There was a king who was a great admirer of art. He encouraged artists from all over his country and gave them valuable gifts.
One day an artist came and said to the king, "Oh King! Give me a blank wall in your palace and let me paint a picture on it. It will be more beautiful than anything you have ever seen before. I promise that you shall not be disappointed. "
At that time, the king happened to be constructing a big hall at the rear end of the palace. So he said, "All right, you may work on one of the walls in the new hall." So the artist was given the job and he was very pleased indeed.
Just then, another young man said, "Oh King! Please allow me to work on the opposite wall. I too am an artist." The king said, "What would you like to paint?"
The man said, "My Lord, I shall paint exactly what that man will paint on the opposite wall. Moreover, I shall do so without looking at his work. I would even request you to have a thick curtain put up between the two walls so that neither of us can see the other."
Now that was a tall statement! Everyone in the king's court, including the king and the first artist were intrigued. But the King loved surprises and he decided to give the young fellow a chance.
The following day a thick curtain was put into place and both artists got to work.
The first artist brought in a regular supply of paint, oil, water etc. The second one would come with a cloth and a bucket of water every day.
After a month, the first artist told the king that his work was complete and he would like to show it to the king. The king sent for the second artist and asked him, "Young man, when will your work be ready? I am coming to see the first wall this evening." The man said, "My Lord, my wall is ready too!"
The king went to see the first artist's wall. He was very, very impressed with the painting and gave a hefty sum as a reward to the artist. He then asked for the curtain to be opened up. The same painting was to be seen on the opposite wall too! Amazing! But true! Each line, each minor detail was exactly as it was on the first wall. But this man had not been seeing what was going on, on the other side of the curtain. So how had he done it?
The king wanted to know the secret. He gave a double reward to the fellow. Then he said, "Young man, I am indeed very happy with your work. But you must tell me; how did you do it?"
The man said simply, "It's very easy! I just polished the wall every day! It was a wall made of white marble! I polished it till it shone like a mirror. The reflection of the painting across the room showed up in it!"
That is what it means to polish or cleanse ourselves.
For when we polish our hearts and souls, we see guru and Krishna's reflection within.