114. The Seeker and his Family
A man desired to follow his guru, but love of family held him back.
"Go home and take this pill," said the guru. "You will seem to be dead while hearing everything."
The man did so, and his family began to mourn.
The guru arrived and proclaimed, "I have medicine that will save him! He will drink it and live, but one of you will also have to drink, and you will die."
Mother, father, sisters, brothers... they all refused. "What's done is done," they said.
Having heard everything, the man awoke, and he left them to follow his guru.
Inspired by: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna
Notes: This is story 105 in the book. Compare the Greek legend of Alcestis, the faithful wife who did agree to take the place of her husband Admetus in death.