Once upon a time there dwelt an old King in a palace. In the center of a golden table in the main hall, there shone a large and magnificent jewel. Each day of the King's life the stone sparkled more resplendently.
One day a thief stole the jewel and ran from the palace, hiding in a forest. As he stared with deep joy at the stone, to his amazement the image of the King appeared in it.
"I have come to thank you," said the King. "You have released me from my attachment to Earth. I thought I was freed when I acquired the jewel, but then I learned that I would be released only when I passed it on, with a pure heart, to another.
"Each day of my life I polished that stone, until finally this day arrived, when the jewel became so beautiful that you stole it, and I have passed it on, and am released.
"The jewel you hold
is Understanding. You cannot add to its beauty by hiding it and hinting that
you have it, nor yet by wearing it with vanity. Its beauty comes of the
consciousness that others have of it. Honor that which gives it beauty."
Last updated: 16th Feb 2005