A rich man, after acquiring lot of wealth was not happy. He wanted his only son to inherit his wealth but at the same time he wanted him to be a happy man. Hence he sent his son to find out a wisest man and to hear from him the secret of happiness. After searching for a long time he came to know that there is a man of great wisdom, living in the top of the mountain. He found out the mountain and climbed to the place expecting a saintly man, a sage. On the top of the mountain he saw a Castle to his surprise, lot of people coming and going out of the Castle. There was line of activity, when he entered the Castle, there was a music concert, there were tables of delicious food, people exchanging pleasantries and finally he found that man of wisdom surrounded by people.
As soon as he saw the boy he called him and asked him why he has come over here. The boy told him that he has come over to learn about the secret of the happiness. The wise man told him that he is busy and he would meet him after an hour. Meanwhile he should look around the palace the different chambers, climbing the stairways of the palace. Meanwhile I want to do something, said the wise man lending the boy a tea spoon that held a few drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry the spoon without allowing the oil to spill”.
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After an hour, he returned to the wise man. The wise man asked him, “Did you see the exhibits of the different chambers, the beauty of the architecture of the Castle, the famous works of different great personalities in the library?” The boy was embrrassed and confessed that he has not observed anything. His only concern had been not to spill the oil. Then the wise man asked him, “You go back once again to all those chambers of the Castle and observe the beauty of the works of art placed in the chambers and taste the food that is spread and come back to me”. After a while, the boy again went with the spoon in the hand with the few drops of oil around the palace. He enjoyed beauty of the works of art, tasted the food placed there, heard the music played there and came back with great enthusiasm to the wise man. Upon returning to him, he narrated all that he saw and did in the different chambers of the Castle. The wise man asked him “But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” Looking down at the spoon he held the boy saw that the oil was gone. The boy realized that “the Secret of Happiness” is to be able to see and appreciate all the marvels of the world, but at the same time never to loose sight of the goals of life in the hustle and bustle of this world.
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain is better than silver, and profit is better than gold” (Proverb 3:13-14).
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur