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CHENNAI: It is important to be respectful to gnanis, Suki Sivam said in a discourse.
Once, a king fell at the feet of a gnani. His minister asked the king how he could place his head at the foot of a gnani. After all, his was the head that wore a crown. The king replied that he would answer the question at a later time.
Some time later, the king asked the minister to procure a goat's head, a tiger's head and a human head. The minister was puzzled by the king's order. But since he could not question his orders, he had to carry them out. He sent out his men to get a goat's head.
That was easily obtained from a butcher, on payment of some money. The tiger's head was not so easy, for that wasn't something available in the market; the minister had to find capable hunters who would go out into the forest and hunt a tiger to get its head.
But this, too, was accomplished, when he found hunters, who killed a tiger and brought its head.
But what of the human head? That was the most difficult to obtain. No one who had a dead body awaiting burial was willing to dishonour the body by decapitating it. Finally, after a lot of efforts, the minister managed to get a human head too.
The king now told the minister to give away the three heads he had obtained. Giving the goat's head away was not difficult. The tiger's head was more difficult. No one wanted to take home a tiger's head. But with a bit of coaxing, someone was found to take the tiger's head. But no one was willing to take the human head.
Not even the offer of money and gifts induced anyone to accept the human head as a gift. So the minister went back to the king and said no one was willing to accept the human head. The king replied that even a goat's head and a tiger's head had some value after death. But no one would touch a human head. It was only such a worthless head that he, the king, had placed at the gnani's feet.
The minister was thus taught the uselessness of our worldly achievements, and the importance of paying respect to a gnani.
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