Once there lived a king who ruled the kingdom righteously and wisely. The people of the kingdom lived happily under his rule. His kingdom remained prosperous and wealthy in all ways. In spite of this the king had no peace of mind; He read many spiritual books to know the way to attain peace of mind. These spiritual books extolled the chanting of 'Rama! Rama!- through the chanting of 'Rama! Rama!' one enjoys peace of mind. He, therefore, began to chant Rama Nãma. But, to his disappointment he did not attain peace of mind.
It was at this time that a Mahatma visited his Court. The king informed him of his predicament. The Mahatma said to him, "I will give 'upadesa' (instruction) of a great Mantra to you. Keep doing japa of it! You will find peace."
The king asked the Mahatma, eagerly, "What is that Mantra?"
The Mahatma said, "I am going to give 'upadesa' of the Rama Mantra the japa of which will bestow all that one desires in this world and also joy in the higher world."
The king felt disappointed on hearing the words of the Mahatma and said quite indifferently, "Swami! It is this very Mantra that I have been doing japa of for the past so many days. But it has not been fruitful." The Mahatma said, "I will give 'upadesa' of that Mantra to you now. Do japa of it after receiving the 'upadesa' from me. You will find a difference in the result."
This did not, however, satisfy the king. He thought, 'is not the Mahatma suggesting the same Rama Nama that I have already been chanting daily? What difference can be had in the result by receiving it from him?' The Mahtama understood the thought running in the king's mind.
Turning to the army chiefs standing close by, the Mahatma said to them, "Arrest the king." At first, those present in the Royal Court thought that the Mahatma had uttered these words in a jest. But, when he repeatedly gave this order, the king became furious and ordered the army chiefs to arrest the Mahatma. The army chiefs at once arrested the Mahatma.
The Mahatma laughed aloud and pointed to the king, "I uttered the very same words to them. But they did not act. However, they acted as soon as you uttered these words to them. Have they not? The reason behind this is that you enjoy that right. There is a difference in response to the same words coming from you and from me. Likewise, the Lord has bestowed the right on me to do 'upadesa' of the Mantra to you. Therefore, there certainly would be a great difference in the 'phala' (fruit) if you do japa of the Rama Nama after receiving it through me. You will certain attain the peace of mind through my 'upadesa'."