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What shall I carry?

india Updated: Sep 08, 2010 01:39 IST
A K Bhargava
A K Bhargava
Hindustan Times
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In our childhood, whenever we were to go on holidays, it was important for us to select what we were going to take. We used to make it a point that we didn't miss anything important. The same applies to the journey of life. But hardly anyone cares what he is going to carry with him when he goes to face the Lord.

My father used to tell us an interesting story about a king and a saint. The king lured the saint in many ways to enjoy wealth and fame but the saint was indifferent. The king called him a fool and gave him a silver staff and asked him to pass it on to someone who is a bigger fool than him. The saint tried his best to locate someone who may fit the king's requirement but could not find any. In the end he returned to the king.

The king at that time was seriously ill and about to die. The saint went to him and asked why was he lying like that. The king said, "I am about to leave." Saint asked "Where are you going?" King answered "I don't know."

The saint then asked the king questions as to how he was going, who is going with him, the mode of transport and when will he be back etc. The king had no answer. The saint finally asked the king that he must be carrying his wealth with him which he had been collecting, to which the king said that he cannot carry. Then the saint asked him what was it that he was carrying with him for the last journey.

The king now realised that he had done nothing worthwhile in life; had not sought the company of saints, had not tried to establish any relationship with God, had never read any scriptures, and had never done any good deed that he could carry with him.