There was once an enlightened master by the name of Dakshinamurthy Swamigal. He used to sit under a banyan tree. His presence was so intense that a person could touch it, feel it, and almost see it. His silent presence was so powerful that neither he needed to talk nor the other person felt the need to speak.
One of the court poets of the kingdom sang a thousand verses on Dakshinamurthy Swamigal, whom he referred to as a saint. This poet said Dakshinamurthy Swamigal was ‘the greatest warrior’. By tradition, you would be given the title of greatest warrior only if you killed one thousand elephants in a war.
This poet sang all one thousand versus praising the power and heroic qualities of Dakshinamurthy. When the king heard this, his ego was hurt because it was known throughout the region that only he had killed a thousand elephants in war. Until that time, only the king had the title of the greatest warrior.
The king called the poet and angrily said, ‘Justify your action of singing the thousand verses in praise of the naked beggar sitting under the banyan tree. Otherwise, your head will be cut off!’ The poet said, ‘I don’t have any reason or justification. You can kill me. But there is something about his presence. I want to make one small request: if you have some time, go and sit in his presence just once. That’s all I am asking, nothing else.’
The king was curious to know more about Dakshinamurthy Swamigal. Along with his entire army, he set off to meet him! Kings always travel with their paraphernalia because they lose their identity without it! In contrast, Dakshinamurthy Swamigal was a Paramahamsa*, an enlightened master. The king found him sitting under a big banyan tree, without paraphernalia, not even clothes. He was just blissful in himself.
Imagine the scene: this simple beggar sat in a corner without any clothes. He was merged in bliss and peace, completely lost in Existence. He sat in intense silence and peace. The silence penetrated anyone in his presence.
The king jumped down from his chariot and went towards Dakshinamurthy Swamigal. On seeing the king and his army and hearing all their commotion, Dakshinamurthy did not even move. He opened his eyes and looked straight into the king’s eyes. It was the first time someone had dared to look straight into the king’s eyes. The king had always looked at others and they had always put their heads down. For the first time somebody looked straight into the eyes of the king. He was completely shaken.
After a few seconds, the king put his head down. He clearly felt something happening inside his being. Dakshinamurthy Swamigal, the master, signaled the king to sit down. All the ministers and the army dropped their weapons and also sat in silence. In ten minutes the entire army was sitting down.
One hour passed. Then two hours passed, three hours, and the evening came and went. One full day passed by. The master, the king and the whole army sat in silence. Not a single word was exchanged. Three days passed by.
Then the master opened his eyes and said, ‘Now you can go.’ The king fell flat at the master’s feet, paid his respects to the great master, and left in silence. He reached his palace, summoned the poet who had written the verses in praise of Dakshinamurthy Swamigal and said, ‘Why did you write only a thousand verses in praise of the master? You should sing ten thousand verses!’
The poet then made a beautiful statement,
‘Killing ten thousand elephants is easy. You just need the weapons to kill them. But killing one’s mind is a real achievement!’
This master had killed his mind. Not only had Dakshinamurthy Swamigal killed his own mind, he could kill the mind of anybody who sat in his presence. Killing ten thousand elephants doesn’t take courage. Killing your mind requires courage.
source: Living Enlightenment