Monday, December 17, 2012

Prince Dirghayu, Joseph in Egypt and Ammon

So, you may have noticed my posts have been infrequent.  This is due, in part, to life being so busy; but it is also due to the fact that I'm reading one of James Allen's books and taking notes on it.  I've got all my notes in a post and when I finish it, I'll publish the post.  But as I've been reading this book (Byways of Blessedness), I've come across stories he tells in the book ... such as the Convict and the Mouse, which is the previous post.  Today I came across another story: Prince Dirghayu.

Let me copy the story first and then let me note the similarities between Prince Dirghayu, Joseph in Egypt and Ammon.

There is a beautiful story of Prince Dirghayu which was told by an ancient Indian teacher to his disciples in order to impress them with the truth of the sublime precept that “hatred ceases not by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by not-hatred.” The story is as follows:- Brahmadatta, a powerful king of Benares, made war upon Dirgheti, the king of Kosala, in order to annex his kingdom, which was much smaller than his own. Dirgheti, seeing that it was impossible for him to resist the greater power of Bramhadatta, fled, and left his kingdom in his enemy’s hands. For some time he wandered from place to place in disguise, and at last settled down with his queen in an artisan’s cottage; and the queen gave birth to a son, whom they called Dirghayu.

Now, King Brahmadatta was anxious to discover the hiding-place of Dirgheti, in order to put to death the conquered king, for he thought, “Seeing that I have deprived him of his kingdom he may someday treacherously kill me If I do not kill him.”

But many years passed away, and Dirgheti devoted himself to the education of his son,. who by dilligent application, became learned and skillful and wise.

And after a time Dirgheti’s secret became known, and he, fearing that brahmadatta would discover him and slay all three, and thinking more of the life of his son than his own, sent away the prince. Soon after the exile king fell into the hands of Brahmadatta, and was, along with his queen, executed.
Now Brahmadatta thought: I have got rid of Dirgheti and his queen, but their son , Prince Dirghayu, lives, and he will be sure to contrive some means of effecting my assassination; yet he is unknown to any, and I have no means of discovering him.” So the king lived in great fear and continual distress of mind.

Soon after the execution of his parents, Dirghayu, under an assumed name, sought employment in the king’s stables, and was engaged by the master of elephants.

Dirghayu quickly endeared himself to all, and his superior abilities came at last under the notice of the king, who had the young man brought before him, and was so charmed with him that he employed him in his own castle, and he proved to be so able and diligent that the king shortly placed him in a position of great trust under himself.

One day the king went on a long hunting expedtion, and became seperated from his retinue, Dirghayu alone remaining with him. And the king, being fatigued with his exertions, lay down, and slept with his head in Dirghayu’s lap. Then Dirghayu thought: This king has greatly wronged me. He robbed my father of his kingdom, and slew my parents, and he is now entirely in my power.” And he drew his sword, thinking to slay Brahmadatta. But, remembering how his father had taught him never to seek revenge but to forgive to the uttermost, he sheathed his sword.

At last the king awoke out of a disturbed sleep, and the youth inquired of him why he looked so frightened. “My sleep”, said the king “is always restless, for I frequently dream that I am in the power of young Dirghayu and that he is alone to slay me. While lying here I again dreamed that with greater vividness than ever before and it has filled me with dread and terror.

Then the youth, drawing his sword, said: “I am Prince Dirghayu, and you are in my power: the time of vengeance has arrived.”

Then the king fell upon his knees and begged Dirghayu to spare his life. And Dirghayu said: “It is you, O King! who must spare my life. For many years you have wished to find me in order that you might kill me; and , now that you have found me, let me beg of you to grant me my life.”

And there and then did Brahmadatta and Dirghayu grant each other life, took hands, and solemnly vowed never to harm each other. And so overcome was the king by the noble and forgiving spirit of Dirghayu that he gave him his daughter in marriage, and restored to him his father’s kingdom.

Just as Dirghayu was wronged, so was Joseph.  Dirghayu had the king in his hands, ready to kill him, but he did not.  Joseph had his brothers in his hands and could do anything he wanted with them.  But neither did ill - both forgave.

The King Brahmadatta did evil by killing Dirghayu's parents, but he was later forgiven and changed for the better.  Ammon did horrible things, but was later forgiven and changed for the better.  The father of King Lamoni tried to kill Ammon and King Lamoni, but he too was forgiven and changed for the better.

Both Dirghayu and Ammon served a king who at one point tried to kill them.

King Brahmadatta begged for his life and lived.  The father of King Lamoni begged for his life and lived.  Both changed for the better.

Dirghayu leveraged the king's life to gain his own.  Ammon leveraged the king's life to gain his own as well as King Lamoni's.