The priest stayed with them for few weeks and introduced her to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin and unravelled the mysteries of the great Lotus Sutra to her. After few days of reluctance when Harshvardhan observed a significant improvement in the health condition of Sulochana due to many small ailments she was suffering from, he also got interested in joining in.
This stay of the priest with them was like an awakening call for both of them. After few weeks they had to let their mentor go as the light had to spread to other people of their genre. Just before leaving, the priest was offered heaps of gifts by the king and queen. He said, “Sulochana and Harshvardhan! I am a priest and I cannot accept anything from you but if, at all, you want to give me something, give me a commitment that you will not contain this wisdom to yourself. You are a king. You have the power and resources to propagate this light to as many people as you can, as today’s world desperately needs it.”
The priest left, leaving behind a seed of hope in the lives of Harshvardhan and Sulochana. With constant practice of the sutra taught by the priest, Sulochana was totally rid of her ailment, the economic condition of their kingdom drastically improved as the frequent wars were no more fought by their king since he had adopted the sublime path of peace and non-violence. His priorities had totally changed.
Harshvardhan and Sulochana were very caring and affectionate and they would not hesitate to go out of their comfort zone to do whatever they could for their people. During one such visit of theirs to the city, Harshvardhan and Sulochana set off in their palanquin for a small ride. It was a beautiful evening and they were gazing at the enticing charms of the setting sun far in the horizon, birds fluttering their wings, carrying food grains in their beaks for their children as if they wanted to get back home hastily, shepherds driving their cattle back home after a hectic day, clouds drifting in the sky making illusive silhouettes in the sky.
As it was the dusk time, it looked as if the sun wanted to cast the best of its hues to the sky and as if the sky was swaggering on being coloured into a beautiful crimson shade. As they were passing, the palanquin was bouncing on the shoulder of the palanquin bearers. The beautiful evening was rendered a little melancholy because of a sorrowful song, which the palanquin bearers were humming. The song narrated a story of two parting lovers who had no hope of tying the nuptial knots with each other, as the world would not approve of their relationship because they belong to different casts. Listening to this emotional song the queen Sulochana, as introspective as she was, was pushed into a pensive mood, which rode her away from this breathtaking view to her usual questions about the quest of life and she abruptly interrupted Harshvardhan and posed her question, “Hey Rajan! O my beloved, you are not just my spouse but also the wisest being that exists till date. You have always satiated my endless queries. I commend your patience in dealing with my intriguing questions, but whom do I have around me who could be better than you? One such question, which still intrigues me and I have not been able to seek its answer as of today. According to you Rajan what is the true meaning of life?”
Harshvardhan very patiently smiled and threw a glance to the beautiful queen. He took a deep sigh and delved deep into his thought with his eye ajar and started muttering, “O my beloved queen I am lucky to have a spouse like you. Serendipity as you may call it my fortune that the almighty destined you in my name. Your questions are not mere queries for yourself but they become the seeds of my thoughts. One such questions of yours is this that what is life and o my life there is no single answer to such deep question but I feel the life is nothing but the present moment we are going through as past is all but stale and future is vague and pale. What we know of and what we should is nothing but the present moment.” Hearing this Sulochana smiled back at Harshvardhan and said, “Nobody can defeat you in the war of words as you are a wizard at that but my question stands unanswered.”
Harshvardhan replied, “O my queen! What I mean to say is that when you have a strong desire to know something, life will present you incidents, which will ultimately manifest in the answers of your questions. You appreciate my wisdom. Nothing is hidden from you. You have been a witness of my transformation due to the teachings of that priest who only you had invited to stay at our palace for few weeks.
He came from a country seven seas far. His charismatic words became the essence of our life, which we both try to follow today. Do you remember how our state was, always engrossed in wars and bloodshed because of my ambitious endeavor to expand my ‘sultanate’? I never used to think about the welfare of my public but then came this noble man in our lives, who taught us the right way of life and both of us owe a lot to him. He imparted us the ultimate knowledge of the Buddhist Chant ‘The Lotus Sutra’. How rigid and ignorant was I to not accept it in the beginning but when I saw rapid improvement in your health due to the daily chanting of The Lotus Sutra with such sincerity, it did not take me much to convince me to follow it and just in a matter of few years I find myself totally reincarnated.”
The queen smiled and added, “Rajan! To share with you, it started to me also with a dilemma that how would a small daily routine of mere chanting rid me of all the evils and lead me to be able to transform my life. Then as few days passed and the changes became evident, I became more dedicated and this practice was no more a routine for me but it became a quintessential part of my life.
Apart from that, the transformation I saw in you in dealing with things, was that you started weighing the evens and odds, rights and wrongs with a very holistic approach. The same attitude you inculcated in our citizens. And the result is clear we can see peace and harmony spreading its wings in our whole kingdom.” Harshvardhan smiled and said, “Just the way you can light hundred lamps with a single lamp, without the latter even losing its own light, in the same way, our Buddhist mentor eradicated the darkness from the lives of both of us and now we can pass the light to all the people. My heart is filled with gratitude for our mentor and the Lotus sutra imparted by him.