Our Palace, Our Choice.

A noble King was getting older. He was worried about his kingdom and his successor. He had three sons, and was not able to decide whether he should make his eldest son his successor. As the days were passing by, his anxiety was growing. King consulted a wise man to whom he would always go for unbiased and candid opinions. The wise man suggested to decide based on merits of the princes rather than selecting based on seniority. He suggested a test to the King that may help decide which of the three Princes was worthy of the crown.

One morning the King called his sons and gave them 100 coins each. He said, “My dear sons, I am going on pilgrimage for a month. The day I return, I will come to each of your palaces. I want you to fill your homes corner-to-corner with anything you think right with this money.” King then left on his chariot.

All brothers looked at each other with anticipation and went back to their palaces with the coins.

The eldest son had a murky smile on his face and thought of what he could buy with this meager amount which would fill up his palace. He was disappointed in his father, the King’s miserly gesture. He thought of somehow multiplying this amount quickly, so he went to the gambling house, lost all the 100 coins plus all his savings. His palace remained empty and devoid of any possibilities.

The second son also thought that 100 coins were not enough to fill every corner of his palace. The only thing he thought could be bought from these coins in large quantities would be the garbage of the town. He mentally argued that his father only expected the palace to be filled completely and there was no other expectation. He was happy that he could fulfill the terms of the challenge.

The youngest son went to the market and bought clay lamps, oil, cotton, incense sticks. On his way back, he went to the Royal garden and plucked some flowers. He came home and lit lamps at the entrance, inside the rooms, on the stairs, and in the balcony. He also made floral bouquets for each room, and toran for all the entrances and doors of the palace. He decorated the entire mansion with flowers. This he continued doing for the entire month.

The King returned and went staright to his eldest son’s palace. His son received him at the door of the palace that was empty. King was disappointed. As he reached near the palace of his middle son, he could feel a dirty stink and was nauseated. He stopped and asked his minister what was wrong. The minister explained that his son filled the palace with the garbage of the town. King did not even enter the palace.

By the time the King came to the youngest son’s palace it was twilight and the Sun was setting on the horizon. He felt a divine tranquility and fragrance in the air. The palace was beautifully lit. As he entered, his son touched his feet and placed the balance coins in his hands. King was surprised and looked at his son with curious eyes. The son explained that these were the balance coins that were remaining from those 100 coins. The rest were spent on the lamps, oil and flowers. King was very happy and proud as he could see that each and every corner of his youngest son’s palace was filled with light and fragrance.

Consequently, he made his youngest and most deserving son the Heir to his throne and kingdom.

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Don’t allow money to use you:

“You become really human only when you start moving in the inner direction of possessing yourself. It can happen only through meditation. Money and meditation are the two directions. If you want to possess things — money; if you want to possess yourself — meditation. And if you possess yourself, money loses all meaning. I am not saying that you will renounce money, I am not saying that you will not earn money, but it loses all meaning. Then it is fun, then it is a utility; then you earn and you spend, then you are not a miser; then it is a good medium of exchange — very helpful, but nothing more. It is not your soul, it is not your god.

Ordinarily money seems to be the only god in the world. People look on money as they look on God: they pray to it.

When you possess yourself, you USE money, you don’t allow money to use you. So this is just indicative of your becoming a little alert. Everybody is deeply interested in material things, but when you become a little alert then you recognize the fact: Why am I so interested in things? A good indication, a good symbol, is that you have become alert about it. Through this alertness you will start turning inwards.

Recognize the fact that you are empty… and immediately the idea will arise — Then what am I to do? Go into this emptiness. It cannot be filled by anything from the outside. If you go in, it can be filled. If you reach to your centre of being, it will be full. And that is real fullness. Then you are an Emperor — outwardly you may be just a beggar. Then you are really rich, and the richness is such that nobody can take it away from you. Even death cannot separate you from your richness.

You carry this wealth as a treasure in your being, but you have not looked there. Start looking inside, search your house. Take a small candle of meditation and go in.”

Osho, Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, Ch 14, Q 6

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Swami Sri. Gaur Gopal Das of ISKCON once said an interesting thing. He said if Life is between two significant ends of Birth and Death and if in these alphabet of life B…C…D, if “B” is birth and “D” is death then there is an alphabet “C” in between. That C is the CHOICES that we are making to fill up the gap between birth and death.

Every morning we get 86,400 seconds to spend (24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds) to fill up our palace of the day, and eventually of our lives. We have the option, like the three princes, to act. How we choose to spend those precious moments is our ‘Choice’.

The fragrance and light that are emitted because of the choices we make will light our palace of Life. — HAPPY DEEPAVALI !!!

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ले दे के अपने पास फकत एक नज़र तो है,
क्यों देखें ज़िन्दगी को किसि की निग़ाह से?

Le de ke apane paas fakat ek Nazar to hai,
Kyon dekhen zindagi ki kisi ki nigah se?

When I have my own point of view
why should I see the life from else’s eye.

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