(118) WHERE IS THE KING AND WHERE IS THE KINGDOM?
19th May, 1947
This afternoon, during a conversation regarding old Sankara Vijayam, Bhagavan asked one devotee whether it was not a fact that amongst all books on the life of Sankara, Sankara Vijayam of Vidyaranya was the best. “He was a great scholar and so his book is taken as an authority by all,” said that devotee.
Bhagavan said, with a smile, “Yes, his mental powers were very great. He was a great votary of Sri Vidya, you see. He therefore wanted to create a city in the shape of Sri Chakra (wheel) and started doing it in Hampi but could not complete it. So he said that an emperor in future would rule the country and would be able to build a city in the shape of a Sri Chakra. When I told Nayana (Ganapathi Muni) about this while I was on the hill, he made a peculiar comment, namely: ‘Sri chakrakriti sona saila vapusham, sri shodasarnatmakam occurs in ‘Arunachala Ashtaka Stotram’ written by Sri Sankara.
Besides this in Arunachala Purana, it is stated that this hill is reputed to be in the shape of Sri Chakra. Hence, without searching for it, we have been lucky in getting this place which is in the shape of Sri Chakra. Bhagavan is the Chakravarthi (Emperor).
If about ten houses are built around the hill, this itself is a great empire. Sankara must have intended this only,’ so said Nayana. He followed it up by arranging the whole administrative set up by saying, ‘Here is the commander- in-chief, that man is the treasurer, he is this, he is that.’ It used to be very amusing when he was here. All used to sit together and say, ‘What are the refreshments today for our Durbar?’ Then they used to draw up a programme, cook, and eat. They used to conduct the programme as if they were ruling an empire. This Sundaresan and that Kalyanam, were they like this then? Oh! Each person used to be highly active and hilarious. They used to think that they were great warriors,” said Bhagavan.
“When was all that?” asked Sivanandam. “That was while we were in Virupaksha Cave. Nayana actually drew up a plan on paper for the city to be built. A special place was allotted for me in that plan. Afterwards he used to draw up plans suitable for the administration of the empire. No king, no kingdom — plans, however, were got ready. Many plans were prepared like that. Where was the king? Where was the kingdom?” asked Bhagavan.
Subba Rao, a disciple of Nayana, said, “Why, was there no king? He is just opposite to us. Only this king wears a loin cloth. What is wanting? Haven’t houses been built around the hill? Isn’t the place where Bhagavan sits, like a king’s palace? The whole administration here is going on like a king’s household. Only there are some differences between an ordinary kingdom and this. That is all.” “That is all right. Nayana also used to say that the position of a Maharaja and a Mahajnani is the same. When astrologers predicted that Tathagatha (Buddha) would become either an Emperor or a sannyasi, full of wisdom and knowledge, his father prevented him from going out anywhere, kept him in the palace and tried his best to interest him in the pleasures and luxuries of the palace. At last when he (Buddha) somehow managed to go out on some pretext, he saw all the sufferings of people in the world. So, he ran away and took sannyasa. One of the two empires, material, or spiritual,” said Bhagavan.