Ancient Sanskrit tale of Vedic sages translated, retold and illustrated by U. Mahesh Prabhu
The old king, on his deathbed, told his son, “My boy, be good and do good, and never disregard our minister’s comments or suggestions.”
After the death of the king, prince ascended the throne.
The young king was never happy with the old minister for he always found some fault with the king’s ways.
The young king bore the minister’s criticism for five years. One day he burst out, in the open court “Old man, don’t you ever find any virtue in me? In fact, the king had decided to dismiss the minister that day.
All the courtiers looked at both the king and the minister with anxiety. “My lord,” said the minister gravely, “I will reveal today what your great virtue is, now that I am going to retire. Your greatest virtue is you have silently borne all my criticism. None but a king of great nobility could have done that, I salute you, my young master, as I leave!”
Tears came to the king’s eyes. He descended from his throne and embraced the old minister, appealed to him to stay on. “No, my master,” said the minister, adding“one should not continue in the same work forever. One must know when to retire.” Saying thus, the minister retired – for good.