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The story of King Janaka's initiation by the Sage Ashtavakra illustrates a condition similar to that of Socrates' being caught by the flash during a military campaign and standing still throughout a day and night in its spell. Ashtavakra took Janaka to a forest for this initiation, Janaka riding horseback and Ashtavakra walking alongside. When they reached the spot selected, Ashtavakra told Janaka to dismount. Janaka began to do so. When halfway through the act of dismounting, he was caught by the flash. One leg was raised above the horse's back, while the other rested in the stirrup. So he remained for some days. His Queen sent attendants to search for him, and they brought him home to the palace--still transfixed in the same attitude. He was put in bed still in the same posture. Ashtavakra was called and he bade Janaka to awaken, which he did, becoming bodily normal again. Thereafter he was a fully enlightened rishee. This does not mean that everyone who once glimpses the flash thereafter becomes permanently enlightened. Most do not, for it depends partly on their previous karma and present tendencies whether they can remain permanently in the light or drop out of it again. But it illustrates the swiftness with which it dawns and the need of recognition, surrender, and union with it.

-- Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter 2: Enlightenment Which Stays > # 60

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