We always take care of our body, bathe it, clothe it and feed it well. We spend sufficient time on our education and work so that we can earn wealth, status, position and power. We also spend time with our family and friends and enjoy their love and support. But we rarely think of our soul or spend time meditating on God. God has given us this life, body and soul and other things. But we rarely think of Him or His gifts. Death is a given definite in our lives and when we die, neither our body or family or possessions or status come with us. Only our soul is with us. We are the soul and we do not realize this truth. This poignant story teaches us to take care of our future now by paying attention to the soul as we are the soul:
There was a rich merchant who had four wives. He loved his fourth wife the most and adorned her with rich garments and gave her the most delicious food. He gave her the best of things and showed her off to all. He also loved his third wife very much. He took her out and all his friends and relatives met her and praised her. But he was always afraid that she would run away with some other man.
The merchant loved his second wife too. She was patient and considerate. She had a good understanding and grasp of her husband’s nature and his work and she was his best friend and confidante. Whenever the merchant had some problem, his second wife listened to him and advised him.
The merchant’s first wife was very loving and loyal to him. She has stayed the longest with him and helped him to create and maintain his business and wealth. She also took care of his home and relatives. But the merchant did not give any time or love to his first wife. He barely noticed that she was there doing all the work for him.
One day, the merchant fell ill. The doctor announced that he would die soon. The merchant reflected about his life, wealth and his four wives. He felt he should ask one of them to be with him after his death as he would be lonely.
The merchant called his fourth wife and said: I loved you most. I gave you the best of clothing and jewellery and took maximum care of you. Now I am dying. Will you follow me and keep me company. The fourth wife refused categorically and walked away from there.
The merchant was terribly hurt. He went to his third wife and told her: I love you so much. Now that I am dying, will you follow me and keep me company. She replied: No, my life is good here. I will remarry when you die! Hearing this answer, the merchant’s heart sank.
The merchant then went to his second wife and said: You were always with me and gave the right advice and help. Will you follow me when I die? She said: I am sorry. The most I can do for you is come to the grave yard and give you a send off. The merchant was badly shaken.
Then he heard the voice of his first wife: I will come with you after death. I will give you company. The merchant looked up at her. She was skinny and uncared for but strong with an inner purpose. The merchant was greatly grieved and said: I should have taken care of you while I could have!
We are the merchant. We have four wives in our lives.
The fourth wife is our body. We spend our entire lifetime taking care of it and loving it but it will leave us when we die.
The third wife is our possessions and status. When we die, they go to others.
The second wife is our family and friends. They are close to us all our lives and care for us and help us but can come with us only to the grave.
The first wife is our soul. We neglect our soul in pursuit of material gains, wealth and sensual pleasures.
Our soul is the only thing that actually follows us wherever we do. We must take good care of it and give it importance and listen to it. We must strengthen our spiritual side from now and not lament at the time of our death. We can do so by SitaRam Mantra japa, meditation and following the teachings of the Guru.