I am sharing two of my all-time favorite fables. Both the stories are very simple but hold very important truths of life.
The first story is about a poor Brahman, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, living in a remote village. Once he was invited to perform some rituals in a far away place. It was summers and the stretch leading to the destination was pretty rough making it really difficult for this poor Brahman to walk on especially in such scorching heat with no footwear on.
Just then, as the fable goes, Lord Shiva’s wife Parvatiji’s eyes fell on this poor Brahman and out of compassion, she asked her husband to shower some wealth on his poor devotee to mitigate the hardship he was facing. Lord Shiva smiled and informed his wife that this man is not destined to prosper and his fate in his present life is to remain poor. He, however, assured Parvatiji that the well-being of his devotee would be taken care of. Not quite convinced, Parvatiji decides to help this poor man out herself and drops a small bag of gold coins on his way a few yards away.
Down there, at that very moment, a thought struck the mind of this poor Brahman. He wondered when he was having such trouble walking this stretch, how much trouble would a blind person have, had he been made to walk on such rough surface. To live through the trouble of a blind man, he instantly closed his eyes and continued walking his way thereby missing the bag of gold coins Parvatiji had dropped on his path.
The story tells us that the destiny is too powerful to be altered even by the God himself. In the story, Parvatiji tried to change the fate of the poor Brahman by dropping gold coins on his way but could not succeed.
The story further suggests that the ‘suffering’ is a state of mind. The poor Brahman in the story, despite facing such hardships in life, was such a kind hearted person that he, even in his sufferings, thought about the people who were less fortunate than him. Instead of complaining, he was rather grateful that he had two eyes to see the roughness of the surface and able to walk carefully. Thus, he was content with whatever he had in life and being content is more important in life than being wealthy because wealthiness doesn’t necessarily bring contentment we crave for all our life. Parvatiji saw the suffering of this poor Brahman, but Lord Shiva saw the contentment inside.