A powerful king, a ruler of many domains, had  many wise men in his service. One day, he felt confused and sought their counsel. 

He said: “I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state. This ring must be one which, when I am unhappy,  will make me joyful, and at the same time, if I am exceedingly happy and look upon it, must make me sad.”

The wise men consulted one another and threw themselves into deep contemplation. Finally they went to a Sufi saint and sought his advice. The Sufi saint had the ring already –  He just took the ring off his finger, gave it to them, and told them, ‘Give it to the king. But tell him there is one condition: only when he feels that now it is impossible to tolerate, then he should open the ring. Hidden underneath the stone is the message, but he should not open it just out of curiosity because then he will miss the message. The message is there, but the right moment in your consciousness is needed to understand it.  Only when everything is lost, and the mind cannot do anything more, the confusion is total, the agony perfect, and you are absolutely helpless, then only should it be opened – and the message will be there.’

The king followed the message. The country went to war, the kingdom was lost, the enemy became victorious. Many moments came when he was just on the verge of taking off the stone and reading the message, but he found that it was still not total: ‘I’m still alive. Even if the kingdom is lost, I can regain it, it can be reconquered.’

He flew out of the kingdom just to save his life. The enemy was following him, his horse died, then he ran on his feet. He was hungry, and thirsty, the enemy was coming closer. And then the path ended, there is no way ahead, just a deep abyss. And the enemy was fast approaching. He couldn’t go back; He couldn’t jump. The abyss was so big, he would die. Now there seemed to be no possibility now, he took the ring, opened it, looked behind the stone. There was a message and the message read ‘This, too, will pass.’

Suddenly everything  relaxed – ‘This, too, will pass.’ And, it happened: the enemy moved in another direction, and he couldn’t hear them. He sat down and rested. And within some days, he collected his armies,  reconquered the country. There was great jubilation and celebration. People were going crazy. They were dancing in the streets, there was much color and light and fireworks. And he felt extremely elated. Suddenly he remembered the ring, opened it, looked into it. It was written there: ‘This, too, will pass.’ And then he relaxed. And it is said that he attained to the perfect wisdom through this message: ‘This, too, will pass.’ ☺️

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Divya Pai

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