When Niranjan challenged Swami Brahmana to a meditation contest everyone was surprised that the wise old man smilingly accepted the challenge. Was it not he who had always warned his followers against imitating charlatans who debased spiritual values with their stunning feats of spiritual athleticism?
“When shall we start?” asked the slightly abashed Niranjan.
“Why, now, if you like.” answered the old man, tripping across the room and assuming the lotus position upon his cushion.
It did not take more than five hours of silent and motionless meditation before the arrogant Niranjan keeled over sideways from his position, fast asleep.
Everyone hailed the ancient sage as the victor but still he continued to meditate. After another four hours of silence the onlookers began to drift away, disappointed that they hadn’t been able to hoist Brahmana upon their shoulders and march triumphantly through the village.
Another six hours past in similar fashion and even his devotees were beginning to get a bit fidgety. “The master has made his point. Why does he not arise and let us congratulate him?” After ten more hours only his closest disciples were left. Sadly they too eventually arose, departing to seek food. Finally, the old sage opened his eyes wide. The only person remaining was his faithful wife who stood waiting with a bowl of rice.
“Oh why great sage did you accept such a challenge?”
“What challenge?” he asked, getting stuck into his food. “Oh that. Well, I was going to meditate anyway.”
From the website of The School of Economic Science, London