Once upon a time there was a guru. He was a truly enlightened soul and his reputation of wisdom and knowledge made him renowned where ever he went. There was a king who was very spiritually inclined and hearing of this guru’s reputation knew that he wanted to be a disciple of this great man.
The guru was invited to the castle and the king humbly asked the guru to make him a disciple. “Why do you wish to become a disciple?” asked the guru. “ I want to be a happy and prosperous king,” he explained “ and if I am your disciple, then having your blessings I know that I’ll have the best of experiences. That’s what yoga is about is it not? “
The king asked his new guru for a mantra and the guru obliged, teaching him the mantra and then with few words returned to his ashram. The king was very happy to have received this mantra from his guru and chanted the mantra diligently in the quiet of his room. That night, the king barely slept at all and was plagued with bad dreams. He continued with the mantra chanting over the next few days but still the same terrible dreams kept him awake. Always in the nightmares the king saw his highest ranking captain and the armed forces revolting against him, throwing him in the dungeon. By the fourth night, the king was seeing himself tortured at the hands of his own men, being violently whipped, beaten and even burned. The king became frustrated that he could not rid himself of these terrible dreams and felt that they could only be due to the mantra his guru had given him. Desperate for a solution and weary from all the stress and lack of sleep the king went to see his guru.
At the end of his rope the king was quite upset by the time he reached the guru’s place. Desperately he cried, “What’s going on? I made you my guru and your mantras are only making me suffer! I haven’t had a peaceful night in eleven day and am constantly confronted with these horrible dreams! I see myself tortured every night! What kind of spiritual path is this?” The guru said very little and even more frustrated by his guru’s tranquility amidst his pain, the king left the ashram feeling just as frustrated and desperate as when he’d come.
Again that night the king was confronted by the same dreams. He had lots of time to think as he lie awake at night and he began to wonder what might make the captain of his guards revolt anyways. In the morning, he summoned two of his most trusted and loyal guards and informing him of the situation asked them to keep a close eye on the captain and his activities.
On the third night after returning from the guru’s ashram the king was awoken in the middle of the night by the two guards he had asked to look out for him. They informed him that there was indeed a revolt brewing against him perhaps even that very night. The king reacted quickly, putting the captain and his supporters in the dungeon and curbing any revolt before it could even begin. After the chaos of the early morning had settled and the king had time to reflect on the happenings of the past few weeks he began to realize that the mantras had somehow fit into his now fortunate situation of having been able to stop the captain’s revolt.
When he arrived at the ashram, the guru explained, “You see my dear king, it was your destiny to be behind bars for eleven months. But, because you chanted the mantra, you experienced this in eleven nights. The power of the mantra allowed you to exhaust that karma faster through the practice of yoga. When you exhausted them, you were able to see the situation clearly as the impurities that previously clouded your vision were brought out.
Yoga brings about purification on deeper levels of our mind; it is the process of purification which removes the old, bad impressions from our mind which cause problems and sufferings. Yoga purifies all the unwanted and fills the mind with peace and light.