There is Always Something Good …
There was once a king whose advisor had a habit of saying: there is always something good in whatever happens. Whether someone gave him good news or bad news, his response was always the same. The king was very fond of his advisor, but this habit really annoyed the king. Out of respect for his elderly friend, he usually just ignored it. Until one day, the king cut his finger on a piece of glass. It was quite a serious injury and the king was in a lot of pain.
Later that day, when his advisor came to visit him to discuss a hunting trip that they were taking the next day, he saw the bandaged finger and asked the king what happened. When the king related the story, the advisor repeated his favourite phrase: there is always something good in whatever happens.
Now since the king was in a lot of pain, the comment made him more furious than usual. His finger was throbbing and again this irritating man was telling him that this was a good thing! To teach him a lesson, he called his guards and told them to take the advisor to the castle prison and leave him there.
Now, not only would his trusted friend miss the hunting trip, he would also be sitting alone in this cold dark cell for two whole nights. The king thought, “Now let him say: there is always something good in whatever happens.”
The next day, the king left for his hunting trip with his entire entourage. Along the way, however, his party was overtaken by local inhabitants, who did not know who the king was. Out of nowhere these assailants appeared, threatening all the king’s men. Out of fear, everyone scattered around and disappeared, leaving the king, who was eventually captured.
At this point, the king felt very disappointed about how his so-called defenders had abandoned him, and then he remembered his friend and trusted advisor locked up in the castle. He thought to himself, had I brought him, he would have defended me and would have never abandoned me. Anyway, the captors surrounded the king, bound his hands and feet and carried him to their temple, intending to offer him as a religious sacrifice.
They began decorating him with coloured dyes, as was part of the ritual, and that was when they noticed the king’s bandaged finger. One of the men unwrapped the cloth and inspected the cut and then yelled out something that made everyone stop the preparations.
Apparently, it was considered disrespectful to offer ‘imperfection’ to the gods. So the kidnappers irritably put down their instruments and released the king. The king, of course, ran as fast as he could and eventually made it back to his castle.
While he was recovering from this traumatic episode, the king remembered his friend and trusted advisor and felt terrible. He realized that the cut on his finger was what saved his life and that his advisor was right in saying there is always something good in whatever happens. He pondered on his actions and deeply regretted what he had done.
The king ran down to the cell feeling great remorse. He told the guards to release his friend immediately and then told him the whole story. He said, “I was so wrong and you were so right. There is always something good in whatever happens. If it wasn’t for the cut on my finger I would be a pile of ashes right now. Please, can you ever forgive me for locking you up in this terrible place?”
The advisor thought for a moment and then said to the king again, “There is always something good in whatever happens.”
The king was shocked. “How can you say that? For no reason, I locked you up in this awful place. If you had been with me on the hunt, you would not have abandoned me like the others, and I wouldn’t have had to go through that whole ordeal.”
“Yes, my king,” the advisor agreed. “I would surely have been by your side. But remember, I do not have a cut on my finger. Had I been with you, I would have been the ‘perfect’ sacrifice. They would have offered me to the gods and I would be a pile of ashes right now.”
Whatever happens is for our ultimate good although at times it appears antagonistic, to our calculations. We are ignorant of our past karma, but the Master knows. So the whole thing reduces to this, that we should do the spiritual practice as we have been asked to by the Master and do our worldly duties with our ordinary wisdom, but never care for the result. Do your duty and expect nothing – leave the results to the Master.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Dawn of Light