An Old Story! But thought of sharing it here nevertheless. Scroll down for a wonderful pictorial representation of the same, with a heartfelt thanks to the original author on behalf of all the readers here (originally read it in Kannada . I read it recently in a magazine and decided to translate it to share it here. Here it goes…
Once upon a time, there lived a king who had four wives.
He adored his fourth queen so much that he always used to gift her with loads of ornaments and other such adornments. She was inseparable from the king and a perpetual accompaniment wherever he went.
He also loved his third wife a lot – he guarded her richness and grandeur against the evil eyes of then neighboring kings and others
He loved his second wife so much that he shared all his thoughts specially with her. But unfortunately he never loved his first queen – he ignored her very presence and enjoyed with the other queens.
Days passed by and one day it so happened that the king fell terribly sick and the best of the physicians in the kingdom and the world could find a cure. It was certain that he was staring at his end and he was on his final days.
He calls his fourth queen over and sadly says “Look, I am on my deathbed and will leave this world anytime now. When I was hale and hearty, I used to take you everywhere that I went. Will you accompany me when I leave to the other world?” To his utter shock, the Queen refused to do so and made it abundantly clear that it was unreasonable for the king to expect this and she would not like to give up her life for him. Though shocked, he did not lose hope, he calls his third queen and poses the same question to her. The shock was greater, she refuses to accompany him and moreover she replied that she would remarry after his death and continue to lead a happy life. The king was crestfallen at this outrageous reply from his dearest queens but again rests his hopes on the second queen. He looks at her and she pretends to be sympathetic to him and replies, “O dear, when you die, I cannot accompany you” and justifies this decision saying, “your last rites will be performed as per the scriptures and I will take the responsibility to ensure this”
The king realized the reality at this fag end of his life. He realized the bitter truth that no one would accompany him nor would be available during his final days. While he was brooding over this fact, his first wife says, “O sweetheart, I am with you wherever you go. Dont you worry that you will have to make this last journey alone” The king was surprised and then realized that she was the true wife who loved him for what he was – not his riches not even his health. But his regret was that it was too late to make amends and shower her with his love.
Yes…like this king, we all have four wives.
The fourth wife is our body. A physical commodity that burns into ashes or disintegrates back to the earth at the end. The third wife is the wealth that we earn which would be shared and become property of others after our death. The Second wife is the relatives and friends who can only remain with us till the cemetery or crematorium. The First wife is the one which remains in our heart, the Paramatman, the Divine or God, which remains with us in all our births and rebirths. It saves us from grief at the later stages if we adopt our spiritual practices and be devoted to the divine during our younger years.