A cut on the finger

One should develop the attitude of the minister in this story… who remained wise even when confronted with a problem…

“People are Wise before they meet the problem,

They are Wise after they meet the problem,

But while they are in the midst of the problem, they are OtherWise.”

                                                                                                            – Swami Mitrananda

Once a King and his Minister went quite deep into the forest hunting and were on their way back to the palace. Since they were tired they were riding slowly over a chat. The minister had a very positive outlook towards life and was a firm believer of the concept “everything that happens in our life is for our own good”. Lost in the conversation, they missed the way and went further deep into the forest into newer areas.

Suddenly the King’s horse tripped and fell causing a cut on the King’s finger. The wound was deep and it started bleeding profusely.

The minister while dressing the wound said, “Oh King! All that happens is for our own good. There is no need to worry.”

The King was outraged and pushed the minister into a well near by, blocked its way back to the top and started heading back. Suddenly a group of tribals attack the king and take him into custody to feast their deity. Back in their village, on close examination that noticed the cut on the King’s finger. Since they cannot feast the deity with a wounded person, they let the King go.

On the way back, the King goes to the well where he had imprisoned the minister and help him come out. He narrated his experience with the tribals and said, it was only because of the cut wound I was spared. He then inquired, “my cut wound had saved me from the tribals, but what benefit was it to you to have got imprisoned in the well?” For which the minister smiled and replied, “had I been with you, the tribals would have let you go and instead killed me to feast their deity. So it was safer for me to be in the well than to be with you”.

This is a story which most of us would have read many times. While I was thinking about the volcano story and mention of joys being momentary… I suddenly remembered this story… Even our so-called failures and sorrows are temporary in nature. To develop eqanimous attitude towards life, to be a SthithaPrajna, we need to develop a holistic view of life – that is the key to maintain balance both during ups and downs in life.

A Semi-active Volcano

Once Swami Mitrananda, President of All India Chinmaya Yuva Kendra visited Jakarta, Indonesia along with some youngsters. While at Jakarta, they visited Bandung – a semi active volcano. Since it was semi active, it was quite safe to get near to that.

They went very close and watched the boiling lava live. They also saw people cooking rice and vegetables in the hot water. This was something unusual which they had never seen earlier and all were very excited. They thoroughly enjoyed the day, took snaps and came back to Jakarta.

While back at Jakarta, they were sharing their experiences with their kith and kin in India through mails, SMSs and calls. Just then a local youngster came in and started conversation with them.

He inquired whether they visited the volcano in the day or in the night.

When they mentioned that they visited it during the day, the guy said… “Ah! what’s there in the day. You should see it in the night. That will be a lifetime experience.”

Gone… all the joy they experienced during the day was gone… simply disappeared… just with a small sentence. Phone calls and SMSs ended.

Yes, such experiences abound day in and day out in our life.

This story was narrated by swamiji, to explain how momentary our joys are… and went on to explain the kind of outlook we need to have to experience permanent happiness and be a SthithaPrajna.

This was shared as part of the lecture series on “Dynamic Transformation” based on Chapter 14 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita

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