The Man Who Invited Death (The Consequences of Desires)

Pity the Sorrows of a Poor Old Man (1822). Accession number: 22.63.26

Once there was a man carrying a heavy weight upon his shoulders. He was old, weak, and feverish, and lived in a hot country, India. He sat down under the shade of a tree and threw off his burden from his shoulders and rested a while. He then cried, “Oh Death! Death!! Death!! come, Oh Death! Relieve me, relieve me”.

After some times God of Death appeared on the spot. When the man looked at him, he was astonished. He was surprised. He trembled, “What is that hideous figure, that monstrous something?” He asked God Of Death, “Who are you”? The God of Death said, “I am he whom you called. You have called me just now and I have come to satisfy your wish”. Then the old man began to tremble and said, “I did not call you to put me to death. I called you simply to help me to lift this burden and put it on my shoulders”.

This is what people do. All your difficulties, all your troubles and sorrows, what are called sorrows, are brought about by your own self. You are the master of your own destiny, but when the thing comes you cry and weep. You invite Death and when Death comes, you begin to cry. But that cannot be. When once you bid the highest price in an auction, you will have to take the thing. When you make the horse run, the carriage follows the horse. So when once you desire, you will have to take the consequences.

Moral: Troubles and sorrows are the inevitable consequences of your desires.

Also read: A Poet Who Faked Blindness (The Law of Karma)

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