Happiness comes from within
A Zen monk visited a small village. The villagers gathered around him and placed their requests before him, `Please help us get rid of our problems; let our desires be fulfilled, and said, only then would our lives be full of joy.’
The monk listened to them, silently. The next day, he arranged for a heavenly voice ..
`Tomorrow at mid-day a miracle is going to take place in this village. Pack all your problems in an imaginary sack, take it across the river and leave it there. Then, in the same imaginary sack, put everything that you want ..gold, jewellery, food .and bring it home! You do this and your desires would materialize.’
The villagers were in doubt, as to whether this oracle was true or not. However the voice from the heaven astounded them. They thought they had nothing to lose by following the instruction. If it were true, then they would really get what they wanted and if it were false, any way, it wasn’t a big deal! So they decided to do what was told.
Next day, at noon, they all packed their troubles in an imaginary sack and went across the river, left it there and brought back all that they thought would bring them happiness ..gold, car, house, jewellery, diamonds .
On their return, they were really stunned! Whatever the oracle had said come true! The man who wanted a car found one parked in front of his house. The one, who wished for a palatial house, found that his house had turned into one. They were all so happy! The joy knew no bounds!
But alas! The joy and celebration lasted for a while. Soon they began to compare themselves with their neighbours each one felt the person next door was happier and richer than himself. Now they began to talk amongst themselves to pry out more details. The next moment they were full of remorse.
`I had asked for a simple chain, while the girl next door had asked for an ornate gold necklace and got it! I just asked for a house but the man residing in the opposite house asked for a mansion. We too should have asked for such things! It was a wonderful opportunity; the chance of a lifetime .we let it slip by, foolishly!’
Such were the thoughts that occupied their minds. Once again they returned to the monk and piled their complaints in front of him. The village was once again plunged into frustration and discontent.