Treasure under the Pillow

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The stranger was happy that he had won the confidence of the wealthy pilgrim, who was travelling alone and carrying thousands of rupees. The stranger felt sure that one day he would be able to steal the money.

livery morning the pilgrim would count the money in the stranger's presence. All day long it would be in his pocket. He had no box to lock it up in. Yet, when at night the stranger searched for it, he could not find it. This went on night after night. The stranger searched for the money everywhere, in the pilgrim's belongings, underneath his pillow and bed, but could not find it. Yet, sure enough, the next morning it would be there in the pilgrim's hands.

This mysterious game went on for over a week. The stranger was frightened. He thought that the pilgrim might be a magician or a yogi with powers. So he confessed his evil intentions and asked the pilgrim, "Where did you keep the money during the night? How did I miss it in my search?"

The pilgrim laughed heartily and said, "My friend, I know your intentions. Therefore, I kept the money underneath your pillow at night. You never looked for it there!"

The stranger is the wayward mind full of desires. The pilgrim is God. The treasure is the bliss of the Atman. The wicked mind wants happiness and seeks for it in sensual objects. It is not found there. Finally it abandons its evil intentions and approaches God in a spirit of surrender. God reveals that the happiness was within all the time in the Self, and not outside.