The Final Liberation

Once there lived a great king named Bharat, who in his old age felt, it was time to leave the world. He became a hermit in the jungle, and started preparation for his death. Without any sorrow or attachment, he left his kingdom, his wife and family, and went to the forest.

For many days, he absorbed his mind in deep meditation and began to shed all bondage: he was approaching the state of absolute liberation. One day while sitting beside the river, he saw a sudden drama unfold before him-

A tiger was chasing a doe heavy with child. In great panic, the doe jumped the river to escape from tiger, but with her weight, she could not cross it. She fell in the water and at that very moment, she gave birth to her fawn.

The mother dear drowned, but the little dear floated kicking and crying down the river, past the old saintly king. The king, in his great compassion, reached down and saved the fawn. He dried it off, warmed it in front of fire, and fed it. From that time, the little fawn lived with the king and played near his hut. The king began to love it as his own child, and even worried anxiously when the little fawn did not return at nightfall.

The great renunciate who left his family and kingdom without a backward glance gradually became attached to a tiny fawn. Weeks passed and death approached the old king. He sat down in meditation and withdrew his mind from his body to absorb his mind in that infinite 'consciousness at the moment of death, that he might attain liberation. But as he concentrated his mind on the Supreme, a sudden thought flashed in his mind-

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