The Golden Ring

Returned back from a very brief sojourn to Chennai – sweltering heat and profuse sweating pretty much describes the trip. Someone approached me for my opinion on the course to pursue (this person was at career crossroads) and it set me thinking. Seeking advice is such a serious business of late, since there seem to be no dearth for people who ask for and dish out advices.

Should someone’s opinion about us matter too much to us? Shouldn’t we apply some discrimination in taking advices or opinions and act accordingly? Why live life to someone else’s standards, especially if they don’t qualify to be your counsel in the first place? Let us be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, and those you love…today, and every day!

Reminded me of a story that a senior teacher and Disciple of His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar ji Founder of Art of Living (you can follow Him on Twitter here :!/SriSriSpeaks )

Read on….

A school boy went to see his teacher to talk about a problem that was troubling him.

“Everyone says I am good for nothing” he complained. “No one believes that I will ever achieve everything. They think I am stupid and lazy. How can I become a better person? What do I have to do for people to appreciate me?”

Without looking at him, the teacher answered “I am sorry, lad, but at the moment I have problem of my own that is occupying my mind, so I can’t help you” he paused and then continued, “But perhaps if you first help me to solve my own problem I could look at how to help you with yours.”

“Of course, Sir” said the boy. But inside he felt let down and small.

The teacher took a gold ring off his little finger and held it up saying, Take your horse and go to the market. There you must sell this ring for me as I need the money to repay a debt. Obviously you must get the best price you can, but whatever you do, don’t accept less than one gold coin for it. Go, and come back with the money as fast as you can.”

The boy took the ring and left. When he arrived at the market, he started to show it to the stallholders. They seemed very interested and were keen to know how much the young boy wanted for it. But when he started to talk about a gold coin, some of them felt about laughing while others just walked off without a backwards glance.

Only one old man was kind enough to explain to him that a gold coin was too much too much to ask for an old ring. Trying to help the young boy, he offered him a bronze coin for it, and then a silver coin. But following the instructions of his teacher not to let it go for less than one gold coin, the boy refused all offers.

After having approached every stallholder and passer-by in the market without success, feeling extremely downhearted at his failure, he got back on his horse and returned to his teacher. How he wished that he had a gold coin himself that he could use to buy the ring, thus freeing the teacher of debt so that he in turn could help him with his own problem!

He went up to his teacher and said, ”I am sorry, Sir, I have failed to achieve what you asked of me. I could have got two or three silver coins for it, but I believe that we can’t mislead anyone about the value of this ring.”

“What you say is very important” replied the professor with a smile. ”First of all we have to find out the real value of this ring. Get back on your horse and take it to the jeweler. Who else can know its value better than he? But whatever he offers you for it, don’t sell it to him. Come back to me with my ring.”

The boy went and to find the jeweler and held out the ring to him to examine. The jeweler scrutinized it through his magnifying glass, weighed it, and said “Tell your teacher that if he wants to sell it today I can only give him 58 gold coins for it.”

“58 gold coins!” exclaimed the boy.

“Yes. And in a while I might be able to give him 70, but if it’s an urgent sale…”

The boy ran back to his teacher in a state of excitement to relate what had happened.

“Sit down” said the teacher. After having listened to the child’ story, he said, “You are like this band of gold; a unique jewel of immense value?” So saying, he put his ring back on his little finger.

The student then realized, a lot of them who adversely commented on this guy were like a stall holder who aren’t qualified enough to realize his worth. It also was an eye-opener in the sense that he realized the importance of seeking guidance or opinion from the right person – teacher was the jeweler who realized his potential which was that of a gold band.
The point to note, never go for an advise when you are too anxious as some researcher points out as a result of his study. When you are deep in the well, you cannot have a proper perspective of possible solutions to extricate yourselves out of that situation. Approach someone who generally has no stake in the solution but understands you well (but make sure he is the jeweller and not a stall hold

Remember a solution is not necessarily a stress reliever. You would end up with more than one solution as a result of this advises received. Helps to Sleep over it for a while – As the chinese proverb goes – When confused, take a pillow and go to bed.

Fill The Room


A story that I heard from a Senior Acharya of  Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankarji (Follow Him on @SriSri on Twitter)  – combination of imagination, compassion and morals. Enjoy!!!

There lived a businessman in the city. Everything was working for him. A great family – nice wife and three sons. Wife very loyal and caring to the core. Sons were dutiful, good at studies and very good assistants. Business was at its flourishing best. He was very active socially and was an acknowledged Philanthropist. No one went away from his doors without a dose of his hospitality and large-heartedness. There was nothing lacking in his life so to say.

But as the wise men asserted, nothing lasts forever good or bad times. He fell sick and his doctor told him that he was suffering from an incurable disease and the only way left for him was towards the Heaven (of course, that was the way the arrow pointed for his last journey – remember he always did a good turn to the society at large) . He accepted his fate and preapred for this journey. His only reason for worry was his business. He was pensive as to which of his sons could take best care of his business. He then thought of a nice little test

He called all his sons to his room, one day and gave them 100 rupees each. Asked them to go to the marketplace and buy something that could fill this room. The condition was that no money should be added to this and also that they had time only till sunset.

The first son returned by evening with a bundle of hay and spread it out. It covered two walls of the room and the old man was quite happy. Expectantly looked out for the next son to come in. 

The second son dragged in two huge sacks of Cotton, opened it and spread it out. Wow…it covered 3 walls of the room. Old man’s joy knew no bounds.

The last son came in almost empty handed and the old man totally taken aback asked him what he brought. The son replied, “Father, I fed a poor hungry child with a part of the money, a part of it I dropped it as offering in the temple that is being built and I was left with a rupee. I bought a tiny candle and saying so he lit it. 

All the four walls were now covered and the whole room was filled with the light from this tiny candle.

Let’s resolve to make service to the society and compassion a part of our nature and light up our inner walls. Whatever sense of despair we feel at happenings around us, We can be that Candle that can dispel darkness of the society. We can Light up and feel Light. Remember Angels can fly only because they live their lives light

Asatoma Satgamaya
Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya
Mrutyorma Amruthamgamaya
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih