Long time ago there was a young King ruling a small country. He had just ascended the throne after the death of his dear Father, who was a very popular and highly respected King. Before his death, father had given advice to his young son about the manner in which he should conduct himself and manage the affairs of the Kingdom. Among the advice given was that he should always keep his Minister with him, even while on tour. "Good advice is like rich treasure. It protects you in times of difficulties. Have faith in the Minister. Respect him and his advice. At the same time be on your guard", the elderly King had told the Prince, before his taking over as the King.
The young King followed his father's advice in true spirit. He respected his father's Minister for his wisdom and had seen as a young boy how the Minister's advice helped his father over the years. After the formalities for the young King's ascension were completed, the elderly Minister requested for permission to retire as he had also become old and wanted to spend his old age peacefully as a recluse. The young King requested the elderly man to continue in his post for sometime and he may retire after finding another suitable man for the responsibilities. The elderly Minister agreed to the suggestion and continued to guide the young King while searching for a suitable substitute for himself.
One day a delegation of villagers came to meet the King. They had a problem to be solved. A Tiger from the nearby forest was attacking the villagers and their cattle. They requested the King to arrange for killing the Tiger and save them from its attacks. The King assured them that he would attend to their problem and visit their village also. After the delegation left, he called his chieftain and asked him to arrange for a hunting sojourn. He also asked the Minister to accompanying him but the Minister requested to be excused due to his old age. The King remembered his father's advice to keep the Minister at all times near him and politely ordered that the Minister should accompany him. The Minister had no alternative but to follow the order.
While chasing the Tiger, the King went deep inside the forest and was separated from the other members of the hunting party. The Minister advised the chieftain to form small search parties to find the King and he himself went in a direction he felt the tiger had ran away. The King was attacked by the Tiger when he was alone. The King fought bravely and killed the Tiger. While searching for the King, the Minister found the King and the dead Tiger. He appreciated the king's bravery and they started moving back to the base camp. The King told the Minister that while fighting the Tiger a small part of his little finger on the left hand was cut away and he was in pain. The Minister had the habit of always saying "Everything is for the Good" or "Whatever happens is for the Good". To pacify the King he immediately said "Everything is for the Good". The King was irritated by the Minister saying that losing the finger is for the good. Enraged and angry, he pushed the Minister in an abandoned well in the forest and went in search of the base camp.
A group of aboriginal tribe were in search of a human being in the forest to offer as sacrifice to their God in accordance with their custom. They found the King moving alone in the forest, captured him and took him to their chief. When about to be sacrificed at the altar, the priest checked the King's body and found a small part of the little finger missing. The priest declared that the King was unfit for sacrifice and another person should be brought instead. The King was luckily let off. He was found by the search party now and the King had realised that losing the small part of the finger was actually good as the Minister had said for it saved his life itself! He went in search of the abandoned well and got the Minister rescued by his soldiers. He apologized to the Minister and told him how he was let off before sacrificing him. When he regretted pushing the Minister in the well for the second time, the Minister said "That was also for the Good". The King was surprised as to how being pushed in the well could be good. The smiling Minister replied, "Oh, dear King, had you not pushed me in the well they would have captured us both. After finding you unfit for sacrifice, they would have found me to be perfectly eligible for the same and I would have been sacrificed. You actually saved my life by pushing me in the well! Was it also not for the Good?". The King understood the minister's logic and kept him in his post for many more years.
This is a story I heard some fifty years ago. It was a thrill when I first heard it. Looking back now after fifty years, I am not as certain that everything is for the good. It is one thing to say so and another thing to actually experience things in life. However, this way of looking at life gives a certain degree of equanimity and composure when under strain due to adverse things in life. Who knows, everything may be for the good, as the wise Minister used to say!.
Keshav Murthy Introduces himself as :
I write poems in Kannada and articles in Kannada and English.I was born in a village near Kanakapura, Bangalore district. Early childhood and education up to Graduation was in a rural background. Joined Punjab National bank as clerk in May 1973. Retired in February 2011 as Senior Manager. Active Trade Unionist. Contributed writings to newspapers and journals on various topics like Literature, Banking and Economics, Sports and Travelogues.
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