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Stay firm, stay course. This too will pass!
Once upon a time there lived a wealthy trader, honourable and a man of repute, and yet he was always restless and worried. He could not shed his fears, of failures, of loosing, of unknown.
He approached a spiritual master and pleaded, “with God’s grace I have everything, yet I am always afraid and worried. Please give me a wisdom so that I may be peaceful under all circumstances, no matter what!”
“So, you want to be peaceful under all circumstances?” the guru confirmed.
“Yes, your holiness.”
The master wrote something on a piece of paper, folded and gave it to him. “Here, always keep this with you. Open this only when you feel your worst fear has come through.”
The trader prostrated before the guru and went back.
Two years later, a terrible drought hit that region and his financial situation went into tatters. He had no stock to sell, debtors were unable to pay their dues and creditors dragged him to court. They made him sell his house, mortgage his wife’s jewellery etc. He pleaded and prayed but nothing worked. The spiritual guru had already left for secluded meditation. It was time to read his guru’s inscription, he thought.
He unfolded it to see the contents; it read, “Stay firm, stay course. This too will pass.”
The words had magical effect on him. He decided to not lose hope. He realized that things could not stay like this forever, that it was temporary.
And temporary it surely was as the following three years saw heavy rains and bumper crop. He bounced back. Wealth and honour came back in his life.
His guru was back too. He promptly made arrangements to see his master with all kinds of offerings.
Prostrating before the guru, he said, “With your grace, I am so happy. Business has never been so good.”
“Do you have that paper I gave you?” the guru asked calmly. “Open it and read again what it says.”
The trader obeyed and the words on it reminded him that even this phase was temporary. Just like the bad times, even this would pass. From joy and excitement, his state of mind shifted to bliss and peace.
“This is an eternal wisdom, my son,” the master added. “Stay even. It’s all cyclical.”