Once upon a time there dwelt an old King in a palace. In
the center of a golden table in the main hall, there shone a large and
magnificent jewel. Each day of the King's life, the stone sparkled more
One day a thief stole the jewel and ran from the palace, hiding in a
forest. As he stared with deep joy at the stone, to his amazement the
image of the King appeared in it.
"I have come to thank you," said the King. "You have released me from
my attachment to Earth. I thought I was freed when I acquired the jewel,
but then I learned that I would be released only when I passed it on, with
a pure heart, to another.
"Each day of my life I polished that stone, until finally this day
arrived, when the jewel became so beautiful that you stole it, and I have
passed it on, and am released.
"The jewel you hold is Understanding. You cannot add to its beauty by
hiding it and hinting that you have it, nor yet by wearing it with vanity.
Its beauty comes of the consciousness that others have of it. Honor that
which gives it beauty."