Lessons along the Way

There was once a king who was on a journey. His destination was a spiritual teacher and he was eager to get there.

On the way, one of his palanquin carriers fell ill and his men picked up a helper from the side of the road. The problems started when the new man refused to step on any ants that were intersecting with the path. By stepping aside he couldn’t stay in rhythm with the rest of the carriers and the palanquin faltered.

Getting increasingly irritated, the King stopped the procession and fired off a volley of insults at the new man. The man responded with wisdom and insight that surprised and ultimately inspired the king. He stepped off his palanquin and the carrier became his spiritual teacher.*

The moral of the story:

Along the way we will often meet our destination, not just when we arrive.

Always be ready to learn from those you least expect.

Realize when you are wrong; apologize, and change.

All obstacles, pain, or inconvenience have lessons for us.

Don’t be afraid to get off your high horse (palanquin) in order to learn.

*Adapted from Canto 5, chapters 10-13 of the Srimad Bhagavatam


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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.