Sage Chidananda had his hermitage in Naimisharanya. Abhijit was one of his disciples. Abhijit completed full term of training in celibacy discipline called brahmacharyashram.
The valedictory rituals were over. Abhijit prostrated before his great Guru Chidananda and made an humble request to his guru. Abhijit said, ?Sir I want to make an humble offering at your holy feet as a token of my respect and love for you.?
The Guru Chidananda said, ?No, not necessary.?
However, the disciple Abhijit made repeated requests for acceptance of the offering. At long last sage Chidananda showed readiness to accept the offering.
?Sir, kindly tell me what present would you like to accept from me?,? asked Abhijit.
Chidananda did think for a while and said, ?I would like to accept from you four different things. These things are as follows: First, any useful fluid already tongue-tasted by somebody. Secondly, a vomit much desired for by everybody. The third item is a beautiful cloth wrapped around a dead body. Fourth is a pious thing born from a bird'sstools.?
The demand from guru was puzzling. Nevertheless, Abhijit was not disheartened. He said, ?Sir, I will produce these within four days.?
?Alright, have that much time. No problem,? said the guru.
Abhijit went on thinking for couple of days. But he could not construe the meaning of the items demanded by his guru.
One thing was certain. His guru always talked in terms of metaphors. Further, his guru always intended to transmit same healthy message to his disciples through his actions and words.
On the third day at the early hours of the dawn, a light dazzled in Abhijit'smind. He was able to interpret the words of his guru properly. So he collected the objects thus: Cow milk is the most useful fluid on earth. Further the cow releases the milk only after her calf has tasted it. So it is always the tongue tasted milk that becomes available to a man. So the cow'smilk formed item number one from the demands. Secondly, honey is liked by all. Bees suck honey from flowers into their mouth. The bees empty the collection from the mouth into the honeycomb. So honey formed the second item.
A silk worm generates silk thread from its mouth and winds it around his body, which ultimately results into cocoon. These cocoons with worms inside are boiled and threads obtained with worms killed in the process. Silk cloth is further woven from the threads so obtained. That means virtually the silk is nothing but a cloth wrapped around a corpse. So the piece of silk cloth formed item number three.
Peepal is the holiest tree. This tree bears tiny fruits. These fruits are eaten by crows. The small seeds lying in the fruit move through the intestines of the crow. The crow releases the stools wherein the seeds are cultured for germination. The seeds sprout only when so cultured in the stools of crow. So the fourth item was a sapling of Peepal tree.
Abhijit was overjoyed as the meaning of the four strange demands had sprouted into the field of his imagination. He then carefully collected all the four pious gifts and presented them at the feet of his guru.
Sage Chidananda was also extremely satisfied with the intellectual capacity attained by his dear disciple. He then explained to Abhijit the message he wanted to convey to his disciple thus: All the things big or small on this earth have close and inseparable relationship with each other. So all these things are our kith and kin of ours. We should always bear in mind this intimate relationship and modulate our behaviour unto them accordingly.