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The Prince and The Pauper

By Karmayogi

Man who is born a Prince lives as a Pauper. This is an exact spiritual description of Man as we find him on earth. Great men have said that Man is born free but he is found everywhere in fetters. The sages and saints have said this all along. The only difference NOW is there is a Force willing to help him realise what he is innately. The question is whether he will call it in, whether he will recognise the existence of that Force.

Mark Twain's 'The Prince and the Pauper' portrays the spiritual truth of Man on earth poignantly. It is a well-known work which has been rendered as a film. Whether this work helped Man to realise his own secret is not known. A ten year old Prince comes to the palace courtyard and sees a poor boy of his age who strikingly resembles him. The Prince stealthily takes his new friend inside the palace to give him a hearty meal. While inside, he exchanges his princely clothes for the rags of the Pauper boy and goes out for a short while to have a first-hand look at the city. When he tries to return, his rags prevent him from entering the palace. Now begins a new life for him.

He is aware that he is the Prince of Wales, but the world is not. He goes to the poor friend's house where he meets with a dreadful punishment. At another place he is rescued by a generous man, Miles, who does not know he is the Prince but who takes him under his protection. His insistence that he is the Prince of Wales is greeted everywhere with laughter. Due to the intrigues of Miles' brother, they both end up in prison. A friend of Miles' father, a friar, arranges for their escape. By a pleasant accident, the friar finds a letter written by the Prince in flawless French, Greek and perfect Latin. That rings a bell in the mind of Miles about the oft repeated claim of the boy that he is really the Prince of Wales and future King. This discovery restores the Prince to his original position.

In this story the Prince has never forgotten for a moment that he is the Prince. Inside us the Brahman has never for a moment forgotten that it is the Original Brahman. Our surface mind is not aware of our inner birthright even as the society outside in the story never concedes that he is the Prince. Man's surface mind realising the inner greatness instantaneously restores the ORIGINAL splendour of the Spirit. Spirit is there inside; we must KNOW it is there.
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