Shri Nathji had a very interesting parable to relate on chess which explained the meaning of life in a very lucid and interesting way:
There was a King, a champion chess player, with four queens: Jahaano, Hayaato, Fanaah and Dilaaraam. The names meant respectively–the World, Life, Death, and Peace of Mind. No one had ever defeated him in a game of chess.
One day, a Mahatma came and challenged him to the game. The conditions of winning and losing were to be very severe. If the Mahatma lost, he would have to part with his head.
And, if you lose, said the Mahatma to the King, you will have to give me one of your queens!
The King was startled at this unusual demand but he agreed, because he was absolutely sure he would win. He had proved himself invincible in chess in the past.
The game continued for a long period of time during which neither of the two appeared to win or lose. And then the Mahatma made a powerful move and cornered the King’s king. It was a hukman maat–in which the result was a foregone conclusion. The last few moves had only to be enacted to end the game. The King had lost! He got up in despair. Being a man of his word, he would honour the pledge he had made. The Mahatma would be given one of his queens.
The King went to the chambers of the first queen, Jahaano-the World and explained the situation to her. She didn’t want to be given away. And she said a verse in Persian:
To baadshaahe jahaani, jahaan raa zadast ma deh
Ke baadshaahe jahaanraa jahaan bakaar aayad
Thou art the King of the World–give away not thy world!
For surely the King of the World has need for it!”
The King then went to the chambers of the second queen, Hayaato-Life and sought to give her away. But she didn’t want to go either. She said to the King:
To baadshaahe jahaani hayaat raa zadast ma deh
Ke gar hayaat na baashad jahaan che kaar aayad
Thou art the King of the World–give away not thy Life!
For if thou hast not thy Life, of what use to thee thy world!
The King then went to the third queen Fanaah-Death, and she said to him:
Jahaano, Hayaato, hamaara Fanaah
Fanaah raa nigaah kun ki aakhir Fanaah!
Thy world and thy Life must both come to me!
Look to Death, for thy end is in me!
The three queens, Jahaano, Hayaato, and Fanaah appeared indispensable to the King. He would be nothing without Jahaano, his world, and without Hayaato, his life. And Fanaah, he could not get rid of, for Fanaah was inevitable.
There remained but Dilaaraam-Peace of Mind, the Solace and Comfort of his heart. Surely, she was dispensable!
The King went to her chambers and asked her to come with him, for he was resolved to give her away to the Mahatma.
Coming to the chess-board, where the Mahatma waited patiently, Dilaaraam said to the King: Stay! Before you give me away, let me study the chess-board!
And she said:
Badshaah! Do rukh ba deh, dilaaraam raa ma deh
Peelo Pyaadaa pesh kun, va asp kisht maat
O King! Give up the two rukhs– but give up not thy Dilaaraam!
Move the bishop and the pawn, and with the knight, check and mate!
The King did as Dilaaraam had instructed–and he won the game!
It was the Mahatma’s turn to be worried, but he said to the King:
This victory goes not to you. It goes to Dilaaraam! And Dilaaraam remains with you, while I keep my head!
Shri Nathji had illustrated the importance of Peace of Mind in this story. If one had this vital quality with oneself, one could win a victory over the most intricate problems of life. It was the one most essential thing in the world. If one had with oneself Peace of Mind–or God realisation–one’s world, one’s life, and even one’s death would be made beautiful. One could give up the two rukhs–this world and the next–as a sacrifice, to retain Dilaaraam, Peace of Mind, the mainstay of human existence.