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The Wise Sage


When a wise sage came to know about the king, he came to meet him. The king explained his plight. He asked the sage that he was ready to do anything in order to be happy. The sage asked him – are you sure that you are willing to make any sacrifice in order to obtain happiness? The king replied that if he found happiness, he was ready to make any kind of sacrifice. The story of king’s life was the pursuit of happiness and he was ready to pay the price.

The sage then explained that happiness was not in possessions. He should give up all his wealth and then he would be happy. The king was desperate and expressed his willingness to do anything the sage advised. The sage asked the king to gather all his valuables – gold, silver, and jewels. The king collected all the valuables that he possessed and put it in a large sack and brought it to the sage.

The sage wanted to test the king’s resolve one more time. So he asked are you sure that these are all the valuables you have? The king replied that he had the land and the palaces but he was ready to leave them behind. But he had put all his valuables in the sack. The king asks the sage – what should I do now? The sage says – close your eyes for a minute. The king obeys.

As soon as the king closes his eyes, the sage picks up the sack of gold and jewellery and starts running. When the king realises what had just happened, his feelings changed from that of unhappiness to anger. The sage had cheated him. He probably wasn’t even a sage, but a charlatan.

The king chases the sage. The sage ran into the narrow alleys and the king kept chasing him. The sage was fast, but the king was also a trained and fit warrior. After running around the town for about an hour, the king finally caught the sage. He said – “You scoundrel! You are not a sage nor a charlatan. You just wanted to steal my wealth. You didn’t come to teach me happiness, you came here to steal my wealth.”

The sage asked – are you happy that you got your possessions back from the cheating sage? The king replied – yes! The sage says – Don’t you see it? – I just gave you the formula for happiness! Just about an hour ago – you had all your wealth – the silver, the gold, and the jewels. But you were unhappy. Then I took them away from you. Now you have them back and you are happy!

Where did the happiness come from? Did it come from the wealth? Or did it come from inside of you? The king realises that the sage had done all this to teach him a lesson in happiness. He respectfully bowed at the sage’s feet and thanked him for the lesson.

That is the story of pursuit of happiness!


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