True to his words, Jiwaji started in right earnest to steal the diamonds. Using all his professional skills, he managed to reach the royal palace where the box containing the diamonds was kept.
No sooner the box was opened in the dead hours of night, the diamonds started glittering. Jiwaji saw that the box contained three diamonds.
Jiwaji thought that if he steals all the three diamonds it would become impossible for him to go according to the agreement according to which Jiwaji was supposed to give half the booty to the beggar who had informed him about the royal treasury. So, Jiwaji stole two diamonds, let one of them be there in the box. He then managed to keep the box with one diamond in its proper place and without being caught, he managed to move away from the scene.
As already agreed, next day Jiwaji arrived at the same place where he had met the beggar. In fact, the beggar was waiting for the arrival of Jiwaji.
Jiwaji showed the beggar both the diamonds he had stolen. He offered half the share, i.e., one diamond to the beggar and left the scene.
The begger who was actually the king knew that the total number of diamonds were three. Since Jiwaji was sincere, the king concluded that the third diamond must have been left in the box.
The following day the ?kings? durbar was held. The king in the course of the durbar proceedings asked his chief minister who also happened to be the treasury-in-charge to bring the box containing the diamonds and present it before him forthwith.
The chief minister opened all the secret chests of the treasury and lay his hands to the box wherein the diamonds were kept. No sooner the minister opened the box, he was shocked to find that the box contained only one diamond in place of three as mentioned in the official list.
The chief minister felt he was doomed . He was bound to meet with rigorous punishment for his utter negligence. In fact, the chief minister started shivering with fear.
In any case, punishment was inevitable so the chief minister thought of stealing the third diamond and then reported to the king about the loss of all the diamonds with utmost grief in every possible way.
So the minister managed to hide securely the third diamond in his house and then he appeared before the king sitting in the durbar with a show of sorrow. Beating his chest, rolling on the floor he reported to the king about the heavy loss of all the three valuable diamonds in the royal treasury.
The king knew for certain that the thief had spoken truth and that one diamond was left back in the box. So the king detained the chief minister in the durbar and he sent his guards to the residence of the minister with the instructions to undertake immediate minute search in the residence of the minister for the diamond.
The guards acted promptly. Every nook and corner of the chief minister'sresidence was searched. At long last the diamond was found hidden in a cupboard in the underground cell of the minister.
The diamond so obtained was presented before the king.
The king was furious. He ordered immediately the dismissal and arrest of the chief minister. The minister was sent to the prison.
The king then ordered the guards to undertake an immediate and deep search of a man by name ?Jiwaji? in the whole kingdom. The king provided the guards full description of the person.
The guards were obedient, cleaver and prompt. They combed the entire kingdom and with utmost diligence and finally succeeded in tracing Jiwaji.
Jiwaji was caught and brought before the king. The king ordered his guards to seat Jiwaji with full honour on an elevated seat.
Jiwaji now recognised the king. He knew that it was the king who had disguised in the form of a beggar. Knowing the identity and realising his own crime of theft of diamonds, Jiwaji started trembling.
?Be not afraid, be comfortable. You are the real devotee and worshipper of ?Truth? of such quality are really very rare. I have dismissed my chief minister and I am appointing you in his place.?
Jiwaji started trembling. With folded hands he started pleading, ?Sir I am a wretched person, absolutely ignorant about the duties of that high and dignified post of a chief minister. Sir, kindly forgive me and set me free.?
?Don'tworry, you will be one of the best ministers of mine. What is needed for the job is utmost sincerity and truthfulness in letter and spirit. You hold these rare qualities. I have testified them. So be calm and composed and take charge of your duties forthwith.?
Jiwaji then saluted the king and said, ?Sir I would like to complete one urgent job first and then I will come back after performing the same.?
?Alright come back within a short while? ordered the king.
Jiwaji then went running fast to a temple in the nearby village where Saint Namdeo was staying for presenting Sankirtanam. Jiwaji fell on the feet of Saint Namdeo and with tears in his eyes he pleaded to the saint, ?Sir just by following one sentence from out of the thousands of sentences advice uttered by you, I have obtained this richest reward of lifetime in the form of chief ministership, what a huge pleasure would I get if I follow all the sentences you utter? In fact, by so following your all the words of advice, I will float forever in the ocean of eternal joy. So Sir, it is my earnest desire to become your sincere disciple. I will follow you like a shadow wherever you go. Please accept me as your disciple.?
Saint Namdeo saw Jiwaji in tears. Those tears were clean and pious. So Namdeo accepted Jiwaji'spleading. Then onwards Jiwaji became Namdeo'ssincere disciple.
(The author can be contacted at 16, Jeevanchhaya Hsg. Society, Opp. Civil Hospital, Satara?415 001, Maharashtra.)