01152008 - Influence..

Long ago, there lived a king. He was wise and just. His kingdom was prosperous. Everything was going well. One day, the king had a dream. In his dream, he saw a wolf dancing in front of his thrown. Curious to know the meaning of the dream, the king summoned his best scholars and asked them the meaning. None were able to give him a satisfactory answer, so he made an announcement, that the person who would give a satisfactory answer to the king, would receive 1000 gold coins as a reward.

A woodcutter heard this announcement, when he was on way to gather wood from the forest. While cutting a tree, he thought, " If only i knew the meaning of that dream, i could receive the reward, and start a new life". A bird sitting on one of the branches heard his thought and spoke, " I know the meaning of the dream, and i can tell you the meaning too, but what will i get in return for this favour ? ". The woodcutter said, " Please tell me the meaning, and i will gladly give you half of what the king has promised ". The bird agreed, and told him the meaning.

The next morning, the woodcutter went to the king and addressed him, " Oh mighty ruler, I know the meaning of your dream " . The king was curious, and asked him to tell the meaning. The woodcutter replied, " the meaning is simple my lord, wolf is the symbol of treachery. Your dream is a clear indication of betrayal that is happening in the kingdom, perhaps its time to take measures to identify the thieves among us and punish them ". The king was pleased with his answer. He gave the woodcutter the reward as promised, and immediately deployed spies to corner the betrayers. The guilty were punished. Prosperity was restored.

The woodcutter, instead of sharing his reward with the bird, as promised, went back to his home, bought a new land, built a new house and started living lavishly with the reward money.

Few months passed by. The king had another dream. In this dream, he saw a sword hanging on top of his palace. Again he summoned his best scholars to understand the meaning of this dream but in vain. He remembered that the previous time, there was this woodcutter who had given an interpretation of his dream. So he asked the royal gaurds to bring the woodcutter. When the woodcutter came to know about this, he asked the king for a days time to which the king agreed. Without wasting time, the woodcutter went to the forest, to the exact tree where the bird was, and addressed the bird, " Oh great one, I am sorry that i neglected you the previous time. I am in a dilemma now, and you are the only one who can get me out of this mess. Please help me in deciphering the meaning of this dream of the king ". The bird replied, " ok, since that was your first offence, you are forgiven, but tell me, what do i get in return for this favour ? ". The woodcutter replied, " I shall gladly give you whatever the king gives me as a reward " . The bird agreed and told him the meaning.

The next day, the woodcutter addressed the king. " Oh Lord, Sword is the symbol of violence. Since its hanging on your palace, I sense that your enemies are getting ready to attack your kingdom. It would be wise to get your army in position and prepare to defend your land". The king rewarded the woodcutter with 2000 gold coins, and sent him away. Without wasting much time, he positioned his army to defend his kingdom against any enemy attacks. The very next day, his neighbouring ruler, attacked him, but since the king was prepared, he easily won the war.

In the meanwhile, this time, the woodcutter went to the forest to meet the bird. The bird was anxiously waiting. Instead of giving the bird its share, the woodcutter took a stone and threw it at the bird. The bird was hurt. Not uttering a word, it flew away to save its life.

Few more months passed by, and the king had another dream. In this dream, the king saw white lambs walking in the royal court. This time, the king directly asked the gaurds to get the woodcutter to interpret the meaning of his dream. When the woodcutter was brought, he again asked the king for a day's duration. He went to the forest, but couldn't find the bird on the tree. He searched for the bird, and found it on a tree close to its previous home. The woodcutter addressed the bird, " Oh little one, please hear me out. The king has asked me to interpret another dream of his, and i donot know its meaning. If i fail to satisfy the king, he is going to behead me. Please tell me the meaning of this dream, and i shall gladly give you whatever the king gives me plus whatever i owed you for your previous favours ". The bird, feeling pity on the woodcutter, told the meaning.

The next day, the woodcutter addressed the king, " Lord, white lambs are the symbol of peace and prosperity. The meaning cannot be more clearer than this, justice, peace and prosperity have been restored back to your kingdom. You can rule the kingdom without worrying about any internal or external threats".

The king was very pleased to know the meaning, and rewarded the woodcutter 3000 gold coins.

This time, the woodcutter went directly to the forest, to the bird and with gratitude, he spoke, " Thank you for saving my life. As i had promised, i am here to give you all the things i owed you. Please do accept them and forgive me for my shameful act". To this, the bird replied, " Oh foolish woodcutter, if i were after money, i could have directly told the king, the meaning of his dreams, why would i tell them to you ?? . Talking about your acts, it is not your fault. Remember, the first time, there was treachery in the kingdom, and this environment forced you to cheat me. The second time, there was violence in the kingdom, and the environment forced you to hurt me, but the thrid time, when justice was restored, you came to your senses and you are here, in front of me, returning back the money which you owed me".

The bird continued, "Common man, generally gets influenced by the environment he lives in. Its not his fault if he acts accordingly. Few people are able to overcome this urge, and their actions are always the same. Their actions reflect truth irrespective of the environment. And they, my friend, are true YOGIS. "

Why this story ???

Whenever people talk about peer pressure or about actions they are forced to do or decisions that they are forced to take, i always remember this story. Its hard to deviate from the normal course and do something extra, but it must be noted that inside us, there is a YOGI, waiting to be awakened.