I see that you can concentrate your mind in the meditation also. Later on, when you get Initiation, if you will have that much concentration in your meditation, only then will you become successful." Later, after Shuk Dev passed many other tests, and when he got the Initiation, he was so much concentrated in his meditation that he became successful, and he also became a perfect Saint.

So if we also remember that death is hanging over our head, and we are not supposed to look at this or that place, if we remember and we have real yearning for God, then there is no question of our mind taking us away from our Sumiran (Smaran or remembering). We will be absorbed in the Sumiran just as the attention of Shuk Dev was absorbed in that cup of oil.

Bhagavaan Vishnu also tested Naarad Jee with the same type of test - read their story here - Naarad Jee and a Butcher



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 05/18/13