Most times, I share my wisdom with you as the Guru, but today I am proud to share the wisdom and deep reflections of one of my students Mr. Vijay Nagpal. Recently, he shared a story with me called Finding the Joy Within which includes his insights and life lessons at the end for us all to reflect and consider. Enjoy the story…
It was an important day at the Gurukul. Many students had completed their education and were bringing a gift, known as Guru Dakshina, to the Guru, before leaving to make their way in the world. One student, from a poor family, had nothing to give. Tearful, he approached the Guru, saying: “You have given me everything- an education, a map for my life, but I have nothing to give you.”
The Guru looked at him kindly and said: “Your tears and your understanding of what you have gained here are your Guru Dakshina to me.” The boy asked that when he returned in the future with a suitable gift, the Guru would accept it.
After leaving the Gurukul the boy visited a friend in a nearby Kingdom. Noticing his visitor seemed troubled, the friend asked what was upsetting him. The boy explained his dilemma, that he had left without giving a Guru Dakshina to his Guru. When asked what he wished he could give, the boy replied: “At least five gold coins.” The friend told him not to worry. The kingdom he lived in had enormous wealth, nobody wanted for anything. Indeed, the king had announced that every morning he takes a walk in his garden, and anyone is welcome to come and make their case for what they need, and he will help them. Nobody had ever asked for anything as they were all happy and well provided for.
The following morning the boy went to meet the king on his walk and asked him for his help. The king told him to think about what he needed and then stop him as he walked around the garden. The boy started thinking: “Why ask for only five gold coins? I will ask for five hundred.” As the king passed by he asked the boy if he had decided, and the boy said he would take more time to think. The more he thought, the more he wanted, so that by the time he stopped the king, he asked for his complete kingdom, including the royal attire he was wearing.
The king looked at the sky and thanked God that the person he had been looking for had appeared today. He told the boy he wanted to take one more walk around the garden, and the boy should think if there was anything else. As the king headed off on his walk, the boy started thinking about why the king was so ready to give him everything, wealth, a kingdom and all the trappings. Was the king setting a trap for him? He finally connected to his inner wisdom and realised that although the king appeared to have everything it had not brought inner happiness. It had become a burden. He thought: “I came to ask for only five gold coins, but my mind led me down the wrong path.”
He left, asking for nothing.
Life Lessons to consider
How much do you need in life? The gathering of material wealth can become a distraction that consumes the mind. Happiness and inner peace are not commodities you can buy, you only find them within
Do a self-audit of all that you have in your life. What things and parts of your life bring you happiness? Do you take time to feel the happiness in the small joys life brings with God’s grace every day — a child laughing, an unexpected meeting with a friend, a glorious sunset?
Practice gratitude for the blessings in life.
Don’t compare what you have with others. Do you have enough to meet your own needs? Comparing leads to negative thinking, disturbing the chemicals in the body.
The answers to all your questions are within you — enjoy the journey of self-discovery
The next time you walk around your garden, think about the earth beneath your feet. The earth beneath your feet is mixed with the dreams of all those gone before you, all turned to ashes, as you will also.