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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

The boon from the goddess of good fortune

A classic parable explains how affection and loyalty among people is the best kind of good fortune

health-and-fitness Updated: Dec 31, 2016 21:42 IST
Renuka Narayanan
Renuka Narayanan
Hindustan Times
Love among members is the best fortune that a family can have.
Love among members is the best fortune that a family can have.(Shutterstock)

Happy New Year, may 2017 make us glad. This classic parable shared last week by a friend is a good wish to all.

One day, the goddess of good fortune appeared to a man in a dream while he dozed in the afternoon. “I’ve been here a long time and I’m leaving now,” she said. “Don’t go, Mother” begged the man, “Whatever we have is by your favour. As you know, I’m the head of my household. My three sons live here and my youngest son has just brought his bride home. It won’t look good, will it, if you leave now?”

“It’s not her fault. It has entirely to do with you as the head of your house,” corrected the goddess. “But I’ve prayed to you every day since my mother taught me my first prayers,” pleaded the man. “Yes. That’s why I’ve bothered to let you know,” said the goddess, amused. The man realised his error at once. “I’m sorry, Mother. How greedy I sound. I have seen seventy autumns by your grace and I thank you for all the good things that have come to me. But naturally I want my family to have your blessing, too” he said humbly.

“It can’t be gold every time. But I have other kinds of good fortune to give. I’ll let you have one of those,” said the goddess. “Please bless my family with loving-kindness, then” he found himself saying and promptly wondered if he had got it right. But the goddess cast a pleased look at him. “Ah, so you do understand me after all. You’ll always have me now” she smiled.

The man woke up from his dream and thought it over carefully. The goddess had made it clear that it was a boon granted to him. It was up to him to make it work.

That day, the new bride was put in charge of making dal for the evening meal. In her nervousness, she had previously under-salted the vegetables and this time she over-salted the dal. Thinking it would be under-salted the senior daughters-in-law quietly added an extra pinch each. As always, the first thali of food was taken to the head of the household, who finished his meal without comment. Soon after, the eldest son came home from work. When he was given his dinner and tasted the dal, he asked his wife, “Has Father eaten?” “Of course,” she said, surprised. “Did he say anything?” asked the eldest son. “Why, nothing,” said his wife. And so the eldest son said nothing either. This happened twice over with his brothers. Following their father’s example, none of the men said a word. It was only when the women sat down to eat, that they realized that the dal was terribly over-salted. Touched and pleased by the tact of the men, the women repaid them with genuine goodwill. The family grew so rich in affection and loyalty that it counted itself as greatly fortunate through all its ups and downs; and the man thanked the goddess heartily for letting him understand her and pass on her boon.

(Views expressed are personal)

First Published: Dec 31, 2016 21:42 IST

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