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Would you swap your sorrows?

The feeling that others are happier is due to the seeds of desire and discontent in our minds, writes AK Bhargava.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 17:11 IST

Joshua Libeyman tells us a story about a Jewish fakir who was going through hard times. He prayed to God to remove his sorrows but without any response from the Almighty. He finally begged God to at least swap his sorrows with someone else as he thought the sorrows of others were nothing compared to his own.

One night he heard a voice asking him to make a bundle of his sorrows and bring it to the town hall next morning. The fakir happily made a bundle of his sorrows and ran towards the town hall. He saw many others doing the same. Their bundles did not seem any smaller than his. He was a bit disappointed but thought perhaps others found it easier to bear their sorrows. At the town hall, a voice told them all to hang their bundles on the pegs on the wall. All ran to hang their bundles lest pegs should run out. But there were enough pegs for all. The voice came back again and asked them to take any bundle of their choice and leave the hall.

The fakir examined all the bundles to select one but all seemed bigger than his. Finally, he decided to choose his own, for at least his own sorrows were his own, known to him and could be dealt with by him as he had got used to them. Indeed, everyone ran to collect their own bundles lest someone else should take it.

The rich and famous may look happier than the rest of us because we cannot see their unhappiness hidden behind the masks, since we are all great actors. You will never come across any person who has amassed wealth by fraud, force and flattery and is also leading a happy life. The feeling that others are happier is due to the seeds of desire and discontent in our minds. The Jnani knows his inner Self and becomes free from the conflict of happiness and agony, likes and dislikes, honour and obscurity.

innervoice@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 17:11 IST