King Janaka once dreamt that he was a beggar. On waking up he asked his guru, Vashishta: “Am I a king dreaming of being a beggar or a beggar dreaming of being a king?”

The guru answered, “You are neither, you are both. You are, and yet you are not what you think yourself to be. You are because you behave accordingly; you are not because it does not last. Can you be a king or a beggar forever? All must change. You are what does not change. What are you?”

Janaka said, “Yes, I am neither king nor beggar; I am the dispassionate witness.”

The guru said, “This is your last illusion: that you are a jnani—that you are different from, and superior to, the common man.”