As a wild teenager intent on finding a way out of angst, I read a reassuring eastern tale of wisdom…here’s my impromptu version of it:
A great King had a favorite Minister upon whose sage advice he strongly relied. One day while fencing the monarch happened to slice off his little finger. He complained about the throbbing pain to the Minister—who replied that the King should learn to accept that everything happens for the best. The King flew into a mighty rage. “Oh, so everything happens for the best, does it?” he shrieked. “Well then, let’s put you into a stinking dungeon and see how you feel about that!”
Hurt by his friend’s callous attitude, and seeking distraction from his physical pain, the King summoned his guardsmen and took off to hunt in the forest. He shot furiously ahead on his magnificent charger—so far ahead that when evening came he found himself alone in unfamiliar jungle. He yelled for help until his royal throat was sore, to no avail. Finally he made himself a bed of leaves and laid down to rest.
In the middle of the night, he smelt the rank fur of a beast and woke in terror to find a lioness hovering over his body. She sniffed all the way down his body as the monarch lay paralyzed with terror, wondering when she would begin to tear him from limb to limb. But when the beast came to his little finger, which was bloody and festering since the bandage had fallen off in his mad race, she turned her nose up in disgust and stalked off. The King scrambled up the tree and shivered there until dawn broke before charging back to the Palace.
Ordering his guards to bring the Minister to him, the King then spilled every detail of the miracle he had experienced. “You’re right, my friend,” he admitted. “Everything does happen for the best. The Queen of the Jungle didn’t want to pollute herself with bad meat, you see, so had I not sliced off that bit of finger, I’d be in her belly right now .” A gleam leaped into the royal eye. “But tell me, wise one,” he said, “how does this maxim apply to the fact that you had an awful night?”
“Well, your Majesty,” said the Minister, “had I been with you, I would have ridden by your side as usual. We would have gotten lost together and fallen asleep beside each other. The lioness would have rejected you, but she’d have taken me off to feast upon, because I have no wounds. You see? Everything does happen for the best.”
Whereupon the King plastered his friend’s face with wet royal kisses and all was once again well in that glittering Palace.
* * * * * *
While many might disagree with this seemingly naïve statement—that everything happens for the best—to me it is a mystical truth that has helped me move forward. To the eastern philosopher, this lifetime is but one of an infinite series of lives we have lived in myriad forms—so even that which does not make sense to us right now, has its roots in the past.
Seekers of freedom eventually learn that only surrender to a higher power (to followers of Advaita, this would be the Self) can lead us out of the bewildering maze of relative reality. Gradually one learns to take all that comes with equanimity, for having plunged deep into both relative and absolute investigation, we are aware that, witnessed by the omniscient eye, everything does happen for the best.
My life has been a tumultuous one: the death of many beloveds, intense emotional and physical suffering, financial loss, and being misunderstood by those baffled by my unusual path. But here I AM, intent on becoming fully the light that I AM—so for me, yes, everything has happened for the best.
Greetings from mighty Arunachala, Shiva in the form of a mountain, whose promise is to help the committed seeker to destroy the limiting cage of I, me and mine, so we can know ourselves as the radiant Self!
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I loved this Mira. I’ve always lived with thoughts that everything happens for a reason. I’m glad to know I’m at least on the right path. 🙂 ❤
I didn’t realize this until much later in my life, Debbie, and as a result I suffered madly. Yes, it is wonderful to get the fundamentals right, and then the superstructure is solid, much love, Mira
Yes Mira..thanks for this…I Strongly know that everything has a reason and believe you me the great creator has committed no treason !
Even a stone (Supposedly dead) comes to life in the hands of the Geologist and that Stone has a purpose and reason to be where it is and how it is .
A pinch of soil is actually amazing as it is soil that gives us everything in life .
If not for the soil or the tiny bees we would be as good as dead !
You are a poet, Joe Britto! Much love!
Hi Mira, no matter what I do, I am no longer able to find your reblog button.
Harsh, don’t know what to say because it is visible on my page – perhaps you could try another computer? What worked the last time is that you clicked on the title of the post again, or the link, can’t remember, and then you saw it. Also, you have to go to the complete post on my blog page to do this, which I suppose you are already doing. I hope it works!!! Much love from Arunachala, Harsh!
Mira, it was the ad blocker!! When I disabled it, all of a sudden, I am able to reblog your posts again! Thanks.
That’s a great story Mira thank you … I’m unsure though that this would apply to parents whose son or daughter was killed in a car crash, or to survivors of a tsunami, or to the friends/relatives of those who were murdered .. the Lord giveth with the right and taketh with the left..
Have a lovely weekend xxxx and GOOD LUCK with the release today of your new novel 🙂 xxxx
It won’t make sense or comfort anyone who does not have an eastern view, Susan, you are right – but it has helped me greatly with the deaths of two brothers, my parents, a godmother, and other close beings who all died on me. It didn’t help me during the time, but much later, when I was forced to find solace in the old teachings. In eastern terms, our spirit is already immortal – we take form to finish a task, and when that is done, we go. Simple as that – and yet our attachment to each other will not allow us to easily accept this. Finally, this does not mean that we do not allow ourselves to grieve – for we are human. Just that we pass through the process and begin to heal with higher wisdom. Again, not for everyone. Much love and thanks for the good wishes – Mira
On my phone at work so will be quick – it is true that down the line one can go hopefully through the grief and then let go of the attachment to it. One would be changed, profoundly through such an experience. No doubt to continue to wonder at all that life holds. Sometimes there is no reason for why eg bad things happen to good people – xxxx much love to you.
Reblogged this on Luthar.com and commented:
From the yogini mystic Mira Prabhu at Arunachala.
Harsh, so kind to pay me such great compliments but truly, I blush, because I don’t deserve them…just another flawed human being trying to do her best. Much love!
Superb allegory, Mira. When you spoke of surrender being the only vehicle that “can lead us out of the bewildering maze of relative reality,” I thought of John Denver’s song, Sweet Surrender. Whenever I listen to it, I dissolve into nothingness, into oneness. And that is a blissful place to be ❤
Yes, surrender (saranagati in Sanskrit or Tamil, can’t remember which) was a hard one for me…and I still work on it every single day. What a relief!!! To be able to give over all our burdens to a higher power that makes its presence felt more and more, the more we reach out. And the reaching out is on the inside, isn’t that amazing? Should be “reaching in”. Sweet Surrender indeed!
Yes, Mira… I have heard this story as well. and marvel at its profound wisdom. Whenever we face hard times, we want to run in order to avoid the pain they bring. It is not immediately apparent what the lesson is for our ego to learn, but if we stay the course, there is always a benefit. As Swamiji used to point out, gold can only be refined by fire.
Yes, pain is our teacher…I ran away from it all my life until it caught up with me and forced me to a major confrontation…and now the skirmishes with it are less and less because I see it as “guru”. Much love, Dave!
Thanks Mira .
Welcome, Jitendra. Did you know that KRISHNA’S COUNSEL is now available as a print book on Amazon.com? You told me you were waiting for that since you don’t care to read on Kindle. The blog home page gives all the details. Much love, Mira