The King’s Puzzle – A Royal Dream!

Jayashree Das and Pradipta Banerjee


Thousands of years ago,the land of Vidharbha in present day Maharashtra, wasruled by a wise and just king. His name was Janaka. He was praised by the royals and subjects alike for his honesty, integrity and his practical approach to problem-solving.

However, one night after a grand dinner, the King experienced a dream that transformed the way he perceived reality.In his dream, he witnessed his enemies had conquered his kingdom, forcing him to abandon his well-wishersand flee for life. He became a beggar and lived his life asking for food in an unknown city where no one had heard of him.

One day, his collection was scarceand what little food he obtained was snatched away by scavengers. Alone and hungry, he cried at his misfortune and in deep misery, fell asleep on the roadside. He woke up with a shudder to realize he was dreaming. His kingdom still belonged to him and all was well.

A true seeker, he was tortured with a most amusing question. “Who is real?” he thought, “Am I king who dreamt that he is a beggar? Or am I a beggar who is dreaming that he is a King?Who was that beggar? Who am I?” And he called forth all the wise men and women in his kingdomin search of an answer to his question. However, their answers did not provide him with solace…read more on NOPR