A question to you sir

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Once upon a time there was an ancient Indian King who had been obsessed with the desire to find the meaning of peace. Three questions haunted his mind day in and day out, three questions- what is peace, how do we find it and once found what should we do with it? Intellectuals in his kingdom were invited to answer the King's questions for a handsome reward. Many tried, but none could truly explain the answers to the questions. At last someone said to the King that there’s only one person who could know the rightful answers to his questions, and the person was a sage who lived just outside the borders of his Kingdom.

"He is an old man and very wise," the King was told. "If anyone can answer your questions he can."

And hence, the King went to the sage and posed the eternal question. Without a word the sage went into the kitchen, and brought a grain of wheat to the King. "In this you will find the answer to your question," the Sage said as he placed the grain of wheat in the King's outstretched palm.

Puzzled but unwilling to admit his ignorance the King clutched the grain of wheat and returned to his palace. He locked the precious grain in a tiny gold box and placed the box in his safe. Each morning, upon waking, the King would open the box and look at the grain to seek an answer but could find nothing.

Weeks later, not being able to hold his angst any longer the King called upon the sage to his palace to resolve his dilemma. The sage came to the palace. The King said to the sage,

"Every morning when I wake up I would open my gold box and watch the grain of wheat, all the while looking for an answer. But to my surprise till date I have found nothing."

The Sage smiled.

"It is quite simple, your honour. Just as this grain represents nourishment for the body, peace represents nourishment for the soul. Now, if you keep this grain locked up in a gold box it will eventually perish, without providing nourishment or multiplying. However, if it is allowed to interact with the elements - light, water, air, soil - it will flourish, multiply, and soon you would have a whole field of wheat which will nourish not only you but so many others. This is the meaning of peace your honour. It must nourish your soul and the souls of others, and thus it must multiply by interacting with the elements."

Now my question is, do you know your elements? Alas I don’t have a sage to ask this.


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