This is a Tibetan story which is pretty old, nobody knows who wrote this story. But it is very powerful and can change the way we look at the life.
I found this fascinating and enlightening, and I hope you will too.
Here it goes…
Long ago there was a rich and powerful king who had four wives.
Among his four wives he always adorned the fourth wife with expensive materials and always protected the most from anything harmful, tangible or intangible.
The third wife being very boastful about her beauty and vanity, used to spend a lot of time traveling to other kingdoms. Despite of this king loved her very much.
Second wife was very polite and always helped her husband with his royal duties. She helped his husband to reach the pinnacle of his success. For this reason she was very close to king’s heart.
And finally the first wife, she was kindest of all and always devoted to her husband. Despite of her unconditional love and devotion towards her husband, he never loved her the way he did to other wives. She was neglected and dispossessed of love, but nothing moved her devotion towards her husband.
Time went by, king was sick and he had realized that it’s not long before he will be dead. He was terrified of being alone and soon to be a dead person.
He called his fourth wife and asked, “I always adored you, always adorned you with luxurious clothes, jewelry, and gifts; now that I am dying will you follow me?” She replied, “No, I will never do that.”, and walked away.
Then he asked his third wife and asked, “I loved you all my life, now will you follow me after my death?” “No, I shall never follow you, I have a great life and will certainly remarry.” She replied.
Disenchanted king asked his second wife, “Being kind you helped me and gave counsel whenever I needed, with your care and advice I became a great king. Now when I am dying will you follow me?” “I am very sorry for this time, I can’t help you.” She replied. “But I can make arrangements after your death and will make sure every single man remember your legacy.”
In that grave moment a feeble voice surfaced, “No matter wherever you go, I will follow you.” This was voice of king’s first wife, who was fragile, drenched in distress, singing the song of melancholy. Till that moment the king paid no attention to his first wife, but after that very instant he burst into tears, and he said. “Oh, my dear! Never in entire life I paid any thought towards you, always abandoned you. Now, you’re the one who will save from this miserable demise. I should have taken care of you, when I had the opportunity.” “You don’t have to be sorry.” She replied while weeping.
In reality we all have these four wives and we fail to see the veracity.
Fourth wife is our own physical body, all our life we take care of this and tries to make it look good. Forgetting that it is perishable and it will not be part of our identity after our death. Generally it gets burned, buried, or left to decompose.
Third wife is our wealth, status, and possessions. We all have this, but when we die it holds no meaning to our existence. It gets distributed or destroyed.
Second wife is our family and friends. Throughout our life, we spend our valuable time with our family and friends. They help us to grow and live a good life. But when we die, they can’t make us live again, or help us realize the real substance life.
First wife is our mind and soul; it stays with from the very beginning to the end of our life. But we never pay attention towards these, most of the time we overlook this in the pursuit of attractive physical outer shell, wealth, possession, status, family, and friends. Ended up being an empty shell.
Moral: Live life; take care of your body so that it can help you achieve impressive goals in your life. Do not go frenzy over making money and status. We all need money and certain level of recognition to lead the superior life. Don’t live in the delusion that friends and family will always be there, when you need them. You need to have the strength from within to survive and help others survive sometime. Develop your mental clarity and live the life at its fullest.